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Saudi says Osama’s death likely to boost international efforts against terrorism

Published:

A senior Saudi official said that the death of Osama bin Laden will likely step up the international fight against terrorism, adding that the Saudi people have suffered from Mr. bin Laden’s actions more than any other people.

The official, quoted by the Saudi News Agency, added that he was hopeful Mr. bin Laden’s death would stamp out the “misguided thought” behind it.

“An official source expressed the hope of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia that the elimination of the leader of the terrorist al-Qaeda organization would be a step toward supporting international efforts aimed at fighting terrorism,” the news agency reported.

Saudi Arabia was the birthplace of Mr. bin Laden, but the Kingdom has revoked his citizenship.

In June 25, 1996, a bomb in a fuel truck killed 19 American soldiers and wounds nearly 400 people at a US military housing complex in the eastern Saudi city of Khobar.

In May 12, 2003, al-Qaeda bombers in the Saudi capital Riyadh killed at least 35 people, including nine Americans.

In 2009, Saudi authorities issued a list 85 most wanted terrorists and since then the list has been reduced to less than 70, with the deaths of a number of those included on this list, as well as the surrender of a number of others including number 16 on the list Bard Mohammed Nasser Al-Shehri, and number 20 Jaber Jabran Ali al-Fifi.

Number 10 on the list of 85, Ahmad Kuteim Mohammed Al-Huzali, who some reports claim was involved in the failed assassination attempt against Saudi Deputy Interior Minister Prince Mohammed Bin Naif, was arrested in Yanbu. Whilst number 32 on the list of 85 most wanted terrorists Sultan Radi Sumeilil al-Otaibi was reportedly killed in Iraq, and number 40 Abdullah Hassan Tali Assiri died in the failed assassination attempt on Saudi Prince Mohammed Bin Naif.

According to some reports, a number of others on the list of 95 also surrendered themselves to the Saudi authorities including number 43 on the list Abdullah Abdul Rahman Mohammed al-Harbi, number 73 Mohamed Otaik Owaid al-Aufi, number 61 Fahd Rikad Sameer al-Ruwaili, and number 65 Fawaz al-Humaidi Hajid Al-Habradi al-Otaibi.

The Saudi Arabian Interior Ministry most recently issued a list of 47 most-wanted Saudi terrorists linked to al-Qaeda, on January 9, 2011. This list was also sent to Interpol. According to the Saudi Interior Ministry, none of the 47 are thought to be operating within Saudi Arabia, with the majority of them are thought to be either in Pakistani or Afghanistan, or Yemen.

(Mustapha Ajbaili of Al Arabiya can be reached via email at: Mustapha.ajbaili@mbc.net)