U.S. State Department Highlights Saudi Contributions to Counterterrorism

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - May 1, 2009) - The United States Department of State has recognized in its 2008 Country Reports on Terrorism the counterterrorism efforts made by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The annual study cited ongoing steps taken by the Saudi government to publicly combat extremist ideology and to effectively eliminate terrorist threats. The report also noted the level of international cooperation being made by Saudi government and intelligence officials. The report stated:

"The Saudi government continued to make strides in its public counterterrorism programs... Saudi cooperation is significant, and U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies have benefited and continue to benefit from Saudi information and intelligence on individuals and organizations. U.S. law enforcement agencies have provided counterterrorism training to Saudi security services in both Saudi Arabia and in the United States."

The report also addressed several specific areas, including the extensive media campaign launched by the Saudi government to educate Saudis on the proper teachings of Islam and to prevent the spread of extremist ideology. The report stated:

"The campaign included messages incorporated into Friday sermons at mosques, distribution of literature and tapes, and article postings on the Internet. In 2007, the Kingdom issued identification cards to imams and religious leaders to curb instances of unauthorized persons delivering Friday sermons. In 2008, the government continued to monitor the licensed imams and looked for instances of 'illegal sermons.'"

The report noted the progress made in the area of terror financing, highlighting how Saudi banks are required to report suspicious transactions to the Kingdom's Financial Investigations Unit (FIU). Rules and regulations have been developed for charitable organizations, to prevent terrorist financing. The report stated:

"Saudi Arabia took action against suspected terrorist financiers by freezing their accounts and confiscating their assets. The Saudi government has frozen assets and accounts belonging to individuals designated by the 1267 committee, and also imposed the required travel ban on these individuals."

For more information on Saudi Arabia's counterterrorism efforts, visit the Saudi Embassy website at www.saudiembassy.net

This is distributed by Qorvis Communications, LLC on behalf of the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia. Additional information is available at the Department of Justice, Washington, DC.

Contact Information: CONTACT: Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia Information Office Washington, DC (202) 337-4076