The recent incident involving two Saudi men who boarded a school bus, frightened children and then gave police conflicting stories (see this report linked by Glenn Reynolds) aroused my curiosity.
When I researched the story further, I saw that the two men were here as a result of a huge new exchange program:

The UA will enroll about 100 new Saudi Arabian students this summer, which could signal the reverse of a post-Sept. 11 trend of having fewer international students in the United States, especially those from the Middle East. The students are part of a new large-scale scholarship program by the Saudi government, which will send about 6,000 students to American universities this year after just 1,442 Saudi students had visas to study in the United States in 2004.
About 80 of the students are already at the UA, enrolled in English-immersion classes before they start their academic programs in the fall. More are expected by the start of next semester as they secure visas…
…The program grew out of an agreement in April by President Bush and then-Crown Prince Abdullah, with the more open policy part of larger efforts at improving relations between the two nations.
(Via Michelle Malkin.)

Improved relations are one thing, but aren’t they forgetting that the war on terror has largely been a war against suicidal Saudi Salafists?
Is anyone, anywhere, doing anything to make sure that these students are not suicidal Salafists? Earlier I voiced suspicions about the State Department resettling ethnic Turks in the local Saudi madrassa, because Saudi madrassas have such a poor track record. See Senator Lautenberg’s report which documents the problem.
Despite reassurances, the madrassas do not seem to have done a good job of policing themselves. (A recent hearing failed to reassure me that the one in my neighborhood is even capable of policing itself.) According to this Washington Post report, the madrassa curricula are still loaded with hateful propaganda.
I know that everyone is worried about illegal Mexicans crossing the border right now. But am I being unreasonable in asking whether bringing in many thousands of apparently unsupervised Saudi students is a great idea right now?
As to reassurances, Randy “Duke” Cunningham and the State Department both seem to think that the Saudis have turned over a new leaf. Says Congressman Cunningham:

I feel that Saudi Arabia is the leader in the Arab world, especially with Medina and Mecca. I feel that Osama probably put 15 Saudis in there, flew them into the [World Trade] Center, partially to divide one of our better allies that we have in the Middle East from us.. ..I realize they do have problems there. But I also — and I can’t address it here, but I can in closed session — note to the extent that the Saudi intelligence agencies are working with us daily in helping — more so than most agencies. And so, I see them as an emerging support for us, but I’m afraid that’s going to erode. And collectively, I know it’s INS, it’s FBI, it’s CIA — your problem is going to be magnified five years from now unless we get our arms around this.

Should I be reassured that our government know what it is doing? By whose track record?
UPDATE (05/25/06): According to CNS News,

The Saudi government has not only broken its promise and failed to eliminate anti-western rhetoric from its public school textbooks, some Saudi-funded schools on U.S. soil continue to incite violence…

There’s more in a pdf report by the Institute for Gulf Affairs, whose director Ali Al-Ahmed warns of the danger:

“There is a lot of misinformation and disinformation about others in these textbooks. These textbooks groom a child to be a terrorist,” Al-Ahmed added.
With about five million children in Saudi public schools instructed each year in Islamic studies from Ministry of Education textbooks, and many more outside of Saudi Arabia, Al-Ahmed told Cybercast News Service that the threat “is more dangerous than the Chernobyl reactor.”
“If even 1 percent takes this to heart, you will have a lot more terrorists than just the 15 (Saudis) that we saw on September 11,” Al-Ahmed said. He alleged that Saudi schools are graduating 1,000 terrorists each year.
“Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden understands this well,” Al-Ahmed asserted. “In his April 23, 2006, audiotape, he railed against those who would interfere with school curricula.”

I wish he wasn’t in a position to issue such warnings.