Riyadh declined offer
to hand over Osama

By WND Staff

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The former director of the Saudi Intelligence Department says his government rejected an offer from Sudan to take Osama bin Laden into custody.

American businessman Monsour Ijaz has said that the Sudanese government offered to send bin Laden to the United States in 1996, but the Clinton administration rejected the offer and instead suggested he be sent to Saudi Arabia. After the Saudis turned down the offer, bin Laden was sent to Afghanistan where he eventually developed the plot to attack the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal told reporters last week in Saudi Arabia that bin Laden was stripped of Saudi citizenship in 1994 for advocating the use of terrorism.

“In 1996, the Sudanese president offered to hand him over to Saudi Arabia provided that it agreed not to bring him to court,” he said. “The Saudi government turned down the offer because we wanted to bring him to justice. At that time, and on instructions from the Saudi leadership, we shared the information we obtained on Osama bin Laden with the CIA.”

Al Faisal said that “thousands” of al-Qaida members are now in more than 60 nations. Bin Laden chose the 15 Saudi nationals for the Sept. 11 attacks as part of an effort to subvert Saudi-U.S. relations, he said.

Al Faisal stepped down as Saudi intelligence chief in August 2001.

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