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Saudi Arabia responds to ‘false’ claims in US election debates

Published: Updated:

In a series of tweets, Fahed Nazer, the spokesperson for the Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Washington, dismissed on Wednesday “worrisome and false” accusations made during recent election debates in the US that the Kingdom was protecting terrorist organizations.

Nazer added that the US State Department has “repeatedly stated” that several terrorist organizations, including al-Qaeda, are funded by the Iranian regime.

Saudi Arabia has “used every means at its disposal” to track down terrorist groups, halt their funding, and discredit their ideology, he said.

Nazer’s tweets followed an accusation by Democratic congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard last week that President Donald Trump is supporting al-Qaeda by maintaining an alliance with Saudi Arabia.

He wrote, “There have been worrisome & false accusations leveled against Saudi Arabia during the current political discourse in the US, especially as it pertains to the Kingdom’s counterterrorism efforts. It is therefore necessary to set the record straight...”

According to Nazer, the US and Saudi Arabia have been working closely to combat terrorism and foil “several potentially devastating terrorist attacks,” including an attempt in 2010 to blow up a plane flying from Yemen to the US using bombs packed in printer cartridges. It was Saudi Arabia that reported intelligence about the impending attack, which was later claimed by al-Qaeda.

In June, Saudi Arabia became the first Arab country to be granted full membership to the Financial Action Task Force, a global body dedicated to fighting illicit money flows. Nazer said that its membership showcases the Kingdom’s “dedication to combating terror financing on all levels.”

Saudi Arabia, the “birthplace of Islam & home to its Two Holy Mosques,” has been the target of several attacks by ISIS and al-Qaeda and has declared war against both terrorist organizations, Nazer said.

ISIS and al-Qaeda have carried out more than 60 terrorist attacks, 25 of which have taken place since 2015, in Saudi Arabia, killing more than 200 citizens and policemen, he added.