Saudi agrees US intelligence plan

The US will send an intelligence delegation to Riyadh in an attempt to set up a joint anti-terrorist unit with Saudi Arabia.

    Saudi Arabia has come under increasing US pressure to crack down on fighters

    Federal Bureau of Investigation and Internal Revenue Service agents will fly to the Gulf state and set up a centre in the coming weeks, Time magazine reported on Sunday.

    The plan was conceived during a phone call in July between US President George Bush and Saudi Crown Prince Abd Allah.

    The conversation coincided with Bush's decision to withhold information concerning Saudi Arabia from a congressional report on events leading up to the 11 September terror attacks in New York and Washington. 
      
    US pressure

    “We are working through many different channels with the Saudi government to advance the cause of fighting terrorism, and we are receiving excellent cooperation,” White House spokeswoman Suzy DeFrancis told AFP.

    Fourteen of the 19 hijackers involved in the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in 2001 were Saudi nationals. Attacks by Muslim fighters linked with Usama bin Ladin are also increasing in the kingdom.

    Saudi Arabia has been under US pressure to clamp down on alleged terror networks following the attacks. This increased manifold after a spate of suicide bombings in Riyadh some three months ago killed 35 people, including nine Americans.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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