Saturday, September 24, 2005

Iran Daily - World Politics - 08/11/05 - Saudi Ambassador Blasts UK ForIgnoring Terrorist Warnings

Iran Daily - World Politics - 08/11/05 "Saudi Ambassador Blasts UK

Prince Turki Al-Faisal

LONDON, Aug. 10--Saudi Arabia’s outgoing ambassador to Britain blasted the British government for ignoring constant Saudi warnings on Muslim extremists, AFP quoted a British newspaper as saying Wednesday.
Prince Turki Al-Faisal, a former chief of Saudi intelligence, told The Times he had been “going round in circles“ with British authorities over the threat posed by Saudi dissidents in Britain.
The prince, 60, has been ambassador to London since January 2003 but is soon to transfer to Washington.
He said his warnings had been passed around government departments.
The situation got so bad that crown prince Abdullah, now king, warned British ministers relations between the two nations would be damaged if no action was taken, the ambassador said.
“When you call somebody he says it is the other guy,“ the prince told The Times.
“So we have been in this runaround for the last two and a half years,“ he said.
The prince’s chief grievances were over two Saudi dissidents, Saad Faqih and Mohammad Al-Masari.
Faqih is on the United Nations terror list accused by the US of involvement in the 1998 bombing of their Nairobi embassy. Al-Masari runs a “jihadi“ website, posting videos of suicide bombings in Israel and Iraq.
“We have been urging your government to send them back since 1996, if not earlier. During my two and a half years here it was one of the most persistent and consistent topics,“ Prince Turki said.
He said when Abdullah raised the pair with Prime Minister Tony Blair in 2003, the British premier said there was nothing he could do. No action was taken after Blair then promised to change the law on Abdullah’s suggestion.
Eventually, Faqih’s assets were seized once he was placed on the UN terror list in 2004.
“He had 20 pounds (29 euros, 36 dollars), or something,“ Prince Turki said.
“We listed all the obligations now that his name was on the terrorist list. The response we got was ’we are studying your proposals’.
“Basically, ’don’t call us, we will call you’. It was very disappointing.“
Abdullah rammed the message home that relations would be damaged on August 3 when Blair met him at the funeral of the late king Fahd, Prince Turki said, adding he doubted much would be done before his departure in September."