For some reason (oil) Saudi Arabia is considered a “moderate” Arab state. Yet internally it is just as repressive as Syria and Iran (see Saudi Arabia: An Aparthied State Practicing a Racist Religion) and it is the “mother of all terrorist sponsors” as Dore Gold reported in 2003
- Saudi Arabia’s past involvement in international terrorism is indisputable. While the Bush administration decided to redact 28 sensitive pages of the Joint Intelligence Report of the U.S. Congress, nonetheless, Saudi involvement in terrorist financing can be documented through materials captured by Israel in Palestinian headquarters in 2002-3. In light of this evidence, Saudi denials about terrorist funding don’t hold water.
- Israel retrieved a document of the International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO) which detailed the allocation of $280,000 to 14 Hamas charities. IIRO and other suspected global Saudi charities are not NGOs, since their boards of directors are headed by Saudi cabinet members. Prince Salman, a full brother of King Fahd, controls IIRO distributions “with an iron hand,” according to former CIA operative Robert Baer. Mahmoud Abbas, in fact, complained, in a handwritten December 2000 letter to Salman, about Saudi funding of Hamas. Defense Minister Prince Sultan has been cited as a major IIRO contributor.
- It was hoped, after the May 12 triple bombing attack in Riyadh, that Saudi Arabia might halt its support for terrorism. Internally, the Saudi security forces moved against al-Qaeda cells all over the kingdom. But externally, the Saudis were still engaged in terrorist financing, underwriting 60-70 percent of the Hamas budget, in violation of their “roadmap” commitments to President Bush.
- Additionally, the Saudis back the civilian infrastructure of Hamas with extremist textbooks glorifying jihad and martyrdom that are used by schools and Islamic societies throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Ideological infiltration of Palestinian society by the Saudis in this way is reminiscent of their involvement in the madrassa system of Pakistan during the 1980s, that gave birth to the Taliban and other pro bin-Laden groups.
This past Tuesday Matthew Mainen a senior policy analyst for the Institute for Gulf Affairs had this to say in the SF Chronicle
When the Bush administration openly talks of state-sponsored terrorism on the part of Syria and Iran, it conveniently overlooks the many key officials of the Saudi government who have played an active role in unsettling Iraq. In early July, Saudi Interior Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdel-Aziz discussed how Saudi Arabia has thwarted roughly 180 terrorism plots since 2003. What the prince did not mention, however, was the role of his colleague, Assistant Interior Minister Mohammed Bin Naif, in encouraging acts of terrorism and protecting known al Qaeda members. In June 2004, Faris al-Zahrani (once a leading Saudi terrorist) confirmed that the assistant interior minister offered him safe passage to wage jihad in Iraq. Fortunately, al-Zahrani was captured several months later. It should be noted that al-Zahrani was once the 12th-most wanted terrorist in Saudi Arabia, but due to an aggressive campaign on the part of Saudi security forces, he quickly rose in position as higher ranking terrorists were killed or detained…… The Saudi interior ministry claims that it does not know who is recruiting young Saudis to wage war in Iraq. This is simply not true. In November 2004, 26 Saudi clerics, 21 of whom are government officials, issued a fatwa calling on Muslims to join the jihad in Iraq. The leading figure behind the fatwa, Sheikh Salman bin Fahd Al-Odah, has heavily financed Saudi insurgents in Iraq and other locations. Al-Odah has three television programs that serve as a forum for his extremist views. One of these programs is on the official Saudi government Channel 1. The sheikh commands a wide audience and is influential in matters beyond Saudi Arabia and Iraq. On Dec. 27, 2006, al-Odah appeared on Al-Jazeera to urge Saudis to travel to Somalia and join the Islamic Courts Union in their war against the legitimate Somali government. Beyond al-Odah, the highest ranking Saudi official to openly support terrorism is Sheikh Saleh al-Luhaidan, chief of the Saudi judiciary. In April 2005, the Institute for Gulf Affairs (then called the Saudi Institute) gave NBC a tape of al-Luhaidan instructing Saudis to send money and men to Iraq in order to aid then-al Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. NBC confirmed the authenticity of the tape by calling al-Luhaidan. To this date, al-Luhaidan remains in his government position without censure. Iraqi Shiite politicians, such as Sami Askari, an adviser of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, have gone so far as to accuse Saudi Arabia of directly playing a role in the Iraqi civil war. This is most likely an overstatement of the facts, but nonetheless, the Saudi monarchy must be held accountable for its failure to significantly curb the flow of Sunni insurgents into Iraq and properly address governmental involvement in terrorism. Back in Washington, the U.S. government must holistically begin applying pressure on its Muslim allies. Recent events in Pakistan demand that President Bush take a stern position in dealing with the government of Musharraf, but such pressure must extend to Saudi Arabia as well.
On top of it all Saudi Arabia is importing terror to the United States:
Intelligence Estimates, Illogical Conclusions
BY YOUSSEF IBRAHIM NY Sun
Among the key judgments of the recently released National Intelligence Estimate was a conclusion that “a growing number of radical, self-generating cells in Western countries indicate that the radical and violent segment of the West’s Muslim population is expanding, including in the United States.”
The report stressed that the sort of Islam taking root in Muslim communities of America and Europe is a “radical” and “especially Salafi” type of Islam.
“Salafi” is a synonym for Saudi or Wahhabist Islam, the extremely unforgiving religious ideology spread for the last 40 years — with unique determination — by the religious wings of the Saudi royal government, using billions of the country’s oil dollars and relying on Western acquiescence.
This raises a troubling question: If you know the carrier — Saudi Arabia — and the disease — jihadist Islam spread with Saudi funding through mosques staffed with Wahhabist imams in America and Europe — why blithely allow it to continue?
Yet continue it surely does. Like clockwork, every month, Saudi dollars flow in to build and staff more mosques, from one end of Europe to the other and in every American city. Because Muslim communities in America do not advertise having them, it is difficult to get precise statistics, but Saudi-trained imams originally from Egypt or Pakistan are streaming into America using visas that identify them as “religious guides.”
Last week, I stumbled up to a minivan filled with six such new arrivals in front of the Beacon Theater on 75th Street — all of whom were staring at women in short skirts like children let loose in a candy shop. I spoke to them and discovered that they had just arrived from Al Azhar University School of Theology in Cairo, for years now largely a Saudi-controlled Wahhabist seminary, and they were headed to multiple mosques after being sponsored by several Muslim communities in New Jersey and New York.
They spoke no English but, as one told me, there was no need for that. “We preach in Arabic,” to Arabs, he said.
It is not insignificant that President Sarkozy of France, whose 60 million citizens include some 5 million Muslims, has decreed that the only imams now permitted to staff French mosques must have been trained in France and be fluent in French.
Over the past year, France has quietly suspended scores of imams who do not meet these criteria. Many are being sent back home to Morocco or Egypt.
America should get a National Intelligence Estimate that tells us how many of the imams coming into this country have an “elemental knowledge” of America’s Constitution, its Bill of Rights, and its essential values, such as freedom of speech and the rights of women.
American troops are trying to root out Al Qaeda members in Afghanistan’s tribal areas and in Baghdad, but the American government ignores that Al Qaeda is also a state of mind that could just as easily gain traction among American Muslims inside the Saudi-built and -staffed mosques in our cities and suburbs.
The question isn’t when the chickens are coming home to roost: They already have, in the multiple failed attempts at terrorist attacks since September 11, 2001, the most recent a group of Albanian-American Muslims in New Jersey plotting to attack Fort Dix — who met, well, in a mosque. Any new National Intelligence Estimate needs to go into who is funding our mosques, who is staffing them, and who is supplying them with bigoted Arabic or Urdu radical Islamic literature.
A former director of the CIA, James Woolsey, recently wrote an article in the Wall Street Journal that showed how many of the books — along with the hate speech — that end up in these mosques are distributed by Saudi pseudo-cultural and Islamic centers in Washington, D.C., and elsewhere around the nation.
In one of his typically misguided moves, President Bush has given legitimacy to such places, going so far as to visit a Saudi Islamic Center in Washington, where he delivered a speech as part of his socalled “Muslim Initiative” last month. In full view of the world’s television cameras, a Saudi preacher in full jihadist uniform — untrimmed beard, cutoff robes, and sandals — greeted the president to the ululations of jihadists everywhere.
Saudi Islam is not what we want to promote in America. There are many Muslim modernists in America to whom the president could have gone.
We routinely speak of failed governments and failed societies overseas. So what are we doing about “failed” Muslim communities here? The best housekeeping starts at home.
Why aren’t we calling them out (oil)? President Bush used to claim that you are on the side of freedom or on the side of terror. I guess he meant to say you are on the side of freedom or on the side of terror, unless of course you have a valuable resource –then you can do whatever the hell you want.