Kingdom backs tough steps against terror
KSA deplores extremist ideologies at Geneva forum
Saudi Arabia has asserted that fighting extremist ideologies is an integral part of any strategy to combat terror.
“From our experience, it has become crystal clear that terror has no religion, no ethnicity and no nationality,” said Ahmed Al-Salem, undersecretary at the Ministry of Interior.
“Fighting against terror ideology is as important as any other method adopted to combat terror,” he said, while addressing the Crans Montana Forum in Geneva.
“Terror is the scourge of the 21st century that has left a catastrophic impact on the security and prosperity of human societies across the world,” he said.
The Kingdom is at the forefront of combating terrorism as it has been the target of a number of violent attacks, he pointed out.
Since 2003, the Kingdom has suffered 147 terror attacks in which 95 innocent civilians lost their lives and 569 people were wounded. Foreign employees and visitors were also among the casualties.
Security forces foiled 250 plots to blow up domestic and foreign facilities and murder citizens and foreigners. The forces also brought those who were involved in terror attacks to justice.
According to the Saudi Press Agency, he put the number of the security officers who were killed in terror attacks at 74, adding that 657 officers sustained serious injuries.
He warned that terrorism remained a serious threat to international security despite the battles fought collectively under the UN umbrella or individually by various countries.
“The situation demands that all countries intensify their efforts to combat and root out the menace and bring terrorists to justice wherever they might be,” he said. This can only be achieved with reinforced international, regional and bilateral cooperation, he said.
The official called for more effective measures to ensure the implementation of international and regional agreements on defeating terrorism in addition to enacting national laws with the aim of eradicating the menace.
The laws should also be strong enough to weed out terrorist and extremist ideologies, said the official.
He also stressed the need to take steps to spread the spirit of peaceful coexistence across the globe.
The official also said that the Kingdom had developed a comprehensive strategy over the past years to combat terrorism, focusing on the prevention of terror activities and rehabilitation of reformed terrorists. These efforts, he said, aim at fortifying and protecting the community from extremist ideologies by way of anti-extremist campaigns through the media, lectures and seminars.
A unit to deal with terror has been set up in collaboration with educational, religious and social establishments, he said.
A culture of dialogue and preparedness to respect the views of others is also being promoted in addition to paying special attention to protecting the youth and foreign residents from the influence of extremist ideologies, he said.
The Kingdom’s efforts against terror also include signing a number of regional and bilateral agreements to cooperate in the combat, participation in the drafting of the comprehensive charter to fight international terrorism, besides urging other countries to set up a center to combat terror with a donation of $100 million.