Saudis Withdraw Berlin Diplomat After Germans Cite Possible Militant Link
Saudi Arabia withdrew a diplomat from its embassy here last month after German officials raised questions with the Saudi government about contacts he may have had with a group of Islamic militants currently under investigation for terrorism, German and Saudi officials said. German police are examining whether Mohamed J. Fakihi, the director of the Islamic Affairs Department for the Saudi Embassy in Berlin, had ties to six men they detained last month, the officials said. German authorities described those arrests as pre-emptive, after they received information that the men might be planning attacks to coincide with the opening of the Iraq war. German prosecutors have charged that the six men belonged to an organization working to recruit Arab students in Germany for terrorist activities. Prosecutors stressed that Mr. Fakihi is not under investigation, and in any case he would enjoy diplomatic immunity. But the incident is likely to heighten concerns expressed by American officials that elements within the Saudi government have supported the aims of terrorist groups, including Al Qaeda, and may have helped funnel money to them.