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Investigations of Bombings in Morocco and Saudi Arabia Continue - 2003-05-19


Worldwide investigations continue into the deadly wave of terrorist bombings in Saudi Arabia and Morocco last week. The 2 attacks killed at least 76 people and injured hundreds of others. VOA-TV’s Chris Simkins has more.

Investigators are probing what they believe are possible links between last week’s terrorist bombings in Morocco and Saudi Arabia. In Casablanca at least 41 people died and more than 100 were injured when 13 suicide bombers nearly simultaneously attacked 5 downtown locations. So far police have detained 30 people for questioning.

The attacks in Morocco came just 4 days after suicide bombings at expatriate residential compounds in the Saudi capital Riyadh. 34 people died including 8 Americans.

In Saudi Arabia, U.S. investigators are working with local police who say they arrested four people involved in planning the attacks. The suspects allegedly have links to an al-Qaida terror cell. But the debate continues over whether the Saudi Government did enough to prevent the bombings. U-S officials want more cooperation from the Saudi Royal family in fighting the war on terror. U-S Congressman Porter Goss is Chairman of the Intelligence Committee

PORTER GOSS, HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE
“I do believe that they were giving us some cooperation but not a lot. I do believe that the cooperation has taken on a new meaning and we see a commitment to do a better job in Saudi Arabia.”

Still reeling from the Riyadh attacks and warnings of more to come, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Policy Adviser Adel Al Jubeir says his government will round up terrorists.

ADEL AL JUBEIR, SAUDI ARABIA’S FOREIGN POLICY ADVISER
“The attack was a massive jolt to Saudi Arabia. They have declared war on us. We will rise to the Challenge. We will confront them and we will crush them.”

The commitment to crack down on terrorist groups comes as Saudi authorities reportedly are looking into suspected illegal arms sales to al-Qaida operatives by members of the country's national guard.

Saudi police are also looking for this man, Khaled Mohammad Jehani. The 29-year-old, is said to be the leader of an al-Qaida group that police say carried out the Riyadh attacks.

Meanwhile, back in Morocco investigators are still trying to determine if al-Qaida played a role in the bombings there. So far they are focusing on 2 splinter groups they say may share ties with Osama Bin Laden’s terrorist network.

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