Skip to comments.Saudi Arabia still head of terror finance octopus
Posted on 12/07/2012 9:50:54 AM PST by bayouranger
Saudi Arabia remains the worlds top financier of terrorism and sponsor of fundamentalist Islam throughout the Arab Spring. U.S. media and Treasury officials dont really like to discuss it in public, but a report earlier this fall from France 24 gives further confirmation, if you needed it, of the fact that Saudi petrodollars are behind the latest Salafist inroads in the Middle East.
Read it all:
How Saudi petrodollars fuel rise of Salafism
Since the 2011 Arab revolts, a loose network of underground zealots has evolved into a potent and highly vocal force. Behind the remarkable rise of Salafism lies the worlds leading producer of oil and extremist Islam: Saudi Arabia.
When protesters incensed by an anti-Muslim video scaled the walls of the US embassy in Cairo on September 11, tearing down the Stars and Stripes, a black flag could be seen floating above the battered compound. From Sanaa, in Yemen, to Libyas Benghazi, the same black banner, emblem of the Salafists, soon became a ubiquitous sight as anti-US protests spread like wildfire across the Arab world. The 2011 Arab uprisings have served the Salafists well. With the old dictators gone, a once subterranean network of hardliners has sprung into prominence funded by a wealthy Gulf patron locked in a post-Arab Spring rivalry with a fellow Gulf monarchy.
A puritanical branch of Islam, Salafism advocates a strict, literalist interpretation of the Koran and a return to the practices of the Salaf (the predecessors), as the Prophet Mohammed and his disciples are known. While Salafist groups can differ widely, from the peaceful, quietist kind to the more violent clusters, it is the latter who have attracted most attention in recent months.
In Libya and Mali, radical Salafists have been busy destroying ancient shrines built by more moderate groups, such as Sufi Muslims. Fellow extremists in Tunisia have tried to silence secular media and destroy heretical artwork. And the presence of Salafist fighting units in Syria has been largely documented. Less well known is who is paying for all this and why.
For regional experts, diplomats and intelligence services, the answer to the first question lies in the seemingly endless flow of petrodollars coming from oil-rich Saudi Arabia. There is plenty of evidence pointing to the fact that Saudi money is financing the various Salafist groups, said Samir Amghar, author of Le salafisme daujourdhui. Mouvements sectaires en Occident (Contemporary Salafism: Sectarian movements in the West).
According to Antoine Basbous, who heads the Paris-based Observatory of Arab Countries, the Salafism we hear about in Mali and North Africa is in fact the export version of Wahhabism, a conservative branch of Sunni Islam actively promoted and practised by Saudi Arabias ruling family. Since the 1970s oil crises provided the ruling House of Saud with a seemingly endless supply of cash, the Saudis have been financing [Wahhabism] around the world to the tune of several million euros, Basbous told FRANCE 24.
Not all of the cash comes from Saudi state coffers. Traditionally, the money is handed out by members of the royal family, businessmen or religious leaders, and channelled via Muslim charities and humanitarian organizations, said Karim Sader, a political analyst who specializes in the Gulf states, in an interview with FRANCE 24.
Until the Arab Spring revolts upended the regions political landscape, these hidden channels enabled the Salafists Saudi patrons to circumvent the authoritarian regimes who were bent on crushing all Islamist groups. These were the same opaque channels that allegedly supplied arms to extremist groups, particularly in Pakistan and Afghanistan, according to Western intelligence officials.
Other, slightly less shadowy recipients of Saudi petrodollars include the numerous religious institutions built around the Arab world to preach Wahhabi Islam, as well as the growing list of Saudi satellite channels that provide a platform for radical Salafist preachers. A large share of the booty also goes to Arab students attending religious courses at the kingdoms universities in Medina, Riyadh and the Mecca.
Most of the students at Medina University are foreigners who benefit from generous scholarships handed out by Saudi patrons, as well as free accommodation and plane tickets, said Amghar. Once they have graduated, the brightest are hired by the Saudi monarchy, while the rest return to their respective countries to preach Wahhabi Islam. According to Amghar, the members of Frances nascent Salafist movement follow a similar path.
Exporting its own brand of Islam is not the only item on Saudi Arabias foreign policy agenda. While they see themselves as the guardians of Islamic doctrine and have always generously financed Muslim missionaries, the Saudis priority is not to salafise the Muslim world, explained Amghar. Their real aim is to consolidate their political and ideological influence by establishing a network of supporters capable of defending the kingdoms strategic and economic interests.
Since last years Arab revolutions, these supporters have benefited from more direct and politically motivated funding. With the regions former dictators out of the way, Salafist groups have evolved into well-established parties benefiting from more official Saudi aid, said Sader, pointing to the spectacular rise of Egypts al-Nour party, which picked up a surprising 24% of the vote in Januarys parliamentary polls.
The Saudis were genuinely surprised by the Arab Spring revolts, said Mohamed-Ali Adraoui, a political analyst who specialises in the Muslim world. Riyadhs response was to back certain Salafist groups ( ) so that it may gain further clout in their respective countries, Adraoui told FRANCE 24.
The Saudi strategy is similar to that adopted by its arch Gulf rival Qatar a smaller but equally oil-rich kingdom in its dealings with the Muslim Brotherhood, the other great beneficiary of the Arab Spring. When it comes to financing Islamist parties, there is intense competition between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, said Sader.
And America is still the Saudis’ buttboy.
Many copies of “alms for jihad” book got destroyed as a result of a lawsuit overseas by one of the guys mentioned in it.
The book is going for insane prices as a result.
Cambridge press published it, and caved to the pressure, despite being an American company.
Follow the money and one finds verrrrrry interesting stuff....
That’s the reason for Rachel’s Law.
Here is a link to it online as a PDF:
Another good site it:
Death to islam!
Correction : publisher is British, authors are American.