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Saudi Arabia Number One Source of Terror Money

Which Country Gives the Most Money to Terrorists?

We constantly hear about Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan, but which country gives the most money to al Qaeda? Why, it's Saudi Arabia, a close US ally.

This week, Stuart A. Levey, a top financial counter-terrorism official in the Bush Administration, told a Senate committee that Saudi Arabia is the number one terrorist bankroller. Levey stressed that the Saudi government has provided operational cooperation against terrorists; but, the Kingdom has failed to eliminate dangerous funding networks as it promised it would years ago. For example, the government has not imposed charity oversight in order to stop "donations" to al Qaeda.

The fact that a US ally is the leading source of terrorist funds, shows that the situation in the Middle East cannot be expressed as good guys vs. bad guys. Just yesterday, al Qaeda's number two man said it was in the interest of al Qaeda to see Iran fail. But, wait — I thought the US didn't like Iran.

The US depends on other countries to help stop the flow of money to al Qaeda. Are you surprised by the revelation that its allies aren't doing their part?


This should not be a shocker. 98% of the hijackers on 9-11 were from Saudi Arabia. At this point, under this administration, they are untouchable, due to their financial backing of Dubya. It'd be like shooting the boss that overpayed you for a job that consisted of sleeping.
stephley stephley 9 years
It wasn't for our own good, but we didn't run in to save the Jews either.
stephley stephley 9 years
We could have strengthened our relations in Pakistan, Egypt, Jordan and even Saudi Arabia by not responding in exactly the way Islamic militants expected we would. Instead, we made any Islamic leader who said 'give them a chance' lose credibility. We could have invited moderate Islamic leaders and clerics to Washington. We could have sent American leaders and politicians on missions to assure the region that we held bin Laden responsible and not them. We began bombing Afghanistan less than a month after 9/11; the rhetoric against Iran heated up, and planning the attack on Iraq was underway by December 2001.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
You're right. WWII was purely for our own good
stephley stephley 9 years
Y'know Cabaker, I'm not anti-American or anti-military. I've studied history and worked in current events most of my adult life. I tend to be anti any war because there almost always is a chance to avoid slaughtering people - but passion, greed and ambition tend to win out. Wars are wrapped in noble causes, but are never fought simply to do good.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
We are trying to let the Iraqi people decide what kind of government they want. We are doing so by keeping the "various Iraqi factions" from using hostile means (ie: terrorism) to gain control through fear. That's not democratic. Since you have over looked Cabaker's clarification, I will apologize and respond. I do not mean to say that we have not been responsible for civilian deaths in Iraq. I am not that niave or stupid. I am saying that the US has not intentionally targeted the general population. Accidents happen in war. I wish we could do better, but we can't. We have progressed from the carpet bombing of WWII, but we can still do more. Finally, I just want to know what Islamic countries could we have built an alliance with? The news was ablaze with the various Islamic countries celebrating the attacks like they'd just brought down a huge demon.
stephley stephley 9 years
I never have and I never would say that American soldiers close their eyes and shoot - but to say flat out that we are not killing Iraqis is a lie. We are. We choose not to know how many civilians have been killed. Let the Iraqis decide who should be in charge of their country - ultimately, they're going to anyway. The 'insurgents' are not all outsiders - they are various Iraqi factions and the people they have brought in to fight with them. Calling them insurgents is a way to mask the truth of who they are. I wasn't commenting on democracy - I was pointing out that allowing people in a country to choose their form of government is democratic. The war in Iraq was not a proper response to 9/11 because there never was any credible evidence that Iraq or Saddam Hussein was involved in 9/11. We had the world's sympathy after 9/11 and instead of reaching out to Islamic countries and possibly building new alliances, we squandered the chance in a grab for oil.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
I also doubt that a group that wants to keep control of a nation will create anything resembling a democracy. In a democracy, the power is with the people. It's hard to keep control of the people for any length of time when the people being "controlled" are the ones with the power.
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
Steph you and I disagree on this daily! :) So just out of curiosity and to set the record straight once and for all, after 9/11 what would have been your ideal response? And since you probably didn't get that ideal response, what is your ideal solution for right now? Then at least maybe we can put this to bed once and for all!!
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
Nazis were German citizens, they still were our enemies. When UnDave says we're not killing Iraqis he means innocent Iraqis. Remember, we're not the ones strapping bombs to children and then having them blow up marketplaces. Of course in any war there is going to be innocent people who get caught in the crossfire, but we have no reliable statistics on how many Iraqis have died that way. So before we suggest that American soldiers just shoot with their eyes closed, lets make sure to have some facts to back that up. Have you read the rules on engagement for this war? They are absolutely slanted in favor or Iraqis, not in favor of the American soldier. And are you arguing that the Iraqis would be better off with the insurgents in power? Because I think thats a pretty flawed argument. "They will take over and create whatever type of government system they want." like in a democracy." Is this to suggest that a democracy is not the best form of government?
stephley stephley 9 years
You're saying that not one Iraqi has been killed by American fire in the past five years? That's not true. You might try and claim that we aren't targeting Iraqis, but even that's not true. Most of what you call enemy combatants are Iraqi citizens. We might not conduct pre-fight checks of the id's of all the enemy combatants that we're fighting in Iraq, but if you want to claim that not one of those enemy combatants killed by American fire was an Iraqi, then we're doing something really wrong if that many non-Iraqis have come across the border! "They will take over and create whatever type of government system they want." like in a democracy.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
It would be nation building if we began ruling those areas. We can't guarantee that the Iraqis will do what we want them to, but in a democracy, when it is a true democracy, the will of the people is usually for the good. And let's get one thing straight, we aren't killing Iraqi's. The enemy combatants are killing Iraqi's. If we leave, they won't. They will take over and create whatever type of government system they want.
stephley stephley 9 years
UnDave that sounds like nation building, and I thought Bush said he didn't do that. And in order to build the democracy in a smaller less vital country, shouldn't we ask the smaller country for their permission to be rebuilt? And how do you guarantee that these new democracies do what we want them to? We're kissing Saudis and killing Iraqis - how is that right?
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
How about this argument. We create a democracy in a smaller, less vital country to America, and then with their help create other democracies in increasingly larger mid-eastcountries, until we don't have to depend on Saudi oil, and then we can begin to effect changes both through diplomacy and military avenues.
vasanta vasanta 9 years
there is no solution to the middle east mess, is there... it always boils down to our dependency on foreign oil.
zeze zeze 9 years
and this is why Iraq makes no *(^*&%&%^&$$^n sense no matter how anyone spins it! Possible arguments-- We go in there b/c of terrorism - Saudia Arabia is a bigger terrorism threat. We go in there for WMDs - NONE TO BE FOUND; WE WERE WRONG We go in there to "liberate" and create a free democtratic society - Saudia Arabia has ALWAYS been much worse then Iraq as far as restricting human rights and encouraging radical beliefs.
siren6 siren6 9 years
Not surprised, no.
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
We would never invade a country that aids terrorists and represses and tortures their own people. I mean without making up a fictional reason first.
indielove indielove 9 years
"The US is pushing away terrorists with one hand and cuddlng their sponsors with the other." What can you expect, you know? Saudi Arabia is a very oil-rich country. They earn almost 1/2 their money from oil, America needs oil so they have to be buddy-buddy with the Saudis. One reason for that is that Hugo Chavez hates Bush and his country is in the top 5 for the most barrels of oil produced by a country per day so that's already a hindrance in getting top priority access to oil.
Jillness Jillness 9 years
I thought this was so well said by Liberty, it should be said again! "The fact that a US ally is the leading source of terrorist funds, shows that the situation in the Middle East cannot be expressed as good guys vs. bad guys. Just yesterday, al Qaeda's number two man said it was in the interest of al Qaeda to see Iran fail. But, wait — I thought the US didn't like Iran." I fully agree with the "good" vs "bad" labels, and was shocked to hear that Al Queda actually wants Iran to fail. I knew they wouldn't be allies, but I didn't know they wanted them to fail.
nyaradzom2001 nyaradzom2001 9 years
The cure for terrorism is going to be hard to find.
nyaradzom2001 nyaradzom2001 9 years
Oh brother it's like shooting yourself in the foot and then using acid to try and fix it. The US is pushing away terrorists with one hand and cuddlng their sponsors with the other. Diplomacy is a b!tch.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
What I have heard is that the reason the Saudi Gov. is slow to restrict certain avenues of these private not state donations is because a lot of that money goes to support non militants as well such as families etc. They say they are trying to figure out a way to do so with out leaving the innocent out in the cold. This is what I've heard in a broadcast interview. I no idea how factual it is.
bailaoragaditana bailaoragaditana 9 years
I say "we" - I mean the government. But whatever. The world sees it the same.
bailaoragaditana bailaoragaditana 9 years
Not when said ally is Saudi Arabia. We have to play nice with them and let them do what they want because they have two things we want: oil and oil money. :-(
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