Saudi officials wary of approaching ISI on terror related info

A top Saudi Arabian counter-terrorism official had told US` Af-Pak envoy Richard Holbrooke that he had little trust in Pakistan`s ISI when it comes to sharing information with it on terrorism, WikiLeaks cliams.

Last Updated: Dec 06, 2010, 12:31 PM IST

Washington: A top Saudi Arabian
counter-terrorism official had told US` Af-Pak envoy Richard Holbrooke that he had little trust in Pakistan`s ISI when it comes to sharing information with it on terrorism, a US cable
released by WikiLeaks cable reveals.

Major General Khalid al-Humaydan ("Abu Ali"), who has
been leading operations against terrorists and those involved
in sending funds to terror outfits based in Pakistan, had said
his security forces had detained numerous individuals from
Pakistan and were seeking cooperation to probe their
activities.

In a meeting with Holbrooke, the Counterterrorism
Advisor to the Ministry of the Interior Saudi Arabia, said his
agencies have to think "ten times" before approaching the ISI.

"He (al-Humaydan) added that `we talk to ISI and get a
good response, but we think ten times before approaching them;
things are changing there and we are advised to be careful,"
the cable said.

"Political unrest and new ISI leadership were the
principal changes, he said," said the telegram issued by the
US Embassy in Saudi Arabia, after the meeting on May 16, 2009.
"As a result, he concluded, `we only trust

face-to-face transmission of information. The MOI had shared
information with ISI on Pakistanis in Saudi Arabia suspected
of terror finance, but ISI had not responded," said the cable.

The United States, which has charged the Wikileaks of
indulging in a criminal act by stealing and releasing these
cables, has neither confirmed nor denied the authenticity of
these documents.

During the meeting, Holbrooke noted that Pakistan was
also a centre for terrorist financing through Islamic
charities and asked whether the Saudis were monitoring the
large Pakistani community in Saudi Arabia, and whether the
Saudis were consulting with the governments of Pakistan,
India, and Bangladesh over the issue.

During the meeting, Saudi Arabia`s Ministry of
Interior Senior Advisor Major General Dr Sa`ad al-Jabri said the Saudi approach was based on the fact that Saudi Arabia had been in a war and had to act.

Saudi authorities had detained over 4,000 individuals,
some of whom were suspected of terrorist financing offences
and would act if supplied with information, the cable said.

"Hajj was still a big problem for the Saudis, since
they could not refuse to let pilgrims enter the country. Some
of the non-Saudi terrorism detainees in Saudi Arabia had
entered as pilgrims," it said.
"The Saudi government recently passed a law requiring
arriving travelers to declare cash above a certain amount, but
Hajj was still `a vacuum in our security`," the officer
admitted.

Another problem was money going to Hezballah from
Saudi Shiites.

"The Saudis` focus had been on funds from Sunni
sources, but they needed to focus on the Shi`a too, Dr Sa`ad
said," according to the cable said.

PTI