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Saudi official says some 17,000

BBC Monitoring

Excerpt from report by Saudi-owned leading pan-Arab daily Al-Sharq al-Awsat website on 1 December

[Unattributed report: "Seventeen Thousand Takfiri Websites on the Internet"]

Riyadh, Al-Sharq al-Awsat - The Saudi General Intelligence Directorate is organizing today - 50 years after its foundation - the first conference on information technology and national security, whereby over 3,000 figures were invited to the conference. Prince Abd-al-Aziz Bin-Bandar Bin-Abd-al-Aziz, assistant chief of General Intelligence has revealed that some 17,000 websites spreading takfiri ideology have been identified. In a television interview broadcast the day before yesterday [29 November] by the first state channel, he said that "the intelligence service cannot contain the danger of these sites on its own and this explains why the service has organized an IT conference - the first of its kind - which will open today with the support of the political leadership. [passage omitted on the objectives of the conference]

Women's participation in the conference will b! e very high, whereby 500 women from inside and outside Saudi Arabia have been invited among 3,000 figures.

Source: Al-Sharq al-Awsat website, London, in Arabic 1 Dec 07



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