Saudi Arabia has long been accused of propagating its strict Wahhabi (or Salafi) interpretation of Islam – the interpretation that all Sunni extremist terrorists of the world adhere to.
It is a known fact that in 2012 and 2013 rich individuals from the Gulf practically took bags of cash to Turkey and handed them over to extremist groups in Syria to topple Bashar al-Assad’s government.
Graduating soldiers from the Saudi special forces’ anti-terror unit demonstrate their skills in protecting VIPs under attack in Riyadh May 17, 2009. REUTERS/Fahad Shadeed
Their motive was not to help the people genuinely being oppressed under Assad’s rule but to overthrow the Syrian President because he is from the minority Alawite sect.
Speaking to BBC on Monday, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Interior spokesman Major General Mansour Al-Turki accepted that there had been a ‘misuse of our [Saudi Arabian] financial system’ but no funding of terrorism or terrorist organisation.
Al-Turki, told HARDtalk’s Stephen Sackur: “We did not fund any terrorist organisations. We did not fund any.”
Major General Mansoor al-Turki. NBC
In what can be seen as a direct reference to Iran – though Iran is a Shia-majority country and has no links of any kind with Wahhabi Islamic State – Al-Turki said, “Islamic State is a front which was made by sponsors of terrorism to target Saudi Arabia.”
He claimed that no country on earth was doing as much as Riyadh was doing. Calling Islamic State a genuine threat Al-Turki said that the barbaric terror group committed 50 crimes resulting in 65 deaths.
The truth is that tens of billions of dollars flowed from Saudi Arabia into the hands of terrorists, which clearly points to the fact that was more than just ‘misuse’.
Saudi security forces demonstrating their counter-terror skills.Mosaab Elshamy/AP
When Sackur repeatedly questions him about the misuse, a flustered Al-Turki defends himself saying that the billions were contributed by individuals who thought they were helping poor Muslims.
In his claimed that the funds were misused long before terror existed.
Very recently Saudi Arabia formed a mammoth military alliance of 34 countries, all but one Islamic. They kept Iran and anyone aligned to Tehran out of it. Though the pretence is to form a united force against terrorism, experts have their own reservations.
“Wahhabi mosques are financed all over the world by Saudi Arabia. In Germany, many dangerous Islamists come from these communities,” he told Reuters.
“Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support base for Al-Qaeda, the Taliban, LeT, other terrorist groups, including Hamas, which probably raise millions of dollars annually from Saudi sources,” she had said.
She even rejected Saudi Arabia’s claims that they are acting against terrorism.
“Riyadh has taken only limited action to disrupt fund-raising for the UN 1267-listed Taliban and LeT groups that are also aligned with Al-Qaeda and focused on undermining stability in Afghanistan and Pakistan.”
Pro-Saudi and Wahhabi followers have been continuously defending the Kingdom but this cartoon perhaps best represents how Saudi Arabia has been assisting terrorism.