LONDON (AFP) - Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah accused Britain of not taking terrorism seriously enough Monday, hours before arriving in London for a controversial state visit.
In a BBC interview prior to his arrival, the king said his country had given Britain information which could have prevented the 2005 London suicide bombings, in which 52 innocent people died, but the authorities had failed to act on it.
I wonder if that could be true?
The king, the first Saudi monarch in 20 years to visit Britain, will be met by heir to the throne Prince Charles and will stay at Buckingham Palace, Queen Elizabeth II's home in the capital.
His visit has already stirred up criticism from politicians and protestors who allege human rights abuses and corruption in Saudi Arabia.
Asked about the terrorist threat, the king told the BBC through an interpreter: "I believe most countries are not taking this issue too seriously including, unfortunately, Great Britain.
"We have sent information to Great Britain before the terrorist attacks in Britain but unfortunately no action was taken. And it may have been able to maybe avert the tragedy."
He said that Al Qaeda had not been defeated in Saudi Arabia, adding: "I believe strongly...that it will take 20 to 30 years to defeat the scourge of terrorism with vigilant effort.
A good way to start is to tell your mullahs to stop teaching everybody to hate the brothers (and sisters) of apes and pigs.
(That comment is for both the UK and the KSA.)
"I strongly urge all countries in the world including Great Britain to take the matter of fighting terrorism very, very seriously and to combat terrorism day and night with robustness and vigilance."
I strongly urge the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to either 1) allow religious freedom for people in the Kingdom, or 2) curtail the freedom of those who preach hatred.
As it is, if you bow to Mecca and call for the deaths of kuffar, your speech is acceptable, but if you carry a cross and ask for peace and love, you're taking your life into your hands there.
Come to think of it, if you bow to Mecca and call for the deaths of kuffar, that's okay in the UK, too, but if you carry a cross and ask for peace and love, you will be shunned and ridiculed, at least.
The acting leader of the centre-left Liberal Democrats, Vincent Cable, has taken the rare step of boycotting the visit in protest over human rights and an allegedly fraudulent arms deal.
The Serious Fraud Office last year investigated BAE Systems' 43 billion pound Al-Yamamah deal in 1985, which provided Hawk and Tornado jets plus other military equipment to Saudi Arabia.
Don't open that one up. It's too big of a rat's nest, and you people in the UK don't really want to know the truth, do you?
But the investigation was shelved by the British government last December in a move supported by the then prime minister Tony Blair amid concerns over Britain's national interest.
There you go, that's the way you do it. The Bush Administration can give you guys some pointers. Corruption and influence peddling can't be investigated due to national interest. Over here, we call it State Secrets Privilege, but a scandal by any other name....
BAE Systems is alleged to have set up a 60 million pound "slush fund" for members of the Saudi royal family to secure business, and made illegal payments to those involved in its deals. BAE strenuously denies the charges.
Because of his boycott, Cable will not be attending the state banquet at Buckingham Palace and other major events to which opposition leaders are usually invited.
"In my opinion, it is quite wrong for the British government to have proposed a state visit at this time," Cable wrote in a letter to the Saudi ambassador.
On Wednesday, protestors are due to stage a mass human rights demonstration outside the Saudi embassy in London supported by figures including senior ruling Labour party MP John McDonnell.
"The British people will be aghast at the government entertaining on a state visit one of the most prominent anti-democratic and human rights abusing leaders in the world," he said.
So? As long as the money & oil are flowing, who cares?
Don't be so Saudiphobic -- one culture is just as valid as another, and who are you to judge the Saudi approach to governing? The UK isn't perfect, you know. Should we list all the abuses propagated by the British Empire throughout history? Finger-pointing at its best....
The centre-left Independent newspaper, meanwhile, ran a front page headline: "A royal guest to be proud of?" above a picture of the king.
"It is difficult to know where to begin when it comes to expressing the inappropriateness of this visit," it added in an editorial.
The king is also set to visit Italy, Germany and Turkey after a three-day stay in London.
The King of Saudi Arabia is telling you to take terrorism more seriously.
Folks, that's just about....