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Saudi Arabia must stand up to bin Laden

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Despite Saudi Arabia's efforts to cooperate with the U.S. in the war on terrorism, there is reason to believe that Osama bin Laden's existential threat to the House of Saud has not sunk in yet. His crusade is as much directed against the 'infidel' Saudi rulers as it is against their American 'masters'. We should not minimize the positive Saudi response, albeit slow, to requests by U.S. officials to confirm the Saudi identities of 15 of the 19 hijackers, to block bank accounts with links to terrorist groups and to arrest some of Bin Laden's associates and sympathizers. Further, in an unprecedented move for the royal family, some of its influential members have been vehemently critical not only of Bin Laden's destructive message but also of religious extremism and militancy in general.

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