Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Opinion: Relation between September Attacks and Saudi Arabia…A Repetitive Series | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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U.S. President Barack Obama joined by White House staff on the 14th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks at the White House on September 11%2c 2015 in Washington%2c DC

Accusations alleging relation between Saudi Arabia and the renowned September 11, 2001 attacks are not new. They disappear to show up again every once in a while and so on.

Perhaps the latest was what the “New York Times” has revealed regarding a draft law discussed by the US Congress, which accuses Saudi Arabia of being involved in these attacks.

Regardless that these claims are not based on any fact or legal evidences, they aim at destabilizing the unity between the two key allies against terrorism and shaking confidence between the two parties.

The question is how do you want to win the war while you question your major ally against your common enemy?

Thirteen years ago, and precisely in July 2003, arguments regarding the same report have started. Back then, the late Prince Saud al-Faisal said in statements to “American Morning” program on CNN: “We want to review this report for two reasons. The first reason is that if it contains accusations against Saudi Arabia, we would like to respond since we are certain that we are not condemned of any charges. The second reason is that if it contains information on possible supporters and funders for terrorism, we want to know who they are in order to deal with the matter.”

Since then, the report has been used in an opportunistic manner that is not suitable with the relation between the two strategic allies.

Moreover, some view this report as part of the US presidential elections, which involve parties that could benefit from this dispute in the coming elections.

The bad news is that some of those who reviewed the report have been using it to give negative, subjective and directed statements against Saudi Arabia, without explaining the reasons behind these negative statements and accusations.

Therefore, Saudi Arabia has not been able to respond to these accusations or deny them, which is one of the rights of any accused party. So how come if that party is a major ally for the United States in countering terrorism?

It is worth mentioning that from September attacks up till today, al-Qaeda’s damages and attacks on Saudi Arabia, its citizens, officials, government and even its royal family, exceed what it has done to USA in 2001.

Is not this an adequate proof that al-Qaeda is an enemy for the Kingdom first? How can they imagine that Saudi Arabia is protecting an organization, which is aiming at killing and destabilizing it?

If 15 of the terrorists who carried out September attacks are Saudis, it definitely is not an excuse to let the Kingdom bear their brunt forever.

For instance, the French Prime Minister has stated earlier that five thousand Europeans have been fighting in line with ISIS in Syria and Iraq, and he added that this number was likely to increase up to 10 thousand militants by the end of 2015. Thus, is it fair to accuse the governments of these extremists and let them bear the brunt of them joining one terrorist organization?

Nevertheless, is it possible that a country like Tunisia, which fights terrorism by the time it is struggling from terrorist actions on its land, is borne by hundreds of extremist Tunisians who decided to flee their country and join ISIS?

Riyadh wants to know details about these terrorists and details on who supported and funded them, not only to protect the United States and the whole world from their menace but also to protect itself from this terrorism that targets the Kingdom in the first place.

In addition, and just like these accusations are not based on any facts; as much as they are unviable predictions since they contradict with the legal and institutional basics of the United States, Saudi Arabia will not deal with invalid and illegal claims.

What raises concerns here is that whenever the officials of the two countries try to build and empower trust walls, someone comes and tries to break them or put holes in them, which makes efforts to fight terrorism useless.

Notably, those who benefit the most from these attempts are the extremists themselves, who are targeted by the whole world and especially by Saudi Arabia.

Here comes the major role Barack Obama’s administration should play in order to tighten relations between the two allies and halt any attempt to destabilize strategic relations between Riyadh and Washington, at least to prove that their historic strategic alliance is not subjected to any threat and to make sure both countries benefit from this relation, not only one of them.