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Documents Captured by the IDF: Saudi Arabia finances terror activities
Israel Defence Forces ^ | 5-9-02

Posted on 05/10/2002 6:36:32 AM PDT by SJackson

1. During Operation Defensive Shield Saudi Arabian and Palestinian documents were captured, which indicate the systematic and ongoing transfer of large sums of money to the Palestinians by official Saudi institutions for "supporting the Intifada". Among the various institutions, "the Saudi Committee for Support of the Intifada Al Quds" headed by the Saudi Interior Minister stands out.

2. The captured documents demonstrate that the Saudi support was not only of a humanitarian religious nature, as Saudi spokesmen in the U.S. claim. The documents clearly reveal that Saudi Arabia transferred, inter alia, large sums of money in a systematic and ongoing manner to families of suicide terrorists, to the Hamas Organization (on the U.S. list of terror organizations) and to persons and entities identified with the Hamas. According to the captured documents, the Saudi Committee for Support of the Intifada was aware that the funds it transferred were paid to families of terrorists who perpetrated murderous attacks in Israeli cities, in which hundreds of Israelis were killed and wounded. An American woman was also killed in one of these attacks.

3. There are three main implications of the transfer of funds by Saudi Arabia to the Palestinians.

a. The encouragement of terror attacks, including suicide attacks. The family of a dead terrorist receives a one-time grant from Iraq and Saudi Arabia (the two Arab states leading the effort to support the families of dead terrorists) and from other Arab states, amounting, in our assessment, to a sum earned in about 6 years of work. In addition, the Saudis provide aid to families of imprisoned and wounded terrorists. All this considerably increases the motivation to perpetrate terror attacks, including suicide attacks.

b. Strengthening of the Hamas terror-attack apparatus. From the perspective of the Hamas movement, the contributions received from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States constitute the main part of its budget, including the budget of its operational apparatus. It can be assumed that some of the money transferred to Hamas (and to charity institutions affiliated with the Hamas) have "trickled" into the Hamas military operational apparatus ("Iz Al-Din Al Qassam") and were used to finance its terrorist activities. It is of note that various documents regarding the Hamas operational disposition (including posters of suicide terrorists) were found on the premises of the Tulkarm "Charity Committee" (where the Saudi aid committee documents were found).

c. Strengthening the Hamas' status among the Palestinian population and weakening the Palestinian Authority. The aid funds that were transferred by Saudi Arabia and by Islamic institutions from around the world (including those identified with radical Islam) were in many instances funneled to the Hamas and entities supporting it. The local Palestinian population identified these funds with the Hamas movement and with the widespread system of welfare and charity institutions under its control. The captured documents point to the fact that attempts by Arafat and the PA in the first months of the "Intifada" to change this problematic situation (including by a personal request of Arafat to senior Saudi Arabian officials who supervise money transfers) were in vain.

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1. During Operation Defensive Shield captured documents were found of Saudi Arabian and Palestinian origin which describe the systematic and ongoing transfer of large sums of money to the PA areas by Saudi Arabian institutions and associations for "support of the Intifada". These sums are transferred for various purposes: support for families of those killed in the Intifada, including to families of suicide terrorists killed during attacks; support for families of imprisoned terrorists; aid for medical care of wounded terrorists; various projects, occasionally of a political nature such as renovation of the Cave of the Patriarchs and nearby houses, or rehabilitation of houses in the old city of Jerusalem.

2. On the face of it, this looks like Saudi Arabian aid of a religious humanitarian nature, as Saudi Arabian spokesmen in the US claim. However, the captured documents reveal another side to the Saudi aid: from the documents it is clear that these funds served, inter alia, for supporting terrorist organizations and for encouraging the violence carried out in the PA areas since September 2000. In this framework the Saudis transferred funds to the Hamas Organization (on the US list of terror organizations), to entities and persons identified with it, to other radical groups in the PA areas and to families of suicide terrorists who carried out murderous attacks in Israeli densely populated areas.

Among the Saudi Arabian institutions and organizations involved in transferring funds for "aid to the Intifada", of note is the place of the "Saudi Arabian Committee for Support of the Intifada al Quds", headed by Saudi Interior Minister, the Emir Naif Ibn Abed al Aziz. This committee, according to the captured documents, transferred large sums of money to families of Palestinians who died in violent events, including notorious terrorists who masterminded and directed murderous attacks in Israel or who carried out attacks in which hundreds of Israelis were killed and wounded. The captured documents reveal that the Saudi committee was well aware of which families received the aid funds, and in some cases also of the circumstances under which the suicide terrorists met their death. This, in our assessment according to the information they received from Islamic entities in the PA areas, including from the "Charity Committee" of Tulkarm, which is identified with the Hamas (where the Saudi documents were found, including tables of the Saudi Arabian committee with details of the money transfer cycles to the families of those killed in the Intifada).

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The main implications of the transfer of large sums of money with no effective supervision to terrorist organizations, the persons and entities affiliated with these organizations, and to families of terrorists are threefold:

Encouragement of terror attacks

Terror activities, including suicide attacks engender handsome rewards for the dead terrorists' families, from Arab states who compete between them in this regard. Of note among these states is Iraq (first place) and Saudi Arabia (second place). According to our calculations, the family of a Palestinian killed in the Intifada receives a lump sum in aid from Arab states and the PA which is the equivalent of 6 years average salary (see Appendix F). It is known that in addition to the lump sum, the Saudis also give the families of killed terrorists ongoing financial aid, and they also help families of the imprisoned and wounded (for example, in captured documents appears a list of 500 prisoners bearing the logo of the Saudi Committee for Support of Intifada al Quds). A terrorist who sets out to carry out attacks knows that his family will receive large sums of money in the event of his death, injury or detention. This undoubtedly increases the motivation of terrorists sent to carry out terror attacks and encourages the suicide attacks phenomenon

Strengthening the Hamas' attacks apparatus

It can be assumed that some of the funds that were transferred to the Hamas or entities linked to it also "trickled" to the Hamas operational-military apparatus ("Iz Al-Din Al-Qassam Battalions") and were used for funding military activity and terrorist attacks. It is of note in this connection that during Operation Defensive Shield, large quantities of documents belonging to the Hamas and its operational wing, the "Iz Al-Din Al-Qassam Battalions" were found in the Tulkarm "Charity Committee" which has ties with the Saudi committee. These documents included incitement to carry out Jihad and terrorism, encouragement of suicide attacks and photos of suicide terrorists (for example, a leaflet of the "Iz Al-Din Al-Qassam Battalions" claiming responsibility for the murder of Israeli civilians at the Park Hotel, Netanya on Passover Eve; or an excerpt from the will of Dr. Abdallah Azam, the spiritual mentor and good friend of Usama Bin Laden, who preaches for Jihad and whose goal is to destroy all the "idol worshippers, heretics and wicked".

Strengthening the Hamas' status among the Palestinian population and weakening the Palestinian Authority

The aid funds that were transferred by the Saudi committee and by Islamic institutions from around the world (including those identified with radical Islam) were in many instances funneled to institutions and persons identified with the Hamas (including the Tulkarm "Charity Committee"). The local Palestinian population identified these aid funds with the Hamas movement and with the widespread system of welfare and charity institutions under its control. This increased the popular support for the Hamas movement, weakened the political and popular power and status of the PA and created a socio-economic infrastructure for the Hamas upon which it built its operational attacks apparatus.

The captured documents show that the PA and Arafat at its head were well aware of these negative implications, and they were especially concerned with the strengthening of the status of the Hamas vis-a-vis the PA. The PA attempts in the first months of the "Intifada" to urge the Saudis to send this aid via the PA (see Appendix E) were unsuccessful since the Saudis, for their own reasons, preferred to send the funds to Islamic entities, and mainly those identified with the Hamas. At the same time, the security apparatuses of the PA and the "Ministry of Holy Places" subordinate to it did not act in an effective manner in order to supervise the transfer of money to the "charity committees" and to additional bodies identified with the Hamas and with radical Islam. This, in our view, due to apprehension of public criticism and due to the budgetary limitations which prevented the PA from providing suitable alternatives to the large sums of money funneled to Hamas and entities identified with it.

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General Characterization of the Captured Documents

General Characterization of the Captured Documents

1. The captured documents regarding Saudi aid to terrorism examined in this report are divided into two groups:

a. Saudi documents, including those of the "Saudi Committee for Support of Intifada al Quds" which concern the transfer of funds to Islamic institutions in the PA, mainly those identified with the Hamas and to families of those killed during the Intifada, included terrorists killed in suicide and murderous attacks.

b. Palestinian documents - Reports of Palestinian security apparatuses on the transfer of money and documents concerning unsuccessful PA attempts to contend with the problems regarding the transfer of Saudi funds to Hamas and additional radical elements.

2. Below is a general characterization of two Saudi documents examined in this report (for analysis of the documents, their translation and copies, please see the appendices):

a. Captured Document 1 - The Tulkarm "Charity Committee" was found in possession of tables detailing payment cycles, including the tenth cycle of payments to families of persons killed in the Intifada in the West Bank. The document of the tenth cycle of payments was found in the computer of the Tulkarm "Charity Committee" (in a "payments" file dated 17 March 2002). The "logo" which appears in the tables is of the "Saudi Arab Kingdom, the Saudi Committee for Support of Intifada al Quds". In the tenth cycle of payments, the Saudis paid 2,040,000 Riyal (about $545,000) to 102 families of those who died during the Intifada. The list includes names of terrorists who carried out murderous suicide attacks in Israeli populated centers and were responsible for the death and wounding of hundreds of Israelis. Each family whose son was killed received 20,000 Riyal ($5,340). The money was transferred to families of terrorists killed in the PA areas through the Arab Bank in Tulkarm and was handed over to beneficiaries whose names and ID number are mentioned in the table.

b. Captured Document 2 - A letter addressed to the "Saudi Committee for Support of Intifada al Quds", to the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the "Psychological and Social Research Center for the Wounded Palestinian". In the letter, the Saudis complain of a report published in "Al Hayyat Al Jedida" (a PA publication) on 18 February 2002. In the article, the Palestinian Center declared that it is working in cooperation with the Saudi committee and that the families of terrorists killed will be able to receive appropriations in Arab Bank branches (the relevant article from the paper was attached to the letter). This public exposure of money transfers apparently embarrassed the Saudis since they informed in a letter to the Palestinian association that the committee's regulations prohibits publications in its name without written approval or official appointment. The letter is signed by Dr. Walid Bin Abed Al-Razak Al-Dali, the general secretary of the Saudi committee.

3. Below is a general characterization of the Palestinian documents (please see the appendices for copies of these documents and their translation):

a. Captured Document 3 - A memorandum sent by the Preventive Security Apparatus HQ in Bethlehem on 15 February 2001. The memorandum notes that during January, Saudi Arabia transferred aid to Palestinians imprisoned in Israel. The Saudis refused to transfer the aid via the PA, fearing that these funds will not reach the prisoners. The money was sent to the Hamas who paid only its own leaders and hid the rest of the money. Only after the exposure of the affair in Megiddo prison, since some prisoners received money and others did not, was the Hamas forced to pay all prisoners from all the organizations.

b. Captured Document 4 - A memorandum sent by the Preventive Security Apparatus HQ in Bethlehem on 7 May 2000. The memorandum concerns the financial sources of the PIJ in Bethlehem. According to the document, there are two channels for transferring money to the PIJ in the Bethlehem area: one originates in Damascus, passes through Jordan before arriving to the Cairo-Amman Bank. The second begins in Saudi Arabia, passes through Egypt and arrived to the PA also via the Cairo-Amman Bank. According to the memorandum, this money arrives on a regular monthly basis.

c. Captured Document 5 - Correspondence comprising five documents between the PA and the Saudis during the first months of the Intifada (December 2000 - January 2001). In these documents, Arafat complains about the fact that the Saudi aid is not transferred to the PA areas via the PA, and it does not reach the Fatah, but is given to Hamas and radical Islamic groups associated with Hamas, thus weakening the PA. The documents concern discussions held in Riyadh between the Palestinians and the Saudis on this issue. In hindsight, it can be stated that Arafat failed in his attempt to persuade the Saudis to channel the financial aid via the PA, and the phenomenon of transferring Saudi funds to Hamas elements continued and continues until the present day.

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Analysis of the Captured Documents: The Saudi Committee for Support of Intifada al Quds

1. The "Saudi Committee for Support of Intifada al Quds" is a Saudi body established in order to assist the Palestinians after the outbreak of the violent confrontation in September 2000. The "committee" operates under the full patronage of the Saudi regime, and is headed by the Saudi Interior Minister, Emir Naef Ibn Abed Al Aziz. Prior to IDF Operation Defensive Shield, the committee transferred to the PA areas, according to its declarations, $55.7 million. A significant part of the committee's contributions is not devoted to aid the general needy population, but is openly transferred to families of persons killed in the Intifada including - according to captured documents - families of notorious terrorists killed in murderous suicide attacks against Israel.

2. It is recalled that Saudi Arabia recently collected a sum of $109.56 million (according to the internet site of the Saudi Embassy in Washington) during a "telethon" to raise money for the "Palestinian victims". Most of the activities held in the framework of the "telethon" were directed by the "Saudi Committee for Support of the Intifada" which channeled a large part of the donations to itself.

3. The Arab Bank appears in the captured documents as a financial institution through which the money transfers of the Saudi committee is carried out. The Saudi financial support of terrorist families in the Tulkarm area was transferred via the local Arab Ba