Saudi says 9/11 could have been averted

Nov. 2, 2007 at 1:48 PM

LONDON, Nov. 2 (UPI) -- The former Saudi ambassador to the United States said Saudi officials suggested they could have helped prevent the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the former Saudi ambassador and now Saudi national security adviser, told Al-Arabiya, “If U.S. security authorities had engaged their Saudi counterparts in a serious and credible manner, in my opinion, we would have avoided what happened,” CNN reported Friday.

The comments come on the heels of similar statements made by Saudi King Abdullah, who said the July 2005 train bombings in London could have been prevented of British officials followed a similar course.

“We have sent information to Great Britain before the terrorist attacks in Britain, but unfortunately, no action was taken, and it may have been able to avert the tragedy,” Abdullah told the BBC Monday.

CNN quotes an unnamed U.S. official saying that Bandar’s comments should be taken “with a grain of salt.”

Bandar served as the Saudi ambassador to the United States for 22 years and has close ties to the Bush family.

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