Saudi Arabia and Terrorism Today

US Congress overturned President Barack Obama’s veto of a bill that allows the families of 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia. Daniel L. Byman, a researcher at the Brookings Institution, provides historical background on Saudi Arabia’s complicated relationship to terrorism. He describes Saudi Arabia as a “vital counterterrorism partner” that has made progress in fighting terrorism and notes that Saudi Arabia, unlike rival Iran, is not regarded by the United States as a state sponsor of terror. Saudis accused of terrorist activities are non-state actors, but may have received support from some members of the large Saudi royal family. Saudi Arabia has confronted internal extremist groups since the 9/11 attacks, but the country has struggled to slow the radicalization process. The challenge is an inherent problem of globalization: The United States seeks to work with the Saudis, but the two countries have conflicting domestic policies and values. Byman suggests that the United States apply “quiet pressure” and not demonize Saudi Arabia if it wants to maintain good ties with the Sunni kingdom to fight the Islamic State and Al Qaeda. – YaleGlobal

Saudi Arabia and Terrorism Today

Globalization challenge: The US and Saudi Arabia may not share common values, but work as partners in battling the Islamic State, Al Qaeda and other extremists
Daniel L. Byman
Friday, October 7, 2016

Daniel L. Byman is a senior fellow on foreign policy with the Center for Middle East Policy.

Copyright 2016 The Brookings Institution

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