Saudi Arabia Has Prevented 220 Terrorist Attacks, Saudi Press Agency Says

Saudi Arabia, a close U.S. ally and the birthplace of Islam, said it has prevented more than 220 attempted terrorist attacks since starting its battle against al-Qaeda militants.

Saudi Arabia is able to “crush” the ideology that is causing terrorism, the official Saudi Press Agency cited Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz, the kingdom’s interior minister, as saying late yesterday. The financing of global terrorism needs to be prevented, the Riyadh-based news service reported the minister as saying.

The world’s largest oil supplier cracked down on al-Qaeda in 2004 after militants struck an oil installation and stormed a housing complex in the city of al-Khobar, killing 22 foreign workers. In March, Saudi forces detained 113 terrorism suspects, including Haila al-Qusair, a woman who allegedly helped recruit for the group in the kingdom.

The government has removed 2,000 teachers from their positions over the last five years for teaching radical views to students, Abdulrehman Alhadlaq, the general director for the interior ministry’s Ideological Security Directorate, said in June. Several thousand others have been arrested for collecting money and recruiting for al-Qaeda, he said.

The U.S. and Europe must do more to stop “the bases of terror,” Prince Nayef was cited as saying by the news service. There had been 10 terrorist attacks in the kingdom, SPA said, without providing more details.

To contact the reporters on this story: Glen Carey in Riyadh at gcarey8@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Peter Hirschberg at phirschberg@bloomberg.net.

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