November 24, 2007 / 1:41 PM / in 11 years

Security chief asks Saudis to monitor Internet use

RIYADH (Reuters) - Saudis should do more to help the government monitor use of the Internet to help fight Islamic militancy, intelligence chief Prince Muqrin bin Abdul-Aziz said on Saturday.

“We want to teach citizens how to monitor things on the Internet ... mum and dad must pay attention to their kids,” he told reporters.

The prince was giving details of a conference on information technology and national security his intelligence body will hold next week. The conference is part of a new effort to get Saudis to help the authorities tackle a 4-year-old campaign by militants allied to al Qaeda against the U.S.-allied government.

The campaign has died down over the last two years after a series of attacks on foreign residential compounds, government buildings and energy-sector installations. Authorities have arrested dozens of militant suspects this year.

The government has raised fears that Saudis who have gone to Iraq to fight U.S.-led forces and the U.S.-allied government will return to Saudi Arabia to continue their struggle.

Prince Muqrin said the intelligence agency would also set up a Web site where citizens can, anonymously, share their suspicions about militant activity.

Next week’s conference marks the first time the intelligence services have joined in the government’s public campaign against Islamist radicalism.

Reporting by Andrew Hammond

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