A week ago, the Director of the CIA, Mike Pompeo, used his first trip abroad to present Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef with the CIA’s highest award for fighting terrorism, the George Tenet Medal.
Surprisingly the ceremony wasn’t covered by any of the major media, but was picked up on various blogsites where the news was greeted with predictable howls of outrage. Not surprisingly, most Americans and beyond still see Saudi Arabia as the epicentre of global terrorism, a point which was underlined in a recent research article by Alex Nowrasteh titled “Where America’s Terrorists Actually Come From”. After sifting through databases, media reports, court documents, and other sources, Alex Nowrasteh, an immigration expert at the libertarian Cato Institute, has arrived at a striking finding: Nationals of the seven countries singled out by Trump have killed zero people in terrorist attacks on U.S. soil between 1975 and 2015.
Nowrasteh has listed foreign-born individuals who committed or were convicted of attempting to commit a terrorist attack on U.S. soil by their country of origin and the number of people they killed. Guess what? The countries at the top of the list, including Saudi Arabia and Egypt, are not included in Trump’s ban. Shocking!
Readers have to be reminded again that the 9/11 attacks were carried out by 19 men, from Saudi Arabia (15), the United Arab Emirates (2), Egypt (1), and Lebanon (1). The incident remains influential in how Americans think about the nature of terrorism. While it’s true that 9/11 has shaped the way that Americans think about terrorism, it’s also true that most people are unaware of the deeper operational relationship between the CIA and the Saudis that dates back to the funding of the Mujahedin ( which later morphed into Al Qaeda) in Afghanistan in the 1970’s. This is where bin Laden and al Qaeda first burst onto the scene, which is to say, that the sketchy CIA-Saudi connection created the seedbed for the War on Terror. Unfortunately, even now 16 years after the attacks of 9/11, the relationship between the notorious intelligence agency and its Middle East allies remains as foggy as ever. As a result, the Saudis are typically fingered as the main source of the problem while the CIA’s role is conveniently swept under the rug. For example, take a look at this clip from an online article that I stumbled upon some few days ago in the Independent Newspaper: “Saudi Arabia is the single biggest contributor to the funding of Islamic extremism and is unwilling to cut off the money supply, according to a leaked note from Hillary Clinton”.
The former US Secretary of State is quoted in a secret memorandum that donors in the kingdom still “constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide” and that “it has been an ongoing challenge to persuade Saudi officials to treat terrorist financing emanating from Saudi Arabia as a strategic priority”.
Saudi Arabia is accused, along with Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, of failing to prevent some of its richest citizens financing the insurgency (Sunni extremists) against NATO troops in Afghanistan. Fund-raisers from the Taliban regularly travel to UAE to take advantage of its weak borders and financial regulation
There is also this interesting quote from ex-Vice President Joe Biden: “our biggest problem is our allies”. By this he means those who are engaged in a proxy Sunni-Shiite war against Syrian President Bashar Assad. He specifically named Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.What did they do? Joe Biden said they poured hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad, except that the people who were being supplied were Jabhat Al-Nusra and al-Qaeda and the extremist elements of jihadists coming from other parts of the world. From this it can safely be said that the evidence against Saudi Arabia is overwhelming and damning, and that’s what makes Pompeo’s performance in Riyadh so confusing. Why is the head of the CIA bestowing an award on a man who could undoubtedly identify some of the world’s biggest terrorist donors, unless, of course, the CIA derives some benefit from the arrangement? Is that it? Is there any quid pro quo between Washington and the Saudis that no one knows about but from which Washington reaps tangible geopolitical benefits? What I can say is that it is certainly within the realm of possibility.
Is it too far-fetched to think that the Saudis are actually a franchise that acts as a primary subcontractor carrying out operations deemed too sensitive for CIA agents while obscuring the CIA’s role behind a cloak of plausible deniability? Isn’t that what last week’s freakishly Orwellian awards ceremony really suggests, that the skulduggery is much darker, deeper and more complicated than anyone would care to imagine?
Washington’s support for the Mujahidin helped to push the Soviets out of Afghanistan which is why the Brzezinski (The CIA) crowd thought it was a success story. If that’s the case, then isn’t it logical to assume that subsequent administrations might have used the same model elsewhere, like Kosovo, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan? Isn’t it at least worth investigating? And, another thing: Is it possible to uncover the root of terror by capturing and interrogating individual terrorists to find out what they know? No, I think it is not possible, because the individual cogs have never revealed the source of the funding-streams which originate from within the deep state. Every effort has been made to distance the authors from their illicit handiwork, to remove the tracks and erase the fingerprints.
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