Skip to comments.The Saudi Pipeline Petro-Dollars, Palestinian Terror -- And A U.S. Blind Eye
Posted on 07/04/2002 10:30:21 AM PDT by habaes corpussel
Moral clarity, it seems, is always in danger when the U.S. foreign-policy establishment gets around to addressing the issue of Saudi Arabia. Documents of indisputable authenticity, captured by Israel during its West Bank incursion earlier this year, show in stunning detail how Saudi petro-dollars are fueling Palestinian terrorism; to which documents the U.S. State Department is turning a very deliberate blind eye.
The Bush administration has endeavored to cut off funding for terrorist networks by freezing assets and blocking terrorists' access to banks in nations allied to the U.S. It is apparent, however, that some Saudi cash was transferred to Palestinian terrorists by way of the Cairo-Amman Bank in Egypt -- which is to say, it passed through two nations that are our nominal allies. How could funds headed for known terrorist organizations have moved unchecked through systems in these countries? Some of the Saudi funds actually reached a Hamas-allied group, the Tulkarm Charity Committee (TCC), by going through banks in an even more surprising place: the United States. Financial binders found at TCC's West Bank offices showed Saudi fund transfers through both Chase Manhattan Bank and Citibank in New York State.
Given that the Treasury Department has compiled a list of known terrorists and terrorist organizations -- with which U.S. banks are forbidden to do business -- it would appear that these banks have made a colossal error, and failed to follow a pretty clear presidential order to block terrorist funds.
Unfortunately, though, this perception is incorrect. In fact, neither the Saudi organization primarily responsible for funding Palestinian terrorism nor the TCC is found in the president's executive order listing group and individual sponsors of terrorism. This should be at least somewhat surprising, given the wealth of information showing that Saudis gave money explicitly intended for families of homicide bombers and other terrorists. But it's less surprising when you consider that the State Department is in the business of burying the truth about Saudi Arabia. In May, secretary of state Colin Powell was asked on NBC's Meet the Press whether the Saudis were giving money to families of homicide bombers; despite clear evidence to the contrary, he responded that he believed the Saudi line that the funds were being used purely for humanitarian aid.
The documents Israel found in the West Bank constitute a substantial paper trail connecting terrorists to the House of Saud. Memos show that Saudi funds came into the Palestinian territories as block grants for families of terrorists and others, with individual payments made to recipients explicitly listed by the Saudis.
The Saudi Committee for Support of the Intifada Al Quds -- Al Quds is the Arabic phrase for Jerusalem -- spearheaded a much-publicized $109.6 million Saudi fundraising telethon for Palestinian "martyrs," and is also the subject of the most damning evidence. Even before the telethon, the group had transferred at least $55.7 million to various groups in the West Bank and Gaza; according to informed sources, the actual amount most likely is significantly higher than that. The Saudi Committee -- headed by Saudi interior minister Prince Nayif bin Abd al-Aziz and financially supported by the royal family -- knowingly gave money to homicide bombers and other terrorists responsible for attacks that killed more than 90 Israelis and wounded over 600. And that's just in the last of ten payment rounds.
The TCC, which received the funds from the Saudis, works hand-in-glove with Hamas, the group responsible for 40 percent of the homicide bombings during the intifada. The TCC doles out social and welfare benefits to Palestinians, and thus constitutes the chief means by which Hamas buys support among the Palestinian people. The headquarters of this supposedly humanitarian group had materials encouraging the murder of Jews, and even a celebratory poster of the homicide bomber who murdered 29 and injured 140 in the Netanya Passover massacre.
And, contrary to Secretary Powell's belief that Saudi cash was used for humanitarian purposes, money was specifically earmarked for known terrorists: The Saudi Committee listed the names of the terrorists, as well as the locations of the attacks. Out of the 106 names on the list of the last of the ten "block grants" -- the only one fully analyzed by Israel so far -- more than one-third of the recipients were families of terrorists, including eight homicide bombers.
The Saudi Committee claims to support the Arafat regime, but it has funneled most of its largess through Hamas-affiliated organizations. In a series of urgent letters to Saudi officials shortly after the start of the intifada, Arafat complained: "The Saudi committee responsible for transferring the contributions to beneficiaries is sending large sums to radical committees and associations, including the Islamic Association, which belongs to Hamas, and brothers belonging to the Jihad in all areas." Arafat said that funding Hamas "strengthens these brothers" -- and thus undermines "the rule of the PA over its people."
The Saudi funding of Hamas is probably designed less to destabilize Arafat than to protect the Saudi ruling elite. The Heritage Foundation's James Phillips notes that the funding for terrorists is very much of a piece with Saudi Arabia's overall approach to foreign policy: "buying peace internally by pointing terrorism elsewhere." This protection-racket theory explains why Saudi cash was spread so broadly: One terrorist block grant was designated for 500 prisoners, and an internal PA memo suggests that one of the two main sources of regular monthly funding for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad was Saudi.
The State Department has full knowledge of the terrorist activities of both the Saudi Committee and the TCC, yet has done nothing to curb the finances of either organization. Why? State's Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs (NEA) is "holding on like tigers to the Mideast peace process and Saudi Arabia," explains a senior administration official -- which means, in practice, that many groups openly funding terrorism in the Mideast are given a free pass by America's career diplomats. Another administration official says that NEA careerists are so enamored with Arab states -- including Saudi Arabia -- that they "would not let facts get in the way of their analysis." The official goes on to say: "No one seriously doubts the veracity of the information contained in [the documents seized by Israel]." The NEA knows of the documents, and does not dispute their authenticity; it just refuses to attach any significance to the uncontested evidence that Saudi dollars fuel terrorism.
The conspicuous absence of the Saudi Committee and the TCC from the "block-and-freeze" list is symptomatic of a larger problem in the vital financial component of the war against terrorism. Though the executive order was greeted with great fanfare at its signing less than two weeks after 9/11, the effort has since run aground, with a mere 210 names currently on the list. Considering that al-Qaeda has cells in at least 60 nations and that the list contains both groups and individuals, 210 worldwide (two of which are Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda) is a paltry number. A glaring example of the glacial pace of the list's compilers is that the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, which has claimed credit for more homicide bombings than any other terrorist entity and is part of Arafat's machine, was added to the list only on March 27, 2002 -- fully six months after the executive order was signed. More damning still is that Fatah, part and parcel of the same homicide-bombing factory as al-Aqsa, has yet to be placed on the list; thus, al-Aqsa can simply get around the presidential edict by doing business under its other name, Fatah.
The Saudi Committee and the TCC, however, don't need to operate under false pretenses or fake names. Despite compelling evidence of direct facilitation of terrorism, the State Department steadfastly refuses to recognize the Saudi Committee or the TCC as terrorists. You can't win a war without naming the enemy.
See: [Arab] Businessmen hit out at US move to target Saudis, Arab News, July 1, 2002, by Dhafir Al-Julfan (posted by SJackson).
See: Are too many Muslims in denial about September 11?, The Telegraph (U.K.), by Barbara Amiel, Mar. 4, 2002 (posted by Pokey78).
See: A Ray of Arab Candor: A U. N. report by Middle-Eastern intellectuals blames Arab culture, City Journal, July 4, 2002, by Victor Davis Hanson (posted by aculeus).
See: Many Saudis among 293 arrested [Pak], Frontier Post, July 4, 2002, by Shujaat Ali Khan (posted by Ranger).
Said Tim Carney:
"In fact, what was offered (by the Sudanese) was to expel bin Laden to Saudi Arabia ... and the Saudis, because he was such a hot potato, simply refused to handle him,"
In Saudi Arabia, the leadership, in general, are revolting from the decadence which they believe to have resulted from the peoples' too close a proximity to the American media [generation]. As such, the leaders feel threatened by "Americanization." The Saudis, however by their methods, seem to be intent upon committing suicide in the name of trying to "save" their Royal butts from "Western Culture."
Furthermore, the Saudis are afraid that the communist-supported fascist-Islamic revolution which over-threw the Shah of Iran, has grown enough in Arabia to over-throw the House of Saud.
Also, the Saudis figured to appease Saddam Hussein, whenafter the last throw of cruise missiles by Bill Clinton's attempt to diffuse the concentration of the American public upon his Impeachment Trial in the U.S. Senate ... Saddam appeared, at the minimum, to win ... and so the Saudis upped the price of oil as tribute to Saddam.
In a similar vein, the Saudis are attempting to appease the fascists among their neighbors, among their subjects, and among themselves --- by attacking western culture and the United States of America.
When the Saudis ought to be busting their butts, to gather up all the Taliban and Al-Qaeda before they do further harm.
In the event that a "human wave" attack, here, by these folks who "hate us," running fuel-laden fire trucks or tankers into local schools, or hospitals, or shopping malls, or apartment complexes ... how are Americans going to react?
The Bush [still running 75% of the Clinton] Administration will attempt to control the people.
The people, much to the surprise of the Bush [still running 75% of the Clinton] Administration, are going to feel differently. They're going to be lookin' around for who caused such a thing, and President Bush's pleadings on behalf of the House of Saud will not hold, nor control much of, the wrath.
Yet, the Saudis support[ed] Osama bin Laden.
The Saudis believe in using terrorism as an economic means; they will support terrorism, which is actually a sub-class of piracy, wherever it will effectively obstruct the "oil bidness" competition.
The Saudis are undeniably members of the Axis of Terrorism against which the United States is at war.
Save the people of Saudi Arabia who would rather fight for their peace and liberty, and a judicial system which is not a direct, as well as absolute, branch of Islam ...
WE are funding Islamic Terrorism.
Sometimes looking into the mirror can be a scary thing.
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