P. O. BOX 52558 - JEDDAH - 21573 - SAUDI ARABIA
His Excellency Dr. Gunter Pleuger
February 5, 2003
Dear Ambassador Pleuger,
Re: Terrorism financing: Roots and trends of Saudi terrorism financing. Report ("The Report") prepared for the President of the Security Council of the United Nations by Jean-Charles Brisard, JCB Consulting, Paris.
The purpose of this letter is to bring to your immediate attention the serious concerns of Khalid Bin Mahfouz and his family in relation to the above Report, which we understand was submitted to you on December 19, 2002 and simultaneously into the public domain. According to media reports, it was commissioned by the Security Council Presidency, but perhaps you would confirm whether that was the case. Khalid Bin Mahfouz and his family strongly deny the accusations contained in the Report, which is seriously flawed in several material respects.
Khalid Bin Mahfouz and his immediate family wish to make it clear that statements and allegations contained in the Report are false, misleading and defamatory.
We take great exception to any accusation of wrongdoing and in particular to any involvement in the funding of terrorism.
The Report makes a number of serious allegations about Khalid Bin Mahfouz and certain companies associated with him, which are manifestly false. For instance:
1. On page 11, on a list entitled "Main individual Saudi sponsors of al-Qaida," the first name listed is 'Khalid Bin Mahfouz, banker'. Khalid Bin Mahfouz vehemently denies the allegation that he or his immediate family has ever funded terrorism. The authors offer no evidence to warrant placing Khalid Bin Mahfouz on this "list." Furthermore, they provide no source as to the legitimacy of this "list."
Khalid Bin Mahfouz and his family are on record as stating: "The
single most difficult thing was the sadness, indeed horror, we all experienced
over the events of September 11. Second to that, we have been distressed
and increasingly angered over false media reports suggesting that members
of my family may have been in some way linked to financially supporting
terrorist groups or activities. There is no truth to these reports.
2. On page 22, there are a number of gravely false allegations made against
Khalid Bin Mahfouz. For example:
At no point during the preparation of the Report by JCB Consulting was Khalid Bin Mahfouz or his family approached for either information or verification of the allegations contained therein. Furthermore, it is clear that the authors of the Report failed to cite to the corrections published in the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post.
Needless to say, Khalid Bin Mahfouz and his family reserve their rights against JCB Consulting and Jean-Charles Brisard in relation to all the inaccuracies in the Report. We are currently considering our legal position in this regard.
We respectfully request that you forward a copy of this letter to all parties in the U.N. who have received a copy of the Report and make clear that the allegations made against Khalid Bin Mahfouz are without merit. We request also that you let us know whether the U.N. commissioned this Report (and if so, on what basis) or whether the Report was sent unsolicited.
I look forward to hearing from you.