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Washington Says Saudi Arabia Working to Counter Terrorist Threat - 2004-06-13

The Bush administration says Saudi Arabia is cooperating fully in the search for militants who kidnapped an American and killed two others.

President Bush's national security advisor says Saudi Arabia knows it faces a terrorist threat, and is co-operating with the United States.

During an interview on CNN's Late Edition, Condoleezza Rice acknowledged the situation is dangerous, but stressed Washington is working closely with Riyadh.

"It is, like many places in the world right now, a place in which terrorists are trying to make their mark," she said. "We are doing everything that we can with the Saudis to try and protect those who are there."

Millions of foreign workers are employed in Saudi Arabia, including 35,000 Americans. On NBC's Meet the Press, Secretary of State Colin Powell denied the security situation there is unraveling, though he too acknowledged it has become more dangerous.

"Terrorists are going after the Saudi leadership," he said. "They are trying to make the country unstable. And I know that the Saudis are treating it with the utmost seriousness and are counter-attacking."

Earlier, Mr. Powell told the Fox News Sunday program that, while the kingdom has done a great deal to fight terrorism, it needs to do more. "I am satisfied with what they have done so far," said Mr. Powell. "I think that there is more that they can do. They can build up their forces. There is probably more we can do, with respect to intelligence exchange. And we are working all of these areas."

An Internet statement, attributed to al-Qaida, claims responsibility for the latest violence against Americans in Saudi Arabia. It says the captured American will be treated in the same way U.S troops have treated Iraqis at Abu Ghraib prison.