Following a landmark arms deal, President Trump told the Saudis they must confront Iran. He accused the Iranians of fomenting “destruction and chaos” in the Middle East and providing “safe harbor, financial backing and the social standing needed for recruitment.”
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) May 21, 2017
Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud agreed. He said “the Iranian regime has been the spearhead of global terrorism.”
In fact, King Salman, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, are the spearhead of global terrorism.
Salman “oversaw the collection of private funds to support the Afghan mujahideen in the 1980s… In the early years of the war—before the US and the Kingdom ramped up their secret financial support for the anti-Soviet insurgency—this private Saudi funding was critical to the war effort. At its peak, Salman was providing $25 million a month to the mujahedeen,” writes former CIA official Bruce Riedel. The mujahideen would later splinter into al-Qaeda and the Taliban.
In 1992, Salman was appointed by King Fahd to found and head the Saudi High Commission for Aid to Bosnia (SHC), which by 2002 had delivered over $600 million in aid, writes Nafeez Ahmed.
But a raid by NATO forces on SHC’s Sarajevo office shortly after 9/11 found a range of terrorist materials, including photographs and detailed maps marking government buildings in Washington, before-and-after photos of terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, and hand-written notes of meetings with Osama bin Laden. An estimated $41 million of the SHC’s operating funds was missing.
Yet throughout this period, US intelligence was fully aware of Saudi sponsorship of al-Qaeda affiliated militants, but did nothing about it.
NSA intercepts caught the Saudis transferring money to radical Islamic terrorists. Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh wrote that “the intercepts show that the Saudi government, working through Prince Salman [bin Abdul Aziz], contributed millions to charities that, in turn, relayed the money to fundamentalists. ‘We knew that Salman was supporting all of the causes.’”
The NSA intercepts proved, according to the New Yorker, that senior Saudi royals were “channelling hundreds of millions of dollars in what amounts to protection money to fundamentalist groups that wish to overthrow it.” By 1996, the US intelligence community had amassed clear evidence that “Saudi money was supporting Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda and other extremist groups in Afghanistan, Lebanon, Yemen, and Central Asia, and throughout the Persian Gulf region.”
Indeed, that year an extensive CIA report on the use of NGOs as fronts for terrorist financing concluded: “We continue to have evidence that even high ranking members of the collecting or monitoring agencies in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Pakistan—such as the Saudi High Commission [run by then Prince Salman]—are involved in illicit activities, including support for terrorists.”
In early 2015, al-Qaeda operative Zacarias Moussaoui claimed in testimony “that members of the Saudi royal family provided extensive funding to al-Qaeda throughout the 1990s, including Prince Turki al-Faisal and Prince Bandar. Moussaoui also described ‘meeting in Saudi Arabia with Salman, then the crown prince, and other Saudi royals while delivering them letters from Osama bin Laden.’”
During Trump’s speech, Salman called on Gulf Cooperation Council leaders to “reject extremism, work on fighting all forms of terrorism, stop its financing and its propagation, dry up its sources, and stand firm in confronting this scourge that poses a danger to all of humanity.”
He promised to prosecute terrorists and terror financing, to “eradicate” the ISIS terror army “and other terrorist organizations regardless of their religious, sect or ideology.”
— Caleb T. Maupin (@calebmaupin) May 20, 2017
Left unmentioned is the fact virtually all terror groups in the Middle East—including the Islamic State, al-Qaeda, and al-Nusra (now Jabhat Fatah al-Sham)—subscribe to the Wahhabi version of Sunni Islam and would not exist without the assistance and encouragement of the Gulf Emirates.
Instead, Iran was singled out. From Financial Times:
Donald Trump has launched a fierce attack on Iran, just one day after the country re-elected its moderate president on a platform of re-engagement with the outside world.
Speaking to an audience of Muslim leaders in Saudi Arabia, the US president singled out Tehran for fuelling “the fires of sectarian conflict and terror” as he called on Gulf nations to “drive out terrorists and extremists”.
Mr Trump’s stance contrasts starkly with his predecessor Barack Obama, who two years ago struck a landmark nuclear deal with Iran and whose administration had a strained relationship with Tehran’s Sunni rivals in the Gulf.
He said the fight against Iran is a “battle between good and evil.”
The Financial Times did not clarify how Obama’s “strained relationship” with Saudi Arabia resulted in a $115 billion weapons sale. It was a record that beat the Jared Kushner negotiated $110 billion arms deal.