In response to:

Quartermasters of Terror from the February 10, 2005 issue

To the Editors:

In Patrick Radden Keefe’s review of Blood from Stones: The Secret Network of Terror by Douglas Farah [NYR, February 10], he writes that “a 2002 report to the UN Security Council cites ‘an institutional confusion between religion and finance’ in Saudi Arabia….” His reference footnote 14 reads: “Jean-Charles Brisard, ‘Terrorism Financing,’ report prepared for the president of the Security Council, United Nations, December 19, 2002. See also Timur Kuran, Islam and Mammon: The Economic Predicaments of Islamism (Princeton University Press, 2004).”

Your readers should know that Mr. Brisard’s report was not solicited by the president of the UN Security Council; the president at that time, Alfonso Valdivieso, has categorically denied either soliciting or commissioning any reports from Mr. Brisard. Furthermore, Mr. Kieran Prendergast, undersecretary-general for political affairs at the UN and a member of the Policy Working Group (PWG) on the United Nations and Terrorism, has publicly stated that “no member of the PWG requested Mr. Brisard to prepare a report to the Group about the financing of terrorism or about any other topic related to terrorism.”

Cherif Sedky

Legal counsel to Sheikh Khalid Bin Mahfouz

and members of his family

Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

This Issue

November 17, 2005