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Alqaeda suspect knows saudi prince phone number

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Saudi princes 'linked' to bin Laden
By David Rennie in Washington
(Filed: 01/09/2003)

Strained Saudi-US relations were dealt another blow yesterday with the publication of allegations directly linking Osama bin Laden to leading Saudi princes.

Time magazine will today carry details from a new book alleging that Abu Zubaidah, the leading al-Qa'eda terrorist captured in Pakistan last year, was duped into revealing details of support from members of the Saudi royal family.

Why America Slept, by Gerald Posner, claims that Zubaidah resisted CIA interrogation, despite the use of "quick-on, quick-off" painkillers and truth drugs.

Posner describes how, in an attempt to frighten Zubaidah, he was moved to a fake Saudi interrogation chamber, manned by Arab-American special forces masquerading as Saudi police.

"His reaction was not fear, but utter relief," Posner writes. Zubaidah recited telephone numbers for one prince, informing the fake Saudis the prince would "tell you what to do".

The effect of Posner's claims may be largely diplomatic: there is no corroborating evidence for his claims, and the prince died of a heart attack, aged 43, last year.

Two other princes named in the book as al-Qa'eda paymasters also died within a week of Prince Ahmed.

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