This is an excerpt from a book called “Saudi Arabia & the Global Islamic Terrorist Network” via The Terror Finance Blog
By Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld:
Ongoing Saudi Support for Terrorism by Direct Means
The angry form of Islamism and Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia today is the soil in which anti-Western and anti-American terrorism grows.
—Former CIA director R. James Woolsey
Saudi efforts to bring Wahhabi Islam to global dominance began in earnest in 1962, with the establishment of the first international Saudi charity, the Muslim World League (MWL). Influenced by exiled Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood members, then-Crown Prince Faisal bin Abdul Aziz used the growing oil revenues to fund MWL, which in turn established many other Islamic charities and nonprofits that helped create the global jihadist movement we are facing today.
According to a report submitted to the president of the UN Security Council in December 2002, “One must question the real ability and willingness of the [Saudi] Kingdom to exercise any control over the use of religious money in and outside the country.” In the year 2000 alone, Saudi citizens’ contributions to various Islamist groups amounted to $500 million. Most of the money went to cover expenses such as salaries, pensions, and “terrorcare” services that included hospitals and schools—especially (religious teachers) and madrasas.
Saudi Arabia is a theocracy dominated by Wahhabi power figures that (despite Saudi protestations to the contrary) control both governmental and non-governmental sectors of the country. The government/ruling family makes or breaks the wealth of all its subjects. Moreover, successive Saudi kings have created ”charitable” organizations to fund the worldwide spread of Wahhabbism and have on occasion organized several national campaigns encouraging citizens to support Sunni terror organizations outside the country. Thus it would be wrong to distinguish between contributions to radical Sunni organizations by the ruling family, the Saudi government, and wealthy Saudi subjects.
Afghanistan’s financial intelligence unit FinTraca reported in May 2010 that Saudi contributors have funneled over $1.5 billion to Afghanistan through Pakistan since 2006. Most of the money has entered Afghanistan through Pakistani tribal areas, especially through North Waziristan, which is known as “al-Qaeda’s heartland.” Mohammed Mustafa Massoudi, the director general of US-trained Afghan intelligence in Kabul, said, “We can trace it back as far as an entry point in Waziristan” the uncontrolled tribal border area between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Then went on, “Why would anyone want to put such money into Waziristan? [for] Only one reason: terrorism.” The likely destination of the money was thought to be the Taliban and al-Qaeda.
Since 2006, these groups have killed at least 1,525 American soldiers in Afghanistan and maimed thousands more. As former Under Secretary Levey declared in his April 2008 testimony before the Senate Finance Committee, “Saudi Arabia today remains the location from which more money is going to terror groups and the Taliban—Sunni terror groups and the Taliban—than from any other place in the world.”
The Saudis also support Pakistan’s Laskhar-e Taiba (LET), a terrorist group most known in the West for perpetrating the Mumbai attacks in 2008, which killed over 200 people and injured over 300 more. Pakistani police reported in 2009 that the Saudi al-Haramain Foundation—a charitable organization designated as a terrorist sponsor by both the US and Saudi governments—gave $15 million to jihadists, including those responsible for suicide attacks in Pakistan and the assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.
The Saudi-based International Islamic Relief Organization’s (IIRO) Philippines branch, which was run until his death in 2007 by Muhammad Jamal Khalifa, Osama bin Laden’s brother-in-law until his death in 2007, was designated a terrorist sponsor by the US Treasury in August 2006 “for facilitating fundraising for al Qaida and affiliated terrorist groups.”
This apparently did not stop Saudi support for the al-Qaeda-affiliated Abu Sayyaf Group. A Wikileaks-released cable from the US Embassy in Riyadh described the US Government’s concerns with the IIRO’s continuing Saudi funding of al-Qaeda-affiliated group in the Philippines. Dated February 24, 2007, and classified as “secret,” the cable detailed a February 6, 2007 private meeting between US assistant to the president for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Francis Fragos Townsend and Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal. Townsend asked the foreign minister to stop the “involvement of the Saudi ambassador to the Philippines Muhammad Amin Waly in terrorism facilitation,” noting “his intervention to get two members of IIRO out of prison.” Prince Saud declared a belief that Waly’s actions “may have involved bad judgment rather than intentional support for terrorism” and Waly remained in his position until October 2009.
Despite evidence of IIRO funding to radical Muslim groups the world over, the US Government has refrained from designating the IIRO in its entirety as a terrorist organization. As a result, the IIRO obtained membership in the United Nations’ Department of Public Information (DPI) in August 2010. This membership provides the IIRO the perfect cover from which to expand its reach.
Saudi funding to the US-designated Muslim Brotherhood Palestinian branch, the terrorist organization Hamas, has never stopped. In March 2007 Israel notified the US that Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh transferred a $1 million contribution he received in Saudi Arabia to Hamas’ “armed wing,” the Izz el-Deen al-Qassam Brigades. On December 16, 2009, while Hamas was shelling Israeli civilians from the Gaza Strip, Haniyeh told Al-Jazeera that he passed $1 million in funding from a Saudi donor to Hamas’ “armed wing.”
In January 20, 2009, even before Israel concluded Operation Cast Lead, its defensive operations to stop terrorist attacks from the Gaza Strip, Saudi Arabia pledged $1 billion for the reconstruction of Gaza.
As documented in my book Funding Evil: How Terrorism is Financed—and How to Stop It, several Saudi financial institutions openly funded terrorist groups throughout the 1990s and early 2000s. In September 2000, Saudi Arabia conducted two telethons for the specified purpose of raising funds for the families of Palestinian homicide bombers, including members of Hamas and the al-Aqsa Martyr Brigades. Saudi Arabia also created the Saudi Committee for the Support of the al-Quds Uprising, based in Riyadh and run by interior minister Prince Nayef. This committee “reported the transfer of $55.7 million mostly to the families of suicide bombers and to the families of imprisoned or injured Palestinian militants.” Records found in the offices of the Tulkarm Charity Committee detail the payments to 102 Hamas terrorists who were killed in “martyr operation[s].” In 2002 the Saudi Arabian International Islamic Relief Organization donated $280,000 to Palestinian organizations that the US has linked to Hamas.
Read more including Dr. Ehrenfeld’s recommendations on what must be done to protect America from the Saudi sponsored terrorism and civilization jihad.
First published in “Saudi Arabia & the Global Islamic Terrorist Network”, Chapter 10, pp-123-151, PalgraveMacMillan, November 2011.
Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld is the Director of the New York–based American Center for Democracy (ACD) and the Economic Warfare Institute(EWI) She has authored hundreds of articles and several books on terrorist financing and political corruption.