Today's Article
Osama bin Laden and
most of the 9/11
hijackers were from
Saudi Arabia - yet
Trump fails to mention
Saudis in his travel
The American Spark
Saudi Arabia Is The Danger Mr. Trump, Not Islam

By Cliff Montgomery - Mar. 31st, 2017

Trump’s travel bans on numerous Muslim-majority countries remain one of the most contested aspects of his
White House rule, as they appear to be little more than blatant acts of unconstitutional religious discrimination.
After all, the man once pointedly declared that as president, he would work to create “a total and complete
shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.”

The majority of Muslim authorities retort that the real problem is not found in Islam or in Arabic traditions, but
rather in an ultra-conservative movement that has long played a very special role in the government of Saudi
Arabia - a nation which inexplicably is one of the few Middle Eastern countries not covered by Trump’s travel

Consider these simple facts:

  • Wealthy Saudis often are cited as financiers for numerous terrorist activities.

The roots of the terrorist problem often are found in the teachings of a controversial man called
Ibn Taymiyyah
(born in 1263; died in 1328).

“Ibn Taymiyyah is regarded as the spiritual godfather of the
Wahhabi movement, and of most modern
extremist and jihadi groups,” according to Philip Jenkins in his work
The Lost History of Christianity.

“Among many others, Osama bin Laden cites him as a special hero,” added Jenkins.

Wahhabism was created by Muhammed Ibn Abdul Wahhab (c. 1703-1792). But it’s clear that many Muslim
leaders hate his teachings.

For instance, a short but damning study of the Wahhabi movement was released in 1997 by the Education
Department of the Islamic Centre in Leicester, England - four years before the World Trade Center and
Pentagon attacks of September 11th, 2001.

The study flatly declared that Abdul Wahhab “was a foolish and poorly-educated person” who “did hold false
views and absurd beliefs,” and pointedly added that he “was a tyrant, rebel, cruel and a transgressor.”

Not exactly a ringing endorsement for the founder of the Wahhabi movement.

Other Muslim sources say similar things. The As-Sunnah Foundation of America released a fine study on the
matter titled,
Wahhabism - Understanding the Roots and Role Models Of Islamic Extremism.

“The most extremist pseudo-Sunni movement today is Wahhabism (also known as Salafism),” declared the

“To a Wahhabi-Salafi, all those who differ with them - including Sunni Muslims, Shi’ite Muslims, Christians,

and Jews -  are infidels who are fair targets,” it added.

“The extremist interpretations of Wahhabism, although previously confined to small pockets of people in
Arabia,” continued the report, “has survived to this day under the protection, finance, and tutelage of the
Saudi state religious organs.”

“This has transformed Wahhabism – and related Salafi groups that receive inspiration and support from them –
from a regional to a global threat,” it declared.

Historians confirm the essentials of these statements.

Robert Lacey’s 2009 book,
Inside the Kingdom: Kings, Clerics, Modernists, Terrorists, and the Struggle for
Saudi Arabia
, declares that 18th Century ruler Muhammad Ibn Saud - founder of the Saud dynasty - and the
creator of Wahhabism made a fateful pact.

“Ibn Saud would protect and propagate the stern doctrines of the Wahhabi mission,” wrote Lacey, and “in
return, Abdul Wahhab would support the ruler, supplying him with ‘glory and power.’ ” For “whoever
championed his message, [Abdul Wahhab] promised, ‘will, by means of it, rule over lands and men.’ ”

Gilles Kepel wrote in his 2002 book,
Jihad: The Trail of Political Islam, that “The financial clout of Saudi
Arabia” is what has “allowed Saudi Arabia’s puritanical, conservative Wahhabite faction to attain a preeminent
position of strength in the global expression of Islam.”

A number of wealthy Saudis do appear to have served as financiers for Wahhabi-influenced terrorist activities
around the globe. A special bank of choice was the now-defunct Bank of Credit and Commerce International

BCCI was founded in 1972 by Pakistani banker Agha Hasan Abedi. Its corporate specialty was money
laundering. It served as the banker for drug and arms traffickers, con-men, corrupt officials, dictators and

Wealthy Saudis apparently had more than a financial interest in the bank. A CIA memo on BCCI in the mid-
1980s stated that “its principal shareholders are among the power elite of the Middle East, including ... several
influential Saudi Arabians. They are less interested in profitability than in promoting the Muslim [i.e., Jihadist]

The biggest BCCI investor was Khalid Salem bin Mahfouz, a former chairman of the National Commercial
Bank - the largest bank in Saudi Arabia - and thus a leading banker to King Fahd and other members of the
Saudi royal family.

By the 1980s, Bin Mahfouz had bought 20 to 30 percent of BCCI stock for nearly one billion dollars, and
became one of the bank’s directors.

Before his death in 2009, Bin Mahfouz issued a statement on his website declaring that he “never knowingly
made any donation to Al Qaeda or to any organization or person acting on Al Qaeda’s behalf or to any other
terrorist organization.” Yet his lawyer did acknowledge that in 1988, Bin Mahfouz once donated at least
$270,000 to fund Osama bin Laden’s terrorist activities after a request from Osama’s brother Salem bin Laden.

Bin Mahfouz’s lawyer claimed the “donation was to assist the US-sponsored resistance to the Soviet
occupation of Afghanistan and was never intended nor, to the best of Sheikh Khalid’s knowledge, ever used to
fund any ‘extension’ of that resistance movement in other countries.”

So Bin Mahfouz admitted to funding “resistance” (i.e., terrorist) activities against the Russian people, but
essentially claimed he would have refused to fund such attacks if they were to be perpetrated against any
other individuals in the world. It is an odd argument ...

BCCI pilfered somewhere between $9.5 billion and $15 billion before it was shut down in 1991. Most of it was
never recovered - making BCCI’s 20-year existence one of the most notorious bank scandals in history.

Not that this meltdown effected Khalid bin Mahfouz, who somehow remained flush with cash. In 1992, he
created the
Muwafaq (‘Blessed Relief’) Foundation in the offshore Channel Islands.

The U.S. Treasury Department has called Muwafaq “an al-Qaeda front that transfers millions from wealthy
Saudis to Bin Laden.” The United States government did not charge Bin Mahfouz with funding terrorist
activities via the Muwafaq Foundation; but Saudi national Yasin al-Qadi, who ran the charity, was declared a
terrorist supporter and his assets were duly frozen by the Treasury Department.

And it gets worse.

“In early spring 2002, American intelligence agents tipped off authorities in Bosnia-Herzegovina that
something wasn’t quite right with the ‘Benevolence International Foundation,’ ” according to a 2005 article
Der Spiegel.

“Their reaction was swift; special forces stormed eight offices of the Islamic foundation in Sarajevo and in
Zenica,” declared
Der Spiegel, adding the special forces “found weapons and explosives, videos and flyers
calling for holy war.

“More importantly, however, they discovered a computer with a mysterious file entitled “Tarich Osama” -

Arabic for “Osama’s Story,” said the news source.

In this massive file was a list of over 20 leading Saudi and Gulf State bankers, politicians and businessmen.

Al-Qaeda defector Jamal al-Fadl called this list the “Golden Chain,” and declared it an authentic list of al-
Qaeda’s financial supporters.

Khalid bin Mahfouz was one of the names on that list, according to international expert on terrorist financial
activities Jean-Charles Brisard.

This of course should not be taken as a declaration that every Saudi is dedicated to a Wahhabi-influenced
terrorist cause - far from it. But if the people of any country may rationally deserve a more stringent review for
their possible ties to a terrorist group, it may be those hailing from Saudi Arabia.

But Trump appears unwilling to demand such a review for these individuals or their petro-dollars.

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