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Saudi prince: 'Zionism' had role in attacks

From CNN's Brian Todd in Washington:

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Saudi Arabia

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- -- Last Saturday, militants opened fire at an oil refinery, killing five ex-pat employees of a Swiss engineering company. A Saudi policeman and all four militants were also killed in the exchange.

That evening, at a gathering of Saudi officials and others, the effective leader of Saudi Arabia, Crown Prince Abdullah, made startling remarks.

"You all know who is behind it all ... Zionism is behind it," said the crown prince.

The comments were heard on a tape obtained by CNN from the Middle East Media Research Institute, a U.S.-based group which monitors Arabic and Persian language media in the region, translating and publicizing many anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic items.

The group says this meeting was televised on Saudi state-run television.

CNN independently verified the translation of the crown prince's comments.

"I don't say, I mean -- It is not 100 percent, but 95 percent -- that the Zionist hands are behind what happened," said Prince Abdullah.

Saudi officials say those who carried out Saturday's attack are on a list of wanted militants, many of whom are linked to al Qaeda.

On this tape, the crown prince does not mention Saturday's attack by name and he does not suggest that Israelis specifically -- or supporters of Israel -- plotted or carried out any of the recent attacks in Saudi Arabia.

CNN contacted representatives of the Saudi government for clarification. They said no one in the government would comment further on the "Zionist' characterization and referred CNN to an earlier statement, in which the crown prince vowed to go after terrorists and their sympathizers.

CNN read Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Daniel Ayalon direct quotes from the translation.

"The constant denial and blame of others -- by doing that, they are guilty not only of incitement, anti-Semitism and fueling an atmosphere of hatred, they're also protecting the real terrorists of Islamic -- of the radical Islam," said Ambassador Ayalon.


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