“The Kingdom is in the process of creating chairs for scientific research on terrorism in almost all universities across the country,” said Abdul Mohsen Al-Munif, a BIP counselor.
Al-Munif said that Saudi Arabia has boosted its counterterrorism efforts by introducing a number of measures, including the dispersing of religious discourse on terrorism (religious edicts) through television channels, newspapers and other media, including mosques. These fatwas, he said, call on people to refrain from insane violence, acts of terror, organized crime and financing terrorist operations, which are strongly prohibited in Islam.
Al-Munif was speaking after the first session of the “Workshop on International Legal Framework for Counterterrorism and its Financing” that has been organized by the BIP in cooperation with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime.
The session was also attended by Khomayes Saad Al-Ali, BIP director for administrative planning, and Dr. Majid Al-Harbi, a member of the workshop’s committee.
More than 76 national, regional and international experts on terrorism — including judges, prosecutors and officials of law enforcing agencies — are participating in the three-day workshop. Condice Welsch, legal officer for Organized Crime and Criminal Justice Section of the Vienna-based UN Office on Drugs and Crime, said terrorist groups have been involved in drug production and trafficking, firearms smuggling, falsification of documents, smuggling of migrants, extortion and money laundering.
In Afghanistan alone, Al-Qaeda and the Taleban are earning profits from the production and trafficking of opiates. This money amounted to an estimated $18 billion from 2003-2008, Welsch said. She suggested that extradition of criminals, transfer of sentenced persons, joint investigations, law enforcement cooperation, special investigative techniques, confiscation of proceeds of crime and mutual legal assistance are the important components of an effective international front to curb terror and its financing.
Referring to the measures currently in place to help curb the menace of terrorism in the Kingdom, Al-Harbi said that the establishment of the Prince Muhammad bin Naif Center for Care and Counseling would go a long way to help terrorists who want to reform.
Saudi deradicalization programs began in 2004, when the Interior Ministry responded to a series of domestic terrorist incidents by transforming its counterterrorism strategy. “One critical component of this new approach was the rehabilitation of extremists in prison through religious re-education and psychological counseling,” said Al-Harbi, referring to the rehabilitation program that grew in scope and prestige as graduates appeared to reintegrate successfully into society despite some rejoining the ranks and files of terrorist outfits.
Moreover, the Kingdom has also set up a separate wing under the BIP to deal with crimes related to terrorism, said Al-Ali.
He pointed out that the general public will be educated through contact programs that have now been designed for mosques and schools with an aim to create awareness about terrorism.
Michael Taxay of the US Department of Justice dwelt at length on the investigation and prosecution of terrorist financing with special reference to the US. He said that the “purpose of an effective enforcement scheme is to disrupt terrorism before it occurs.” He listed the names of around 45 foreign terrorism organizations that also included Hamas and Hezbollah.

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