The history of Saudi Arabian links with Islamic terrorism

via The history of Saudi Arabian links with Islamic extremism – Rear Vision –

Islamic State militants have been in the headlines for months, but groups like IS don’t appear out of nowhere, they arise in a political and historic context. IS has emerged out of the opposition to the Assad regime in Syria at a moment when Iran and Saudi Arabia are vying for political influence in the region.

It’s well known that Saudi Arabia has supported jihadist movements in Afghanistan, North Africa and Syria, and that most of the terrorists involved in the September 11 attacks were Saudi nationals.

‘The trend one notices in Saudi Arabia is that they are much more against jihadi organisations if they threaten the security of the House of Saud, or if jihadis begin to act within Saudi Arabia,’ says Patrick Cockburn, journalist and author of The Jihadis Return: ISIS and the New Sunni Uprising. ‘But they are quite prepared to use jihadis as an instrument of Saudi foreign policy and Saudi influence abroad.’

‘You had Saudi preachers, immensely influential, often speaking on satellite television stations financed by Saudi royals, preaching hate to Shia, preaching jihad in Syria and elsewhere. So there has always been ambivalence in Saudi policy between what they want to see at home and what they want to see abroad.’

Saudi Arabia’s history of involvement with jihad dates to the early 20th century, when the state as we know it was formed. Unlike other Arab countries, which had fully-fledged nationalist independence movements, Saudi Arabia was united through a series of wars.

‘There were no historical precedents whereby the whole region was governed as one entity, and therefore the Al Saud [family] reinvented the 18th century Wahhabi movement, which is a puritanical movement initially aiming to return people to the right path of Islam,’ says Madawi Al-Rasheed, visiting professor at the London School of Economics and the author of A History of Saudi Arabia.

‘This involved religious wars against those who refused the political leadership or rejected the political leadership of the Al Saud, but they were depicted as people whose Islam wasn’t the right Islam and therefore they had to succumb to the authority of the Al Saud.’

‘They were able to bring this vast territory together and subject the people, under the pretext of Islamising them, which was a violent episode in the 20th century. It lasted for more than 25 years, at the end of which the Al Saud declared themselves as the rulers, and they had to continue this alliance with the Wahhabi clerics who supported the regime and also were given certain priorities in running the social and religious affairs of the country’

The alliance between the royal family and the Wahhabi clerics continues to this day. According to Al-Rasheed, the clerics provide a politically useful religious justification for the House of Saud’s political authority. From early on in the history of Saudi Arabia, all kinds of dissent, from strikes to demonstrations, have been banned.

The discovery of oil in commercial quantities both cemented the position of the Saudi royal family within Saudi Arabia and gave it enormous influence within the Muslim world. The country began to enjoy significants oil revenues during the 1950s and ‘60s, and by 1972 average oil revenue was between $2 and $3 billion a year.

That was nothing, though, compared to the profits that would flow after the oil crisis of 1973 and 1974 and the nationalisation of the oil industry. It’s that oil wealth, argues Cockburn, that has allowed Wahhabi Islam to spread and dominate the Muslim world.

‘One of the most important trends in the Muslim world, perhaps in the world as a whole over the last 50 years, is the way in which Wahhabism has influenced and to some extent taken over mainstream Sunni Islam: the 1.4, 1.5 billion Sunni Muslims in the world,’ he says.

‘Why has it become so influential? Well, mainly Saudi money. If you wanted to build a mosque in Bangladesh or some other poor country and you need $20,000, the only place you can get it easily is from Saudi Arabia or some Saudi charity.’

‘It is remarkable to me that we are at this moment again where the Saudis have been complicit in the rise of a jihadist network in Syria, seen it spread regionally, and now [it] becomes at least a regional threat, if not a global threat,’ says Jones. ‘We are not just repeating the sins of 2003 but the same kind of patterns that persisted in the 1980s and that led to the violence of the 1990s and 2001.’

Remarkable or predictable? Read it all at ABC Radio National (Australian Broadcasting Corporation).

Qatar withdraws US meat products from shelves…not sharia compliant

It’s past time to pull all funding from Qatar – and every other Muslim nation – and designate them a state sponsor of terrorism. via Qatar withdraws ‘un-halal’ US meat products from shelves.

Qatari authorities have pulled several American-branded, pre-packaged meat products from supermarket shelves, claiming they were un-halal.

The foods were “withdrawn to ensure they are safe for consumption and to protect the health of customers”, a statement from the Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning said.

The removed products include famous brands such as Sara Lee’s Cracked Pepper Turkey Breast, Ball Park’s Beef Franks and Hillshire Farm’s Turkey Lit’l Smokies, Doha News said.

All food products sold in Qatar must meet the requirements of halal, which is the Islamic term for “permissible”. Halal meat products are slaughtered in a specific manner and cannot contain any pork products.

 Obama sent Qatar $11B in arms despite:

Al-Qaeda terror financier worked for Qatari government

Qatar: Shady “Ally” Embraced by Obama Administration (video)

German Minister Accuses Qatar of Funding ISIS

And The 5 freed Taliban leaders now living in Qatar and senior members of the Haqqani terror network recently visited the five former Guantanamo detainees.

3-Month Old American Infant Killed by Muslim Terrorist in Jerusalem (video)

Murdered: Chaya Zisel Braun Courtesy of the Family

Murdered: Chaya Zisel Braun Courtesy of the Family

via American Infant Killed in Jerusalem Terror Attack – CBN.com.

A day after a Palestinian terrorist killed an American baby in Jerusalem when he plowed a car into a crowd, masked Palestinians threw rocks at a Jerusalem kindergarten.

Wednesday’s terror attack was captured by a security camera that showed Abdul Rahman al-Shaludi driving off the road and accelerating as he ran over pedestrians waiting for a train.

Three-month-old Chaya Zisel Braun, a U.S. citizen, was killed and seven others wounded in the attack.

Chaya’s grandfather, Shimshon Halperin, told reporters the baby’s parents had tried for years to have a child and had just returned from the Western Wall. Baby Chaya was buried overnight in Jerusalem.

Shaludi, the terrorist, was from the mostly Arab neighborhood of Silwan, also known as the City of David, the original site of biblical Jerusalem.

“The suspect fled the scene,” police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.

“He was shot by police units that responded quickly in the area, and obviously we’re looking at this incident at this moment in time as a strong possibility of a terrorist related incident,” Rosenfeld said.

Recently a number of Jewish families moved into Silwan, sparking protests there.

Media reports said Hamas carried out the attack. Israel blamed Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for partnering with Hamas in a unity government.

“The attack on a mother and a baby is typical of Hamas, President Abbas’ partner in the Palestinian government,” Mark Regev, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s spokesman, said.

 More:

Shaludi’s family had claimed to reporters that the incident was an “accident”, despite Abdelrahman being a member of Hamas with a long record of terrorist activity.

But the latest footage shows with chilling clarity how he drove his car purposefully and seemingly with great control through a narrow stretch of pavement between the Light Rail stop and the tracks beside it.

Another American killed by Muslims and Obama says nothing, as if it didn’t even happen.

Update: Memo from US Consulate refers to Jerusalem jihad terror attack that murdered baby girl as “traffic incident”

Video: Western Media is Islamic State’s Best Friend

Not just ISIS, but Islam in general. via ▶ Why the Western Media Is Islamic State’s Best Friend

“…with the help of the Western media, ISIS is using fear as a weapon”

…and not the first to say the same thing;

 

U.S. Taxpayers Funding Humanitarian Aid to ISIS (and airdropping weapons to them)

via U.S. Humanitarian Aid Going to ISIS – The Daily Beast.

While U.S. warplanes strike at the militants of the so-called Islamic State in both Syria and Iraq, truckloads of U.S. and Western aid has been flowing into territory controlled by the jihadists, assisting them to build their terror-inspiring “caliphate.”

The aid—mainly food and medical equipment—is meant for Syrians displaced from their hometowns, and for hungry civilians. It is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, European donors, and the United Nations. Whether it continues is now the subject of anguished debate among officials in Washington and European. The fear is that stopping aid would hurt innocent civilians and would be used for propaganda purposes by the militants, who would likely blame the West for added hardship.

…the aid convoys have to pay off ISIS emirs (leaders) for the convoys to enter the eastern Syrian extremist strongholds of Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor, providing yet another income stream for ISIS militants, who are funding themselves from oil smuggling, extortion, and the sale of whatever they can loot, including rare antiquities from museums and archaeological sites.

“The convoys have to be approved by ISIS and you have to pay them: The bribes are disguised and itemized as transportation costs,” says an aid coordinator who spoke to The Daily Beast on the condition he not be identified in this article. The kickbacks are either paid by foreign or local nongovernmental organizations tasked with distributing the aid, or by the Turkish or Syrian transportation companies contracted to deliver it.

“I am alarmed that we are providing support for ISIS governance,” says Jonathan Schanzer, a Mideast expert with the Washington D.C.-based think tank Foundation for Defense of Democracies. “By doing so we are indemnifying the militants by satisfying the core demands of local people, who could turn on ISIS if they got frustrated.”

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What becomes even more bizarre is that while aid is still going into ISIS-controlled areas, only a little is going into Kurdish areas in northeast Syria. About every three or four months there is a convoy into the key city of Qamishli. Syrian Kurds, who are now defending Kobani with the support of U.S. warplanes, have long complained about the lack of international aid. Last November, tellingly, Syrian Kurds complained that Syria’s Kurdistan was not included in a U.N. polio-vaccination campaign. U.N. agencies took the position that polio vaccines should go through the Syrian Red Crescent via Damascus when it came to the Kurds.

Western NGO partners of USAID and other Western agencies declined to respond to Daily Beast inquiries about international relief going to ISIS areas, citing the complexity of the issue and noting its delicacy.

Mideast analyst Schanzer dismisses the notion that ISIS can use an aid shutdown as leverage in its PR campaign: “I think this is false. In areas they control, everyone understands they are a brutal organization. This is their basic weakness and by pushing in aid we are curtailing the chances of an internal revolt, which is the best chance you have of bringing down ISIS.”


Update: ISIS Video: America’s Air Dropped Weapons Now in Our Hands

At least one bundle of U.S. weapons airdropped in Syria appears to have fallen into the hands of ISIS, a dangerous misfire in the American mission to speed aid to Kurdish forces making their stand in Kobani.

An ISIS-associated YouTube account posted a new video online Tuesday entitled, “Weapons and munitions dropped by American planes and landed in the areas controlled by the Islamic State in Kobani.” The video was also posted on the Twitter account of “a3maq news,” which acts as an unofficial media arm of ISIS. The outfit has previously posted videos of ISIS fighters firing American made Howitzer cannons and seizing marijuana fields in Syria.

ISIS had broadly advertised its acquisition of a broad range of U.S.-made weapons during its rampage across Iraq. ISIS videos have showed its fighters driving U.S. tanks, MRAPs, Humvees. There are unconfirmed reports ISIS has stolen three fighter planes from Iraqi bases it conquered.


 

Just because liberal rags and news outlets found some Muslims they sort of oppose doesn’t mean this insanity is new.

USAID has been robbing U.S. taxpayers to fund Muslim terrorists for many years.

Lessons from the U.S. Airstrikes on Aleppo

…they ain’t working. Or read Stratfor’s take.

When the United States began its campaign of airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria on Sept. 22, it also used Tomahawk cruise missiles to attack a series of al Qaeda-related facilities in the Aleppo area. The strikes targeted al Qaeda’s regional franchise in Syria, Jabhat al-Nusra, as well as personnel belonging to the al Qaeda core who were in Syria working with Jabhat al-Nusra and other jihadists. The U.S. government has referred to the al Qaeda personnel it attacked in Syria as the “Khorasan Group,” but they are clearly personnel from the al Qaeda core who have been dispatched to Syria and not from some other organization.

 It appears the strikes caught the al Qaeda militants by surprise, and there are reports that al Qaeda operative Muhsin al-Fadhli, reported to be Ayman al-Zawahiri’s senior operative in Syria, was killed in the strikes. The United States also claimed that al-Fadhli and his fellow al Qaeda members were working on plots to strike the United States and Europe from their base in Syria. The group reportedly was the reason for an alert issued on July 2 warning that al Qaeda elements in Syria were working with bombmakers from al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in a new plot to smuggle concealed explosive devices onto U.S.-bound aircraft.

 The fact that al-Fadhli and his companions were dispatched to Syria to plot attacks against the United States should not be surprising. The group and other jihadist militants have long operated in lawless areas in countries such as Yemen, Algeria, Somalia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Pakistan, Nigeria, Mali, Libya, Iraq and Syria. The al Qaeda core also has a long history of seeking to attack the United States. We have seen the al Qaeda core dispatch operatives to work with groups of local jihadists to conduct attacks in New York (1993 World Trade Center bombing) and Africa (1998 East Africa embassy bombings.)

 The U.S. strikes against al Qaeda targets in Aleppo are noteworthy because they highlight the need of al Qaeda groups to seek sanctuary in places such as Syria. The strikes also serve as a reminder that while the campaign against al Qaeda has weakened the group since 9/11, the group can revive if it has time and space within which to operate.

  It is important to understand that sanctuary alone is not enough to produce sophisticated transnational terrorist attacks. Indeed, there are many jihadist groups that are operating in lawless areas across a wide arc of the world stretching from West Africa to the Sulu Archipelago. However, only a small number of these groups possess the requisite combination of intent and capability needed to conduct transnational attacks. Many of these groups are nationally or regionally focused and therefore have no aspiration of striking targets beyond their areas of operation. Friction between nationally focused and transnationally focused jihadists has resulted in rifts and infighting among the members of groups such as al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and al Shabaab. But even those jihadist groups that aspire and threaten to commit transnational attacks have been constrained by their limited capabilities. Projecting terrorist power across continents is not as easy as it appears in the movies.

As we have previously discussed, fighting an insurgency and conducting transnational terrorist attacks are two distinct things, and possessing the ability to conduct insurgent warfare does not mean that a militant group can automatically use its insurgent capabilities to carry out terrorist strikes. To project terrorist power transnationally, a militant group needs to develop the capability to employ advanced terrorist tradecraft.

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Terrorist groups like al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula have also sought other ways to extend their reach from places of sanctuary to attack the United States and Europe. One way they have sought to do this is by using concealed bombs to attack aircraft. For example, in the 2009 underwear bomb plot and the 2010 computer printer bomb attempt, the perpetrating group sought to use innovative and imaginative explosive devices created in its Yemeni bases to attack international aviation targets. This is because making explosive devices in areas where there is access to military-grade explosives and bomb components is easier than sending an operative to create a device from improvised components in a hostile environment.

 In response to the group’s failed attacks, security agencies have dramatically increased the scrutiny of people and cargo originating from Yemen. The country was already a fairly isolated place due to its geography, making it difficult to dispatch people and bombs without detection. The area along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, where the al Qaeda core is believed to be hiding, is also quite isolated and under heavy scrutiny by intelligence agencies. Because of this, relocating cells to Syria to plan and execute plots against the West makes sense. There is also an immense amount of traffic going both ways across the Syria-Turkey border, facilitating travel to Turkey as the far more convenient location to get to the United States and Europe than Yemen or Pakistan. Continue reading

Who Is Buying The Islamic State’s Illegal Oil?

Jordan, Iran, Turkey, Kurdistan…i.e., Obama’s coalition. And even Assad. via Who Is Buying The Islamic State’s Illegal Oil?.

…if the regional narrative of IS’s rise is to be believed, the group is universally loathed. How, then, is it so readily finding customers to buy its oil abroad?

Oil smuggling is hardly new in Iraq and Syria — Iran and Turkey have been major conduits for illegal oil exports since the days of Saddam Hussein. Those smuggling rings are still very active, and are now working with IS and contributing to its exploding wealth.

In an interview with CNN, Luay al-Khatteeb, the director of the Iraq Energy Institute, explained that “IS smuggles the crude oil and trades it for cash and refined products, at a refined price,” thanks to its own refineries in Syria.

One important reason that smugglers have been so eager to work with IS is that the terrorist group sells its oil on the cheap. A barrel of oil that would ordinarily sell for over $100 can be discounted as much as 75 percent. But it’s still a profitable sale for IS, as the money it loses from such a discount is more than made up for by the readiness of customers to buy its oil and the plethora of routes through which it can export it.

“The crude is transported by tankers to Jordan via Anbar province, to Iran via Kurdistan, to Turkey via Mosul, to Syria’s local market and to the Kurdistan region of Iraq, where most of it gets refined locally,” Khatteeb explained. “Turkey has turned a blind eye to this and may continue to do so until they come under pressure from the West to close down oil black markets in the country’s south.”

More: How Islamic State Uses Oil To Fund Its Onslaught

In a remote area along the Turkish-Syrian border, a line of oil trucks materializes seemingly from nowhere. Quietly, the vehicles line up to purchase oil. The drivers will pay about $18 a barrel, well below the average market price of $93.45.

Still, for the seller — the Islamic State — the price represents a 100 percent profit since it has no investment in the oil production.

the group continues to sell oil from Syrian wells back to the regime of President Bashar Assad, with whom it is engaged in a fight to the finish.

In fact, most of the illegal trade carried out by IS is oil from fields in eastern Syria, and more recently from fields captured since June in Iraq. The terror group is creating its own economy through a series of pragmatic trades, as Turkey’s Zaman newspaper recently detailed.

And to make matters worse, FT reports:

Oil has proved crucial to financing Isis’s operations, netting several million dollars a day. But the observatory said the refineries struck early on Sunday, in and around Raqqa, were owned by civilians and not Isis.

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