Speaking at a meeting of Saudi leaders in preparation for the kingdom’s international conference on counterterrorism, Defense Minister Prince Sultan referred to Osama bin Laden as being “sent by the Jews.”

The prince was quoting a poet who said, “Long live security – may its men hold their heads high on every corner. [Bin Laden], whose ideology is sick, who was sent by the Jews, who is the architect of theft, was treacherous and sent us the criminals. This traitor of the nation tried to harm us, but his efforts boomeranged back upon him.”

The prince’s remarks can by viewed, with translation, at the Middle East Media Institute’s special website of television clips [Clip No. 518].

The first-of-its-kind conference, beginning today through Tuesday, will be attended by leading counterterrorism experts from more than 50 countries, including the U.S.

But Israel is not invited, despite its extensive experience combating terrorism at home.

“We have invited all countries that have suffered from terrorism to the conference, and all have agreed to take part,” said Prince Turki ibn Muhammad, assistant undersecretary for political affairs at the Saudi Foreign Ministry.

Organizers said participants will share information on how to fight terror and discuss its cause and links to organized crime.

Joint operations also will be discussed.

Prince Turki said efforts must be made to address root causes.

We have to address the reasons that lead to the spread of this dangerous phenomenon,” he said.

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