Jeddah, Asharq Al-Awsat- Saudi Arabia said it backed international calls to close the US prison at Guantanamo Bay , where around 450 suspected militants, including 89 Saudis, are being held, outside the jurisdiction of international law.
“Of course we support this and hopefully all the Saudis there will be returned to their homeland,” Interior Minister Prince Naif bin Abdulaziz said on Sunday.
Fourteen Saudi nationals arrived in Riyadh on Saturday. Two weeks ago, three inmates at the detention center, two of whom were Saudi nationals, committed suicide. “Investigations are ongoing”, Prince Naif, said.
In response to a question by Asharq al Awsat on possible links between militants in Saudi Arabia and al Qaeda in Iraq, after an Iraqi was detained on Friday as part of the Hafr al Batin cell, Prince Naif said, “I believe that discussing this issue is ahead of its time until the investigation draws to a close.”
Commenting on the continuing threat of terrorism, Prince Naif said, “I have never denied this and I believe it still exists and will continue to exist.”
Combating terrorism internationally can only succeed if joint international efforts were applied to its source, Prince Naif added.
The latest arrest of 42-suspected terrorists, after clashed on Friday, was “the continuation of efforts by the security services”, Prince Naif said.
Prince Naif refused to refer to courts, where suspected terrorists will be tried, as state security courts. “A high court is closer to the intended meaning because we do not want that the term [state security court] be interpreted according to its foreign terminology, known for its distance from Shariaa. The issue is still under consideration.”