RIYADH, SEPT 20,-
Despite Saudi Arabia's denunciation of the terrorist attacks on
the U.S. last week, at official and public levels, several of those spoken to
feel the U.S. should not resort to hasty retaliatory action until it is
absolutely sure who is responsible.
Mohammed Salih Barnawi, a university student, said he felt a strong sense of
shock when he watched the terrorist strikes on the U.S. He said he realized at
that moment that terrorism was strong and could penetrate any country, no matter
"We are sympathizing with America, and hope it succeeds in eradicating
terrorism, because we too suffer from it," he said.
But he expressed fears for any hasty decision taken by Washington, such as
declaring war against any country that has no connection with what has happened.
He called on President Bush to wait until concrete evidence emerges with regard
to the identity of those who planned and implemented the attacks, because to
attack innocents would be a most abominable form of terrorism.
Ahmed Al Dubaikhi, a government official, said it was impossible for anyone to
support a war declared by America against any Muslim country, without waiting
for evidence to be obtained, only because the U.S. president wanted to soothe
the anger of the people in the U.S.
War is not a game, he said. Its victims will be in the thousands, and it will
not eradicate the terrorism the world is experiencing but will instead give
justification for further retaliatory action against any country anywhere in the
Mohammed Mukharish, a journalist, expressed fear that retaliatory strikes,
intended by the U.S., were focused on the Islamic world, and the intention
seemed to be to link Islam with terrorism.
Saudi writer and political analyst, Abdul Aziz Al Umary, said: "We all stand by
the U.S. in any step it takes to eradicate terrorism, but we completely reject
any hasty or rash act to take quick retaliatory action against any country,
without being absolutely sure of its involvement."