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Monday, February 02, 2004

U.S. has quietly expelled dozens of Saudi diplomats

The U.S. has ordered the expulsion of dozens of Saudi diplomats suspected of helping promulgate al-Qaeda ideology, diplomatic sources said.

About 70 diplomats and embassy staffers were expelled in late 2003 and dozens of others were ordered to leave by mid-February. Many of those expelled were said to have worked in the office of the Saudi defense attache.

Sources said most of the diplomats were responsible for operations of the Institute of Islamic and Arabic Sciences in America [IIASA] located in Fairfax, Va.

IIASA, established in 1988, has provided free training for hundreds of Muslims in the U.S. in Wahhabi ideology, the basis for al-Qaeda.