Committee on International Relations
U.S. House of Representatives
Henry J. Hyde, Chairman
CONTACT: Sam Stratman, (202) 226-7875, March 23, 2004
For IMMEDIATE Release
Arabia's Role in
Combating International Terrorism
Ros-Lehtinen examines cooperation in Wednesday oversight hearing
The participation of Saudi citizens in planning and executing the September
11, 2001 attacks on the United States has brought a continuing focus on the
role of Saudi Arabia and its government in combating terrorism and cutting off
funds that finance and inspire terrorism. The Saudi government's attention
has been refocused by recent attacks by al-Qaeda
within the Kingdom. In recent months, the Saudi Arabian government has,
according to American and Saudi officials, stepped up its cooperation with
American authorities and strengthened its earlier efforts to regulate its
financial system. Saudi officials note that their government has ended the
practice of permitting cash collections made in mosques, reformed the
practices of Saudi-based charities with respect to transfers of funds
overseas, and worked with the United States to add certain institutions
formerly affiliated with Saudi entities to the United Nations list of
proscribed organizations. The Saudi government also says it has become more
active in counseling clerics against advocating violence and has taken steps
to open up a debate about the future direction of Saudi society.
WHAT: Oversight Hearing: Saudi Arabia and the Fight against Terrorism
Subcommittee on the Middle East and Central Asia, U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chair
WHEN: 1:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 24, 2004
WHERE: Room 2172 Rayburn House Office Building
WITNESSES: J. Cofer Black, Ambassador-at-Large and Coordinator for Counterterrorism, U.S. Department of State; Gary M. Bald, Assistant Director, Counterterrorism Unit, Federal Bureau of Investigation; Juan Zarate, Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Executive Office of Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes, U.S. Department of Treasury; Robert Baer, Former CIA Middle East Intelligence Officer; and Steven Simon, Senior Analyst with the Rand Corporation.
Questions to be addressed during the hearing:
• What progress, if any, has the Saudi government made in stemming the flow of charitable contributions to groups designated as terrorist organizations by the United States?
• To what extent is the Saudi government cooperating in ongoing investigations?
• In a cash-based economy like that of Saudi Arabia, how successful can any investigative effort actually be?
• What cooperation is the United States receiving from European governments in tracking assets with links to groups designated as terrorist organizations?
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