Reno Says Saudis Aren't Cooperating: Information Kept from FBI Agents Probing Fatal Blast

Article excerpt

Attorney General Janet Reno yesterday said the Saudi government is withholding "some very important information" on a truck-bombing that killed 19 U.S. servicemen in June at a military housing complex in Dhahran.

Miss Reno, during her weekly press briefing, said she was "hopeful" Justice Department lawyers and FBI agents would be able to "address" concerns over the ongoing probe in the near future and take "appropriate steps" to gain the necessary information.

"I think it's important in any investigation to have full information in order to assess what action should be taken," she said without elaboration. "That is a pending investigation."

FBI agents in Dhahran have long complained that they had been hampered by Saudi officials in their probe of the June 25 bombing, having been barred from questioning Saudi citizens about the deadly blast, not being informed about arrests in the case and not being able to examine evidence gathered at the bomb site.

The bombing killed 19 airmen and wounded more than 200 others. A truck packed with explosives was parked near a high-rise apartment building known as Khobar Towers that housed U.S. military personnel. The bombing prompted a relocation of 5,000 U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia from two bases - one in Riyadh and the other in Dhahran - to the Prince Sultan Air Base in Al Kharj, about 50 miles into the desert south of Riyadh. …