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nycmuzik

They call themselves our allies....

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Further proof that goes to show what a joke most of these Middle Eastern gov'ts are....They opress their people....The people get pissed....They then pay them off to attack us while at the same time running state sponsored propaganda that portrays us as being evil....When will these people learn to think for themselves???

DUBAI (Nov. 25) - Saudi Arabia Monday dismissed as lies charges that it financed Sept. 11 hijackers, and some newspapers said the allegations were a desperate attempt by U.S. hawks to get Saudi support for a possible war against Iraq.

The U.S. Congress has launched an inquiry into a possible money trail from the Saudi government to two of the 19 hijackers who crashed jets into U.S. cities, threatening to put a further strain on already sour ties between the two allies.

''These are nothing but lies and baseless words,'' Interior Minister Prince Nayef said in comments carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.

He said it was normal for Saudis to offer financial support to fellow nationals living abroad. ''If they are going to make an accusation of every assistance extended by one Saudi to another, then there is a problem and this should not be the case.''

A slew of anti-Saudi comments in the United States, after 15 Saudis were named among the hijackers, and Washington's perceived pro-Israel bias have raised Saudi ire and sparked rare calls in the kingdom to review ties with its key Western ally.

Some U.S. politicians have called for similar action by Washington, particularly after a report for the Defense Department called the kingdom an enemy and funder of terrorism.

''Under the current strategy to hit Iraq, suspicions and accusations are being used by American foxes to...pressure the kingdom to directly enter a war,'' the popular daily al-Riyadh said in an editorial. ''Despite our commitment to being a friend to America, we refuse to be blackmailed,'' it said.

Saudi newspapers usually reflect government thinking.

Riyadh has publicly opposed military action against Iraq and has yet to decide whether to let Washington use its facilities in a possible attack to rid Baghdad of alleged weapons of mass destruction.

POLITICAL BLACKMAIL

''The campaign is a political one which clearly aims to blackmail Saudi Arabia, distort its reputation and try to influence its positions and turn others against it,'' said an editorial in the daily al-Watan.

''The latest campaign by the Zionist lobby in America will fail and will not affect the kingdom or its stances and will not affect the strength of ties with the United States,'' it added.

The charges, first published by Newsweek magazine, are that Saudi money reached the hijackers, possibly via two Saudi students living in the United States who had obtained it from an account in the name of Princess Haifa al-Faisal, the wife of the Saudi ambassador to Washington.

Adel al-Jubeir, an aide to the kingdom's de facto ruler Crown Prince Abdullah, said there was no evidence the Saudi government sent money to the hijackers and that his country was mercilessly pursuing al Qaeda, which is blamed for the attacks.

He told CNN the Saudis had thought the money trail issue was closed, and its revival by the U.S. Congress ''leads me to believe that the people who are behind this are more interested in scoring political brownie points than arriving at the truth.''

Al-Nadwa newspaper said the allegations were part of a ploy by the ''Zionist lobby'' to harm relations between the United States and Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil exporter.

The daily al-Riyadh said the campaign was the first step toward ''severing ties with Muslims and waging a long war which places the two sides in a cycle of confrontation which does not benefit anybody.''

Reut13:11 11-25-02

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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee warned Monday that U.S. officials may not like what they find when they investigate reports that money from a Saudi princess may have gone to two of the September 11 hijackers.

U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Alabama, said he is suspicious about Saudi charities' ties to terrorist organizations and said U.S. authorities need to find out "what kind of ally we have here."

"Let's follow the money," Shelby said. "If we follow the money, we're going to get to the truth, and I think the truth will not be very nice."

Top lawmakers from both parties have sharply criticized Saudi Arabia and questioned the nature of the U.S.-Saudi relationship since the disclosure last week that investigators are looking into whether money from Princess Haifa al-Faisal, the wife of Saudi Ambassador Prince Bandar bin Sultan, reached suicide hijackers Khalid Almidhar and Nawaf Alhazmi via two Saudi students in California.

Investigators said Almidhar and Alhazmi were part of the al Qaeda crew that crashed American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, killing 184 people in the building and aboard the plane. U.S. and Saudi officials insisted that the princess did not intentionally provide money to al Qaeda members.

Closer watch on money

Adel al-Jubeir, international policy adviser to Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah -- who effectively rules the oil-rich monarchy on behalf of his ailing brother, King Fahd -- said Monday that the Saudis are keeping a closer eye on where donations from their citizens go.

"We have realized over the years that people have now taken advantage of our charity, of our generosity -- of our naivete, if you want to call it that, of our innocence. But those days are coming to an end," al-Jubeir said.

"I believe most Saudi donors are now aware that they need to be more diligent in how they give money and who they give money to, and they need to be very careful about just writing checks or giving cash to people."

An inquiry by the joint House-Senate Intelligence Committee has suggested there is evidence that money from the Saudi government made its way to Almidhar and Alhazmi via Omar al-Bayoumi and Osama Basnan. Basnan's wife had asked the princess for financial help, signing checks she received over to her husband and al-Bayoumi, al-Jubeir said Sunday.

U.S. politics blamed

"What happened as far as this particular instance or instances with the Saudi ambassador and his wife, I'm not sure," Shelby said. "But we should pursue the money trail -- get the FBI, get the accountants, follow the bank. If we follow through the banks, everything that we can regarding this, we'll get to the truth."

The students named in the investigation are back in Saudi Arabia. Al-Jubeir said both had been charged with visa violations during their stay in the United States and were questioned and released by the FBI.

"If there was a thread of evidence [linking the students to terrorism], do you think the FBI would have let them go?" he asked.

Saudi Arabia has been stung by concerns that 15 of the 19 September 11 hijackers were Saudi nationals, including Almidhar and Alhazmi, and by deepening U.S. unease that some of its citizens may support militant Islamic fundamentalists.

Al-Jubeir blamed the controversy on U.S. domestic politics, saying the Riyadh government has cooperated extensively in the war on terrorism.

Shelby said the United States "needs to fess up" about its relationship with Saudi Arabia, the second-largest exporter of crude oil to the United States.

"We need oil," he said. "The West needs it. They need our support."

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