The US State Department has issued its annual report on religious freedom as experienced around the world. As is sadly usual, Saudi Arabia does not fare well and remains a “country of particular concern”, as it has been since 2004. The country report on Saudi Arabia can be found HERE. There is nothing particularly new here. The same violations of the rights of Saudi Shi’ites, discrimination toward non-Muslim foreign workers, and the absolute lack of freedom to practice religions other than Islam continue. Only the names of those arrested, threatened, or deported have changed over the years.
The global report draws attention to the rise of religious discrimination around the world, including that aimed at Muslims. It points to particular problems with laws that punish apostasy and the impunity with which people act in various countries when governments condone — or at least take no action against — religious discrimination.
Foremost among the rights Americans hold sacred is the freedom to worship as we choose…we also remember that religious liberty is not just an American right; it is a universal human right to be protected here at home and across the globe. This freedom is an essential part of human dignity, and without it our world cannot know lasting peace. President Barack Obama
Fifteen years ago, the U.S. Congress took a momentous step in support of religious freedom when it passed the International Religious Freedom Act, establishing within the Executive Branch the position of Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom. With this measure, the U.S. government made a bold statement on behalf of those who were oppressed, those who were persecuted, and those who were unable to live their lives at the most basic level, for the simple exercise of their faith. Whether it be a single deity, or multiple deities, or no deities at all, freedom to believe–including the freedom not to believe–is a universal human right.
Freedom of religion and belief and the right to worship as one chooses fulfill a deep and abiding human need. The search for this freedom led the Pilgrims to flee Europe for America’s shores centuries ago, and is enshrined in our own Constitution. But it is by no means exclusively an American right. All states are committed to freedom of thought, conscience and belief in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which has been the touchstone and the global standard for the protection of human rights around the world since 1948.
The right to religious freedom is inherent in every human being. Unfortunately, this right was challenged in myriad ways in 2012. One of the basic elements of the International Religious Freedom Act is the requirement that the Department of State publish an annual report on the status of religious freedom in countries around the world, and the record of governments in protecting–or not protecting–this universal right.
An interesting discussion of why it’s unlikely that Saudi Arabia will acquire nuclear weapons appears on the Al Arabiya TV website. Middle East analyst Naser al-Tamimi notes the many reasons why, under current and near-future circumstances, it would be unwise for the Saudi government to go down the path of nuclear arms. While everyone understands that developing its own nuclear weaponry would be difficult, expensive, and time-consuming, the idea that the Saudis could simply buy such weapons from Pakistan or China are also flawed. The Saudis have better options available, including relying on a US security umbrella or — definitely not a first-choice option — a security promise from Pakistan.
The Saudis will go nuclear insofar as electricity generation through nuclear power plants. That is a program that is already underway. But it is a vastly longer path to even try to divert or augment power generation to the development of atomic bombs. Saudi Arabia — not the most transparent country on Earth — is still too transparent to hide that sort of adventure.
Clear or nuclear: Will Saudi Arabia get the bomb?
Dr. Naser al-Tamimi
As the impasse over Tehran’s nuclear program worsens, those most likely to be directly affected by an Iranian bomb are showing greater alarm. While the media fixates on Israel and its possible reaction, other regional players have no less at stake.
Despite Riyadh’s long-held advocacy of making the Middle East a zone free of weapons of mass destruction, there has been much speculation in the past few years about the possibility of its acquiring, or developing, nuclear weapons should Tehran obtain the bomb.
In the words of Saudi King Abdullah: “If Iran developed nuclear weapons (…) everyone in the region would do the same,” a sentiment echoed by Prince Turki al-Faisal, former head of Saudi Arabia’s General Intelligence Directorate.
Thomas Hegghammer, of the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University, offers a look back at the May, 2003 bombings of three residential compounds in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He cites ten lessons that have been learned as a result of that bombing, ranging from the limited ability of terrorist groups to destabilize a country to the effectiveness of narrowly-targeted responses to terrorism. The Asharq Alawsat article is worth reading in full.
The Riyadh Compound Bombings: Ten Years, and Ten Lessons, Later
Stanford, Asharq Al-Awsat—Ten years ago yesterday, the Saudi capital, Riyadh, was rocked by three near-simultaneous suicide bombings at housing compounds for expatriates. Over 30 people died and 160 were injured in what was, and remains, the deadliest terrorist attack in the kingdom’s history. The bombing came as a shock to most Saudis and robbed the country of its relative innocence as far as internal violence was concerned. After decades of calm, Saudi Arabia suddenly became the scene of a dramatic and protracted terrorist campaign that would claim many victims and worry many an oil investor before Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) was finally crushed in 2006.
It is hard to overestimate the political impact of the Riyadh bombings. These caused a major shift in Saudi attitudes toward Islamist extremism and a complete overhaul of the Saudi internal security apparatus. The terrorism campaign—and the Saudi response to it—also did much to change Western perceptions of Saudi society, many of which, in retrospect, were biased and flawed. Finally, the campaign backfired against Al-Qaeda, leading to its demise as an organization in the kingdom. In short, the learning curve was steep for everyone involved. Specifically, the experience taught us ten important things about terrorism and Saudi Arabia.
First, we learned that terrorist campaigns need not have deep, structural causes. In the summer of 2003, many observers attributed the violence to a fundamental malaise in Saudi society, derived from some combination of economic sclerosis, lack of political participation, and religious indoctrination. However, as I showed in my book, Jihad in Saudi Arabia, the causes were mostly exogenous: the terrorists had radicalized and trained abroad, and the timing was dictated by events in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Like many terrorist campaigns, this one was the result of developments within an organization.
The new coronavirus discovered last year and somehow related to Saudi Arabia has claimed five more lives in the Kingdom’s Eastern Province. The virus, now being called NCoV (Novel Coronavirus) has killed 16 of the 23 people diagnosed with the disease. The means by which the virus is transmitted is not yet understood.
The US National Institutes of Health believe they have found potential treatments for the virus, but human testing has not yet begun.
Saudi Arabia says five dead from new SARS-like virus
Al Arabiya with Reuters -
Saudi Arabia said five more people have died of a deadly new virus from the same family as SARS, and two other people were in intensive care.
The seven cases were discovered in al-Ahsa governorate in the Eastern Province, the Saudi news agency SPA quoted the Saudi Health Ministry as saying in a statement late on Wednesday.
A Saudi man died in March from the virus.
The novel coronavirus (NCoV) is from the same family of viruses as those that cause common colds and the one that caused the deadly outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) that first emerged in Asia in 2003.
The new virus is not the same as SARS, but similar to it and also to other coronaviruses found in bats. It was unknown in humans until it emerged in the Middle East last year. There have been confirmed cases in Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Britain.
The British tabloid Daily Mail is reporting that the government of Saudi Arabia gave explicit warnings to the US government that it should be cautious about Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the elder of the two brothers accused of executing the Boston Marathon bombings. The US Department of Homeland Security is reported to have denied ever having received such warnings.
I don’t find the Daily Mail the most credible of newspapers and The American Media Institute, listed as one of the authors of the piece, is not particularly known for its coverage of foreign affairs or security issues. It is focused on US First Amendment issues involving free speech. Nor has it issued a press release in the past two years, according to its website.
I’d like to see a lot more confirmation of this before I give it any credence.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia sent a written warning about accused Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in 2012, long before pressure-cooker blasts killed three and injured hundreds, according to a senior Saudi government official with direct knowledge of the document.
The Saudi warning, the official told MailOnline, was separate from the multiple red flags raised by Russian intelligence in 2011, and was based on human intelligence developed independently in Yemen.
Citing security concerns, the Saudi government also denied an entry visa to the elder Tsarnaev brother in December 2011, when he hoped to make a pilgrimage to Mecca, the source said. Tsarnaev’s plans to visit Saudi Arabia have not been previously disclosed.
Writing at Saudi Gazette, Hussein Shobokshi discusses the meaning of the Boston bombings, not from the angle of what the bombers may have meant by their actions, though. Instead, he talks about what the process of unraveling the attack means to everyone, including those nowhere near Boston.
He notes, of course, that first-responders and the various law enforcement agencies were prepared to deal with a tragedy like this. The manhunt that followed the bombing was incredibly intense and professional and did result in an arrest in a matter of only four days. The media, too, he notes, did a fairly good job of staying within the lines of what was known, not drifting off into wild speculation. There were exceptions: he points to FOX news and the New York Post for leaping to some conclusions about a young Saudi injured in the attack. He could also have noted CNN’s blunder in asserting an arrest had been made a full day before that had happened. Filling voids in broadcast time while there are voids in factual information is something we’re going to have to learn to deal with.
Shobokshi highlights the role that social media played in the aftermath of the bombings. I think there’s no doubt that the tens of thousands of photos and videos, taken by bystanders and turned in to the authorities, played a big role in the end game of the pursuit. Tweets and other personal observations very frequently beat the journalists to particular aspects of the story, including eye-witness statements about what they saw going on around them. It seems that many news broadcasts are now incomplete unless they have a Twitter feed somewhere on the screen. Print media, in their online avatars, run Twitter feeds as well.
The writer misses, though, one of the downsides of the social media: a complete lack of professional filters. Not only were the authorities constantly reminding people to not Tweet about the locations and disposition of police, but at time the social media approached and passed the borders of vigilante action. The notorious website 4Chan ran a lengthy analysis of photos taken near the finish line of the marathon. The editors helpfully circled the faces of people who, they believed, were suspicious and warranted further investigation. None of the ones they circled were involved, but several innocent people, including a 16-year-old high school student, suddenly felt the weight of the world heaped on their backs. A similarly unhelpful tack was taken on the website of the conspiracist Alex Jones, who seemed to be determined to find the hand of the US government behind the attack.
It is true, though, that the world has changed. Social media does play an important role and it will continue to play an important role. It can advance security, but it can also compromise it. It can be faster than traditional journalism, but it can also be more wrong, more often, and also much faster in doing so.
Boston drama gone global
The entire world, well almost the entire world, was utterly glued to their television sets following the news stories on the bombings in the city of Boston during its famous marathon run. America amazingly still manages to dominate the “headline story”!
I followed the tragic story like everyone else, saddened by the fatal events, particularly because it happened in a city that I admire and in a country that I love.
There were some very important and significant points to be taken from what happened. The media was this time clearly very careful in not jumping to conclusions and blaming the usual suspects (Al Qaeda and other extremists groups), with the exception, of course, of the very irresponsible and biased reporting of Fox News and the New York Post which were quick to accuse a “Saudi suspect” in a silly and completely irresponsible manner that will forever be highlighted as a case of irresponsible journalism.
Boston police, with the Federal support, provided the world with a practical and most dramatic demonstration of “crisis management” in full motion. It was as exciting as watching a Hollywood thriller; the big difference however is that this one is very much the real thing.
The entire city of Boston went into full gear; its police, civil defense and medical facilities were all united to treat the victims of the bombings and find the suspects. All residents, educational institutions and commercial establishments were in complete cooperation. The city was on a standstill for 48 hours to totally focus on getting the suspects arrested as soon as possible.
Related: “Atlantic Wire”, the online presence of “The Atlantic” magazine, reports that the FBI had to take active measures to counteract the influence of both traditional and social media when they were publishing unverified and, it turned out, false information:
In an opinion piece for Asharq Alawsat, Yousef Al-Dayni notes with relief and some gratitude that US officials and most media did not leap to conclusions about the identity of the Boston Marathon bomber(s) and instantly blame it on Saudis or other Arabs. He’s right. There is more caution being practiced, even among those authorities who might profit in some manner from leaking unverified information. Officials in particular and most media in general took a ‘wait and see’ or ‘too early to tell’ approach. Sadly, Al-Dayni does a little conclusion-leaping of his own when he states that the attack “was most likely carried out by a right-wing domestic group”. It’s a little too early to reach that conclusion, also.
There is extensive analysis going on right now. Various authorities — as well as non-authorities — are going through the imagery captured on the thousands of cameras that were in use at the time of the explosions. Certain individuals have piqued curiosity and are wanted for at least interviewing purposes.
Opinion: The Boston Bombings and Islamophobia
It is too early to speak about the Boston Marathon bombings, at least from a professional perspective. We must wait until the end of the investigations into this incident despite of all the noise that has been raised following the explosions in terms of the new media rushing, as expected, to begin the battle to settle scores and politicize this event. Some parties are also exploiting this to send political messages as part of a wider phenomenon where any local or international incident is taken as a pretext for political squabbling and attempts to undermine the other side.
More than 10 years have passed since the 9/11 attacks, and it is clear that the Western media, and the US media in particular—if we exclude the combative right-wing media—have learned their lesson. They did not rush to characterize the Boston bombings based only on suspicion; they have been very cautious not to harm the reputation of one of America’s most important social components, their Arab and Muslim citizens—not to mention foreign students from the Gulf, and particularly Saudi Arabia. Indeed, more than 6,000 such students are currently residing in the city of Boston, which is known for its excellent higher education institutes.
President Obama’s discourse following the bombing has been rational, while the statements of police commanders and spokesmen, along with security officials, have also reflected a lot of maturity. They have been very careful not to point fingers at any side when talking about this incident. This maturity deserves praise. As for the Arabs, we continue to suffer from something of a “guilt complex” following the 9/11 attacks. This results in feelings of horror whenever a terrorist incident takes place. The natural reaction to this is feelings of self-suspicion, and then exoneration.
Saudi Arabs in the US operate under the cloud of 9/11, when 15 Saudi nationals were involved in the attacks. Eleven years is not sufficient to erase memories, nor, sadly, to raise the shadow of suspicion.
Early reports following the bombing of the Boston Marathon finish line were intensely focused on a Saudi student, Abdul Rahman Al-Harbi, who was under police protection at a local hospital. There were reports that he had been tackled by a bystander for ‘behaving suspiciously’ by running away, but running away from a bomb scene strikes me as not only pretty normal behavior, but pretty wise behavior as well.
Authorities in Boston stated yesterday that Al-Harbi was not a perpetrator of the bombing, but was just one of the nearly 180 victims. A student in the Boston area, he did what many tens of thousands people did: take advantage of the local Patriots’ Day holiday and attend the famous Boston Marathon. He got caught in the explosion and the chaos that ensued.
The Washington Post runs an article — mining deeply in Saudi blogger Ahmed Al-Omran’s writings — that tells of other Saudis caught in the mess, including a young woman who nearly lost a leg to injuries.
You’ve probably already heard about the 20-something Saudi study-abroad student who, though he’s not a suspect, was interviewed by police after being injured in Monday’s Boston Marathon bombing and who volunteered to let police search his apartment.
But you may not know about the second Saudi citizen hurt in the blast, a young woman who was also studying in Boston and who, according to Al Arabiya, almost lost her leg. The report, citing a friend of the young woman, says her wounds were so severe that surgeons considered amputating the leg but ultimately were able to save it. A Saudi embassy official, speaking to CNN’s Mohammed Jamjoon, confirmed the woman had been injured, adding that she had been at the race with her husband and child.
There are about 1,000 Saudi citizens studying in Boston, according to a Saudi cultural attache in the United States. Others were also caught in the chaos of the attack, just as terrified as anyone else. A Saudi student named Omar Moathen, headed to meet a friend at mile 26 of the marathon route when the bomb went off, later recounted being corralled into a crowded hotel to wait as police swept for other explosives. His account, translated into English by Saudi blogger Ahmed Al Omran, was like so many others that day. He was confused and feared for his nearby friends, for the children no one could seem to comfort and for himself. He tried to call a friend, waited anxiously and prayed.
Arab News runs an interview with Shatha Jameel Lutfi, another student who found herself in the wrong place:
The UAE’s Gulf News has an interview with Ali Eissa Al-Harbi, Abdul Rahman’s father. He is not well-pleased with the way in which some portions of the US media leaped to conclusions about his son.
Presently, there are no suspects for the bombing in Boston. That makes people uncomfortable as human beings don’t like voids in their mental pictures of the world. If something happens, the effects are apparent, but they want to know the cause. Without a clear cause, they will use their imaginations — perhaps rooted to the slightest bit of information — to fill in the blanks. Because a stem of terrorism in the name of Islam was allowed to grow in Saudi Arabia (Osama bin Laden, the 9/11 attackers, the perpetrators of the various bombings and attacks within Saudi Arabia and across the region) the mention of “Saudi” in any crime report leads to the conclusion, erroneous as it may be, that the event must be laid at the feet of Saudis and Saudi Arabia.
Most Americans don’t have any idea of the battle the Kingdom has been conducting since 2003. That’s not a failure of public relations or inactivity on the part of the Saudi Embassy in Washington, it’s that ideas that play against stereotypes are not really perceived. It’s far easier to believe the narrative that has been formed by history and further fanned by anti-Muslim and anti-Saudi sources.
It’d be great if it were otherwise, but unfortunately it is not. Saudis will have to bear the burden put upon them by certain of those who came before them. At least for a while.
Yesterday’s bomb attack on the Boston Marathon is indeed a tragedy. So far, 176 people are known to have been injured — many very seriously — and three to have been killed. It is natural that people want to know who perpetrated the atrocity. In the lack of firm knowledge, speculation runs rampant.
Some news media have focused on the fact that a Saudi national is in a Boston hospital suffering from injuries received in one of the blasts. He is reported to be under police guard and is labeled Person of Interest in many media accounts. The term has no legal meaning other than that police officials want to know what this person might know. So far, according to the media, the Saudi has been cooperating with investigators and his apartment in a nearby Boston suburb has been searched. Whether the search came about because he gave police permission or because a search warrant was issued is not clear.
Some media have drawn conclusions without hard evidence. A blog post at The Moderate Voice makes clear that this is a bit premature and depends on unsourced information. It is not good journalism. Nor was the Tweet coming from a news pundit that — sarcastically, he said — called for “all Muslims to be killed.”
We do know, from reports in Saudi media, that at least two Saudi nationals were injured. The reports are awkward for the Saudi government because they come after the Royal Court had issued (prematurely) a statement saying that no Saudi students were injured. While I commend the government for trying to assuage the concerns of parents, there are times when a bit of hesitation is better. If I read the story from Al Arabiya TV correctly, one of the Saudis is a woman.
Two Saudi nationals were injured by Monday’s twin blasts in Boston and are currently being hospitalized at the city’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
One of the injured is a 20-year-old man whose name has not been disclosed, while the other is an unnamed exchange student.
The student’s friend told Al Arabiya that the victim’s leg was severely injured and doctors almost amputated it. She added however that a surgical procedure succeeded in saving her leg.
Two bombs exploded in the crowded streets near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday, killing at least three people and injuring more than 140 in a bloody scene of shattered glass and severed limbs that raised alarms that terrorists might have struck again in the U.S.
The two Saudis were injured despite previous statements from the Saudi cultural attaché, reported by pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat, saying there are no injuries and that they were working to ensure all students were safe.
Now, it is entirely possible that the Saudi ‘person of interest’ had something to do with the attack. But it also entirely possible that he had nothing to do with it other than to be in the proximity of the explosions. Some have reported that he was seen ‘running away from’ an explosion. That seems like a pretty reasonable thing to do, whether one has a heart as black as coal or as pure as the driven snow. The fact means nothing in itself.
The myriad federal and local agencies taking part in the investigation are calling for anyone who might have video or photos of the area just before, during, and after the explosions to send them in for analysis. This is likely the most photographed terrorist attack in the history of the world. There were thousands of cameras of different sorts at the finish line of the marathon. It’s very possible that some of the captured imagery may be of use. It might even have caught the perpetrator in the act. This, again, is something we just don’t know at present.
Investigations into attacks like this are chaotic and remain so for at least the first 24 hours. There are reports from numerous people, but each report comes from a single, narrow perspective. Many reports conflict. Many reports are simply and obviously wrong — the witness didn’t actually see what he or she thinks was observed. It takes time to sort out the pieces, clarify contradictions, and start putting the pieces together into a narrative whole which itself may or may not be correct. Yet more time is needed to assess differing analyses.
As frustrating as it is, there’s really no good option other than to wait.
Of course, waiting has its own downsides. In the lack of an official story, there’s more than enough room for conspiracy theories to arise and then be spread at the speed of light across the Internet. Alas, this, too, is already taking place.
Arab News runs an article from the Associated Press on the visit by American Secretary of State John Kerry to Riyadh. Discussions about regional issues such as Iran and Syria generally found agreement, the report says. While in Riyadh, Kerry will also meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
(AP) The United States and Saudi Arabia on Monday presented a united front to Iran and Syria. They warned Syrian President Bashar Assad that they will boost support to rebels fighting to oust him unless he steps down and put Iran’s leadership on notice that time is running out for a diplomatic resolution to concerns about its nuclear program.
After a series of meetings in the Riyadh, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal told reporters at a joint news conference that Assad must understand that recent scud missile attacks on regime foes in the city of Aleppo would not be tolerated by the international community and that he had lost all claim to be Syria’s legitimate leader.
Prince Saud said Saudi Arabia could not ignore the brutality Assad is inflicting on his people, even after two years of escalating violence that has claimed 70,000 lives. He said that history had never seen a government use strategic missiles against its own people. “This cannot go on,” he said. “He has lost all authority.”
Saudi Gazette runs its own article on the visit:
A report (54-page PDF) from the Center for a New American Security (NCAS) think-tank takes a look at what steps Saudi Arabia might take if Iran rolls out atomic weaponry. Rather than ramping up its own nuclear weapons program, the report states, Saudi Arabia would instead focus on finding nuclear deterrents to prevent Iran from using such weapons to coerce behavior. The paper argues that it is in the interest of the United States to ensure that Saudi Arabia follows that path rather than, say, illicitly acquire a nuclear arsenal from Pakistan.
If Iran Builds the Bomb, Will Saudi Arabia Be Next?
Colin H. Kahl, Melissa G. Dalton and Matthew Irvine
This report, the second in a series assessing the potential consequences of Iranian nuclearization, examines the likelihood that Saudi Arabia will pursue nuclear weapons if Tehran succeeds in its quest for the bomb. We argue that the prospects of Saudi “reactive proliferation” are lower than the conventional wisdom suggests but that this should not reduce Washington’s commitment to preventing the emergence of a nuclear-armed Iran.
It is widely assumed that Saudi Arabia would respond to Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons by embarking on a crash program to develop their own bomb or by illicitly receiving nuclear weapons from its close ally Pakistan. If these options were not available, most analysts believe that the Saudis would be successful in securing a nuclear umbrella from Islamabad, including the possible deployment of Pakistani nuclear weapons on Saudi soil. These scenarios have been repeated so often in Washington and elsewhere that they have assumed a taken-for-granted quality.
Yet none of these outcomes represent the most likely Saudi response to a nuclear-armed Iran. The Saudis would be highly motivated to acquire some form of nuclear deterrent to counter an Iranian bomb. However, significant disincentives – including the prospect of worsening Saudi Arabia’s security environment, rupturing strategic ties with the United States, damaging the country’s international reputation and making the Kingdom the target of sanctions – would discourage a mad rush by Riyadh to develop nuclear weapons. And, in any case, Saudi Arabia lacks the technological and bureaucratic wherewithal to do so any time in the foreseeable future. Saudi Arabia is more likely to respond to Iranian nuclearization by continuing to bolster its conventional defenses against Iranian aggression while engaging in a long-term hedging strategy designed to improve civilian nuclear capabilities.
Thanks to the Saudi-US Relations Information Service (SUSRIS) for the pointer.
There are currently seven Saudi citizens in prisons in the US. They are now the subject of conversations between the governments of Saudi Arabia and the US to have them transferred to the Kingdom to complete their sentences. Arab News reports that Saudi Ambassador Adel Al-Jubair is working on the transfers. The US Department of Justice is responsible for authorizing such transfers under specific guidelines.
Among those being considered for transfer is Humaidan Al-Turki, the object of much activism in Saudi Arabia when he was sentenced to eight years in prison for mistreating a domestic employee while he was studying in Colorado.
US-held Saudi prisoners to finish terms in KSA
Jeddah: Arab News
Saudi ambassador to Washington Adel Al-Jubair said the embassy is currently working on completing procedures for Saudi prisoners eligible for transfer to Saudi Arabia to complete their prison terms based on an extradition agreement.
“Humaidan (Al-Turki) and other (Saudi) prisoners are a key concern of the Kingdom. The embassy is now working on identifying those eligible for extradition,” he said during a ceremony at the embassy Saturday, adding that such procedures take time.
There are seven Saudi prisoners in the United States and the hope is that they will all be extradited. Al-Jubair said Saudi Arabia would pay millions of riyals to bail Saudi prisoners and have them released.
A local newspaper quoted Humaidan’s brother Ibrahim Al-Turki saying he had no information about his brother’s extradition. Humaidan’s son, Turki, said the family is in contact with his father’s lawyer in the US and discussing the articles in the extradition agreement and deportation procedures with him.