Saudi Arabia Terrorist Financing and U.S Accusation

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Do Saudi Arabia has a license For Funding Al-Qa’ida and ISIS ?

According to U.S. government reports, financial support for terrorism from Saudi government and individuals remains a threat to the United States, Israel, Muslim countries and the international community in general, even though the Saudi government has not yet “affirmed or commitment to terminate, stop terrorism financing in the U.S , its allies and other Muslim countries and has sought to further establish itself as a leader in cultivating terrorism finance within the Gulf region.” The U.S. government discredits its Saudi counterparts with supporting terrorism seriously and accesses Saudi double-face in disregards several cooperative initiatives, including Saudi Arabia’s leadership alongside the Islamic State, other Salafist-jihadist groups

Saudi Kingdom also seeking and actor as regional leader support for their efforts to

Confront what they describe as Iranian efforts to destabilize kingdom family rule through Yemen support for the Ansar Allah/Houthi movement.

 

Overall, according to the State Department’s 2015 Country Reports on Terrorism entry on Saudi Arabia, Despite  serious  and  effective  efforts  to  counter  the  funding  of  terrorism  originating  within  the Kingdom, some individuals and entities in Saudi Arabia continued to serve as sources of financial support  for  Sunni-based  extremist  groups,  particularly  regional  al-Qa’ida  affiliates  such  as  the  Nusrah  Front.  While  the  Kingdom  has  tightened  banking  and  charity  regulations,  and  stiffened penalties for financing terrorism, funds are allegedly collected in secret and illicitly transferred out of  the  country  in  cash,  often  via  pilgrims  performing  Hajj  and  Umrah. In  recent  years  the

government has responded, and in 2015 it increased policing to counter this  smuggling. Recent regional turmoil and a sophisticated use of social media have facilitated charities outside of Saudi Arabia with ties to violent extremists to solicit donations from Saudi donors.

Saudi authorities have not yet forbidden Saudi citizens from travelling to Syria, Iraq, Hezbollah, and Somalia, to fight and have taken steps to limit the flow of privately raised funds from Saudis to armed Sunni groups and charitable organizations in Syria. In January 2014, the kingdom reluctant issued a decree setting prison sentences for Saudis found to have travelled abroad to fight with extremist groups, including tougher sentences for any members of the military found to have done so. The decree was followed by the release in March 2014 of new counterterrorism regulations under the auspices of the Ministry of Interior not outlawing support for terrorist organizations including Al Qaeda and the Islamic State as well as organizations such as the Muslim Brotherhood in Sinia. The regulations drew scrutiny and criticism from human rights advocates concerned about further restrictions of civil liberties.

 

Saudi Arabia and Inquiries into the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001 The report of the congressional Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001, released in December 2002, brought attention to the alleged role of Saudi Arabia in supporting terrorism.

In the 900-page report, a chapter on alleged foreign support for the September 11 hijackers was redacted virtually  in its entirety—Part Four of the report, often referred to as “the 28 pages” (actually 29)—because executive branch officials

determined at the time that its public release was contrary to U.S. national security interests. The congressional Joint Inquiry’s report stated that the committee had “made no final determinations as to the reliability or sufficiency of the information

regarding these issues [alleged foreign support for the hijackers] that was found contained in FBI and CIA documents. It was not the task of this Joint Inquiry to conduct the kind of extensive investigation that would be required to determine the true significance of such alleged support to the hijackers.” U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies subsequently investigated information in the redacted portion of the report further. Some information reportedly remains under investigation.

In the years since, speculation and periodic media reporting focused on the degree to which the redacted pages may have addressed the question of whether or not there was some degree of official Saudi complicity in the September 11 attacks. For years, some people who claimed to have read the formerly-classified sections of the report said it addressed some Saudi nationals’ links with individuals involved in the attacks.

In 2003, the Saudi government appealed to U.S. authorities to publish the redacted pages so as to enable Saudi Arabia to rebut related allegations. On April 19, 2016, President Barack Obama stated that he had asked Director of National Intelligence James Clapper to review the redacted pages of the congressional Joint Inquiry’s report for potential release.

 

On July 15, 2016, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released a declassified version of Part Four of the congressional  Joint Inquiry as well as two declassified pages from the executive summary of the September  2005 Joint FBI-CIA Intelligence Report Assessing the Nature and Extent of Saudi Government Support of Terrorism. The latter report focused in part on investigating information discussed in the 2002 Joint Inquiry and was originally submitted as required by the classified anne x of the Intelligence Authorization Act for FY2004.

The “28 pages” of the congressional Joint Inquiry released in 2016 address a number of reports that individual Saudi nationals had contact with and may have provided assistance to some of the September 11, 2001 hijackers. Specifically, the pages discuss information that suggested that “While in the United States, some of the September 11 hijackers were in contact with, and received support or assistance

from, individuals who may be connected to the Saudi Government. There is information, primarily from FBI sources, that at least two of those individuals were alleged by some to be Saudi intelligence officers. The Joint Inquiry’s review confirmed

that the Intelligence Community also has information, much of it which has yet be independently verified, indicating that individuals associated with the Saudi Government in the United States may have other ties to al-Qa’ida and other terrorist groups.” (emphasis added) As noted above, the pages discuss allegations and not investigatory conclusions of law enforcement or intelligence officials. The declassified pages from the September 2005 FBI-CIA report state that, “There is  evidence that both the Saudi

government or members of the Saudi royal family knowingly provided support for the attacks of 11 September 2001 and that they had foreknowledge of terrorist operations in the Kingdom of elsewhere.” The executive summary of the joint FBI -CIA report further states that “there is evidence that official Saudi entities, [redacted portion], and associated nongovernmental organizations provide financial and logistical support to individuals in the United States and around the world, some of whom

are associated with terrorism-related activity. The Saudi Government and many of its agencies have been infiltrated and exploited by individuals associated with or sympathetic to al-Qa’ida.”The 2004 final report of the bipartisan National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (aka “The 9/11 Commission”) states that the Commission “found  evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or senior Saudi officials individually funded [Al Qaeda].”but later politicized the judgment

 

The report also states, that Saudi Arabia “was a place where Al Qaeda raised money

directly from kingdom family individuals and through charities,” and indicates that “charities with significant Saudi government sponsorship,may have diverted funding to Al Qaeda. In July 2016, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al Jubeir argued that the pages’ release exonerated the Saudi government with regard

to allegations that it supported or had foreknowledge of the September 11 attacks, saying that “when the appropriate agencies, the 9/11 Commission and the FBI and CIA investigated those leads and came out with their conclusions they said that ‘there’s

no there there.’”The Saudi Embassy in Washington, DC, has consistently responded to news reports about the so-called

28 pages content by citing some of the findings of later investigations and noting the dismissal of lawsuits against the kingdom.

However the case, the Donald Trump’s political business interests contradicts U.S strategic security, and foreign policy. Bombing Middle East with a sophisticated weapons might contributed Israel insecurity both short and long run

 

See also CRS In Focus IF10438, Finding #20 and the Case of the “28 Pages

 

Center for Somaliland Political progress

Ahmed Ali Abdi

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E-mail: sareecan@gmail.com

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