WHAT WOULD HARRY LIME THINK? James D. Zirin of The Washington Times writes that “Switzerland, the landlocked country that invented the cuckoo clock and the secret numbered bank account, has overcome its strong commitment to neutrality to get into the same sandbox with the other international players on counterterrorism”. Zirin adds:
The Swiss were not always so quick to crack down on international terror. A U.N. report issued last month criticized Switzerland for failing to interdict support for Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda network and the Afghan Taliban. The report alleged Switzerland was a pipeline for terrorist arms and money. Evidence had linked bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, to Swiss bank accounts in the 1990s. Mohamed Atta and another of the September 11, 2001, terrorists briefly passed through Switzerland. It is no secret al Qaeda operatives have used Swiss cell phone numbers to communicate.
The news is that the Swiss, who were ever so neutral about Adolf Hitler, whom they eagerly provided with a depository for Nazi plunder, are not neutral about the terrorist threat. They appear now to recognize their obligation to the world community to take strong counterterrorist action.
On the other hand, Zirin says–and this is no surprise–don’t hold your breath when it comes to Saudi Arabia doing anything about terrorists.