Saudi Sunshine

(Washington Post) Editorial - Nobody seriously believes that the Saudi government knowingly supported the 9/11 attacks. Saudi Arabia's role is subtler. Saudi money has supported mosques and educational institutions that promote strict so-called "Wahhabi" interpretations of Islam. The line separating this religious movement, the officially sanctioned religion of the kingdom, from the more radical interpretations embraced by terrorists is sometimes fuzzy - and the relationship between Saudi-backed institutions and individuals tied to terrorism sometimes equally so. Moreover, Saudi law enforcement famously failed to cooperate with American investigators in some counterterrorism investigations, and there have long been allegations that al Qaeda has infiltrated Saudi security, intelligence, and other government agencies. The issue, in short, is whether Saudi Arabia's too-tolerant attitude toward Islamist extremism had the effect of aiding the 9/11 hijackers, 15 of whom were Saudi.

2003-07-28 00:00:00

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