Terror in the Saudi Kingdom

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photoHours after the brutal slaying of American Paul Johnson Jr. by a group of Islamic terrorists in Saudi Arabia last Friday, Saudi officials shot dead the leader of the group, Abdel Aziz Al-Muqrin. But Muqrin wasn't an unknown: he had served time in a Saudi jail after an attempt on the life of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Ethiopia in 1995. His eight-year sentence was cut in half and he was released after impressing his guards by memorizing the entire Koran.

Muqrin's story is an indication of how the Saudis have fought terror — or rather not fought terror — in the past. But experts say that in the wake of what Saudi Arabia calls its own 9/11, when three suicide bombs tore though Riyadh, killing 34 people on May 12, 2003, the kingdom has made some strides towards cracking down on terror and financing of terror groups. But not enough.

Click the "Listen" link to hear about Saudi Arabia's battle with its homegrown terrorists.


Matthew McAllester, Middle East correspondent for Newsday

Jonathan Winer, former Deputy Assistant U.S. Secretary of State for International Law Enforcement during the Clinton administration and a co-author of a recent Council on Foreign Relations report on Saudi Arabia's handling of terrorist financing

Jonathan Schanzer, Soref fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and author of the forthcoming book, "Al Qaeda's Armies: Middle East Affiliate Groups and the Next Generation of Terror."

This program aired on June 21, 2004.


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