US concern at Saudi action on terror

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The Financial Times reports  a concern of the US Treasury that Saudi Arabia is 'not being active enough in shutting down sources of financing for terrorist organizations?' Are the actions by 'Our Saudi Friends'  finally being scrutinized for what they really are?

The Senate Judiciary Committee heard from a senior official that the Bush administration had doubts over Saudi Arabia's claims to have closed a government account that funded militant Palestinian groups, and was concerned about the overseas activities of Saudi charities and non—governmental organisations with close ties to the royal family.

Strains in the US—Saudi relationship were also highlighted last Tuesday by the release of the State Department's annual report on global religious freedom. Saudi Arabia, for the second year running, was among eight countries cited as restricting religious freedoms. News of the State Department's views on Saudi Arabia's religious freedoms can be read here.

Statements by both Republican and Democratic senators on the Judiciary Committee revealed how deep—seated misgivings in the US towards Saudi Arabia since the September 11 2001 attacks by al—Qaeda have been barely moderated by the Kingdom's subsequent co—operation against terrorism.
Daniel Glaser, deputy assistant secretary in the Treasury's office for dealing with terrorist financing, said Saudi Arabia had taken positive steps but needed to do more on counterterrorist financing.

Senators grilled Mr Glaser when he revealed US concerns over a programme broadcast on Saudi television in August soliciting funds to assist the Palestinian intifada to be deposited in Account 98, a government account that Saudi Arabia claims it has closed.

'We are looking into the existence of Account 98,' Mr Glaser said.

He told senators that despite repeated assurances from the Saudi authorities, he could not confirm that the account no longer existed.

Mr Glaser said the US remained 'deeply concerned' whether a Saudi ban on funding charities overseas had been implemented with respect to 'so—called international NGOs'.

He named three big organisations with close ties to members of the royal family — the International Islamic Relief Organisation (IIRO), the World Assembly of Muslim Youth, and the Muslim World League.

Has Mr. Glaser also considered the recent Saudi pledge to the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, an organization which disassociates itself from the predominantly Christian Philippines?

Eric Schwappach   11 13 05

The Financial Times reports  a concern of the US Treasury that Saudi Arabia is 'not being active enough in shutting down sources of financing for terrorist organizations?' Are the actions by 'Our Saudi Friends'  finally being scrutinized for what they really are?

The Senate Judiciary Committee heard from a senior official that the Bush administration had doubts over Saudi Arabia's claims to have closed a government account that funded militant Palestinian groups, and was concerned about the overseas activities of Saudi charities and non—governmental organisations with close ties to the royal family.

Strains in the US—Saudi relationship were also highlighted last Tuesday by the release of the State Department's annual report on global religious freedom. Saudi Arabia, for the second year running, was among eight countries cited as restricting religious freedoms. News of the State Department's views on Saudi Arabia's religious freedoms can be read here.

Statements by both Republican and Democratic senators on the Judiciary Committee revealed how deep—seated misgivings in the US towards Saudi Arabia since the September 11 2001 attacks by al—Qaeda have been barely moderated by the Kingdom's subsequent co—operation against terrorism.
Daniel Glaser, deputy assistant secretary in the Treasury's office for dealing with terrorist financing, said Saudi Arabia had taken positive steps but needed to do more on counterterrorist financing.

Senators grilled Mr Glaser when he revealed US concerns over a programme broadcast on Saudi television in August soliciting funds to assist the Palestinian intifada to be deposited in Account 98, a government account that Saudi Arabia claims it has closed.

'We are looking into the existence of Account 98,' Mr Glaser said.

He told senators that despite repeated assurances from the Saudi authorities, he could not confirm that the account no longer existed.

Mr Glaser said the US remained 'deeply concerned' whether a Saudi ban on funding charities overseas had been implemented with respect to 'so—called international NGOs'.

He named three big organisations with close ties to members of the royal family — the International Islamic Relief Organisation (IIRO), the World Assembly of Muslim Youth, and the Muslim World League.

Has Mr. Glaser also considered the recent Saudi pledge to the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, an organization which disassociates itself from the predominantly Christian Philippines?

Eric Schwappach   11 13 05