Friday, December 14, 2007

A State Department Official Praises Saudis on Terror

Eli Lake, The New York Sun (US: NY)

A Saudi Arabian re-education program that treats terrorists as victims of a misguided ideology and not criminals to be warehoused for life in a cell is winning praise from America's top ambassador for counterterrorism, Dell Dailey ... But according to two American intelligence officials who have reviewed these contracts, the agreement carefully makes no mention of jihad outside of Saudi Arabia. Ambassador Dailey yesterday said, "I can't say specifically if in the program they are allowed to go off and do jihad in other countries." He later said that if he found this to be the case, he would ask the Saudis to reform the program he had praised ... The director of the Gulf and Energy Policy program at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Simon Henderson, yesterday said, "The Saudi rehabilitation process is really being judged at the moment by what the Saudis say about it, and I personally look for a more neutral assessment. I remain to be convinced that the Saudi program is the best model for combating jihadists. Saudi Arabia has had a long tradition of exporting its radicals. Think Afghanistan, Chechnya, Bosnia. It has also happened in Iraq. Has the tradition really ended? And has this program cured the problem? I am not yet convinced."

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