Saudi authorities have arrested seven youths suspected of having links with the Al-Qaeda network, the Saudi Interior Minister Prince Naif announced this week.
“The arrests were made a few days ago in Makkah. These individuals are being interrogated to determine if they had links with Al-Qaeda or any other terrorist organization,” stated Naif.
Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia announced that it has referred 90 terrorist suspects to the courts to stand trial. Since September 11, the Kingdom, in cooperation with the US, has questioned more than 2,000 individuals, and arrested several hundred.
For years, Saudi Arabia has been surrounded by rumors over the funneling of portions of its extensive oil wealth to Islamic terrorist groups. Saudi ambassador to the US, Prince Bandar Bin Sultan and his wife were questioned this past November regarding the transfer of charity funds, which may have indirectly wound up with two of the September 11 hijackers.
In spite of strong concerns that Saudi authorities have not done enough to stem fundraising for Islamic militants, the US remains Saudi Arabia’s top investment and trade partner. Bilateral trade amounts to roughly $22 billion annually, while US investments in the Kingdom total nine billion dollars per annum. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )