WikiLeaks: Saudis Are Chief Supporters of Terrorists

(New York Times) Eric Lichtblau and Eric Schmitt - Nine years after the U.S. vowed to shut down the money pipeline that finances terrorism, senior Obama administration officials say millions of dollars are flowing unimpeded to extremist groups worldwide from U.S. allies in the Middle East, according to secret diplomatic dispatches. A classified memo sent by Secretary of State Clinton last December made it clear that residents of Saudi Arabia and its neighbors are the chief financial supporters of many extremist activities. "It has been an ongoing challenge to persuade Saudi officials to treat terrorist financing emanating from Saudi Arabia as a strategic priority," the cable said, concluding that "donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide." The dispatch and others offered similarly grim views about the UAE, Qatar, and Kuwait. The U.S. Embassy in Riyadh reported in February that Saudi authorities remained "almost completely dependent on the CIA" for leads and direction on terrorist financing. A month earlier, the embassy reported that Treasury Department officials had provided information to the Saudi domestic intelligence service on three senior Taliban leaders who had made several fund-raising trips to the kingdom.

2010-12-06 08:19:36

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