Combating Terrorism

Combating Terrorism


Dr. Ali S. Awadh Asseri

(Former Saudi Ambassador to Lebanon)

Saudi Strategy against Terrorism:

Domestic Dimensions


In so far as practical initiatives for stopping the growing wave of international terrorism which the Saudi leadership took are concerned, another proof that its counter-terrorism commitment predates the terrorist events of 11 September, 2001,

Saudi Arabia was the first member-state of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) to sign the Treaty on Combating International Terrorism in July 2000. On the occasion, Saudi Assistant Foreign Minister Dr. Nizar Obaid Madani said that the move reflected the Kingdom's commitment to the teachings of Islamic Shariah, which rejects all kinds of violence, and its determination to combat the phenomenon of terrorism in all its forms, as well as its concern to strengthen cooperation among the OIC member states for the purpose.[1]

      Saudi Arabia has taken a number of steps to combat terrorist financing in the aftermath of 11 September 2001, but its campaign against terrorist financing began long ago. Saudi Arabia was one of the first countries to take action against terrorist financing, freezing the assets of Osama bin Laden in 1994. In 1988, the Kingdom signed and joined the United Nations Convention against Illicit Trafficking of

Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances. In 1995, Saudi Arabia established units countering money laundering at the Ministry of Interior, in the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) and in the commercial banks. The same year, SAMA issued 'Guidelines for Prevention and Control of Money-Laundering Activities' to Saudi banks to implement 'Know your Customer' rules, maintain records of suspicious transactions, and report them to law enforcement officials and SAMA.[2]


[1] Ibid.

[2] Anthony H. Cordesman, Saudi Arabia Enters the Twenty-First Century: The Political, Foreign Policy, Economic, and Energy Dimensions (Westport, Conn: Praeger, 2003), pp. 217-219.