More Saudis deliberately recruited for Sep 11 attacks: DiplomatSeptember 29th, 2009 - 4:47 pm ICT by IANS
Washington, Sep 29 (IANS) A Saudi ambassador has accused Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden of deliberately recruiting more Saudis than from other Arab nations in the Sep 11 terrorist attacks to try to drive a wedge between the US and Saudi Arabia, a media report said Tuesday.
Ambassador Adel al-Jubeir added that his government was shocked to learn that 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudis, Washington Times reported on its website.
“It was a painful moment for us when it was discovered that most of the hijackers came from Saudi Arabia,” the newspaper quoted the diplomat as saying in a recent interview with the PRNewswire-USNewswire, a business news service.
“We believe that Osama bin Laden intentionally selected Saudis for this heinous crime to give the operation a Saudi face and to create doubts in the minds of Americans about the kingdom.”
The hijackers killed nearly 3,000 people from 90 countries in attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York, the Pentagon in Arlington and in another plane that crashed in rural Pennsylvania after passengers thwarted the terrorists who were thought to have been targeting Washington.
Al-Jubeir said the attacks caused relations to suffer among the public but reinforced US-Saudi cooperation in the war on terrorism.
“We both are the main targets for Al Qaeda, and we both work closely together to defeat it,” he said. “And, God willing, we will.”
Al Qaeda began attacking Saudi targets in 2003 and has killed more than 150 Saudi nationals and foreigners in Saudi Arabia. Its latest attack was in August when a suicide bomber tried to kill Deputy Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef.
Al-Jubeir noted that bipartisan ties have vastly improved over the past nine years and that King Abdullah and former US president George W. Bush “institutionalised” relations with a “Strategic Dialogue” to deal with counter-terrorism, military cooperation, economic and energy issues, human development and consular affairs.
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Tags: 19 hijackers, adel al jubeir, arab nations, counter terrorism, deputy interior minister, energy issues, george w bush, heinous crime, king abdullah, military cooperation, painful moment, president george w bush, prnewswire, qaeda leader, rural pennsylvania, saudi ambassador, saudi nationals, saudis, sep 11 attacks, suicide bomber