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US Has Quietly Expelled Dozens Of Saudi Diplomats

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  • Vigilius Haufniensis
    http://www.worldtribune.com/worldtribune/breaking_1.html US Has Quietly Expelled Dozens Of Saudi Diplomats Special To World Tribune.com 1-30-4 The United
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 31, 2004
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      US Has Quietly Expelled Dozens Of Saudi Diplomats
      Special To World Tribune.com
      1-30-4
      The United States has ordered the expulsion of dozens of Saudi
      diplomats suspected of helping promulgate Al Qaida ideology,
      diplomatic sources said. The State Dept. has refused to either
      confirm or deny the action..
       
      The State Department revoked the diplomatic credentials of the Saudi
      diplomats in Washington over the last month in an effort to crack
      down on Saudi efforts to promote Al Qaida interests in the United
      States.
       
      The diplomatic sources said about 70 diplomats and embassy staffers
      were expelled in late 2003 and dozens of others were ordered to leave
      the United States by mid-February. Many of those expelled were said
      to have worked in the office of the Saudi defense attache.
       
      In all, about 70 Saudi diplomats have left the United States since
      January, the sources said. They did not include Saudi ambassador to
      Washington, Prince Bandar Bin Sultan, the longest serving diplomat in
      the United States.
       
      The State Department has refused to confirm the expulsion of the
      Saudi diplomats. "I can't confirm it at this point," State Department
      spokesman Richard Boucher said on Wednesday. "I'll see if there's
      anything I can say for you."
       
      The Saudi diplomats, in a determination made by the FBI and Homeland
      Security Department, were said to have abused their diplomatic
      privileges in the United States. The sources said most of the
      diplomats were responsible for operations of the Institute of Islamic
      and Arabic Sciences in America [IIASA] located in Fairfax, Va.
       
      IIASA, established in 1988, has provided free training for hundreds
      of Muslims in the United States in Wahabi ideology, the basis for Al
      Qaida. The institute is one of six overseas branches of the main
      religious university in Saudi Arabia.
       
      The Washington-based Saudi Information Agency, operated by the Saudi
      opposition, identified the Saudi diplomats who work at the institute
      as Fuad Gunaim, Ibrahim Al Kulaib, Abdallah Al Saif, Saleh Al Sunae,
      Fahd Al Amer, Saab Al Saab, and Yousef Al Shubaily.
       
      The U.S. decision to expel the diplomats was said to have stemmed
      from a Houston, Texas conference in December 2003. The Saudi
      opposition agency said Saudi diplomats had planned to attend the
      conference with what it termed "known supporters of Al Qaida leader
      Osama Bin Laden. The Saudi embassy canceled its participation in the
      conference after the Washington Post reported the involvement of the
      diplomats.
       
      The conference was to have been addressed by a senior Saudi cleric
      Sheik Abdullah Bin Jebreen, who has publicly supported Bin Laden and
      his war against the United States, the agency said. Jebreen addressed
      the conference via video link from Riyad.
       
       
      [On Thursday, a statement purportedly issued by Bin Laden said Al
      Qaida's strategy was to launch a major attack on the United States.
      The statement, which appeared on the Voice of Jihad website, said Al
      Qaida wants to provoke the United States to retaliate against Saudi
      Arabia.]
       
      The agency said Saudi ambassador Prince Bandar Bin Sultan has refused
      to take responsibility for the Saudi embassy in Washington. The
      agency cited a source as saying he hasn't entered the embassy in
      years.
       
      "Many diplomats have not seen the ambassador for years," the source
      said. "Bandar spends most of his time at his mansions around the U.S.
      and the world, instead of carrying on his ambassadorial duties." 
       

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