Today's Article
Senators boldly
point out Saudi ties
to al-Qaeda and
other Islamist terror
The American Spark
Congressional Committee Looks Into Saudi Ties To Al-Qaeda,

By Cliff Montgomery - Mar. 8th, 2007

Buried in the
Senate's Congressional Record for February 8, 2007 is an interesting speech given by Sen.
Ron Wyden
(D-OR), who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee. It dealt with the support in both dollars
and ideology which
Bush Administration "ally" Saudi Arabia has continually given to terrorist organizations,
including al-Qaeda.

The Senate was scheduled to hold a closed hearing on this topic later that day. We quote from Sen. Wyden's
eye-opening speech below:

"It is impossible to talk about funding terrorism without mentioning Saudi Arabia. With its extraordinary oil wealth,
Saudis have a tremendous economy which is home to many strains of extremist Islamist thought. Over the
years, the combination of wealth and extremism has proved to be a volatile combination.

"A few years ago, a telethon in Saudi Arabia raised more than $100 million for the families of 'Palestinian
martyrs', a group which reportedly included suicide bombers. According to public news reports, Saudi Arabia's
King Fahd, ordered the fundraising drive as a way to channel public anger in the kingdom against the
United States and Israel.

"A number of [U.S.] Government agencies have noted that Saudi Arabia is a source of funding for hate-filled
extremist ideologies, but Saudi-based support for terrorism does not stop there. In fact, it may be a part...of what
we face in this war against terrorism.

"According to the State Department, Saudi donors and unregulated charities have been a major source of
funding and support, not just for groups that preach radical ideologies but for actual
terrorist organizations.

"I wish to cite now some specific examples. An examination of the public record reveals clear connections with
some of the world's most infamous organizations, such as

"The staff of the
9/11 Commission, for example, noted that the intelligence community identified Saudi Arabia
as the 'primary source of money for al-Qaida both before and after the September 11th attacks.'

"They went on to say 'fundraisers and facilitators throughout Saudi Arabia and the Gulf raised money for al-Qaida
from witting and unwitting donors and divert[ed] funds from Islamic charities and mosques.'

Iraq Study Group, to look at another effort to examine these issues, stated that 'Funding for the Sunni
insurgency in Iraq comes from private donors in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states,' and Iraqi officials have
reportedly asked the Saudi Government to do more to limit the support that these donors provide to Iraqi

"The State Department has [also] reported that private Saudi donors are a primary source of funding for

"Early last year, Ambassador Crumpton, the State Department's coordinator for counterterrorism, told a House
subcommittee that the Saudi Government...'conceded that [Saudi] money funding these terrorists is still going on.'

"[...]Money is flowing from Saudi Arabia to support insurgent groups in Iraq; money is flowing from Saudi Arabia
to Palestinian terrorist groups such as Hamas; money is flowing from Saudi Arabia to al-Qaida.

"[Israeli] Under Secretary of the Treasury Stewart Levey summed up this situation pretty clearly:

'Is money leaving Saudi Arabia to fund terrorism abroad? Yes. Undoubtedly some of that money is going to
Iraq, it's going to Southeast Asia, and it's going to other places where there are terrorists. There is money
leaving Saudi Arabia.'

"I think it is also appropriate to put this in the context of what it means to folks in Pennsylvania and Oregon and
everywhere else, and in effect what happens when you pull up at a gas station [in
America] is you are paying a
terror tax. A portion of what you pay for gasoline in Pennsylvania or Oregon or elsewhere, in effect, finds its way
eventually to the Government of Saudi Arabia, and then we see that the Saudis end up back-dooring it to various
kinds of terrorist organizations.

"The Government Accountability Office describes this problem very succinctly, stating it this way:

'Saudi Arabia's multibillion-dollar petroleum industry, although largely owned by the government, has fostered
the creation of large private fortunes, enabling many wealthy Saudis to sponsor charities and educational
foundations whose operations extend to many countries. Government and other expert reports have linked
some Saudi donations to the global  propagation of religious intolerance, hatred of Western values, and
support to terrorist activities. So that is what we are talking about when we talk about this terror tax which literally
is paid every time an American pulls up [to a gas station] and fills their tank with gasoline.'

"It is time to bring to light the way in which Saudi oil money is fueling the fires of terrorism so people can actually
see who is getting burned and what is necessary to protect the security and the well-being of Americans in a
perilous world."