Scrutinizing the Saudi Connection

(New York Times) Gerald Posner - The 9/11 Commission Report is less than reassuring about Saudi Arabia, which it calls, in a gross understatement, "a problematic ally in combating Islamic extremism." The report makes no mention of an October 2002 study by the Council of Foreign Relations that draws opposite conclusions about the role of Saudi charities and how "Saudi officials have turned a blind eye to this problem." On Sept. 13, 2001, a private jet flew from Tampa, Fla., to Lexington, Ky., before leaving the country later that same day. On board were top Saudi businessmen and members of the royal family, including Prince Ahmed bin Salman. Nephew to King Fahd, Prince Ahmed was later mentioned to American interrogators in March 2002 by Abu Zubaydah, a top Qaeda official captured that same month. By failing to address adequately how Saudi leaders helped al-Qaeda flourish, the commission has risked damaging its otherwise good work.

2004-07-27 00:00:00

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