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Saudi Arabia Combats Accusations of Neglect

Saudi Arabia is defending itself against accusations it did not sufficiently protect the compounds in Riyadh. A Saudi official in Washington met reporters Friday, and Carol Pearson was there.

Since the deadly bombings at residential compounds in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia has been criticized that it did not respond to the American ambassador’s requests for improved security and has not done enough to combat terrorism. Not true, said Adel Al-Jubeir, Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah’s foreign policy advisor. He describes the Saudi people as being angry and sad over the incident.

“We are sorry for not having been able to win this battle in the war against terrorism. We are determined that we will prevail in the war against terrorism. We will do whatever we need to do in order to confront and destroy the organization and the people who did this.”

Mr. Al-Jubeir explained that the compounds were gated communities, not fortresses. He said they are similar to gated communities in Washington and elsewhere in the world, and that there are hundreds, if not a thousand such communities in Riyadh.

He then spoke about his country’s efforts to cooperate with the United States and other countries in routing out terrorism since a 1996 attack in Saudi Arabia in which 19 American soldiers died.

“Saudi Arabia has been a strong ally in the war against terrorism for a very simple reason: this terrorism is directed at us. We are convinced that the United States and Saudi Arabia are the two countries that are in the crosshairs of this murderous organization call al-Qaida.”

Mr. Al-Jubair also said the Saudi people are angry that terrorist acts are being committed in the name of Islam.