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6/20/03 - TERRORISTS IN SAUDI ARABIA - 2003-06-20

Countries around the world are bringing terrorists to justice. In a raid on June 14th, Saudi police killed five al-Qaida suspects linked to last month’s suicide bombings that damaged three housing compounds in Riyadh. Thirty-five people were killed in those bombings, including citizens of Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, the Philippines, Switzerland, and the United States.

The suspects were found in an apartment filled with weapons, bomb-making materials, and booby traps. The next day, five other terrorist suspects were arrested. The Saudi interior ministry issued a statement saying that the five were “preparing an imminent terrorist act.”

As U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell says, terrorists do not respect national boundaries:

“Murderers like those who killed the innocent in New York, in Riyadh, in Bali, are a threat to the entire civilized world. They make no distinctions of religion of nationality. They kill Muslims. They kill Christians. They kill Jews indiscriminately and without mercy. They must be stopped.”

The U.S., said Secretary of State Powell, will pursue terrorists and their accomplices “everywhere they plot their murders”:

“We will continue to work with our coalition partners to search out terrorists, smash their weapons, smash their networks, and freeze their finances. There will be no respite, no rest until terrorists and terrorism are defeated. And they will be defeated.”

In addition to arresting al-Qaida members, Saudi officials have arrested three Muslim clerics who preach hatred and intolerance. Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah said his government has also dismissed several hundred imams.

These latest actions are another indication of the Saudi government’s determination to deny terrorists sanctuary.