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A Second Look at the Saudis

4. The Tangled Web Looking over the reports from major media outlets, international watchdog groups, and government officials and agencies laid out in Parts 1 through 3, a disturbing picture emerges. Al Qaeda appears to represent the business end of an essentially grassroots ideological movement emanating from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Regardless of the role played by the Saudi government, it is clear that the people of Saudi Arabia have attacked the United States again and again, and have now murdered American citizens by the thousands. Yet in order to assess how best to defend ourselves against that threat, it is also necessary to determine the culpability of the Saudi government. On one level, it should already be apparent that the Saudi government bears direct responsibility for the rise of Al Qaeda. They have ultimate control over the Kingdom's basic social institutions, such as the education system and mass media, which they have ceded to the extremist Wahhabi religious authorities. Moreover, they have pumped billions in petrodollars into the effort to spread Wahhabi Islam throughout the Muslim world. Indeed, it's important to remember that the Saudi royals are themselves the product of the very same education system. And at times, Wahhabi enmity for the West has made itself known even amongst the most senior members of the Saudi royal family. For instance, just after the September 11 attacks the Saudi Minister of the Interior, Prince Nayef bin Abdul-Aziz, declared that the United States, "the great power that controls the earth, now is an enemy of Arabs and Muslims."1 But has the Saudi royal family been directly implicated in aiding and abetting Osama bin Laden in his terrorist attacks against the U.S.? Consider the following: The Prince Who Knew In his best-selling book, Why America Slept, investigative journalist Gerald Posner made a stunning revelation about the relationship between the Saudi royals and Al Qaeda. According to Posner's sources in the CIA and the Bush administration, when Abu Zubaydah was captured on March 28, 2002, a command decision was made to pull out all the stops in an effort to break him during interrogation.2 Born and raised in Saudi Arabia, Zubaydah was one of the logistical and organizational masterminds behind Al Qaeda's operations in Afghanistan. At the time of his capture, he was widely considered to be the No. 3 man in the Al Qaeda hierarchy, by far the highest ranking operative the U.S. had yet captured.3 So his interrogators decided to use three hard-hitting techniques to compel him to talk. First, when U.S. and Pakistani authorities stormed Zubaydah's safe house in western Pakistan, a gunfight broke out and he was shot in the groin. His interrogators decided to use that injury to their advantage by manipulating his pain medication.4 Second, since Zubaydah was already hooked up to an IV as part of his medical treatment, they used this as a means to surreptitiously drug him with Sodium Pentothal.5 Finally, U.S. authorities decided to stage an elaborate "false flag" operation. They disguised his holding room to make it appear as if he was being held inside the Kingdom, and his Arab-American interrogators pretended to be Saudi security officials. The idea was that this would make it much easier to intimidate him, given the Saudis' well-earned reputation for torturing confessions out of people and carrying out summary executions. 6 What they found, however, was that Zubaydah became relieved and even elated when confronted by the impostor Saudis. He began talking profusely, and quickly instructed them to 1

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call the personal phone number of a high-ranking member of the Saudi royal family, Prince Ahmed bin Salman bin Abdul-Aziz, which he gave from memory. "He will tell you what to do," he assured them.7 In a later account, Posner discussed the influential and remarkably two-faced Prince Ahmed: The Western-educated Ahmed was one of the wealthiest members of the royal family and chairman of the Research and Marketing Group, the Kingdom's largest publishing company. Although his media firm was responsible for virulent anti-American and anti-Israeli propaganda, he was considered by most observers simply a Westernized businessman with little apparent political interest. Ahmed was best known as a premier collector of Thoroughbred horses, including the 2002 Kentucky Derby winner, War Emblem. Since 1996, he had spent $126 million buying racehorses.8 Stunned, the CIA interrogators left the room. When they came back, they claimed that the phone number was a fake in an effort to call Zubaydah's bluff. Zubaydah responded by confronting them in stern tones. Indeed, he acted as if they were the ones in trouble.9 He then spelled out the special relationship between Al Qaeda's leadership and the Saudi royals. According to Zubaydah, a deal had been struck back in 1991. As a part of that deal, the Saudi royal family agreed to protect and finance Osama bin Laden, but only so long as Al Qaeda refrained from attacking the royal family in Saudi Arabia. The agreement had been maintained throughout the 1990's, and Zubaydah claimed to have been personally present at some of the meetings between Bin Laden and his primary Saudi liaison, the former intelligence chief Prince Turki al-Faisal.10 But other Saudi royals had acted as intermediaries as well, including Prince Ahmed. To drive home his point, he then practically ordered his interrogators to call two more members of the Saudi royal family. Again, he gave them phone numbers from memory, this time naming two junior princes, Prince Sultan bin Faisal bin Turki al-Saud and Prince Fahd bin Turki bin Saud al-Kabir.11 Once more, the stunned interrogators tried to call Zubaydah's bluff. They said that after 9/11, he could no longer count on friends in high places within the Saudi government. Zubaydah scoffed, and apparently decided to apply some leverage of his own. He told them that Prince Ahmed knew the United States would be attacked on September 11, 2001. Bin Laden had made a point of letting the Saudi royals know of an attack on September 11, Zubaydah claimed, but without giving them enough specific information to interfere with the plot. In that way, Bin Laden could use their foreknowledge against them, threatening to reveal it to the Americans if he was ever double-crossed.12 The interrogators and CIA onlookers were flabbergasted. They knew there had been no warning of an attack on September 11 from the Saudi government.13 Incredibly, the CIA eventually decided to reveal this information to the Saudi government, asking them to investigate.14 And that is where Posner's story takes its most macabre turn. Predictably, the Saudis initially replied that the accusations were totally without merit. However, a few months after Zubaydah's confession, U.S. authorities finally saw some movement from the Saudis, but not the kind they were expecting. As Posner recounted: On July 22, 2002, less than four months after Zubaydah's drug-induced revelations, the Saudis announced the unexpected death of Prince Ahmed. He was forty-three. The cause of death was a heart attack, said the official Saudi news agency. The following day, the second man named by Zubaydah in March, 2

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forty-one-year-old Prince Sultan bin Faisal bin Turki al-Saud, was killed in a car accident as he was driving from the resort of Jeddah to Riyadh for the funeral of his cousin, Prince Ahmed. According to the Saudi police, speed was the likely cause of the accident, which did not involve another car. The two cousins were buried side-by-side at Oudh Cemetery. One week later, the third person named by Zubaydah, twenty-five-year-old Prince Fahd bin Turki bin Saud al-Kabir, was also found dead. He died while on a trip in the province of Remaah, fifty-five miles east of Riyadh. The Saudi Royal Court announced the death, saying the prince, who was traveling during the height of the Saudi summer heat, had "died of thirst."15 Of course, these deaths weren't just reported by Posner. They were reported in the Saudi media at the time and have subsequently been openly acknowledged by other members of the Saudi royal family.16 Indeed, Posner later noted a discrepancy in the Saudi reports. He recounted: Forty-three-year-old Prince Ahmed, the king's nephew, died after he voluntarily entered the best hospital in Riyadh for non-life-threatening surgery for a digestive problem, diverticulitis (one acquaintance says the prince actually went for liposuction, but that procedure is normally done on an outpatient basis). He was dead two days later, with Saudi officials and doctors flip-flopping over the cause of death from a heart attack to a blood clot.17 Note that these later developments not only lend a Shakespearean twist to the story, they add a whole other dimension to its plausibility. One of the things I recall learning about in law school is what one professor termed a "self-corroborating confession." A standard example would be a murderer who not only confesses to his crime, but tells police where he hid the murder weapon. If the police find the weapon where he claims he left it, the confession is self-corroborating. It contains independently verifiable facts which only the killer, or at least someone intimately involved in the crime, would know. The circumstances surrounding Posner's story certainly have a ring of self-corroboration about them. Given the timing and circumstances of these three deaths, it's hard to believe they could be mere coincidence. Consider, by way of example, the fact that the chances of a given 44-year-old male dying of a heart attack in the U.S. in 2003 was 1.613%. The chances of a given 43-year-old male dying in a traffic accident was 0.537%.18 And for a male between the ages of 25 and 34, the chances of dying of dehydration in 2002 were roughly 1 in 6,734,000, all according to the Center for Disease Control.19 While these statistics may not perfectly map onto those for Saudi Arabia (and it would be interesting to get an actuary's thoughts on all this), it should also be noted that the pampered elite of the Saudi royal family are afforded the best medical care in the world. Moreover, it's difficult to imagine anyone inside the Kingdom would be capable of assassinating three members of the royal family so discretely. Except, perhaps, for more senior members of the royal family ­ sacrificing their underlings to protect themselves. To say the least, these events don't pass the smell test. In addition to all this, there is still further independent (although circumstantial) evidence corroborating Posner's account, in particular Zubaydah's claim of Saudi foreknowledge of an attack on September 11. For example, less than two weeks before the attacks, on August 31, 2001, Prince Turki was forced to step down as head of Saudi intelligence after serving in that role for several decades. The Saudis replaced him with an inexperienced and relatively unknown 3

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junior prince, and never did provide a cogent explanation for the abrupt change.20 In addition, just days before September 11 the Saudi Defense Minister, Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz (now the Crown Prince), cancelled a state visit to Japan on short notice. Once again, no official reason was given.21 Incredibly, the Saudi royals appear to have taken to heart the maxim "keep your friends close, but your enemies closer." Prince Turki was recently chosen to serve as the Kingdom's ambassador to the United States. Nonetheless, I have to admit that upon first hearing of Gerald Posner's stunning scoop, I was skeptical. For a relatively unknown investigative journalist to uncover a scene right out of Ian Fleming, one that was highly touted in his book's marketing campaign, seemed too good to be true. But after reading through the rest of Why America Slept, it became obvious that Posner had done a truly remarkable job at cultivating sources inside the U.S. intelligence community, across both the Clinton and Bush administrations. This success, and the methodical and scholarly tone of the book as a whole, certainly lends a great deal of credence to his account of the Zubaydah confession. However, a whole new chapter in this story has now unfolded. Key elements of Gerald Posner's reporting have now been corroborated by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist James Risen of The New York Times. In his book State of War, Risen confirms that Zubaydah was in fact confronted by U.S. interrogators impersonating Saudi intelligence agents shortly after his capture. Zubaydah responded to this scare tactic by expressing his pleasure and sense of relief, according to Risen, and then gave his captors the phone numbers of several Saudi officials they should call for further instructions.22 Presumably, Risen was relying on the same U.S. intelligence insiders who helped him break the NSA spy scandal story.23 He went on to note that, "In addition to the incidents described by Posner, a senior former American government official said that the United States has obtained evidence that suggests connections between al Qaeda operatives and [other] telephone numbers associated with Saudi officials."24 As you'll see below, this seems to corroborate earlier reporting on the subject by Seymour Hersh and David Kaplan. Disturbingly, Risen also reported that he could find no indication that U.S. intelligence officials ever followed up on Zubaydah's stunning claims to either conclusively prove or disprove them.25 As we shall see in Part 5, this is hardly the first time that our government, and the Bush administration in particular, has shown complete ambivalence toward official Saudi involvement in terrorism. The Prince Who Paid As noted in Part 3, the former head of Saudi intelligence, Prince Turki, worked directly with Osama bin Laden in setting up and funding the "Arab Afghan" mujahideen fighting the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. Indeed, in one interview the Prince told a reporter that, "Osama was a model, we wanted more of him."26 However, after the Soviets were forced out in 1989, that relationship soon went sour. Bin Laden, along with many of the most influential members of the Wahhabi religious leadership, vehemently opposed the presence of U.S. troops in the Kingdom during the Persian Gulf War. But the Saudi royals decided that Saddam Hussein posed too grave a threat, and that U.S. intervention would be necessary for their security. At the same time, they were wary of Bin Laden's popularity, and the potential threat he and his fellow veterans of the conflict in Afghanistan could pose to their regime. According to Gerald Posner, Prince Turki and Bin Laden eventually came to an understanding to resolve their differences. As Posner reported:


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According to a still classified American intelligence report, Turki--with the apparent blessing of the royal family--helped broker a deal in early 1991 with the thirty-three-year-old bin Laden. In a secret agreement, bin Laden and the Saudis publicly concocted a public fraud that would serve both their interests. Bin Laden would be allowed to leave Saudi Arabia with his four wives and his growing family. . . on a one-way visa. Whatever assets he left in the country might be frozen once he left. The Saudis would publicly disavow their favorite son as a radical gone bad. Bin Laden would keep preaching his jihad, however, so long as it was not directed at the Kingdom. In return, the Saudis would provide him with enough money to keep his Afghan Arabs well supplied, again, with the understanding that they would never be used against Saudi Arabia. . . . [Prince Turki has] steadfastly denied any improper arrangement or relationship with Al Qaeda. Such an arrangement, however, would have made sense for the Saudis, since they knew it was impossible to stamp out fundamentalism. It presented an opportunity to direct the wrath of the movement away from their country. As for bin Laden, whether he was serious in agreeing to directing the jihad away from his native country or merely buying himself millions in financing and some extra time, the CIA believes he was amenable to the pact.27 As recounted above, Posner went on to report that Al Qaeda's third-in-command, Abu Zubaydah, was tricked into confessing key details about Bin Laden's ongoing relationship with the Saudi royals shortly after his capture. Zubaydah recounted that Prince Turki had brokered just such a deal, presumably in 1991, and that he continued to meet with Bin Laden off-and-on throughout the 1990's. However, Zubaydah also went into detail about a much more recent meeting with Prince Turki, one involving both the Taliban and Al Qaeda. He claimed the meeting took place in Kandahar during the Summer of 1998, and that he personally attended the meeting as a representative of Al Qaeda.28 At that meeting, Prince Turki offered to send further support to the Taliban and Al Qaeda in exchange for a re-affirmation that Bin Laden would not attack the Saudi Royal family or stir unrest in the Kingdom.29 As Posner recounted: Bin Laden's focus on "Jews and Crusaders" coincided with an early 1998 visit to one of his Afghan compounds by two representatives of two leading Saudi families. They made a "donation" to bin Laden to ensure he understood that his 1991 agreement not to conduct operations inside Saudi Arabia was still intact. The donations, the Saudi representatives said, had the backing of the House of alSaud. The CIA, relying on electronic intercepts acquired from another agency, estimated that bin Laden received more than $10 million from his Saudi visitors. ... At a meeting later that year in Kandahar, Prince Turki met with senior ISI [Pakistani intelligence] operatives, Taliban leaders, and two bin Laden representatives. This resulted in a more formal agreement that the Saudis would not ask the Taliban to extradite bin Laden to the U.S., and in return the Taliban would ensure that the Islamists would not target Riyadh. The Saudis also increased the money they supplied for Taliban weapons, as well as payments to Pakistan's ISI.30


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Of course, this all went down at roughly the same time that Bin Laden issued his 1998 fatwa declaring that, "To kill Americans and their allies, civilian and military, is an individual duty of every Muslim."31 Incredibly, reports of this 1998 meeting in Kandahar came to light even before Gerald Posner's book was first published, apparently from a completely independent source. In August 2002, The New York Post reported: [I]n Kandahar in July 1998 . . . Saudi officials, worried over attacks against U.S. servicemen in Saudi Arabia in 1995 and 1996, agreed to finance al Qaeda in exchange for a promise the group would not try to destabilize the Saudi government and would not carry out terror attacks in the kingdom, according to the suit. The Saudi princes also agreed to block extradition of al Qaeda terror suspects or help in dismantling terror camps in Afghanistan. After the 1998 meeting, 400 new pickup trucks ­ still bearing Saudi license plates ­ arrived in Kandahar for the Taliban. Pakistan and the Taliban also received cash and oil in the deal, court papers said.32 The source for that report was court documents in the civil lawsuit filed against the Saudis by the families of 9/11 victims.33 It was later reported that the key piece of evidence obtained by attorneys for the 9/11 families was a sworn statement from the former intelligence chief of the Taliban, Mullah Kakshar (aka "Mullah Khaksar Akhund"), who had defected from the Taliban just prior to the U.S. incursion into Afghanistan.34 Indeed, not only did Kakshar describe the 1998 meeting in detail, he stated specifically that Prince Turki had arranged for donations to be made directly to Al Qaeda through a group of wealthy Saudi surrogates.35 So this same account has now been repeated by key representatives of two out of the four parties to the agreement, high-level operatives of both Al Qaeda (Zubaydah) and the Taliban (Kakshar).36 Note also that today, Mullah Kakshar is an official in the new Afghan government under President Hamid Karzai.37 Finally, although he has openly admitted to meeting with the Taliban in Afghanistan in the summer of 1998, Prince Turki has consistently disputed the claim that he ever made such a pact with Al Qaeda.38 Below we will take a closer look at the audacious dissembling of the Saudi royals and their representatives, and Prince Turki in particular. In addition to the accounts above, a number of major news organizations have also reported on Saudi royal support of Al Qaeda. For instance, Andrea Mitchell of NBC News revealed that members of the royal family had been cozying up to Bin Laden for years, a pattern of behavior that continued even after September 11. She reported: Two years after Osama bin Laden gave the final order to attack the World Trade Center, current and former U.S. officials tell NBC News that members of the Saudi royal family met frequently with bin Laden -- both before and after 9/11. Among other connections: Officials say for years some Saudi princes paid homage to bin Laden in his Afghan hideaway, sometimes flying falcons -- a favorite Arab sport -- with the terror king. Retired U.S. Army Gen. Wayne Downing was President Bush's national director for combating terrorism and is now an NBC News analyst. "They would go out


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and see Osama, spend some time with him, talk with him, you know, live out in the tents, eat the simple food, engage in falconing, some other pursuits, ride horses. And then be able to go back home and kind of have the insider secret knowledge, that yes, we saw Osama, and we talked to him," Downing says. Not only that, says Downing, but the Saudis paid al-Qaida protection money through charities to prevent attacks on the kingdom. Downing said it was an unwritten covenant: "As long as you behave yourself, we're not going to crack down on you."39 Others reporting on the matter have included Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh. Shortly after September 11, he reported in The New Yorker: Since 1994 or earlier, the National Security Agency has been collecting electronic intercepts of conversations between members of the Saudi Arabian royal family, which is headed by King Fahd. . . . The intercepts have demonstrated to analysts that by 1996 Saudi money was supporting Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda and other extremist groups in Afghanistan, Lebanon, Yemen, and Central Asia, and throughout the Persian Gulf region.40 Indeed, this account was later corroborated by David Kaplan in U.S. News & World Report. In December 2003, he reported that: Electronic intercepts of conversations implicated members of the royal family in backing not only al Qaeda but also other terrorist groups, several intelligence sources confirmed to U.S. News. None were senior officials--the royal family has some 7,000 members. But several intercepts implicated some of the country's wealthiest businessmen.41 Indeed, Kaplan appears to have first broken the story back in 1998. That is when he (and colleague Bruce Auster) interviewed the former deputy director of operations for the U.S. State Department's Office of Counterterrorism, Dick Gannon. "We've got information about who's backing bin Laden," Gannon confided, "and in a lot of cases it goes back to the royal family."42 While the above reports address the Saudi royal family as a whole, others have focused on the senior Saudi leadership. For instance, a January 2002 report by U.S. News & World Report recounted that: [H]igh-level intelligence sources tell U.S. News . . . that at least two Saudi princes had been paying, on behalf of the kingdom, what amounts to protection money to Osama bin Laden since 1995. In November of that year, a bomb at the Saudi National Guard headquarters in Riyadh killed several American military advisers who worked closely with the force. One source, a former senior Clinton administration official, said that the two princes, whose names have not been disclosed, began making payments to bin Laden soon after the bombing. The official added that Washington did not learn of the payments until at least two years later. "There's no question they did buy protection from bin Laden," he says. "The deal was, they would turn a blind eye to what he was doing elsewhere. `You don't conduct operations here, and we won't disrupt them elsewhere.' "43


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That account was later confirmed by Simon Henderson, a British consultant on Saudi Arabia and global terrorism who has testified before the U.S. Senate on counterterrorism issues. In an August 2002 commentary, he recounted in The Wall Street Journal: I followed the lead [from the U.S. News article above] and quickly found U.S. and British officials to tell me the names of the two senior princes. They were using Saudi official money--not their own--to pay off bin Laden to cause trouble elsewhere but not in the kingdom. That is "the Saudi way." The amounts involved were "hundreds of millions of dollars," and it continued after Sept. 11. I asked a British official recently whether the payments had stopped. He said he hoped they had, but was not sure.44 While Henderson also refrained from identifying the two princes, it's not difficult to come up with a logical guess: Prince Turki and Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz (perhaps acting through his son, Prince Ahmed)45 ­ the same senior princes who funneled money to Bin Laden during the fight against the Soviets in Afghanistan. But regardless of who Bin Laden's contacts were, it's clear that some of America's most respected journalists and news organizations have backed up, at least in general terms, Gerald Posner's stunning revelations.46 In spite of all these major media reports, in recent years the trail of evidence linking the Saudi royals and Al Qaeda has grown cold. And it's not too difficult to figure out why. In July 2004, the 9/11 Commission released the results of their investigation into the attacks on 9/11. On the issue of Al Qaeda's funding, they were quick to point a finger toward the Kingdom, but not the Saudi royals. The Commission reported: Saudi Arabia has long been considered the primary source of al Qaeda funding, but we have found no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or senior Saudi officials individually funded the organization. (This conclusion does not exclude the likelihood that charities with significant Saudi government sponsorship diverted funds to al Qaeda.)47 This finding received considerable play in the media at the time (much more so, in fact, than Khalid Sheikh Mohamed's eyewitness account that the overwhelming majority of the Al Qaeda recruits in those Afghan training camps were Saudi nationals).48 While The 9/11 Commission Report has been invaluable in making public many of the U.S. intelligence community's key findings, and in establishing a definitive timeline of the events leading up to 9/11, it is also true that a number of its findings have been questionable, at best. And their exoneration of the Saudi government is certainly one of them. What's most troubling about The 9/11 Commission Report on this point is that there is no attempt whatsoever to explain, or even acknowledge, those very same major media reports discussed above. In particular, we have two major counterterrorism officials who have publicly stated that the U.S. intelligence community has uncovered evidence implicating the Saudi royals in the financing of Al Qaeda ­ Dick Gannon of the Clinton administration and Gen. Wayne Downing of the Bush administration. Both of these men were clearly in a position to know. And both of them disclosed to major media outlets that such evidence existed. Yet when you search through the reports of the 9/11 Commission, there is not a single reference to "Gannon" or "Downing" in any of them; not in the text or the footnotes; not in the staff reports or the public hearing transcripts; and nowhere in The 9/11 Commission Report itself. There is absolutely no indication that the Commission ever followed up on these obvious leads. 8

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There is also no reference to Simon Henderson in the reports of the 9/11 Commission. An internationally renowned expert on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Henderson publicly claimed to have confirmed with both U.S. and British intelligence officials that senior members of the Saudi royal family had been financing Al Qaeda for years. This was published in the pages of The Wall Street Journal, just two years before The 9/11 Commission Report came out.49 But in Henderson's case, there is no need to infer that the Commission never contacted him. Shortly after the Report was published, a livid Henderson wrote: On a personal level, my biggest difficulty with the report (and its staff report released earlier) is its comment: "we have found no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or senior Saudi officials individually funded [al Qaeda]." (Page 171) Knowing that U.S. officials have told American journalists that senior princes were paying off bin Laden from the mid-1990s, and having had this - and the names of the princes - confirmed by several British officials, I just don't understand the commission's judgement. I have written about this several times, including in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal ("The Saudi Way", August 12, 2002). Did the commission staff contact me to question me on the matter? No. Perhaps the need for Saudi oil is so great that some stones are better left unturned. In which case the commission's recommendation that "[t]he United States and Saudi Arabia must determine if they can build a relationship about more than oil" (Page 374) has already been answered - in the negative.50 The 9/11 Commission reports that they "found no evidence" that the Saudi government has financed Al Qaeda. But did they bother to look? But it gets even worse. In spite of the fact that Gerald Posner's reporting on the Zubaydah interrogation was first published, and featured prominently in Time magazine,51 just a year before The 9/11 Commission Report came out (and while their investigation was well underway), the Report does not mention a single word about it. A perplexed Posner did his own sleuthing on the matter, and would later report in his 2005 book Secrets of the Kingdom: While the 9/11 Commission does reference some of Zubaydah's interrogations, not one is from March, the month of his capture, when he made his accusations about high-ranking Saudis. Zubaydah, who was mentioned by name in the now infamous presidential daily briefing that was presented to President Bush while he was on vacation at his Crawford, Texas, ranch less than a month before the terror attacks, received little attention from the Commission. The 9/11 panel was given restricted personal access to two of the highest-ranking al Qaeda suspects, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and Ramzi Binalshibh, but either never asked, or was not allowed, to talk to Zubaydah. . . . From conversations with investigators familiar with the 9/11 panel's probe, the portions of Zubaydah's interrogation in which he named the Saudi princes and the Pakistani air marshal were not provided to the Commission. The CIA has even withheld the March interrogations from the FBI, which is supposed to have access to all terror suspects' questioning.52


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Incredibly, on this point, too, Posner's reporting has now been independently corroborated ­ this time by none other than Philip Zelikow, the 9/11 Commission's lead investigator. In response to the recent controversy surrounding the CIA's destruction of the videotapes of Abu Zubaydah's initial interrogations, Zelikow wrote an open letter to 9/11 Commission Co-Chairs Tom Kean and Lee Hamilton on December 13, 2007, detailing how the Commission's investigative staff had repeatedly asked the CIA to deliver all materials pertaining to the interrogations of the key Al Qaeda operatives in U.S. custody. Focusing in on Zubaydah in particular, Zelikow wrote: Late in its investigation, reacting to press allegations that Abu Zubaydah had referred to a Saudi prince in his interrogations, the Commission asked "what information does the CIA have" about whether such assertions were made in Zubaydah's interrogations. (CIA Question for the Record No. 3, dated May 20, 2004). We knew the CIA believed this was untrue but we asked the question formally to get any relevant information for the record. We cannot find a record of a CIA response.53 Thus, the 9/11 Commission's lead investigator has now confirmed Posner's report, from years earlier, that the 9/11 Commission was stonewalled by the CIA regarding the initial interrogation of Abu Zubaydah. Given the recent reporting of James Risen on the subject, and the disturbing admission by the CIA that they destroyed the Zubaydah interrogation tapes, it sure seems the time is ripe to take a fresh look at those Saudi royal pocketbooks. "Zero Cooperation" To put these stories of Saudi government sponsorship of Osama bin Laden into context, it's important to consider the Saudi government's response to September 11 itself. By the next day, the U.S. government had already learned that a majority of the hijackers were Saudis, and had passed that information on to the highest levels of the Saudi government.54 Yet, rather than lending a helping hand to their "friends and allies" in the United States, the Saudi government from the beginning categorically refused even the most basic requests for information and assistance. As terrorism expert Stephen Schwartz recounted: In the aftermath of September 11, the Saudi authorities were asked, as allies of the United States in the antiterror war, to investigate, freeze, and seize the bank accounts of participants in and contributors to terrorist activities. In addition, like other foreign carriers, Saudi airlines were asked to provide advance passenger lists for flights to the United States. These requests were not specifically prompted by the discovery that 15 out of the 19 terrorists involved in the attacks on New York and Washington were Saudi citizens and the long-standing awareness that most of Osama bin Laden's funds came from the kingdom. Rather, they were viewed as almost perfunctory measures necessary for a coordinated response to bin Laden's terrorism. But in both cases, the Saudis refused compliance.55 This would prove to be typical of the relationship between U.S. and Saudi authorities in the wake of 9/11. Indeed, while Pres. Bush and his cabinet officials would insist that the Saudis were cooperating with our efforts to investigate September 11 (generally without providing any specifics in support of their claims), it wouldn't take long before former law enforcement and


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intelligence officials decided to go to the press with their own assessment of the situation.56 Just a month after September 11, The Los Angeles Times reported: "It's a problem," said Robert Baer, a former CIA officer in the Middle East. "Saudi Arabia is completely unsupportive as of today. The rank-and-file Saudi policeman is sympathetic to Bin Laden. They're not telling us who these people were on the planes." Vincent M. Cannistraro, the former chief of counter-terrorism operations for the CIA, also said that the U.S. is getting little if anything from its presumed ally. "We're getting zero cooperation now," said Cannistraro, who earlier worked in Saudi Arabia for the agency. "There is a whole pile of Saudi businessmen who have been providing regular contributions to Al Qaeda."57 Two months later, The New York Times chimed in on the deteriorating relationship between Saudi and U.S. intelligence officials: But the two sides still walk on eggshells, the Americans careful in their questions, and the Saudis guarded in their answers, American officials said. Even in the post-Sept. 11 meetings, one senior Bush administration official said, the Saudis "dribble out a morsel of insignificant information one day at a time." . . . Saudi officials have revealed next to nothing about the Sept. 11 hijackers. The official position is that even the theory that Saudi citizens were involved remains unproven.58 And In March 2002, The Boston Globe conveyed the sentiments of a former assistant director of the FBI who had worked directly with the Saudis: "It doesn't look like they're doing much, and frankly it's nothing new," said James Kallstrom, the former assistant director of the FBI in charge of the New York office and now director of New York's Office of Public Security. Kallstrom ­ who experienced firsthand the frustration FBI agents had with the Saudis in the first World Trade Center bombing investigation and later with the 1995 bombing of a US-Saudi military facility in Riyadh and the 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers US military barracks ­ said: "It's been common knowledge that we have not gotten much help from the Saudis."59 As noted by Kallstrom, among others, this pattern of refusing to cooperate in even the most routine matters had been long established by September 11. Indeed, Saudi Arabia's track record of refusing to cooperate with U.S. authorities in their pursuit of Al Qaeda terrorists could not have begun on a more inauspicious (or disturbing) note. On November 13, 1995, a car bomb exploded outside the offices of the Saudi National Guard in Riyadh. The bomb was timed to go off when Saudi nationals were out of the office at their midday prayers so that all of the casualties would be foreigners. The plan worked brilliantly and five Americans, but no Saudis, were killed by the blast.60 Before long, Saudi authorities announced that they had rounded up the culprits. The four were all Saudi nationals, three of whom had gone through Al Qaeda's training camps in Afghanistan. Indeed, in their televised confessions they praised Osama bin Laden for "inspiring" the attack.61


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At that point, U.S. officials began pressing the Saudis for a chance to question the prisoners directly.62 Given the fact that the bombing clearly targeted Americans, the need to interrogate the suspects was open and obvious. First, U.S. officials needed to confirm that the Saudis had the right men. Second, they needed to be sure the entire cell had been captured. Third, they needed to find out whether the culprits might have contacts to other extremist cells. Finally, they needed to know what, if anything, was being planned next. In response to this perfectly reasonable request from a close ally, the Saudis neither said "Yes" or "No." Instead, they peremptorily beheaded all four of the prisoners on the spot.63 Not only would American intelligence officials not have a timely opportunity to interview the men, the Saudis made sure that no one would ever talk to them again. But any introspection as to what might have motivated this startling and brutal response from the Saudis government was quickly cut short. Indeed, the consequences of the Saudi government's actions could hardly have been more predictable, or more immediate. On May 31, 1996, less than a month after the four men were executed,64 a truck bomb exploded outside the U.S. Air Force barracks known as the Khobar Towers, killing 19 Americans and wounding over 350 more.65 Moreover, even the most simple and mundane of requests have been beyond the abilities (or concern) of our good friends, the Saudis. As James Risen has reported, the CIA first began making requests for basic information on Osama bin Laden back in 1996, asking for such routine items as photocopies of Bin Laden's birth certificate, passport, and other basic personal records. The Saudis refused. Indeed, at the time of the September 11 attacks, the CIA still had not received a copy of Osama bin Laden's birth certificate.66 These findings were further corroborated by the congressional Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001 (the "Joint Inquiry"). Even though the Joint Inquiry's findings on Saudi Arabia's role in 9/11 were heavily censored by the Bush administration,67 the final report did confirm that, "According to a U. S. Government official, it was clear from about 1996 that the Saudi Government would not cooperate with the United States on matters relating to Usama Bin Ladin." Another official "reemphasized the lack of Saudi cooperation and stated that there was little prospect of future cooperation regarding Bin Ladin." And yet another official, "told the Joint Inquiry that he believed the U.S. Government's hope of eventually obtaining Saudi cooperation was unrealistic because Saudi assistance to the U.S. Government on this matter is contrary to Saudi national interests."68 The Joint Inquiry concluded by observing that: A number of U. S. Government officials complained to the Joint Inquiry about a lack of Saudi cooperation in terrorism investigations both before and after the September 11 attacks. . . . A high-level U. S. Government officer cited greater Saudi cooperation when asked how the September 11 attacks might have been prevented.69 Even Spanish70 and German71 authorities have openly complained about the Saudi government's persistent refusal to cooperate in counterterrorism investigations. As for Robert Baer's claim, in the quote above, that the loyalties of the Saudi police lie with Bin Laden, he is not the only one to observe as much. James Risen later recounted one troubling story which illustrates just how deep the problem runs. He wrote: Because the Jordanian intelligence service, which is closely tied to the CIA, is renowned in the Middle East for its effectiveness, top Saudi officials asked it to


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review the Saudi intelligence apparatus and provide them with an assessment. When they began touring Saudi military and security facilities to conduct their review, however, the Jordanians saw something that helped explain why the Saudis had not done a better job in counterterrorism--a number of Saudi officials had Osama bin Laden screen savers on their office computers, according to an American source who heard the story from a top Jordanian official.72 In a similar vein, The Washington Post reported in May 2003 that, "Saudi authorities are investigating suspected illegal arms sales by members of the country's national guard to al-Qaida operatives in the country, U.S. and Saudi officials said. The weapons were seized in a May 6 raid on an al-Qaida safe house and were traced to national guard stockpiles, the U.S. and Saudi sources said."73 And in September 2003, Time magazine reported that, in a recent round-up of Al Qaeda operatives inside the Kingdom, "One arrest suggested al-Qaeda may have penetrated Saudi security forces: the suspect was a police officer."74 What's more, the incessant stonewalling has not even been the worst of it. It is becoming increasingly clear that Saudi authorities have, at times, actively sabotaged American efforts to pursue Al Qaeda. Indeed, James Risen has reported that the CIA's "Bin Laden Group" drafted a memo for CIA Director George Tenet in which they classified Saudi intelligence as a "hostile service" on matters relating to Al Qaeda.75 He explained: CIA sources also say that the agency has had strong evidence that some of the intelligence it has shared with Saudi security officials has ended up in the hands of al Qaeda operatives. For example, the CIA has in the past given the Saudis copies of NSA communications intercepts, which included conversations among suspected al Qaeda operatives in Saudi Arabia. But after the CIA gave the intercepts to the Saudis, the suspects quickly stopped using the communications that the Americans had been monitoring, making it far more difficult to track the terrorists.76 But Risen didn't stop there. He went on to add yet another wrinkle to the stunning revelations surrounding the capture of Abu Zubaydah. According to Risen, when Zubaydah was captured in Pakistan, U.S. authorities found on his person two bankcards, one from a Kuwaiti bank and another from a Saudi bank.77 This was a significant find. As discussed in Part 1, due to the sophisticated shell game employed by Saudibased financiers and charities, and their frequent use of the hawala financial transfer system, uncovering the means by which Al Qaeda is financed has been exceedingly difficult. However, these two bankcards, found in the personal possession of Al Qaeda's alleged No. 3 man, provided a unique opportunity to trace Al Qaeda money back to its source. As Risen noted, "The discovery of Abu Zubaydah's cards provided some of the most tantalizing physical evidence ever uncovered related to al Qaeda."78 But American investigators soon ran into difficulty getting any information about the accounts from Saudi authorities. They were eventually able to recruit a Muslim financier to probe his Saudi intelligence contacts for further details. Risen recounted what they found out: Saudi intelligence officials had seized all of the records related to the card from the Saudi financial institution in question; the records then disappeared. There was no longer any way to trace the money that had gone into the account. The timing of the reported seizure of the records by Saudi intelligence closely 13

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coincided with the timing of Abu Zubaydah's capture in Pakistan in March 2002.79 Incredibly, that is not the only story about the Saudi government actively trying to cover up Al Qaeda's money trail which has emerged since 9/11. Time magazine reported that, "One of the Administration's top counterterrorism officials says the Saudis still appear to be protecting charities associated with the royal family and its friends. He says the bank records of a charity suspected of being an al-Qaeda front mysteriously disappeared."80 Nor is this the only report of U.S. intelligence officials being forced to resort to surreptitious intelligence gathering methods to get to the truth about Al Qaeda's financiers. As U.S. News & World Report found in June 2003: Even after 9/11, the Saudis proved less than cooperative. Frustrated, the CIA took matters into its own hands, hacking into Middle Eastern bank accounts to chart the flow of funds to al Qaeda operatives, intelligence sources tell U.S. News. Other times, case officers offered bribes and came away with bank statements and account numbers.81 Clearly, the CIA's Al Qaeda specialists were right on the money in classifying Saudi intelligence as a "hostile agency." Perhaps the most outrageous example of Saudi stonewalling came in direct response to September 11 itself. At the time of the attacks, the United States had over 5,000 military personnel in Saudi Arabia, almost all of them members of the U.S. Air Force. Squadrons of F-15 and F-16 fighters were rotated in and out of Saudi bases built largely by American contractors. We stationed those planes there to defend the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, enforcing the no-fly zone in Operation Southern Watch and deterring any future aggression by Saddam Hussein. As it turned out, we would eventually need those aircraft to defend ourselves against the Al Qaeda organization based in Afghanistan, which had just murdered 3,000 Americans on our own native soil. But the Saudis said, "No!" As The Washington Post reported at the time: The American military campaign against bin Laden and his followers appeared to suffer a setback when the Saudi Arabian defense minister, Prince Sultan, told an Arabic newspaper that no troops could use his country's bases for military strikes on Arabs and Muslims. "We will not accept in our country even a single soldier who will attack Muslims or Arabs," Sultan said in an interview published yesterday in the governmentcontrolled Okaz newspaper.82 Throughout the entire war in Afghanistan, not a single bombing sortie was launched from those Saudi air bases, because the Saudi government refused to allow us to use the very aircraft which we stationed there in order to defend the Kingdom, to defend ourselves. In light of this slap in the face from our so-called ally, how could anyone possibly believe that the Saudi royals felt one ounce of remorse or contrition for the events of September 11? And as for the Prince's explanation that, as a matter of policy, they would not allow foreign troops to attack other Muslims or Arabs from Saudi territory, that is a transparent farce. During the Persian Gulf War the Saudi royals welcomed with open arms over 550,000 U.S. troops, including two entire armored divisions, for the express purpose of attacking the Muslim, Arab soldiers of the Iraqi army, and bombing the Muslim, Arab nation of Iraq in preparation thereof.83 On the other hand, it is not difficult to discern the critical difference between bombing


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Iraq in response to the invasion of Kuwait and bombing Afghanistan in response to 9/11. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed told us the difference ­ a majority of the Al Qaeda recruits in those Afghan training camps were Saudi Arabian.84 They weren't really objecting to the bombing of their fellow Arabs and Muslims; they were objecting to the bombing of their fellow Saudis. Indeed, Prince Nayef later decried the U.S. military action in Afghanistan altogether, declaring that, "This is killing innocent people. This situation does not please us at all."85 I'm sure it did not. But then again, when it comes to stiff-arming the United States in it's pursuit of Al Qaeda, the Saudis were just getting warmed up. Rogues Gallery Pakistan has done plenty to earn its reputation as a problematic ally in the War on Terror. Pakistani intelligence played a key role in orchestrating the rise of the Taliban in the wake of the Soviet pullout of Afghanistan in 1989, as discussed in Part 3, and their renowned nuclear physicist A.Q. Kahn has become the Johnny Appleseed of nuclear proliferation, doling out nuclear technology to such rouge nations such as Libya, Iran and North Korea, without being held accountable in the slightest by the Musharraf regime.86 Yet there is one area in which the Pakistanis clearly have contributed to our counterterrorism efforts, and that is assisting U.S. authorities in capturing some of Al Qaeda's deadliest operatives. Ramzi Yousef, Abu Zubaydah, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, Tawfiqh bin Attash and Mustafa Ahmed alHawsawi were all captured in joint operations by U.S. and Pakistani intelligence, and they were all promptly turned over to American custody.87 The fact that they were all hiding in Pakistan in the first place is obviously not a positive sign. But the fact that we have been able to reach out to the Pakistani government for help in taking each of these men into custody, without having wayward Pakistani officials blow the operation by tipping off the suspects, has clearly resulted in some of our most important gains in rolling up the Al Qaeda organization. Now compare the Pakistan's track record to that of our friends and allies in Saudi Arabia. Not only have the Saudis refused to prosecute or punish homegrown terrorists and their financial backers, including some of Al Qaeda's founding members, but they have also consistently refused to even allow U.S. officials to question these men directly. Thus, they have very deliberately given some of the men most responsible for the rise of Al Qaeda, and its attacks on the U.S., both their freedom and a safe haven from U.S. authorities which truly is unique in this world. You've already read about some of these key players before. For instance, in Part 1 we discussed Wael Julaidan and Adel Batterjee, both of whom have been key financiers and logistics managers for Al Qaeda since its very inception. Recall that Julaidan has been described by one U.S. official as "one of the founders of Al Qaeda."88 Internal Al Qaeda documents described in federal court filings by the U.S. Justice Department include an early organizational chart on which Julaidan was listed as the person responsible for "Jihad support."89 Other internal documents showed that Julaidan was named to Al Qaeda's initial Shura (Advisory) Council, the steering committee which worked directly with Bin Laden in leading the organization.90 Julaidan's work on behalf of Al Qaeda continued right up through September 2001. Indeed, Abu Zubaydah has told U.S. authorities that he and Julaidan traveled to Kandahar together in the Summer of 2000, where they both met with Bin Laden personally.91 And earlier in 2000, Julaidan became the Director General of the Rabita Trust, yet another Saudi-based "charity" that was used to funnel cash to Al Qaeda.92 In September 2002, the Treasury Department designated Julaidan a supporter of global terrorism and officially froze his assets.93 15

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Likewise, Batterjee is a wealthy Saudi businessman who has been in the forefront of Al Qaeda's efforts to organize and finance Islamic jihadists in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Chechnya and Sudan for over two decades.94 In order to provide a conduit for financing the mujahideen, he founded the first of his "Benevolence" charity fronts, the Islamic Benevolence Committee, in 1987.95 When Osama bin Laden moved his operations to Sudan in 1991, Batterjee's charity front soon followed. The relationship between Batterjee and Bin Laden has been explored in detail in federal court documents filed by the U.S. Justice Department, describing how money flowing into the Benevolence charities was surreptitiously siphoned off to fund Al Qaeda.96 Yet another of Al Qaeda's financial fronts in Sudan was the Al Shamal Islamic Bank in the capital of Khartoum, of which Batterjee served as chairman until as recently as 2002. U.S. authorities have alleged that Bin Laden himself deposited $50 million into the Al Shamal Islamic Bank.97 In December 2004, Batterjee was designated a supporter of global terrorism by the Treasury Department. One Treasury official declared that, "Adel Batterjee has ranked as one of the world's foremost terrorist financiers, who employed his private wealth and a network of charitable fronts to bankroll the murderous agenda of al Qaeda."98 Yasin al-Qadi and Sheikh Aqil Abdulaziz al-Aqil were two of the other key Al Qaeda financiers discussed in Part 1. Al-Qadi's major claim to fame has been his stint as the director of the Muwafaq ("Blessed Relief") Foundation. A month after September 11, the Treasury Department declared that, "Muwafaq is an al-Qaeda front that receives funding from wealthy Saudi businessmen. Blessed Relief is the English translation. Saudi businessmen have been transferring millions of dollars to bin Laden through Blessed Relief."99 Indeed, the Treasury Department went on to name Al-Qadi a "Specially Designated Global Terrorist" and freeze his financial assets.100 In November 2001, Treasury Department general counsel David Aufhauser was even more explicit. In an official letter to Swiss authorities first reported by Newsweek, he described Al-Qadi as having "a long history of financing and facilitating the activities of terrorists and terrorist-related organizations, often acting through seemingly legitimate charitable enterprises and businesses."101 Sheikh al-Aqil headed an even bigger charity front, the Al Haramain Foundation. In February 2004, the Treasury Department designated him a terrorist supporter and froze his assets.102 The Treasury Department explained that: As AHF's founder and leader, Al-Aqil controlled AHF and was responsible for all AHF activities, including its support for terrorism. . . . When viewed as a single entity, AHF is one of the principal Islamic NGOs providing support for the al Qaida network and promoting militant Islamic doctrine worldwide. Under Al Aqil's leadership of AHF, numerous AHF field offices and representatives operating throughout Africa, Asia, Europe and North America appeared to be providing financial and material support to the al Qaida network.103 In addition, according to terrorism expert and former FBI analyst Matthew Levitt, Al-Aqil "was caught transporting millions of dollars out of [Saudi Arabia] via couriers."104 In a 2002 interview, Al-Aqil confirmed that over 95% of Al Haramain's funding came directly from Saudi Arabia.105 What do Julaidan, Batterjee, Al-Qadi, and Sheikh al-Aqil all have in common besides their allegiance to Osama bin Laden? They have all spent the years since 9/11 living openly in Saudi Arabia, free as birds.106 Needless to say, none of the twenty wealthy and well-connected


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Saudis who were named on the Golden Chain list of Al Qaeda financiers, discussed in detail in Part 1, have been held accountable either.107 As the 9/11 Commission investigators complained: Much of the frustration with the Saudis results from their apparent lack of will to prosecute criminally those persons who U.S. intelligence indicates are raising money for al Qaeda. Although willing to take other actions based on the intelligence--such as removing someone from a sensitive position or shutting down a charity--the Saudis have failed to impose criminal punishment on any high-profile donor.108 Likewise, an Independent Task Force sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations came to much the same conclusion: Not only have there been no publicly announced arrests in Saudi Arabia related to terrorist financing, but key financiers remain free or go unpunished. For example, Yasin al-Qadi, a Specially Designated Global Terrorist, appears to live freely in Saudi Arabia. . . . Wa'el Julaidan, who was jointly designated on September 6, 2002, by the governments of the United States and Saudi Arabia as "an associate of Usama bin Laden and a supporter of al-Qa'ida terror," also appears to live freely in Saudi Arabia. . . . The same is true for Aqeel Abdulaziz Al-Aqil, the founder and long-time leader of the Al Haramain Islamic Foundation (AHF). . . . We find it regrettable and unacceptable that since September 11, 2001, we know of not a single Saudi donor of funds to terrorist groups who has been publicly punished--despite Ambassador Bandar's assertion, in response to the issuance of our first report, that Saudi Arabia would "prosecute the guilty to the fullest extent of the law."109 And just this September, ABC News reported that the Saudis refusal to punish a single terrorist financier continues to this day: Despite six years of promises, U.S. officials say Saudi Arabia continues to look the other way at wealthy individuals identified as sending millions of dollars to al Qaeda. . . . Not one person identified by the United States and the United Nations as a terror financier has been prosecuted by the Saudis, [Stuart Levey, the under secretary of the Treasury in charge of tracking terror financing] says. 110 They simply will not lift a finger to stop this. Even with regard to the purely bureaucratic process of jointly designating these terrorist financiers before the United Nations, there have been striking displays of bad faith by Saudi authorities. For example, the same report by the Independent Task Force of the Council on Foreign Relations cited above recounts the joint designation of Al Qaeda co-founder Wael Julaidan as a terrorist financier: Although the designation was jointly reported to the United Nations, Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz, the Saudi interior minister, publicly disavowed his government's designation of Julaidan within twenty-four hours after it was announced in the United States. On September 7, he reportedly stated: "Those who say this [about Julaidan] should provide the evidence they have to convince us. We do not accept that a Saudi citizen did any action against his religion and country, but we depend on facts."111 17

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The Washington Post provided further background on the reaction within the U.S. intelligence community to these two-faced pronouncements coming from the highest levels of the Saudi government, reporting: U.S. officials said planning for a high-level confrontation with the Saudi government began shortly after Sept. 9, when the two governments announced they were jointly designating a Saudi citizen as a terrorist sponsor and freezing his assets, heralding a new era of cooperation. Less than 48 hours later, two senior Saudi officials publicly disowned the designation of Wa'el Jalaidan, a co-founder of al Qaeda, infuriating U.S. officials. A Saudi official said later the disavowal was the result of a "misunderstanding." According to two senior administration officials, while the Saudi government ultimately did designate Jalaidan a terrorist financier, the conflict marked a turning point even for those in the administration who had argued against pressing the Saudis too hard on terrorism. "We were livid at the disavowal of the Jalaidan designation," a senior U.S. official said. "The Saudi public statements in that case were nothing short of schizophrenic. Saudi Arabia is one of the epicenters of terrorist financing."112 Recall that Osama bin Laden himself has publicly acknowledged his close working relationship with his "brother," Wael Julaidan.113 Efforts to stymie the work of Adel Batterjee have faired little better. As the 9/11 Commission investigators found: [T]he FBI in Chicago knew of Adel Batterjee but had little understanding of who he was. They later obtained records showing Batterjee was contributing funds to [Benevolence International Foundation]. In the summer of 1999, they sent what the Bureau calls a lead--relaying information and requesting action--to Saudi Arabia, through the Legat, for information on Batterjee. As of 9/11 they still had received no response.114 To put this obstinacy in context, note that at the time the FBI had already begun searching the trash at Benevolence International Foundation's U.S. headquarters in Illinois. As the 9/11 Commission investigators noted: In addition, on April 21, 1999, the agents recovered from BIF's trash a newspaper article on bioterrorism, in which someone had highlighted sections relating to the United States' lack of preparedness for a biological attack.115 Again, could there be any doubt that the Saudis simply do not care how many Americans are killed in Al Qaeda's global jihad against the United States? Incredibly, the list doesn't stop with Al Qaeda financiers, but includes Al Qaeda operatives, as well, including some directly involved with attacks on the U.S. For instance, consider the case of Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, who was described in Part 3. Khalifa ran the IIRO office in the Philippines from 1988 to 1994 and used the charity to channel funds to likeminded radicals throughout Southeast Asia, such as the Abu Sayyaf Group in the Philippines.116 Indeed, one congressional leader in the Philippines went so far as to tell The Wall Street Journal, "The Abu Sayyaf wouldn't exist without Khalifa. They are his creation."117 And in the last 18

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public interview before his death last year the founder of Abu Sayyaf, Khaddafy Janjalani, confessed that his organization was kick-started with millions in Philippine pesos delivered to him by Khalifa.118 But Khalifa was much more than just an Al Qaeda bagman. A sworn affidavit by the FBI describes in detail evidence uncovered in New York, San Francisco and the Philippines which has tied Khalifa to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing (for which he was named an unindicted co-conspirator by the Justice Department), a plot to assassinate the Pope and bomb churches in the Philippines, and the "Bojinka" plot to bomb a dozen commercial airliners en route to the U.S.119 Indeed, the Al Qaeda cell responsible for the Bojinka plot had gotten as far as conducting a test run in which their homemade bomb exploded on a Philippine Airlines flight to Tokyo, killing a Japanese passenger and injuring eleven others.120 U.S. authorities have estimated that if the Bojinka plot had been successfully executed, it might have killed as many as 4,000 people.121 In spite of all this, and more, Khalifa was allowed to spend the years since September 11 living in Jeddah, where he ran a seafood restaurant and talked openly to reporters about how misunderstood Bin Laden was.122 Then there is Khaled al-Harbi. As noted in Part 2, he was the Saudi jihadist on that smoking gun video in which Bin Laden admitted his role in the attacks, who told Osama bin Laden how happy everyone was back in the Kingdom after 9/11.123 In July 2004, he was allowed to return to the Kingdom under a grant of amnesty by Crown Prince Abdullah.124 In Part 1, we saw how Omar al-Bayoumi helped the first two hijackers to arrive in the U.S. in their efforts to open bank accounts, obtain social security cards, and apply for driver's licenses and credit cards. Not only did Al-Bayoumi help them find an apartment, he also co-signed their lease and forked over a certified check for over $1,500 to pay the deposit and first month's rent.125 Not only did the Saudi government peremptorily reject the notion that Al-Bayoumi might be extradited, but the Interior Minister, Prince Nayef, told the Arab language daily al-Hayat: "We have never handed over a Saudi to a state or foreign party and we will never do it."126 And then there are Hamdan al-Shalawi and Muhammed al-Qudhaieen, the two college students in Arizona who in November 1999 went on a trans-continental flight to Washington, DC on America West airlines, flying on tickets purchased by the Saudi government.127 During the flight, the two asked odd and probing questions about aircraft security. Then Al-Qudhaieen got up and attempted to barge into the aircraft's cockpit ­ not once, but twice.128 The flight crew was so disturbed by this behavior (even before 9/11) that they had the two men detained by local authorities at the flight's layover in Columbus, Ohio. Although released at the time, both men were subsequently identified as Al Qaeda recruits who had received explosives training in Afghanistan, and federal authorities now believe the incident was an attempt to probe airline security in anticipation of the 9/11 attacks.129 According to the 9/11 Commission, Al-Shalawi made his way to Afghanistan in November 2000, where he was instructed on how to carry out a Khobar Towers-style terrorist attack. He eventually admitted to U.S. authorities that he had attended the camps, and was later identified by an Al Qaeda accomplice who was captured in Pakistan in the company of Abu Zubaydah.130 By October 2003, Al-Shalawi and Al-Qudhaieen were safe and sound back home in Saudi Arabia.131 But once again, things get even worse still. Perhaps the most egregious slap in the face by the Saudi government came in regard to Al Qaeda's former finance chief, Madani alTayyib132 Al-Tayyib served on Al Qaeda's initial Shura Council, along with Wael Julaidan, and had a hand in nearly every aspect of Al Qaeda's operations through the mid-1990's.133 Tayyib would eventually have such a tight grasp on Al Qaeda's purse strings, according to James Risen, he was required to approve of every expenditure of more than $1,000.134 Indeed, according to 19

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sworn testimony in the trial of the African embassy bombers, Al-Tayyib played a key role in Al Qaeda's effort to acquire nuclear materials in 1993.135 Another federal court filing by the U.S. Justice Department details how Al-Tayyib helped dispatch a group of Al Qaeda operatives to Chechnya as reinforcements for the Saudi jihadist leader Al Khattab.136 Al-Tayyib apparently grew weary of the austere life of an Al Qaeda operative and gave himself up to Saudi authorities in 1997.137 By the time Al Qaeda carried out the African embassy bombings in 1998, U.S. authorities had recognized the imminent threat posed by the organization. Given the value of his unique knowledge of Al Qaeda's inner workings, U.S. officials made repeated requests for direct access to Al-Tayyib, but to no avail. As The 9/11 Commission Report recounted, six years later, in July 2004: Several officials told us, in particular, that the United States could not get direct access to an important al Qaeda financial official, Madani al Tayyib, who had been detained by the Saudi government in 1997. Though U.S. officials repeatedly raised the issue, the Saudis provided limited information. In his September 1998 meeting with Crown Prince Abdullah, Vice President Gore, while thanking the Saudi government for their responsiveness, renewed the request for direct U.S. access to Tayyib. The United States never obtained this access. 138 So neither the personal entreaties of the Vice President of the United States of America, nor the mass murder of nearly 3,000 American citizens by 15 royal subject of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia three years later, were sufficient reasons for our so-called "friends and allies" to grant this eminently reasonable and urgent request. On the other hand, taking into consideration the reporting of Gerald Posner and Simon Henderson discussed above, it's not too difficult to guess why the Saudis might object to U.S. authorities talking with Al Qaeda's CFO. 139 But even that would not fully explain this report of Saudi obstruction from Time: The counterterrorism official, however, says the Saudi government has demonstrated a lack of openness in some areas, causing him to wonder what it has to hide. For example, the official tells TIME, the Saudis have denied U.S. officials access to several suspects in custody, including a Saudi in detention for months who had knowledge of extensive plans to inject poison gas in the New York City subway system. U.S. officials want to talk to him to determine how far the plot advanced and whether he had associates in the U.S. The Saudis have provided no detailed information about him.140 Likewise, when the Saudi government claimed to have rounded up an Al Qaeda cell which attempted to shoot down a U.S. military plane in the Kingdom in June 2002, CBS News reported that, "Saudi authorities will not allow foreign security personnel to interrogate its 13 detained al Qaeda suspects, a government-controlled Saudi newspaper reported Wednesday, describing a policy that could strain U.S.-Saudi relations."141 Thus the outrageous conduct of the Saudi government in denying U.S. authorities even cursory access to Al-Tayyib turns out to be only one example of a larger pattern of conduct, repeated again and again.


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Yet another wrinkle to all this, as reported in The Boston Globe, not only were the Saudis refusing allow us access to known Al Qaeda members, but they were once again claiming that their refusal was a matter of policy, mandated by Islamic law. The report stated: While Washington has officially said that the Saudis have been cooperative, US investigators on the case continue to be frustrated by Saudi ``foot dragging,'' as one intelligence source described it, and an interpretation of Islamic law that the Saudis say prohibits non-Muslims from interrogating Muslims on Muslim land.142 Clearly, this has to be yet another fraud on the part of the Saudis. How do we know? Consider this inside account of how (Muslim) Iraqi POWs were handled inside Saudi Arabia during the Persian Gulf War: Saudi Arabia, 1991. During Operation Desert Storm, the EPW ["Enemy Prisoners of War"] detention mission was assigned to the 800th MP Brigade, whose U.S. Army Reserve (USAR) headquarters was in New York. The brigade and its supporting MP units were assigned to the 22d Support Command soon after arriving in Saudi Arabia. Using their own supplies as well as those purchased by the Saudi Arabian Government, the units constructed four large EPW camps along main supply routes in two zones, east and west, and two joint interrogation facilities collocated with two camps in each zone. Early in the operation, MP advisory teams trained the Saudi Army to take over the EPW mission. The war lasted only 100 hours but produced 70,000 EPWs, many of whom were taken into custody after the cease-fire agreement was signed. The GPW ["Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War"] was applied to all of these detainees. The 800th MP Brigade conducted informal article 5 tribunals for many detainees who claimed to be Iraqi civilians. Saudi Arabia bore all the expenses of logistically supporting the EPW operation.143 Not only did the U.S. Army interrogate tens of thousands of Iraqi Muslims inside the Kingdom, they did it with the direct cooperation and financing of the Saudi government itself. So much for Islamic law. And last but not least, there's Bin Laden. In the penultimate act of laissez faire counterterrorism, the Saudis passed on an opportunity to capture Bin Laden as he was being forced out of Sudan in the aftermath of a botched attempt at assassinating Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.144 As The 9/11 Commission Report recounted: In late 1995, when Bin Ladin was still in Sudan, the State Department and the CIA learned that Sudanese officials were discussing with the Saudi government the possibility of expelling Bin Ladin. U.S. Ambassador Timothy Carney encouraged the Sudanese to pursue this course. The Saudis, however, did not want Bin Ladin, giving as their reason their revocation of his citizenship.145 CIA veteran Robert Baer has tried to put this development in context: In 1996 the Saudi government simply declined Sudan's offer to turn over Osama bin Ladin. Riyadh's explanation? Bin Ladin was too popular in Saudi Arabia; his arrest would incite a revolution. Since September 11, not a single indictment or


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even a useful lead has come out of Saudi Arabia. So thorough has been the lockdown that the FBI has not been allowed to interview suspects, including the families of the fifteen Saudi hijackers.146 Indeed, Prince Turki himself has admitted that, "the president of Sudan offered to extradite bin Laden to us, under the condition that we would not take legal action against him."147 Turki went on to claim that the Saudis rejected the offer because, contrary to the demands of the Sudanese, they wanted to put Bin Laden on trial. He did not explain what Sudan could possibly have done to Saudi Arabia, on which it had depended heavily for financial and military aid for decades (as detailed in Part 3), if the Saudis went ahead and tried him anyway. But Saudi ambivalence toward the capture of Osama bin Laden didn't end there. U.S. counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke described his experience confronting the Saudis about the financing of Al Qaeda during the Clinton administration. He recounted that, in the wake of the African Embassy bombings in 1998: We recognized that the Saudi regime had been largely uncooperative on previous law enforcement-focused investigations of terrorism, including the 1996 bombing of Khobar Towers that killed nineteen members of the U.S. Air Force. . . . We wanted to avoid a typical pattern of Saudi behavior we had seen: achingly slow progress, broken promises, denial, and cooperation limited to specific answers to specific questions. . . . In the end, however, despite Saudi promises to provide additional information and support, little was forthcoming in the months after the visit, nor after a subsequent visit from Rick Newcomb to follow up. The Saudis protested our focus on continuing contacts between Usama and his wealthy, influential family, who were supposed to have broken all ties with him years before. "How can we tell a mother not to call her son?" they asked.148 Needless to say, when we find out a mass murderer is calling home to Mom here in the U.S., we get a court order (or not)149 and tap the phone lines so we can figure out where he's calling from. Apparently, that was too much to ask of the Saudis. And any uncertainty as to the consequences of this ambivalence have been cleared up by The Sunday Herald, which reported that, "Certainly, the world's most wanted man is still close to some of his relatives. He phoned his stepmother, Al-Khalifa bin Laden, two days before the terrorist attacks on America to tell her `something big' was about to happen."150 None of which restrained Prince Turki from assuring The New York Times in December 2001 that, when it came to their efforts to capture Bin Laden before 9/11, "We didn't leave any stone unturned."151 The Open Spigot As discussed above, for decades U.S. authorities at the highest level have been pleading for the Saudis to reign in their so-called "Islamic charities" and wealthy financiers from sponsoring global terrorism. And for decades they have been met with evasions, mixed messages, bureaucratic posturing, false promises and outright lies. The story has become a true hallmark of U.S.-Saudi relations in the era of Al Qaeda. As The New York Times reported in December 2002: The issue is not new. Two decades ago, the State Department tried unsuccessfully to pressure Saudi Arabia to stop underwriting militant Islamic


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groups in Algeria. Saudi officials said that the financial support did not constitute official policy, but also insisted that "they couldn't tell Saudis where to put their money," Edward S. Walker Jr., a former top State Department official involved in the talks, said in an interview. . . . Matthew Levitt, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and a former terrorism analyst for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, said Saudi officials and state-paid religious leaders sat on the boards of charities the American government suspected of supporting terrorism. "More than a year into the war against terrorism, Saudi officials continue to actively support organizations that finance international terrorism," he said in an interview.152 U.S. News and World Report provided further background on the Saudi approach to dealing with terrorist financing: In June 1999, the NSC's William Wechsler, Treasury's Richard Newcomb, and others on the task force flew to Riyadh. They were met by a half-dozen senior Saudi officials, all dressed in flowing white robes and checkered kaffiyehs. "We laid everything out--what we knew, what we thought," said one official. "We told them we'd just had two of our embassies blown up and that we needed to deal with them in a different way." Two things soon became clear. The first was that the Saudis had virtually no financial regulatory system and zero oversight of their charities. The second was that Saudi police and bank regulators had never worked together before and didn't particularly want to start. Those were problems, but the Americans made it clear they meant business. If the Saudis didn't crack down, [Richard] Newcomb explained, Treasury officials had the ability to freeze assets of groups and individuals who supported terrorists. That struck a nerve. The mention of wealthy Saudis prompted lots of nervous chatter among the Saudis. But on some points, the Saudis seemed genuinely puzzled. Some stressed that jihad struggles in certain regions, such as Israel and Chechnya, were legitimate. Still, the Saudis agreed they may have a problem. Changes, they said, would be made. But none were. A second visit by a U.S. delegation, in January 2000, elicited much the same reaction.153 Such has been the consistent response in our attempts to goad the Saudis into action in shutting down the pipeline of petrodollars to Al Qaeda and like-minded jihadist organizations. Increasingly desperate American pleas for help have been met with and steady stream of denials, high dudgeon, and PR ploys, but always, ultimately, inaction. What makes this obstinance even more infuriating is that, in theory, Saudi-based charities have been operating under the direct supervision of the Saudi government for over a decade. In 1993, the Saudi government announced it would exercise oversight over charitable outlays and expenditures outside the Kingdom. In August of that year, The Washington Post reported, "In April, Saudi Arabia announced a ban on private charitable contributions sent overseas without approval from Riyadh's generally pro-Western government."154 A decade later, however, the Post further recounted:


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As part of this effort, the Saudis created an Islamic affairs ministry in 1993 that was intended to be the key institution for exporting Wahhabism. The ministry, officially known as the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Endowment, Call and Guidance, is led by Saleh Sheik, a direct descendant of Ibn Abdul Wahab. . . . Sheik said his ministry "supervises" charities abroad to "make sure their funds go to the right places" and also provides religious books and scholars for Saudisupported Islamic centers, schools and universities. But it has "no direct responsibility" for them, he said.155 This has been a constant refrain of the Saudi government: they don't have any responsibility for what goes on in these charities, they just supervise them. Or in other words: we don't know what's going on in here, we just own the place. And of course, this is the same Ministry for Islamic Affairs which has itself been implicated in spreading Wahhabism (and terrorism) abroad, as detailed in Part 3. Indeed, it has become embarrassingly clear that the Saudis have been playing a sort of bureaucratic three-card monte with U.S. counterterrorism officials for well over a decade. One after another the Saudis have announced the development of new agencies and regulations, the kind of shiny baubles with which are DC bureaucrats are so easily impressed, only to walk away from implementing these programs in any manner whatsoever. The pattern begins all the way back in 1990. As the 9/11 Commission investigators found: The Saudis took little initiative with respect to their charities. They did not make tough decisions or undertake difficult investigations of Saudi institutions to ensure that they were not being used by terrorists and their supporters. Although the Saudis did institute "Guidelines for Preventing Money Laundering" in 1995 and "Regulations on Charitable Organizations and Institutions" in 1990, these were very loose rules whose enforcement was doubtful. Moreover, the regulations covered only domestic charities, through the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, and exempted all charities set up by royal decree.156 The Independent Task Force of the Council on Foreign Relations reported on subsequent developments in October 2002: In 1999, for instance, Saudi Arabia approved amendments to its existing money laundering laws intended to bring them into compliance with international standards, but to date these amendments have not been implemented, according to the most recent State Department reports.157 The Saudis were making all the right moves when it came to shuffling paper, but without enforcement and implementation this would in reality have no effect whatsoever on terrorist financing. Needless to say, Saudi efforts intensified after the attacks on September 11; by which I mean the parade of phony reforms accelerated. Once again, the Ministry of Islamic Affairs led the charge ­ in the wrong direction. As the 9/11 Commission investigators observed of the Saudis' bureaucratic game of hot potato: Foreign operations of charities were not regulated until 2002, when the Ministry of Islamic Affairs was put in charge of overseeing them. In the summer of 2002, the Saudis claimed that all out-of-country charitable activities had to be reported to the Foreign Ministry, but later in the year a representative of the Foreign 24

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Ministry said he knew of no such regulation. They claimed that they were reviewing all domestic charities in 2002 but took no actions and did not inform the U.S. government of any findings, even while clandestine activity continued. They repeated promises throughout 2002 to establish a High Commission that would oversee all charitable activities, and then claimed to have created such an entity in December 2002. By late fall of 2002 the Saudi government said it was moving to regulate charities further, but the U.S. government had not seen any documentation to that effect as of spring of 2003.158 At long last, the High Commission! Yes, that would solve all our problems ­ just as soon as the Saudi government got it up and running. But alas, you can probably guess what happened next. As the Independent Task Force of the Council on Foreign Relations reported in June 2004: As this report was going to press, for example, we were unable to find evidence to suggest that the announced High Commission of Oversight of Charities was fully operational. Moreover, its composition, authority, mandate, and charter remain unclear, as do important metrics of its likely effectiveness, such as staffing levels, budget, and personnel training. The mandate and authority of the High Commission of Oversight of Charities is also unclear relative to that of the Saudi National [Commission] for Charitable Work Abroad, which was first announced in February 2004.159 Yes, that's right. At this point, having simply declined to even form the much-heralded High Commission, the Saudis decided to do the only sensible thing ­ they decided to form yet another bureaucratic entity, the "Saudi National Commission" (perhaps to figure out why no one had bothered to form the High Commission). As the 9/11 Commission staff recounted: On February 29, 2004, the Saudi government announced that it had approved the creation of the Saudi National Commission for Relief and Charity Work Abroad to take over all aspects of overseas aid operations and assume responsibility for the distribution of charitable donations from Saudi Arabia. . . . The Saudis still have not established the National Commission as they promised in February 2004 and have not demonstrated that they are willing and able to serve as the conduit for all external Saudi donations in lieu of Saudi charities.160 It simply has to be asked, could the Saudis' malicious intent possibly be any more obvious? But it doesn't end there. In addition to refusing to follow up on their promised reforms, it is equally clear that the Saudis have declined to use those institutions they did have up and running. For example, as terrorism expert Stephen Schwartz recounted: On February 5, 2002 . . . [t]he Saudi government declared it would "take every measure possible to prevent use of these charitable efforts for any unlawful activities." However, the very next day, the embassy issued another statement, which could not but stir doubts about Saudi commitments. In it, the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) denied it was monitoring the private bank accounts of any individuals . . . On May 14, 2002, SAMA went further when its vice-governor, Muhammad al-Jasser, declared that "not even a single bank account has been frozen in Saudi Arabia" in connection with terror funding.161


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Following up on the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency, former FBI counterterrorism analyst Matthew Levitt wrote an op-ed in February 2004 summing up the remarkable progress the Saudis had made. He observed: [W]hile the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) passed impressive money laundering and terrorist financing regulations in May, these have yet to be enforced. U.S. officials praise the agency's capabilities. Unfortunately, SAMA remains unempowered. . . . Saudi Arabia also still lacks a financial intelligence unit. Eighty-four such units are operating worldwide, including the U.S. Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. According to U.S. and European officials, the Saudi unit exists on paper but is not yet functioning.162 By this point the Saudi counterterrorism program had truly become a grotesque comedy, a theater of the absurd. And even now in 2007, as ABC News reports, we have undersecretaries of the U.S. Treasury Department wistfully pining that, "If I could somehow snap my fingers and cut off the funding from one country, it would be Saudi Arabia."163 Reviewing the blatant pattern of false promises and deceit above, it's worth noting a few related points. First, in the wake of the Riyadh residential compound bombings in May 2003, U.S. officials repeatedly claimed that the Saudis had turned a new leaf and were being more aggressive and cooperative in their counterterrorism efforts. For example, Time reported: Whatever al-Qaeda's reasons, it had refrained from attacking within the kingdom until May 12. After the bombings that day, "the scales fell from the eyes of the Saudis," Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage has said. Says a U.S. official: "Now they are taking on the militant subculture head on."164 Yet many of the reports of Saudi fraud above post-date the May 2003 attacks. (And of course, some of these same officials were saying the exact same thing before the May 2003 attacks.)165 Once again, Matthew Levitt highlighted this point in a February 2004 op-ed summing up the remarkable progress the Saudis had made. He observed: After the May [2003] bombings, the Saudis announced the establishment of the Saudi High Commission for Charities. This would be a step forward, as there are currently many ministries and agencies that have a hand in dealing with terror financing within the kingdom. However, several official and academic inquiries produced no evidence the commission actually exists.166 Clearly, Saudi cooperation is still not what it is cracked up to be, at least in so as far as Bush administration officials are willing to disclose. Second, it should be noted U.S. counterterrorism officials repeatedly tried to lead the Saudis by the hand, especially after 9/11. For example, they actively sought to remedy the oftenheard complaint that the Saudis simply lacked the capacity to properly monitor their Islamic charities. As the 9/11 Commission investigators found: The U.S. government was willing, and made several offers, to provide the Saudis with the necessary training. In 2002, the Saudis were described as "reluctant to host trainers from U.S. agencies on issues related to terrorist financing. This reluctance is partly cultural--an attitude that training implies a lack of equality between the parties." The U.S. government sent a Financial Services Assessment Team (FSAT) to Saudi Arabia in April 2002 to learn about Saudi financial 26

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systems and structures and ascertain opportunities for U.S. assistance and training, but the Saudis failed to schedule several key meetings during this trip.167 But in spite of our best efforts, it only became more evident over time that we were being played for fools. Again, the 9/11 Commission investigators reported: A U.S. official [with the NSC] said that Saudi representatives complained that junior U.S. officials were, in essence, bothering them. . . . in the words of one senior U.S. official, the U.S. government allowed itself to be "gamed" by the Saudis because it failed to speak with one voice.168 Unfortunately, the 9/11 Commission seems to be taking a bit of a "blame America first" mentality in this passage. Indeed, as noted above, The 9/11 Commission Report itself described in detail how Vice President Al Gore made a request for U.S. access to Al Qaeda's former chief financial officer, Madani al-Tayyib, directly to Crown Prince Abdullah while in the Kingdom on a state visit in 1998. Hence, even when U.S. officials have spoken with one voice, and at the very highest levels, they could expect little more than a slap in the face from the Saudis. With friends like these, it's no wonder we've been able to stymie global jihadism so effectively. Yet all of this only presents part of the picture. In addition to the Saudi government's bureaucratic machinations, the same pattern of mendacity and bad faith can be seen in their enforcement actions against individual charities. In Part 1, we saw how U.S. authorities have, over time, moved aggressively against the Al Haramain Foundation, designating twelve of its foreign offices, and ultimately the organization as a whole, as terrorist supporting entities.169 The 9/11 Commission's Terrorist Financing Staff Monograph describes in detail the behind-thescenes effort to make that happen. First there was obstruction: The United States shared some of its information with the Saudis in an effort to spur action, including evidence that al Haramain officials and employees in East Africa may have been involved in the planning of the 1998 embassy bombings. The United States sought information and reports from the Saudis on employees of al Haramain around the globe and their connections to Bin Ladin, but received no substantive responses.170 Only after repeated attempts at the very highest levels did the Saudis respond, and then only minimally: However, the Saudis were slow to respond to the U.S. proposal on the two al Haramain offices. The issue was taken up by senior levels in the U.S. government. For example, Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill raised the proposal on his March 2002 trip to Saudi Arabia. Eventually, the Saudi government agreed to the joint designation of the two al Haramain offices, although it did not agree to designate the other six entities or individuals originally proposed.171 Then more obstruction, and farcically transparent stalling tactics: During 2002, the Saudis repeatedly said they would be prepared to act against al Haramain if the U.S. government provided them with more information, especially about specific branch offices and individuals. . . . Some viewed Saudi requests for information from the United States as somewhat disingenuous given


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Saudi Arabia's ability to gather information on HIF [al Haramain] and its supporters.172 And then came the two-faced lies (or in the more genteel terminology of the 9/11 Commission, the "inaccuracies"): Even after the Saudi government froze the assets of the Bosnian office in March 2002, one senior Saudi government official denied in the press that the al Haramain office in Sarajevo was engaged in illicit activities. He claimed that the U.S. government had apologized to HIF for designating the wrong office. Another senior Saudi official characterized any terrorist financing out of the Kingdom as involving isolated cases and government controls as sufficient to prevent further problems; a third described HIF's clandestine activities as outside activities. We know these descriptions were inaccurate, as the U.S. and Saudi governments continued to take action against al Haramain and its employees.173 And then the more false promises: On May 8, 2003, the U.S. embassy in Riyadh reported that the Saudi government would close ten al Haramain branch offices pending review of their finances. This claim was reiterated several times by Saudi or HIF officials over the summer of 2003. Although these measures were all steps in the right direction, the Saudi government generally failed to carry out a number of the actions pledged. For instance, they did not close the branch offices of HIF as promised.174 And these are all examples from just one report, unequivocally illustrating the double-dealing that the Saudis have engaged in with regard to Al Haramain. During all this time, Al Haramain's officials were openly scoffing at U.S. efforts to reign the organization in. For instance, the founder and director of Al Haramain, Sheikh Aqil al-Aqil, publicly boasted that, "we have a large number of offices all over the world. We still can do the work in Bosnia and Somalia even if our offices there were closed. We can run the work through preachers. They can close the offices but they cannot arrest all the preachers."175 Sure enough, The New York Times reported in July 2003: Earlier this year, under pressure from Washington, Saudi government officials announced that Al Haramain had been asked to close down in all the Muslim countries where it was operating. The large two-story house that Al Haramain used as its headquarters in a remote suburb of Jakarta was put up for rent last month. But the offices moved to a smaller house down the block and a Haramain official continues to oversee the completion of the charity's expensive new religious boarding school on the outskirts of Jakarta.176 In June 2003, the Saudi government reported that all of Al Haramain's overseas offices would be officially closed. But as U.S. News & World Report found, "That came as news to its director, al-Aqil, who in July told Reuters that he was still running branches in Egypt, Yemen, Sudan, Mauritania, Nigeria, and Bangladesh."177 And in January 2004, a U.S. State Department press release added further details to Al Haramain's efforts to avoid official containment:


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The Saudi government in 2003 ordered Al-Haramain to close all of its overseas branches. Although Al-Haramain said it had closed its branches in Indonesia, Kenya, Tanzania and Pakistan, continued monitoring by the United States and Saudi Arabia indicates that the branches or officials connected to those offices either continued to operate "or have other plans to avoid these measures," Treasury said. The joint action builds on earlier U.S.-Saudi moves to prevent Al-Haramain branches from using charitable donations to fund terrorist activities, Treasury said. The two countries in March 2002 jointly blocked the funds of the charity's branches in Somalia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. When it became apparent that AlHaramain was continuing to operate under a new name in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the United States and Saudi Arabia joined in asking the United Nations to add the new name, "Vazir," to its list of terrorist-supporting organizations.178 Note that during all this time, as noted above, Sheikh Al-Aqil was living free as a bird at home in the Kingdom. Finally, in June 2004, the Saudi government promised that Al Haramain would be dissolved altogether.179 But predictably, no one bothered to tell that to Al Haramain. As Arab News reported four months later, in October 2004: The Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation has not received any official notice of its dissolution, a source at the charity institution said yesterday. "I can assure you that we did not receive any official notice regarding this matter and that is all I can say for now," the source said about agency reports on Tuesday that the Ministry of Endowment and Islamic Affairs had declared the closure of the institution. . . . A senior Saudi official said in June that Al-Haramain and other private groups would be dissolved or have their international operations and assets merged into a new Saudi National Commission for Charitable Work Abroad.180 Indeed, in September 2004, the U.S. Treasury Department officially designated an Oregon office of Al Haramain a terrorist supporting entity.181 Congressional Quarterly posed the obvious question: In June, the Treasury Department and the government of Saudi Arabia jointly designated Al Haramain branches in Afghanistan, Albania, Bangladesh, Ethiopia and the Netherlands as terrorist sponsors. At the time, Saudi Arabia also said it was dissolving Al Haramain and other charities, and creating a single, nongovernmental organization to coordinate Saudis' private charitable giving overseas. Former NSC official Myers, now a lawyer in the Washington office of Katten Muchin Zavis Rosenman, found the situation confusing. "One can only wonder -- if [Al Haramain] is no longer in existence, why is there a branch in Oregon?" he asked.182 The answer, I believe, is that we are being played for a bunch of fools.


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Of course, to listen to Saudi officials describe it, there was really no problem with terrorist financing to begin with. Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, the Saudi government continually insisted the problem was not only under control, but had been solved altogether. As The New York Times recounted: Faced with rising criticism, the Saudi Embassy in Washington put out a statement last August [2002] saying that new regulations had been established to sever links between charitable groups and extremist organizations. "All charitable groups have been audited to assure there are no links to suspected groups," the statement said.183 U.S. News & World Report found much the same thing, quoting the now Saudi ambassador to the United States: "These people may have taken advantage of our charities," says Adel al-Jubeir, foreign affairs adviser to the crown prince. "We're looking into it, and we've taken steps to ensure it never happens again."184 And Time magazine quoted the Saudi Foreign Minister, Prince Saud al-Faisal, as claiming that, "The money aspect is now completely controlled, and your government knows it." Yet in the very same report, Time quoted American ambassador Robert Jordan declaring of Saudi extremism that, "It is sort of like trying to stamp out crabgrass. As soon as you stamp one of them out, something springs up somewhere else under a different name."185 Yet, at the same time the Saudis have been claiming the problem has already been solved, they have just as adamantly insisted that this problem was not their responsibility at all. As French terrorism expert Jean-Charles Brisard summed up in congressional testimony: In November 2002, Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz said the country was not responsible if "some change the work of charity into work of evil". He stated that he had personally taken part in the activities of those organizations, "and I know the assistance goes to doing good. But if there are those who change some work of charity into evil activities, then it is not the kingdom's responsibility, nor its people, which helps its Arab and Muslim brothers around the world." The prince, King Fahd's brother, added that if beneficiaries had used assistance "for evil acts, that is not our responsibility at all".186 Indeed, Adel al-Jubeir, in a stunning display of rhetorical gymnastics, made both claims within the very same breath. As terrorism expert Steven Emerson recounted in congressional testimony: In a June 2003 news conference at the Saudi Embassy in Washington, DC, Adel al-Jubeir, Foreign Affairs Advisor to Crown Prince Abdullah, said the Saudi Government "implemented new rules and regulations...which lay out what Saudi Arabia has done. It is now not legal for a Saudi charity to have offices outside Saudi Arabia." Asked later whether Saudi charities had complied with these new regulations, al-Jubeir said, "I hope so." Al-Jubeir also stated, "if the United Nations is headquartered in New York, is America responsible for everything the U.N. does? Of course not."187 Again, they don't know what's going on over there, they just own the place. 30

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However, in the end the Saudi's circuitous logic and blatant obstruction should be no surprise. The fact is that major Saudi charities like Al Haramain and the IIRO are intimately connected to the Saudi royal family. Many are practically government agencies. As the 9/11 Commission noted, the same financial apparatus which funds Al Qaeda is inextricably integrated with the Saudi government and Saudi society: The Western notion of the separation of civic and religious duty does not exist in Islamic cultures. Funding charitable works is an integral function of the governments in the Islamic world. It is so ingrained in Islamic culture that in Saudi Arabia, for example, a department within the Saudi Ministry of Finance and National Economy collects zakat directly, much as the U.S. Internal Revenue Service collects payroll withholding tax. Closely tied to zakat is the dedication of the government to propagating the Islamic faith, particularly the Wahhabi sect that flourishes in Saudi Arabia. . . . While Saudi domestic charities are regulated by the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare, charities and international relief agencies, such as the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), are currently regulated by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs. This ministry uses zakat and government funds to spread Wahhabi beliefs throughout the world, including in mosques and schools. Often these schools provide the only education available; even in affluent countries, Saudifunded Wahhabi schools are often the only Islamic schools. Some Wahhabifunded organizations have been exploited by extremists to further their goal of violent jihad against non-Muslims. One such organization has been the al Haramain Islamic Foundation; the assets of some branch offices have been frozen by the U.S. and Saudi governments.188 But as we've seen, the idea that these organizations are merely being exploited by "extremists" seems either hopelessly naïve or willfully ignorant. A February 2003 report by investigative journalist Brian Eads addressed this fact head-on: Saudi Arabian officials claim that any involvement of these organizations with terrorism is the work of "rogue elements." But few people believe this claim. "All individuals running overseas charities are government appointed and the government watches every penny," a Saudi academic told Reader's Digest in the country's capital, Riyadh.189 Indeed, the Saudis themselves have seemed to confirm as much. Consider, for example, the sworn testimony of Arafat El-Asahi, the director of IIRO in Canada and a full-time employee of the IIRO's parent organization, the Muslim World League. In a Canadian court he explained: Let me tell you one thing. The Muslim World League, which is the mother of IIRO, is a fully government funded organization. In other words, I work for the Government of Saudi Arabia. I am an employee of that government. Second, the IIRO is the relief branch of that organization which means that we are controlled in all our activities and plans by the Government of Saudi Arabia. Keep that in mind, please. . . . I am paid by my organization which is funded by the [Saudi] government. . . . The [IIRO] office, like any other office in the world, here or in


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the Muslim World League, has to abide by the policy of the Government of Saudi Arabia. If anybody deviates from that, he would be fired; he would not work at all with IIRO or with the Muslim World League.190 In fact, the IIRO reportedly receives 70% of its financing from the Saudi government.191 In January 1996, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, donated SR500,000 worth of computer equipment to set up IIRO's office in the U.S.192 And in March 1997, Secretary General Abdullah Al-Obaid publicly thanked King Fahd for his direct support of the Muslim World League, noting that the Saudi government had provided more than $1.33 billion in financial to the organization since 1962.193 The same applies for Al Haramain. Indeed, Sheikh Aqil al-Aqil has publicly stated that, "We work under the supervision of the Saudi government."194 At a joint fundraiser for Al Haramain, the IIRO and WAMY in November 2001, Prince Salman donated SR1.5 million to the groups. This matched the sum he donated at a similar fundraiser in 1999.195 But perhaps the most egregious example of Saudi hypocrisy concerns the Saudi High Commission in Bosnia. After all their protests disclaiming any responsibility for the activities of Saudi-based charities, the Saudis got the High Commission dismissed from the U.S. lawsuit by the families of the 9/11 victims by invoking the doctrine of sovereign immunity. That is, they successfully argued that the charity was an official branch of the Saudi government, and was therefore immune to civil lawsuits in the U.S. Indeed, the judge in that case specifically found that the Saudi High Commission "was formed by order of the Kingdom's governing body, it provides the Kingdom's aid to Bosnia, it is governed by a Saudi official and its employees are civil servants, it is an organ of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia."196 Recall that this is the same Saudi High Commission in whose offices Bosnian authorities discovered before-and-after photos of the World Trade Center Towers, the USS Cole and the Nairobi embassy, as well as photos of U.S. military installations, information on pesticides and crop dusters (similar to that found on Zacarias Moussouai's laptop computer), and information on how to forge U.S. State Department identification badges.197 Jean-Charles Brisard is the French terrorism expert who is now the lead investigator for the civil lawsuit filed by the 9/11 families. In testimony before the U.S. Senate, he summed up the disturbing track record of the Saudis this way: In June 2001, the late FBI Chief of Antiterrorism, John O'Neill, told me that "All the answers, all the keys enabling us to dismantle Bin Laden's network are in Saudi Arabia". Today, all of our leads and much of the evidence collected by the 9/11 families put Saudi Arabia on the central axis of terror and shows that this government was aware of the situation, was able to change the path of its organizations, whether banks, businesses or charities, but voluntarily failed to do so. Rather, the Saudi government repeatedly claimed since at least 1993 that the situation was under control while facilitating the reach and involvement of the charities and the financial institutions of the kingdom, or inciting its citizens to support the terror fronts when the highest ranking members of the royal family are pouring tens of millions of dollars each year to Islamic charities known for diverting money to Al-Qaida.198 And it is very clear that this pattern continues to this day. As noted in Part 1, the same wealthy donors and prominent charities which have served as the backbone of Al Qaeda's financial apparatus are now funding the Sunni insurgency in Iraq.199 Tellingly, attacks in Sunni controlled


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areas have been the cause of the overwhelming majority of U.S. casualties in Iraq.200 Nonetheless, Stuart Levey, the Treasury Department's undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, tried to put the best face on the progress the Saudis had made in assisting us in the War on Terror. In April 2006, he testified before Congress: "Is money leaving Saudi Arabia to fund terrorism abroad? Yes," said Levey, who has traveled to Saudi Arabia twice in the last two months. "Undoubtedly, some of that money is going to Iraq. And it's going to Southeast Asia and it's going to any other place where there are terrorists." He said Saudi Arabia had taken steps to curb terrorism financing, but had failed to set up a special charity commission to regulate the sector, as it had pledged. He said rules implemented as a stop-gap measure in the interim "haven't been uniformly implemented." Levey said Saudi Arabia's fledgling Financial Intelligence Unit, set up last year after much prodding from the United States, was still not fully functional.201 Of course, Levey is the same Treasury Department official who, a year later, would state, "If I could somehow snap my fingers and cut off the funding from one country, it would be Saudi Arabia."202 The Con Game How could we have failed to recognize the central role the Saudis have played in the rise of Al Qaeda and the promulgation of the global jihadism for so long? Certainly, the answer to that question must be a complicated and disturbing one, but the Saudis have clearly done their part to help move things along. Indeed, it is easy to understand how even Saudi royals who might not be sympathetic to Osama bin Laden and the strident xenophobia espoused by the Wahhabis have every incentive to deceive the American people. On September 11, 2001, fifteen of their royal subjects murdered nearly 3,000 citizens of the most powerful nation on earth ­ on live TV, no less. After that day, their very survival depended on the Saudi royal family not being held accountable for this horrific act, no matter how damning the evidence of their complicity might be. So one could only expect them to do and say whatever was necessary to ensure that U.S. bombs would never fall on Saudi Arabia, no matter how many American citizens their royal subjects might murder. And that is exactly what they have done, to staggering effect. They have pulled strings, called in markers, and used DC lobbyists and public relations firms to manipulate the American people and, above all, our professional politicians with a level of skill one would hardly have thought possible. As Prince Bandar once boasted, "You can call us many things, but politically stupid we are not."203 Truer words have seldom been spoken. In order to dupe (or at least provide political cover, and talking points, for) our professional political class, they have spread one lie after another in a truly epic public relations campaign here in the U.S. The Foreign Agents Registration Act requires the full disclosure of any foreignsponsored political propaganda disseminated inside the United States.204 For the years 2002 through 2004, the Saudis reported spending over $50 million on stateside public relations and lobbying work.205 In one six-month period in 2002 alone, the Saudi government reported paying their principal public relations firm in the U.S., Qorvis Communications, over $14.6 million.206 Moreover, the official record may only give a partial accounting of their public relations activities. For it appears that the Saudis have been running their stateside PR campaign with the


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same sort of duplicitous money laundering and shell-game tactics which they have used to finance Islamic extremist groups like Al Qaeda. In December 2004, Newsweek reported on a "startling raid by the FBI on the downtown Washington offices of Qorvis, a well-connected PR group that began representing the Saudis in the aftermath of the September 11 terror attacks."207 As Newsweek recounted: Federal prosecutors are seeking to determine whether the Saudi Embassy's PR firm, Qorvis Communications, made false statements to the Justice Department and violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA)--a 1938 law requiring full disclosure of foreign-sponsored propaganda in the United States . . . In last week's raid, a team of FBI agents, armed with a search warrant and grand-jury subpoenas, hauled away documents and computer hard drives believed to contain records of the PR firm's role in arranging for the financing and content of the advertising. The campaign was sponsored by the Alliance for Peace and Justice, a hastily arranged and now dormant group consisting of well-established Washington organizations active in Middle East issues. . . . [S]ources familiar with the probe say prosecutors are focusing on whether the Alliance for Peace and Justice was used by Qorvis president Michael Petruzzello and his chief client, the Saudi Embassy's [Adel] al-Jubeir, to run advertisements that were really designed to burnish the Saudi government's image and influence the domestic debate on U.S. Mideast policy. . . . The ads were initially financed by a "bridge loan" of about $640,000 from the Saudi Embassy, the Alliance source said. Within a few weeks, the loan was repaid by funds solicited by al-Jubeir in Saudi Arabia from businesses associated with the Chambers of Commerce in Saudi Arabia and believed to be close to the Saudi government, the source said.208 This wasn't the first time Qorvis had made the news because of their relationship with the Kingdom. Not long after the Saudi embassy committed to paying the PR firm's $200,000 monthly retainer, three of its founding members walked out. The New York Times explained: [F]riends and associates, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the departures had been prompted largely by growing evidence of ties between prominent Saudis and the financing of the terrorism network Al Qaeda, and by a concern that the firm and its reputation were being overwhelmed by its work for Riyadh. The announcement of their departures came only a day after the Saudi government held a rare news conference in Washington to insist that Saudi leaders had worked closely with the Bush administration in combating terrorism.209 And on top of all this, there is also non-government sponsored propaganda being directed at the U.S. by Saudi special interest groups and private financiers. Indeed, in an apparently independent effort to manipulate U.S. opinion, the Saudi-based Dallah Albarakah Group announced a $100 million media blitz in both the United States and Europe in late 2002 to counter "anti-Saudi publicity."210 What makes this particularly disturbing is that the chairman of the Dallah Albarakah Group, Saleh Kamel, was listed as a member of the "Golden Chain" of Al Qaeda's principal financial supporters on an internal Al Qaeda document 34

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uncovered by Bosnian authorities in March 2002 (although not made public until much later).211 Much more recently, in June 2006, the Saudi-funded Council on American-Islamic Relations ("CAIR") announced the launch of a $50 million public relations campaign in the U.S. "to dispel misunderstandings of Islam and Muslims." The executive director of CAIR noted that the program would be funded directly by the Saudi royal family. He explained, "We are planning to meet Prince [Walid] ibn Talal for his financial support to our project. He has been generous in the past."212 Indeed, the Saudis have been the principal sponsors of CAIR since the group's inception.213 In yet another attempt to influence public opinion in the U.S., the Saudis appear to have decided to cut out the middleman altogether and invest directly in stateside news organizations. The same Prince Walid mentioned above, whom Rudy Giuliani observed smirking at the sight of Ground Zero shortly after September 11,214 has now acquired a sizeable interest in News Corp. ­ the parent company of Fox News.215 Moreover, he's recently become a critical boardroom ally of Rupert Murdoch, and that relationship is evidently paying off. At a press conference in December 2005, shortly after immigrant riots broke out in France, Prince Walid put an end to any speculation that he might have undue influence over the content of Fox News. He recounted: I was in America watching Fox News when I saw a news report being labeled as Muslim riots. I immediately called up [Rupert] Murdoch and informed him that it was wrong to label any riot caused by whatever reason as Muslim. After a short while, there was a change, and the news report about Muslim riots was simply labeled as riots.216 Needless to say, French reporters on the ground at the time told a different story. Michel Gurfinkiel, the editor of Valeurs Actuelles, reported that, "only ethnic youths are rioting, that most of them explicitly pledge allegiance to Islam and such Muslim heroes as Osama bin Laden, that the Islamic motto ­ Allahu Akbar ­ is usually their war cry, and that they submit only to archconservative or radical imams."217 So the Saudi royals have already succeeded in dictating U.S. news programming to suit their own agenda.218 Yet another recent development in the Kingdom illustrates just how committed the Saudis have become to their PR program. At the exact same time the Bush administration was shifting its justification of the Iraq War (after failing to find a trace of those terrible WMDs) to spreading freedom and democracy in the Middle East, the Saudis made a clever move to dovetail on this PR gambit. In his January 2005 inaugural address, Pres. Bush declared that, "it is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world."219 Just weeks later, the Kingdom held it's first ever democratic elections for "municipal council" members in February 2005. But the enthusiasm of the Saudi populace for these elections cannot be understated. Only about 148,000 out of 600,000 eligible voters in the Saudi capital bothered to register to vote. Of those who registered, only 107,000 showed up to vote; that's 17.9% of eligible voters.220 Given the fact that all women were peremptorily denied the right to vote, that's presumably less than 9% of the voting-age population. And that was in the political hotbed of Riyadh. At the time of the elections, the BBC reported vaguely that, "The powers of the municipal council are not clear."221 In a totalitarian state like the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, that


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obviously doesn't bode well. Predictably, The Economist later provided a more detailed analysis, reporting that, "There are 178 municipal councils or baladiyas in the country. Their powers are confined to local planning decisions, and responsibility for local services such as refuse collection." But even when it comes to collecting the garbage, the elected council members were little more than figureheads. The Economist continued, "However, the presidency of each of the baladiyas will remain by appointment of the king, and it is the president who will continue to exercise ultimate executive authority within each of the councils."222 Tellingly, the BBC would eventually report that, "Eight months after the elections for the all-male municipal councils the councils have yet to meet."223 How anyone could see this as anything more than a dog-and-pony show, one tailor-made for the benefit of the Western media, is not clear. Indeed, one Saudi journalist explained the lack of interest in the Kingdom as the result of the widespread perception that the elections were "just a public relations maneuver."224 But it gets even worse. The few Saudis who did show up overwhelmingly voted for candidates endorsed by the Wahhabi religious authorities, a clear indicator that true democracy in Saudi Arabia may only lead to the further entrenchment of Wahhabi control over life in the Kingdom, if such a thing is even possible.225 So in one sense, I suppose, we are lucky that those much-ballyhooed elections were nothing more than a sham. Nothing to See Here Having engineered the best spin machine money could buy, the Saudis proceeded to foist one lie after another on the American public. Their initial reaction to 9/11 was the simplest and most straightforward ­ deny everything. On September 11, 2001, nineteen terrorists hijacked four commercial passenger planes over the eastern United States and used them as guided missiles to murder nearly 3,000 Americans in broad daylight.226 Of those nineteen hijackers, fifteen were Saudi Arabian.227 We know this not only beyond a reasonable doubt but, really, to a scientific certainty. We know it from every type of evidence one could ask for. We know it from the videotape of the hijackers boarding the airplanes,228 from the real-time eyewitness reports of the flight attendants and passengers calling to authorities on the ground,229 from the voices of the hijackers being transmitted over the airplane radios and recorded on the cockpit voice recorders,230 from the abandoned rental cars they left behind in the airport parking garages,231 from the suicide notes they wrote to loved ones,232 from the martyrdom videos they filmed to inspire others,233 from the videotaped admissions of Osama bin Laden234 and, in some cases, even from DNA taken from the remains of the hijackers found at Ground Zero.235 Yet in spite of all of this, Saudi officials spent months adamantly denying that any of the hijackers were Saudi nationals. According to journalist Elsa Walsh, in a report published in The New Yorker, Prince Bandar bin Sultan was personally informed of the identities of the hijackers on September 12, 2001, by CIA Director George Tenet himself.236 Yet over a month and a half later, on October 31, 2001, The Washington Post reported: The FBI previously had listed eight of the hijackers as possible Saudi citizens, and other U.S. officials had said that a dozen or more appeared to be Saudis. But State Department records make clear that 15 of the men applied in Saudi Arabia and listed themselves as Saudi citizens, although it is still possible that some could have used phony documents. Saudi officials insist that "identity theft" is likely and that the true names of some of the men remain in doubt.237


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Three months after that, the Saudis continued to sing the same tune. On January 28, 2002, CBS News reported that, "Fifteen of the 19 hijackers of the passenger jets that crashed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on Sept. 11 were Saudis, according to U.S. officials. Saudi officials insist no Saudi involvement has been proven."238 Finally, a full five months after the attacks, the Saudis finally appeared to concede the obvious: Saudi Arabia acknowledged for the first time that 15 of the Sept. 11 suicide hijackers were Saudi citizens, but said Wednesday that the oil-rich kingdom bears no responsibility for their actions. Previously, Saudi Arabia had said the citizenship of 15 of the 19 hijackers was in doubt despite U.S. insistence they were Saudis.239 As the PBS news program Frontline noted, "It took five months for the Saudi government to admit that most of the hijackers were Saudis, even denying it long after the Americans provided DNA evidence."240 That would seem to have been the end of it, but in fact it was just the beginning. Nearly a year later, in December 2002, the Saudis were at it again. Prince Nayef told a Kuwaiti newspaper, "I cannot still believe that 19 youths, including 15 Saudis, carried out the September 11 attacks with the support of bin Laden and his Al-Qa'ida organization. It's impossible. I will not believe that these people have the power to do so horrendous an attack." He concluded, "We put big question marks and ask who committed the events of September 11 and who benefited from them. Who benefited from events of 11/9? I think they [the Israelis] are behind these events."241 Mind you, Prince Nayef is not just a random hothead within the Saudi royal family. He is the Minister of the Interior, and the head of the Kingdom's internal security apparatus. To the extent we rely on the Saudi government to protect us from another 9/11 by cracking down on Al Qaeda, we are relying on Prince Nayef. Later, in April 2004, the then Saudi ambassador to the U.S., Prince Bandar, tried to explain away Prince Nayef's statement on Meet the Press: I don't know what circumstances this quote was made. But I can tell you the position of my government . . . Zionists were not behind it, but there is a reason why people were skeptical. If you watch 9-11--Commission of 9/11, people just could not believe that those young people who came--who were trained in caves in Afghanistan could do something so spectacular and evil and sophisticated. The truth of the matter, we all were. So there was doubt, is it true, that those people are the ones who planned it and executed it? Well, we discovered later that it is true.242 Needless to say, Prince Bandar's answer did not come close to even acknowledging the fact that Prince Nayef's statement was not a knee-jerk denial, but was rather made nearly a year-and-ahalf after the September 11, a point which host Tim Russert specifically raised in his question. Nor does his answer jibe with the numerous reports of widespread celebrations inside the Kingdom in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, as detailed in Part 2.243 But as reasonable as Prince Bandar's comments may have sounded at the time, they were surely rendered moot just a few weeks later. Following the May 2004 terrorist attacks in Yanbu, Saudi Arabia, in which two American citizens were killed, then Crown Prince (and now King) Abdullah declared in remarks


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broadcast on Saudi state television that "Zionism is behind terrorist actions in the Kingdom . . . I am 95 percent sure of that."244 Indeed, in the wake of 9/11, the Saudis have repeatedly denied that Al Qaeda had a significant presence in the Kingdom. These denials never made much sense to begin with, given the fact that by January 2002 Saudi officials had already admitted to The New York Times that 25,000 of their royal subjects had received para-military training or experience abroad in Al Qaeda training camps and assorted jihadist hotspots,245 and that 95% of educated adult Saudi males had approved of Osama bin Laden and his agenda in a poll taken by Saudi intelligence just weeks after 9/11.246 But none of this seemed to faze the Saudis, who were determined in their efforts to bamboozle the American public, consistency be damned. As The Boston Globe recounted in March 2002: After months of denying that there were any Saudis involved in the hijacking, the palace only last month officially acknowledged that 15 of the hijackers were indeed Saudi. But the monarchy continues to dismiss any notion that Al Qaeda could have been operating and recruiting inside the kingdom.247 Predictably, it wasn't long before Saudi claims were being blatantly contradicted by events on the ground. For example, the 9/11 Commission found that most of the 9/11 hijackers were recruited into Al Qaeda while they were still inside the Kingdom.248 Likewise, the Council on Foreign Relations would report: Senior Saudi officials blame the bad press on lies and misinformation peddled in the U.S. media by agents of a deliberate anti-Saudi campaign. For months, the Saudis also rejected charges that al-Qaeda had a presence in the kingdom, but in June 2002, Saudi officials arrested 13 men, all but two of them Saudis, suspected of al-Qaeda activity, including an attempt to shoot down a U.S. military plane.249 Suddenly, in the wake of the May 2003 residential compound bombing in Riyadh, the Saudis announced that they had arrested hundreds of suspected Al Qaeda member. By that September, Time magazine was willing to call the Saudis on their absurd dissembling. They reported: Whereas U.S. allies like Germany, France and Singapore responded to the attacks on America with aggressive battles against hidden al-Qaeda cells in their territories, Saudi Arabia acted as if the 15 Saudi hijackers had come, literally, out of nowhere. In fact, Saudi Arabia has been crawling with al-Qaeda activists, as revealed by Abdullah's recent crackdown.250 And in February 2004, American terrorism expert Evan Kohlmann would put Saudi duplicity in a whole new perspective. He recounted: In mid-January, an unnamed Saudi official admitted to the Associated Press that his country had discovered "a number" of al Qaeda terrorist training camps hidden in the desert of the Arabian Peninsula. This assertion was quickly downplayed by Saudi Interior Minister Prince Nayif, who countered that "there are no training or terror camps in the kingdom, not yesterday, not today . . . He who says the kingdom harbors terrorism should reconsider his words." Prince Nayif's denial is in inexplicable contrast to his own previous admission last July that at least a "small number" of al Qaeda militants active in the region had 38

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indeed been recently "trained on farms and the like" on Saudi soil. In fact, the interior minister has contradicted not only himself, but also compelling visual evidence distributed on the Internet confirming the presence of al Qaeda safehouses and training camps inside Saudi Arabia.251 By May 2004, the Saudi government claimed to have rounded up and interrogated 800 terrorist suspects, according to The Washington Post.252 And by July 2006, Saudi authorities claimed that 136 militants had been killed inside the Kingdom, either in suicide attacks or during shoot-outs with Saudi security forces.253 Incredibly, this same pattern of blanket denials has been repeated with respect to Saudi meddling in Iraq, as well. By the end of 2003, the initial wave of suicide bombings had already swept through Iraq, and from the beginning reports of Saudi involvement accompanied the casualty reports. For example, one of the first major car bomb blasts occurred on August 29, 2003, outside the Imam Ali Mosque ­ the holiest Shiite shrine in the country. The bomb killed Iraqi Shiite leader Ayatollah Muhammad Baqir al-Hakim, along with 85 of his followers. According to The Boston Globe, among those arrested by Iraqi police in connection with the bombing were at least three Saudi nationals.254 Likewise, one of Ansar al-Islam's very first suicide bombings occurred on March 26, 2003. The attack killed five people, including Australian journalist Paul Moran. The suicide bomber was a foreign volunteer named Abdul Aziz Saud al-Gharbi. He was from the city of Hail, Saudi Arabia.255 Even as these attacks were taking place, Saudi officials were clearly trying to jump ahead of the story. As the Associated Press recounted in August 2003: In an interview with the London-based Arabic newspaper Al-Hayat published yesterday, Saudi Interior Minister Prince Nayef called such claims "baseless." In Washington last week, Saudi foreign policy adviser Adel al-Jubeir challenged the Bush administration to prove suggestions from Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage and others that some of those attacking U.S. troops in postwar Iraq were from Saudi Arabia. "We have no evidence of Saudis crossing into Iraq, and we have received no evidence from the U.S. government," Mr. al-Jubeir said. . . . "American pressure on the kingdom and the fact that Saudi Arabia itself has suffered from militants has made it difficult for people to openly support the resistance in Iraq," Al-Riyadh journalist Mansour al-Nogaidan said. He said clerics and mainstream Saudi newspapers earlier had been more openly supportive of Saudis fighting in Iraq. Still, he said, the presence of Saudi fighters in Iraq is well-known among most Saudis. "Friends have told me about relatives fighting in Iraq," he said, adding he'd read a Web site notice last week about a young Saudi killed fighting in Iraq.256 Through February 2005, evidence that Saudi nationals were playing a leading role among the suicide bombers wreaking havoc in Iraq continued to mount. Nonetheless, the song remained the same. Again, the Associated Press would report:


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Brig. Gen. Mansour al-Turki, spokesman for the Saudi Interior Ministry, said that at a terror conference held in Riyadh recently, Saudi officials asked Iraq's Interior Minister Falah Hassan al-Naqib for information on Saudis in Iraq. "They couldn't give us accurate and precise data," said al-Turki. "They said most of the militants were Sudanese who used to work in Iraq during the rule of Saddam Hussein."257 Since that time, there have been no less than a half a dozen major reports indicating that Saudi nationals have carried out a majority (by some counts as many as 70%) of the suicide bombings in Iraq, as detailed in Part 1. Among them have been independent reports by Israeli terrorism expert Reuven Paz, American terrorism expert Mohammed Hafez, The Washington Post, and NBC News. 258 Finally, just this past July, officials from the U.S. Defense Department, the Bush administration, and the Iraqi government finally conceded the obvious ­ that a majority of the suicide bombers in Iraq have been Saudi nationals.259 When it comes to meddling in Iraq, Saudi claims of innocence have not only been proven flatly false, but the Saudis seem to have been caught red-handed trying to cook the books (yet again). In September 2005, Anthony Cordesman and Nawaf Obaid published a report through a Washington, DC think tank called the Center for Strategic and International Studies ("CSIS").260 The report claimed that only 12% of the foreign fighters in Iraq were Saudis, while a plurality of 20% were allegedly from Algeria.261 This report was quickly picked up on and echoed by a number of mainstream media organizations, including Reuters, the Associated Press, Fox News, The Christian Science Monitor, and The Boston Globe.262 As noted above, these findings have now been totally discredited by U.S. and Iraqi officials. But a number of peculiarities surrounding the report suggest that this error of understating the role of the Saudis in Iraq was no innocent mistake. For instance, according to The Boston Globe, the research supporting the report's findings was performed by Nawaf Obaid, a Saudi national, "who was commissioned by the Saudi government and given access to Saudi officials and intelligence."263 In other words, the Saudi government not only paid for the report, they provided the "intelligence" on which it was based. Indeed, the report itself repeatedly notes that its findings are based on information provided by Saudi intelligence.264 And the CSIS website notes that Obaid, in his day job, is the "private security adviser" to former Saudi intelligence chief Prince Turki al-Faisal.265 So it's no surprise that after Prince Turki publicly stated that only 100 to 150 Saudis were in Iraq as of July 2005, Obaid's report would likewise find that there were only 150 Saudis "presumed active" in Iraq several months later.266 There are other curious discrepancies in the CSIS report as well. For example, in his interview with The Boston Globe, Obaid said that his research was based on interviews with 300 Saudis who had been caught trying to sneak into Iraq. But by the time the report was published, that number had shrunk to 150.267 Moreover, perhaps the most striking claim in the report was that the Saudi government had found that 22% of the Saudi martyrs identified on the same jihadist websites utilized by Reuven Paz in his research on the origins of the foreign jihadists in Iraq had now been found alive and well inside the Kingdom.268 But inexplicably, this critical finding was relegated to the footnotes of the report. Indeed, it is well known that those jihadist websites do not simply list the "martyrs" who have died in Iraq, but generally provide full fledge tributes to the deceased, including photographs, biographical information, and sometimes martyrdom videos depicting the dearly departed. Imagine what a dramatic show the Saudis could put on Al Arabiya, showing the fraudulent photographs and videos from the jihadist 40

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websites, and then parading out the same young men alive and well. Reuven Paz would certainly have some explaining to do if that ever happened. But of course, it never has. And finally, one more curious thing about the report, printed conspicuously on its cover page, is the address of CSIS. It's on K Street in Washington, DC ­ the location of choice for federal government lobbyists. Indeed, Anthony Cordesman himself has publicly admitted that CSIS receives its funding, in part, from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He made this disclosure in a recent op-ed in The New York Times, in which he defended a proposed $20 billion arms sale to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.269 These guys certainly seem to be earning their keep. The Wedge Issue While the first attempt to obfuscate their culpability for 9/11 ­ by denying any Saudi involvement at all ­ ultimately fell to pieces, Saudi officials quickly moved to a second and much more durable line of defense. This was to claim that Osama bin Laden had stacked the deck on 9/11 with Saudi hijackers in order to "drive a wedge" between the United States and Saudi Arabia. There are countless examples of this argument being made by the Saudi royals and their lackeys. For instance, in January 2002, then Crown Prince Abdullah explained to The New York Times: I also believe that bin Laden had an objective in this case. Bin Laden's objective was to drive a wedge between the Kingdom and the United States. He picked young Saudis, and he was able to brainwash them, he was able to program them for an evil cause.270 Two months later, The Boston Globe would recount that: Dr. Said Al Harthi, a senior adviser to Saudi Interior Minister Prince Naif bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, said, ''We believe that bin Laden may well have tried to put a Saudi face on this attack, knowing that it would damage our relations with the United States ... We believe this was his intent.''271 And in August 2002, Saudi spokesman Adel al-Jubeir would quipped to CNN that, "They have tried to drive a wedge between us. They have tried to undermine our relationship with the U.S. They have tried to give Saudi Arabia a bad face and they almost succeeded."272 These are but a few such examples.273 Indeed, the Saudis haven't been the only ones spouting this line. By April 2002, even Pres. Bush seemed to have adopted these Saudi talking points hook, line and sinker. During an April 2002 state visit with Crown Prince Abdullah at his Crawford ranch, Bush proclaimed: He [Abdullah] understands how devious Osama bin Laden has been. He knows that ­ that anybody who ­ you know, that a strategy by some would be to split the United States and Saudi Arabia. It's a strong and important friendship, and he knows that and I know that, and we're not going to let that happen.274 Over time it appears that, just as with the President's pre-war claims about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, these claims have now become the accepted wisdom by the Washington, DC establishment. Indeed, later that year The New York Times reported that, "Today, Mr. Fleischer also suggested publicly that Osama bin Laden and his associates might have chosen some of the 15 Saudi hijackers to `drive a wedge' between the United States and Saudi Arabia. That theory has been put forth by American officials before, but rarely in public."275


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Yet through all the reiterations of the claim that the composition of the 9/11 hijackers was specifically intended to drive a wedge between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, not once did any representative of the Kingdom ever offer any direct evidence of that premise. Not once, that is, until March 2004. Then, former Saudi intelligence chief Prince Turki gave an interview with the German weekly Der Spiegel during which he made an explosive new revelation. He stated: It is correct that Osama bin Laden, who was born in our country, saw fit to modify his team of terrorists shortly before September 11, 2001, and insisted on including a larger number of Saudis. In fact, this is exactly what [Khalid] Sheikh Mohammed, one of the planners of the operation, stated in prison just a few weeks ago. Bin Laden's purpose, in doing so, was to drive a wedge between Saudi Arabia and the West.276 Finally, the sort of concrete proof that everyone had been waiting for. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind behind the attacks on 9/11, had confirmed that the composition of the hijackers was a premeditated political stunt by Osama bin Laden. There was just one problem ­ it was all a bald-faced lie. In fact, less than four months after the Der Spiegel interview, The 9/11 Commission Report would establish that the exact opposite was true! Not only did Khalid Sheikh Mohammed ("KSM") flatly deny that there was ever an attempt to select hijackers of a particular nationality so as to make some sort of political statement, but he explained that the real reason the hijackers were overwhelmingly Saudi Arabian was that this is who Al Qaeda was. The 9/11 Commission Report states: KSM, for instance, denies that Saudis were chosen for the 9/11 plot to drive a wedge between the United States and Saudi Arabia, and stresses practical reasons for considering ethnic background when selecting operatives. He says that so many were Saudi because Saudis comprised the largest portion of the pool of recruits in the al Qaeda training camps. KSM estimates that in any given camp, 70 percent of the mujahideen were Saudi, 20 percent were Yemeni, and 10 percent were from elsewhere. Although Saudi and Yemeni trainees were most often willing to volunteer for suicide operations, prior to 9/11 it was easier for Saudi operatives to get into the United States.277 Yet again, we have a clear and undeniable example of deliberate fraud on the part of the Saudis. However, the fact that these claims would be so dramatically exposed as lies should come as no surprise. On the face of it, the claim that the selection of the Saudi hijackers was intended to accomplish some sort of geopolitical ruse simply doesn't jibe with basic common sense. The fact is, whatever the political inclinations of Osama bin Laden, those 15 young men actually went out and did this. They each committed a deliberate and heinous act of mass murder, killing thousands of people they had never met in their lives, including women and children. Indeed, as noted in Part 2, American Airlines Flight 77 had five children on board ages 3 to 11. Yet that did not give the five hijackers of Flight 77, all of whom were Saudis, any pause in carrying their deadly mission. Moreover, each of the 9/11 hijackers knew that this would be the very last, and defining, act of their lives. They each carried out a fully premeditated act of both murder and suicide. To dismiss the gravity of that as a mere rhetorical gesture by Osama bin Laden defies logic. Moreover, what of every other major terrorist attack against the U.S.? As detailed in Part 42

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1, the Khobar Towers bombing, the suicide bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, the attack on the USS Cole, the Riyadh residential compound bombing, and the Mosul mess tent bombing were all carried out by Saudi nationals. The Saudi government itself has admitted that 25,000 of their young men have received paramilitary training and/or combat experience waging jihad abroad in the years prior to 9/11. And now we find out that a majority of the suicide bombers attacking our troops in Iraq are Saudis, as well. Are we really supposed to shrug our shoulders and write all of this off as some sort of geopolitical PR ploy by Osama bin Laden? That proposition is patently absurd. Taken together, this pattern of evidence clearly indicate that there is something profoundly wrong with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, something that is endemic in Saudi society as a whole. Once again, Stephen Schwartz hit the nail on the head: The authorities of the kingdom insisted that the presence of 15 out of 19 Saudis among the suicide pilots of September 11 was a mere gambit by Osama bin Laden to increase friction between the two powerful countries. It was not. Al-Qaida and its foot soldiers were, simply put, quintessential products of the Wahhabi ideology and the Saudi order.278 Just like Prince Turki, Schwartz made this statement well before the striking revelations of The 9/11 Commission Report came out. The difference, of course, is that time has proven Schwartz absolutely correct on this point. Indeed, Michael Scheuer, the former head of the CIA's Bin Laden Unit, would later confirm that, "Osama bin Laden is not an aberrant personality in Saudi society. He is the poster boy for their educational system."279 Which brings us to yet another excuse repeated ad nauseum by the Saudi royals, that Osama bin Laden represents some sort of deranged outcast from Saudi society. As Crown Prince Abdullah put it in January 2002, "You have had in your own country Americans who have committed terrorist attacks such as Timothy McVeigh, in Oklahoma. A deviant is a deviant regardless of nationality. Bin Laden is a deviant regardless of his nationality."280 Likewise, in March 2002, Saudi spokesman Adel al-Jubeir told The Boston Globe, "But in the end they are 15 individuals out of 16 million Saudis. They do not represent a trend in Saudi Arabia, any more than David Koresh represented a trend in Christianity, or Tim McVeigh represented a movement in America."281 As noted in Part 2, however, comparisons between Osama bin Laden and David Koresh or Timothy McVeigh are absurd on their face. Did our nation's wealthiest and most well-connected businessmen ever contribute tens (if not hundreds) of millions of dollars to David Koresh? Did Timothy McVeigh ever command thousands of followers who were willing to immolate themselves in an effort to murder thousands of innocent civilians half-a-world away? Of course they didn't. The Assassination Game Along with their dissembling about Osama bin Laden's purported attempt to drive a wedge between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, another line often repeated by the Saudi royals is that Al Qaeda poses just as much of a threat to the Kingdom as it does to the U.S. For instance, shortly after September 11 one Saudi official exclaimed, "What shocked me most is why they hit America and not us."282 Likewise, when confronted with evidence that the Saudi royals had been paying off Bin Laden for years, Saudi spokesman Adel Al-Jubeir declared, "Why would they pay? These people threaten us more than they threaten you."283 Later he would tell Tim Russert, "They are coming after us. Their objective is to change and topple the government in 43

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Saudi Arabia."284 Still later, in February 2005, he told CBS News that, "Osama bin Laden has targeted Saudi Arabia since the early 1990s. He declared us his sworn enemies. And he vowed to destroy the Saudi state."285 And just as was the case with the "wedge" issue, Bush administration officials and the American mainstream media have taken this talking point at face value and as received wisdom.286 Once again, Stephen Schwartz has exposed how clearly overblown these claims are. Taking a closer look at Bin Laden's rhetoric (and the gullibility of the Western media), he observed: Through much of the aftermath of the September 11 events, while the Saudis attempted to deflect Western media and government attention from the Wahhabism of the terrorists, many commentators in the West repeated that bin Laden had called for the Saudi monarchy to be deposed and therefore was "as much a threat to them as to us." In reality, he had not gone very far in his criticisms of the Saudi royal family, and whether or not he or others like him really threatened the kingdom, its rulers maintained a curious nonchalance about him. They were obviously much more upset by Western criticism of Wahhabism than by bin Laden's diatribes against Saudi hypocrisy. . . . Bin Laden's complaints about Saudi Arabia were those of a critic, not a revolutionary enemy. . . . Calling for action by the Saudi populace to expel U.S. troops, he advised murdering Americans. But when he summoned Saudi citizens to correct the policies of their government, he never called for killing or other forms of terror against Saudi rulers. Rather, he praised the drafting of petitions to the king and recommended that Saudi women boycott American consumer goods.287 As Schwartz notes, Bin Laden has left no room for equivocation as to his intent toward the United States. To cite but two examples, in his seminal 1996 fatwa, Bin Laden pleaded with his fellow countrymen to lash out at the U.S., declaring that, "Those youths know that their rewards in fighting you, the USA, is double than their rewards in fighting some one else . . . They have no intention except to enter paradise by killing you."288 Likewise, in his February 1998 fatwa, Bin Laden implored, "We ­ with Allah's help ­ call on every Muslim who believes in Allah and wishes to be rewarded to comply with Allah's order to kill the Americans and plunder their money wherever and whenever they find [them]."289 By contrast, I have yet to see a single example of Osama bin Laden openly advocating an act of violence against the Saudi royal family. Indeed, when one looks beyond Bin Laden's rhetoric, to Al Qaeda's actions, the contrast becomes even more apparent. Al Qaeda and its affiliates have a long and distinguished history of embracing political assassination as a means of advancing their agenda. To cite but a few examples, consider the following: · · In June 1993, Al Qaeda operatives were thwarted in a plot to assassinate then Crown Prince (and now King) Abdullah of Jordan.290 In July 1993, Al Qaeda operative Ramzi Yousef spearheaded an attempted assassination of Pakistani Prime Minister Benzanir Bhutto. The plot was reportedly financed by a


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wealthy Saudi donor, but was derailed when the old Soviet-made detonator they had planned to use went off prematurely, injuring Yousef.291 · On August 18, 1993, a motorcycle bomb was detonated alongside the motorcade of Egyptian Interior Minister Hassan al-Alfi. Five people were killed, although Al-Alfi survived.292 On November 26, 1993, a car bomb was detonated next to the motorcade of Egyptian Prime Minister Atef Sedki. One innocent bystander was killed, but Sedki survived.293 In December 1994, an Al Qaeda plot to assassinate the Pope during his forthcoming trip to the Philippines was uncovered by authorities in Manila. The plot was spearheaded (yet again) by Ramzi Yousef, the ringleader of the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, and his cell had already obtained priests robes and collars for use as disguises.294 On June 26, 1995, the motorcade of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was ambushed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia by a team of Al Qaeda gunmen. The ambush failed and Mubarak was whisked back to Egypt. The geopolitical repercussions of this attack would ultimately force Osama bin Laden to flee Sudan.295 In August 2001, Al Qaeda operatives tried to assassinate Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri, but their truck bomb detonated prematurely near the Atrium Mall in Jakarta.296 On September 9, 2001, Al Qaeda operatives disguised as Arab journalists assassinated Ahmad Shah Massoud, the leader of the Northern Alliance (and the nemesis of Al Qaeda's allies ­ the Taliban) in Afghanistan.297 On December 14, 2003, a bomb was detonated under a bridge over which the motorcade of Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf was traveling. Musharraf made it to the other side before the bomb went off, demolishing the bridge.298 On December 23, 2003, two truck bombs were detonated as President Musharraf's motorcade passed by. Fifteen people were killed, but Musharraf survived.299

· ·






Add to all this the assassinations of at least 200 local imams and community leaders from around the world who have opposed the Wahhabis on a grassroots level, as cited by Stephen Schwartz,300 and the recent spate of assassinations of Sunni sheiks in Iraq who are opposing Al Qaeda there.301 Clearly, Al Qaeda has pursued the tactic of political assassination to dramatic effect. Yet over all that time, there was not a single assassination attempt against a Saudi royal.302 This, in spite of the fact that there are approximately 6,000 adult male members of the Saudi royal family303 (in fact, some have put the total estimate of the number of Saudi royals as high as 25,000 to 30,000).304 Consider also that over 24 tons of weapons and explosives were seized inside the Kingdom during the last six months of 2003 alone, a period in which there were numerous attacks on foreigners (and on Americans in particular) inside the Kingdom. And of course, recall Osama bin Laden's claim that he had 15,000 trained jihadists at his disposal in 1991, and the Saudi government's own admission that as many as 25,000 of their royal subjects had received para-military training or experience abroad.305 The inference is simple, "Actions speak louder than words." If Al Qaeda really wanted to attack and kill Saudi royals, they could easily have done so by now. 45

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What's more, on top of all the political assassinations which Al Qaeda has not attempted in the Kingdom, there are all those terrorist attacks it has. Yet in each of these high profile attacks, it is clear that westerners, and above all Americans, were the targets, not the Saudi royals or the Saudi government. As mentioned above, the November 1995 car bombing of the Saudi National Guard training facility in Riyadh is illustrative.306 The 220-pounds bomb was perfectly timed to go off when Saudi nationals were out of the office for their mid-day prayers.307 This had precisely the desired effect ­ all seven of those killed were foreigners, including five Americans.308 Needless to say, the June 1996 bombing of the U.S. Air Force barracks known as the Khobar Towers killed 19 Americans, but no Saudis.309 The May 2003 attack on several residential compounds for foreign workers in Riyadh was likewise aimed at killing Americans ­ it succeeded in taking the lives of nine. While a bit sloppier than the attacks that preceded it, it was still the case that a majority of the Saudis killed in the residential compound bombings were the actual suicide bombers themselves.310 And then there is the kidnapping and beheading of Paul M. Johnson, and the December 2004 armed assault on the U.S. consulate in Jeddah, and so on and so forth. As French terrorism expert Jean-Charles Brisard concluded in testimony before the U.S. Senate: This trend also reverses a major argument of Saudi Arabia when it claims to be the first target of Al-Qaida. Although Bin Laden criticized the Saudi regime in several instances after the first Gulf war, the kingdom never faced Al-Qaida terrorist threat before May 12 of this year [2003]. Osama Bin Laden has targeted western interests in the kingdom while surprisingly avoiding to hurt any symbol of the monarchy. On the contrary, Al-Qaida served for years the very religious interests of its godfather in disseminating the wahhabi ideology in various regions of the world.311 The principal here is clear, although somehow it seems to have alluded much of the American media ­ there is a difference to be drawn between attacking Saudi Arabia, and attacking Americans who happen to be in Saudi Arabia at the time. Finally, yet another curious story surrounding all this comes to us from Gerald Posner. It turns out that the Saudis mysteriously turned down an offer by one well-placed Al Qaeda operative to defect to the Kingdom and provide the Saudis with intelligence on Osama bin Laden and his operations in Sudan. As Posner recounted: The best thing that happened in 1996 in the U.S. effort to get intelligence on bin Laden was not the result of anything undertaken by intelligence agencies, but rather of a walk-in informant at the U.S. embassy in Asmara, the capital of Eritrea. A thirty-three-year-old Sudanese, Jamal al-Fadl, was not a high-ranking member of al Qaeda, but he knew a lot more about how the organization was structured and operated than anyone in the U.S. Frustrated at what he viewed as bin Laden's failure to promote him rapidly enough in al Qaeda, al-Fadl approached the Saudis and offered to cooperate. They turned him down . . . Rejected by the Saudis, al-Fadl offered his information to the U.S. He gave U.S. intelligence its first realistic overview of the scope and sophistication of al Qaeda.312


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If the Saudis really felt so threatened by Al Qaeda, why not take advantage of this remarkable opportunity to develop another inside intelligence source on the organization? Again, I think the question answers itself. Lying Liars In addition to the "Big Lies" addressed above, there have been a host of smaller ones by which the Saudi government has tried to ingratiate itself with Americans and/or obfuscate its role in the rise of Al Qaeda and the attacks on 9/11. Examples abound, but consider the April 25, 2004, interview of Prince Bandar bin Sultan on Meet the Press. When host Tim Russert confronted Bandar with the findings of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, detailing how Saudi Arabia's educational institutions have indoctrinated one generation of jihadist fanatics after another (as further examined in Part 2), Bandar assured the American television audience: If that was true, then of course our people should hate America. But go to Zogby poll, he did. And if you look at that polling, you will find how different the reality there from what the congressional report says. . . . But Jim Zogby made the polling that showed 91 percent of Saudis said they like America; 95 percent said that they're against bin Laden and they don't think what he did is right. . . . I'm telling you about Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia, a majority of the people, over 90 percent, don't hate Americans. Now, if you insist that they hate America, that I cannot help you with that.313 Clearly, Prince Bandar was referring to the July 2003 poll by Zogby International. That poll did report that 95% of respondents had rejected Bin Laden's actions as inconsistent with their values, although (again, as further discussed in Part 1) that result appears to reflect the widespread disapproval of the recent terrorist attacks inside the Kingdom, rather than disapproval of Bin Laden's jihadist rhetoric generally. However, Prince Bandar's claim that the poll showed "91 percent of Saudis said they like America" was a blatant lie. The poll results are available online. They show that when Saudis were asked whether they had a favorable or unfavorable view of the American people, 70% said unfavorable. Thus, the overwhelming majority of respondents indicated that they did not like Americans.314 (In fact, another poll conducted by Zogby International about a year later found that 94% of Saudis had an unfavorable view of the United States generally.)315 What's more, by the time this interview took place the same Saudi security consultant responsible for the CSIS report discussed above, Nawaf Obaid, had taken a much more expansive poll of over 15,000 Saudis on behalf of Saudi intelligence. That poll showed that nearly 50% of respondents approved of Bin Laden's anti-American "sermons" and rhetoric.316 Of course, given the identity of Obaid's employer, one might expect that these results could very well be skewed in favor of the Saudis. So it's difficult to explain Prince Bandar's oversight as anything other than a shrewd and deliberate error, one clearly intended to disarm the American public. Another typical example of Saudi dissembling in response to specific controversies too place in April 2004, when Newsweek reported on a string of Islamic extremists who had been funded by the Saudi embassy in Washington, DC. Newsweek recounted: Within weeks of the September 11 terror attacks, security officers at the Fleet National Bank in Boston had identified "suspicious" wire transfers from the Saudi Embassy in Washington that eventually led to the discovery of an active Al Qaeda 47

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"sleeper cell" that may have been planning follow-up attacks inside the United States, according to documents obtained by NEWSWEEK.317 The wire transfers were sent to one Aafia Siddiqui, an MIT trained microbiologist whom U.S. investigators had linked to Khalid Shiekh Mohammed, the mastermind of the 9/11 plot.318 Siddiqui was also linked with the Benevolence International Foundation and a number of Saudis residing in the U.S. who had also received suspicious wire transfers from the Saudi embassy.319 In concluding the story, Newsweek recounted: A Saudi Embassy spokesman stressed that the Saudis have been actively cooperating with U.S. officials on all aspects of the war on terrorism and that the embassy has recently been assured by top FBI officials that the bureau "has no concerns" about any of the embassy accounts. But senior law-enforcement officials told NEWSWEEK that Saudi Embassy accounts--including the wire transfers related to Siddiqui--remain under active investigation. Told that the Saudis have been assured the FBI "has no concerns," a law-enforcement official made additional checks and reported back to NEWSWEEK: "That is not the case."320 The article did not discuss whether Siddiqui might have had some connection to the round of anthrax attacks which took place after 9/11. Another very similar example concerns the German investigation of Muhammad Jaber Fakihi, the head of the Islamic Affairs Department at the Saudi Embassy in Berlin. As detailed in Part 3, Fakihi first drew the attention of German authorities through his connection with Mounir el-Motassadeq, a Moroccan student who would ultimately be convicted by a German court of aiding and abetting the attacks on September 11.321 In Motassadeq's Hamburg apartment, German investigators found Fakihi's business card, as well as evidence that Motassadeq had made numerous phone calls to Saudi Arabia, calls which were ultimately traced to known Islamic jihadists. 322 Fakihi was soon found to have met with the ringleader of yet another suspected Al Qaeda cell at the Al Nur Mosque in Berlin.323 As The Wall Street Journal reported, German investigators then discovered that Fakihi had actually played a key role in financing the Al Nur Mosque, which had become a haven for Islamic extremists.324 But when the Journal followed up with the Saudi government, they would get nothing but blanket denials from a curiously anonymous prevaricator. The Journal recounted: Calls to the Saudi government in Riyadh were returned by an American public relations consultant in Washington. The consultant, who asked not to be identified by name or described as a Saudi spokesman, said Mr. Fakihi's activities in Berlin had been audited and found to be proper. "He did nothing wrong," the consultant said. . . . The Washington-based consultant to the Saudi government said the diplomat's aid to the mosque was modest. An audit of the accounts at the Saudi Embassy in Berlin revealed that Mr. Fakihi distributed a total of less than $5,000 in government money during his entire tenure in Berlin, the consultant said. "His job was to provide copies of the Quran, prayer rugs, and to support the celebration of Islamic festivals," the consultant added. "He wasn't in a position to provide funding for a mosque."


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But German investigators said Mr. Fakihi arranged for Saudi government-backed charities to fund the expansion of Al-Nur. The main example is the Riyadh-based Al-Haramain Foundation, which investigators said donated $1.2 million to help the mosque. The investigators said land-purchase records show that in December 2000, the mosque used the money to buy a four-story factory complex on a quiet side street . . . Previously a shabby backyard prayer hall, the larger Al-Nur was outfitted with prayer rugs, classrooms, kitchens, shops and an Internet server, all of which a mosque official proudly pointed out during a visit. 325 In March 2003, German authorities finally reached the breaking point and peremptorily expelled Fakihi from the country.326 Once again, the "Saudi government consultant" was more than happy to lie like a rug on behalf of his clients: Two days after the arrests [of conspirators from the Al Nur Mosque], on March 22, the German Foreign Ministry, following a recommendation from the country's domestic-intelligence service, told the Saudi Embassy that Mr. Fakihi's diplomatic accreditation would be withdrawn unless he left the country, according to a senior German official. . . . The next day, Mr. Fakihi took a flight to Riyadh. The Saudi government consultant in Washington said Mr. Fakihi was never formally asked to leave Germany and that Germany has never informed Saudi Arabia about any investigation of Mr. Fakihi. The Saudi consultant said Mr. Fakihi was questioned by Saudi officials upon his return to Riyadh and was cleared of any wrongdoing.327 Predictably, the story doesn't end there. U.S. officials would later confide to Newsweek that Fakihi was found to have transferred Saudi embassy funds, suspected to be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, at the direction of Al Qaeda operatives with direct ties to Osama bin Laden.328 One official stated that Fakihi was "more than just a sympathizer of bin Laden. He was organizationally involved."329 One final, and much more recent example, of Saudi prevaricating concerns the recent beating of war drums against Iran by the Bush administration and its neocon lackeys. Needless to say, the Saudis must be thrilled that the U.S. may very well be on the verge of invading yet another country which had nothing to do with 9/11.330 And sure enough, they're doing their part to help move things along. As The New York Times reported just this past July: During a high-level meeting in Riyadh in January, Saudi officials confronted a top American envoy with documents that seemed to suggest that Iraq's prime minister could not be trusted. One purported to be an early alert from the prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, to the radical Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr warning him to lie low during the coming American troop increase, which was aimed in part at Mr. Sadr's militia. Another document purported to offer proof that Mr. Maliki was an agent of Iran. The American envoy, Zalmay Khalilzad, immediately protested to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, contending that the documents were forged. . . . American officials said they had no doubt that the documents shown to Mr. Khalilzad were forgeries, though the Saudis said they had obtained them from sources in Iraq.331


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So the Saudis are now using forged evidence in an attempt to smear their geo-political rivals in Iran, and possibly help entangle the U.S. in another misguided war in the process.332 This would obviously suit their interests just fine. A Commitment to Education Redux Yet another prime example of the fraud being perpetrated on the American public by the Saudi government has been the endless promises to reform their educational and religious institutions, which have formed the foundation of the extremist Wahhabi ideological movement. Once again, examples of this systematic duplicity abound. For instance, in a June 2003 news conference, Saudi spokesman Adel al-Jubeir announced with great fanfare that the Saudi government had suspended or fired over 1,000 clerics for preaching religious hatred and intolerance.333 Al-Jubeir first floated this claim on NBC's Meet the Press, assuring host Tim Russert that: Our Supreme Religious Council issued a fatwa in February saying that it is unIslamic to call people infidels and to incite people, because that leads to violence and the killing of innocents. And we have dismissed over a thousand imams at various mosques from their positions over the past six months, because they did this. So, yes, we have taken action.334 But tellingly, despite specific requests for the information, the Saudi government declined to provide a list of those disciplined.335 Sure enough, when Time magazine later traveled to the Kingdom and questioned the Vice Minister of Islamic Affairs, Abdul Rahman al-Matroudi, directly about the dismissals, he openly admitted that the clerics had not been dismissed for their hateful rhetoric at all, but rather for purely administrative reasons such as "turning up late, not turning up at all, this kind of thing."336 Indeed, when Russert pressed Al-Jubeir on a specific case, the ruse quickly became obvious: MR. RUSSERT: But it went on and on, and you mention imams in Saudi Arabia. This is what a top Saudi Arabian religious leader said, using inflammatory antiSemitic rhetoric ­ "Pray to Allah to terminate Jews. Urge all Muslims to shun peace with Israel." Shaikh Abdelrahman al-Sudais, one of the top imams in Saudi Arabia, called on Muslims to say farewell to peace initiatives with these people, Jews. He prayed to the Muslim God to terminate the Jews, whom he called the scum of humanity, rats of the world, prophet killers, pigs and monkeys. MR. AL-JUBEIR: That's also incorrect. And he was reprimanded for this. MR. RUSSERT: He was reprimanded? MR. AL-JUBEIR: Oh, yes. MR. RUSSERT: Is he still preaching? MR. AL-JUBEIR: Yes, he is.337 Al-Jubeir never explained why Sheikh al-Sudais was "reprimanded" if the accusation Russert made was, in fact, "incorrect" in the first place. But clearly whatever slap on the wrist he received hasn't stopped the good Sheikh from continuing to preach to the next generation of Al Qaeda operatives. Moreover, Time went on to note that it is doubtful that any real progress had been made at all:


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Saudis are wondering how long the imams will stay in line. "When they speak about tolerance, the words don't come out easily," says a senior provincial official. "What we are hearing is only a facade. You can smell the disgust they feel in mouthing their new rhetoric." Sometimes it expresses itself plainly. Says [U.S. Ambassador Robert] Jordan: "We have noticed lately in influential mosques the imam has condemned terrorism and preached in favor of tolerance, then closed the sermon with `O God, please destroy the Jews, the infidels and all who support them.'"338 So the official Saudi effort to reform Wahhabi rhetoric appears to parallel the effort to stop terrorist financing from within the Kingdom ­ both being a series of cheap PR stunts, and nothing else besides. The same can be said for efforts to reform the Saudi education curriculum, but in this case the Saudi royals have appeared unusually clumsy in their efforts to spin the American public. It all began on September 6, 2002, when Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal assured 60 Minutes that: "Ten percent of what we found [in Saudi textbooks] was questionable. Five percent was actually abhorrent to us. So, we took a decision to change that, and we have changed."339 A few days later, Prince Saud also told Time magazine that, "the books have been changed for the new school year."340 In other words, they looked into, found that the problem was a minor one, and now it had already been corrected anyway, so no need to worry our pretty little heads ­ right? Not quite. Just five days after the 60 Minutes interview, the Saudi Minister of the Interior, Prince Nayef, declared back in the Kingdom that, "We strongly believe in the correctness of our education and its objectives. We don't change our system on the demands of others."341 And a month later, the Saudi Defense Minister (and now the Crown Prince), Prince Sultan, stated to an Arabic audience that, "We will never change our education policy. . . . Our country has . . . above all religious curricula that must never be changed. Any demand by another country in the world that Saudi Arabia change its curricula is unacceptable interference in [Saudi] sovereignty."342 It should be noted that Prince Sultan (now the Crown Prince) and Prince Nayef are among the most powerful of the Saudi royals, and certainly outrank Prince Saud. Likewise, on October 22, 2002, Saudi Deputy Education Minister Khaled al-Awad flatly declared that, "[The] Saudi curriculum is fine and does not encourage or boost terrorism and hatred of a member of another religion or faith." Regarding American criticism of the Saudi education system and requests that it be reformed, he explained (after diplomatic meetings on the subject), "These meetings yielded positive results, and since most of those present realized that the Saudi curricula were fine, they retracted these baseless accusations."343 Yet after all that, in April 2004, they were at it again. Saudi ambassador Prince Bandar explained to an American television audience on Meet the Press: So when we looked at our educational system, here is the statistics. We found 85 percent of the material was acceptable. We found 10 percent was questionable, meaning it could go either way depending on the teacher. And we found 5 percent was objectionable. What did we do? We cleared the 5 percent and we made sure the 10 percent that's questionable become much more--less prone to be misused, and action was taken. It is difficult for people to keep repeating things that happened and a corrective action was taken in this.344


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Needless to say, the critics wouldn't have to repeat these things quite so much if Saudi officials weren't so incessantly and blatantly contradicting themselves. And again, the relatively young Prince Bandar certainly doesn't have the juice to overrule his father, Prince Sultan, or the Interior Minister, Prince Nayef, on these matters. In fact, despite repeated claims that changes have been made to the official Saudi curriculum, there is little indication that anything substantive has been done. For instance, the Saudis yet again declined to provide a list of the actual changes made to Saudi textbooks after being asked by U.S. officials to substantiate their claims.345 Likewise, Dr. Mai Yamani, a Saudi dissident and research fellow at the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London, testified before the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom that, "the Saudi royal family has shown no inclination towards genuine reform."346 As she further explained to Newsweek, "Not only has the state embraced the hard-liners, the hard-liners are the state, fully embedded in its structure."347 Likewise, in September 2004, the very brave headmistress of a Saudi girl's school complained to the AFP, "I don't think there's hope for change in the near future because Islamists control the education authority. All influential positions in the ministry of education are held by Islamists."348 And it has become increasingly clear that both women were right. Talk of education reform prompted an immediate backlash by Wahhabi religious authorities in the Kingdom. In January 2003, Reuters reported: Some 150 Saudis, including judges, university professors and a cleric with links to Muslim militants, have signed a document warning the kingdom against changing its Islam-based school curricula. . . . The warning criticized the proposed changes in the curriculum as American pressure that was aimed at "taking the kingdom along the path of infidels."349 Moreover, in December 2005, former CIA director James Woolsey reported on what may very well be the final verdict on Saudi education reform. He wrote: Saudi education is turning toward, not away from, Wahhabi influence. In February of 2005 a secularist reformer, Muhammad Ahmad al-Rashid, headed the Saudi Education Ministry. As he was beginning to respond to internal criticism of curricula that incited hatred of non-Muslims and non-Wahhabi Muslims, he was replaced by Abdullah bin Saleh al-Obaid, a hard-core Wahhabi. Controlling 27 percent of the national budget, al-Obaid will have a substantial effect on the views of the next generation of Saudis.350 As noted in Part 3, this is the same Obaid who, as secretary general of the Muslim World League, lashed out at the Russians for interfering with the "Islamic territories" of Chechnya and Dagestan.351 British journalist John R. Bradley, who spent several years reporting from inside Saudi Arabia, went even further in putting this troubling move into context, noting its curious timing against the backdrop of Kingdom's "landmark" elections. He wrote: The al-Saud regime, which now understands how the Western media works well enough to be able to manipulate it, quietly appointed just one day before the Riyadh elections took place ­ meaning when everyone was looking the other way ­ an ultra-conservative religious leader, Abdullah bin Saleh al-Obaid, as the new education minister. . . .


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Al-Obaid's appointment was, one would wager, among the most significant political developments inside Saudi Arabia since the September 11 attacks. It showed, first of all, that the local elections, rather than being proof of the spread of democracy in the wake of the war on Iraq, had merely provided a cover for the al-Saud to pacify the Wahhabis by appointing one of their own as the head of what it considers the most important ministry. But it also put the final nail in the coffin of a now truly dead and buried domestic reform agenda. Unlike the town councilors, the education minister wields a great deal of influence, not least over the minds of the next generation of Saudis already steeped in a school curriculum that oozes anti-Semitism and the celebration of jihad.352 These pessimistic early assessments are now being born out by further investigations into the Saudi curriculum itself. By May 2005, all of the false promises and two-faced statements on education reform had become impossible to ignore. As the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom reported: Despite claims by the Saudi government that it has made limited revisions to the intolerant and inflammatory content in the state curriculum and textbooks, several groups continue to report highly intolerant and discriminatory language, particularly against Jews, Christians, and Shi'a Muslims. Moreover, in the past year, there were frequent reports of violently anti-Semitic and anti-Christian sentiments expressed in the media and in sermons delivered by clerics who are under the authority of the Ministry of Islamic Affairs. In some cases, the State Department reported, clerics prayed for the death of Jews and Christians. 353 And in May 2006, the Center for Religious Freedom provided what appears to be the final verdict on Saudi education reform. The Center noted that, due to the closed nature of Saudi society, they were not able to do a comprehensive review of the Kingdom's current educational materials.354 However, they were able to obtain a dozen current textbooks from contacts within the Kingdom, many of whom were concerned parents. After reviewing and providing translations of the materials, the report concluded: The Saudi government has since claimed publicly that all intolerant material has been removed from its public school textbooks. The Saudi Ambassador to the United States, Prince Turki al-Faisal, has repeatedly stated that his government has eliminated from the Saudi textbooks "any material that can be possibly interpreted as advocating intolerance or extremism." For over a year, the Saudi embassy in Washington has been giving similar assurances that reforms have been completed. On March 7, 2005, a Saudi Foreign Ministry spokesman declared at an embassy press conference in Washington, D.C.: "We have reviewed our educational curriculums. We have removed materials that are inciteful or intolerant towards people of other faiths." This report demonstrates that this is simply not the case. The Saudi Ministry of Education Islamic studies textbooks reviewed in this report continue to promote an ideology of hatred that teaches bigotry and deplores


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tolerance. . . . Students are being taught that Christians and Jews and other Muslims are "enemies" of the true believer, and to befriend and show respect only to other true believers, such as the Wahhabis. These Saudi state textbooks propound a belief that Christians and Jews and other unbelievers have united in a war against Islam that will ultimately end in the complete destruction of such infidels. Like the statements of Osama bin Laden, they advance the belief that the Crusades never ended and continue today in various forms.355 Even more disturbingly, the Center for Religious Freedom (the "Center") found of the new "reformed" Saudi curriculum: [T]he Saudi public school religious curriculum continues to propagate an ideology of hate toward the "unbeliever," that is, Christians, Jews, Shiites, Sufis, Sunni Muslims who do not follow Wahhabi doctrine, Hindus, atheists and others. This ideology is introduced in a religion textbook in the first grade and reinforced and developed in following years of the public education system, culminating in the twelfth grade, where a text instructs students that it is a religious obligation to do "battle" against infidels in order to spread the faith. Since the government of Saudi Arabia is trying to assert itself as the world's authoritative voice on Islam, these religious texts have great significance.356 And the Center did not ask anyone to take their word as to what they found in these textbooks, they provided comprehensive translations along with scanned images of the original texts. The Center found the same core themes of Wahhabi dogma discussed in Part 2 repeated again and again in the "reformed" textbooks. For example, regarding the dogma of the infidelas-enemy, one fourth-grade textbook instructs that, "True belief means: . . . That you hate the polytheists and infidels."357 Similarly, a ninth-grade textbook taught that, "The Jews and Christians are enemies of the believers."358 In particular, the Center found rank anti-Semitism and lessons meant to dehumanize the non-believers. For example, one tenth-grade textbook taught that The Protocols of the Elders of Zion were indeed grounded in fact. The book read: The decisive proof of the veracity of the protocols and the infernal Jewish plans they contain is that the plans, plots, and conspiracies they list have been carried out. Whoever reads the protocols ­ and they emerged in the 19th century ­ will realize today how much of what they described has been implemented.359 The book went on to discuss the worldwide campaign of Zionism at length, identifying the Rotary Club International, among other secular organizations, as one of the "Destructive Movements that Zionism has used to achieve its aims."360 Even more disturbing, an eighth-grade textbook instructed that: They are the people of the Sabbath, whose young people God turned into apes, and whose old people God turned into swine to punish them. . . . The apes are Jews, the keepers of the Sabbath; while the swine are the Christian infidels of the communion of Jesus.361 As noted in Part 2, these same sentiments were expressed in a preparatory checklist read by the 9/11 hijackers the morning of their attacks.


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Sure enough, the principal of war-as-religion is also exalted in these texts. In one twelfth-grade textbook, students are taught that, "Muslim scholars have agreed that jihad to spread the faith of God is a [religious] obligation."362 The text goes on to teach that one form of jihad is, "Wrestling with the infidels by calling them to the faith and battling against them."363 As the text further explains: Jihad in the path of God ­ which consists of battling against unbelief . . . is the summit of Islam. This religion arose through jihad and through jihad was its banner raised high. It is one of the noblest acts, which brings one closer to God, and one of the most magnificent acts of obedience to God. Jihad was decreed under Islamic law to raise up the word of God and carry the call to the faith to all people. There are many verses in the Qur'an and hadith that demonstrate this virtue. God says, "Allah hath purchased of the Believers their persons and their goods; for theirs (in return) is the Garden (of Paradise): they fight in His Cause, and slay and are slain . . . that is the achievement supreme."364 And again, the jihad does not end until there are no more infidels left to fight. The textbook continues: It is part of God's wisdom that he made the clash between truth and falsehood continue until the Day of Resurrection. As long as this clash endures, jihad continues. It is not limited to a specific time. As long as there is falsehood, error, and unbelief, the jihad continues.365 Again, this is all from the new and "reformed" textbooks. Reviewing the above, the Center for Religious Freedom concluded: When the current school year ends, thousands more will graduate from Saudi public schools steeped in the belief that those of differing religious faiths are morally inferior and even evil. Their texts will have taught them that peaceful coexistence with so-called "infidels" is unattainable and that violence to spread Islam is not only permissible, but an obligation. 366 America has been hit by wave after wave of Saudi mass murderers ­ both inside the Kingdom, and in Kenya, Yemen, downtown Manhattan, and right now in Iraq. In light of the above, it is simply absurd to scratch our heads and wonder why this is happening. And it is clear that Saudi double-dealing on the topic of education reform is being directed from the very top. Indeed, perhaps the most audacious example of the Saudi government's fraud on the American public comes from King Abdullah himself. Veteran journalist Barbara Walters interviewed the King for ABC News in October 2005, with the help of his trusted aid Adel al-Jubeir (now the Saudi ambassador to the United States). But as the interview moved to the subject of education reform, Al-Jubeir's translating began to depart from the King's actual words. As The New Republic reported: The King eventually responded in Arabic to a follow-up question on whether he had changed the content of Saudi textbooks. Alas, his answer was not accurately translated into English. The voiceover quoted him as saying, "Yes, we have. . . . We have toned them down." In Arabic, by contrast, the monarch can clearly be heard saying, "Yes, we have adjusted them a little. . . . We have toned them down a little." For its part, the Saudi Press Agency version of the interview omits both


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the question and the king's answer. Thus, on a hot button issue for both Americans and Arabs, the monarch effectively delivered multiple messages: Americans heard him asserting that he has heeded their call; Arab viewers of "Nightline"--which would have included any Saudis who tuned in to ABC via satellite television--heard him asserting that he has caved only "a little" to Americans; and readers of the Saudi Press Agency transcript were spared any knowledge of the textbook controversy altogether.367 Remarkably, this is not the only example of the Saudis using selective translations to present a two-faced message. Recall that in November 2004, a fatwa was issued by 26 Saudi clerics advocating jihad against the U.S. in Iraq, as noted in Part 1. Five months later, the Middle East Media Research Institute reported that, "The only senior Saudi officials to condemn the communiqué were the Saudi ambassadors to the U.S. and to Britain, in statements that appeared only in English."368 The Beat Goes On The grand Saudi PR campaign clearly continues to this day. Just this past November, the Saudis announced that they had captured over two hundred Al Qaeda operatives planning terrorist attacks inside the Kingdom. As Fox News reported: Saudi Arabia announced Wednesday that it has carried out the kingdom's largest terror sweep to date, arresting more than 200 al-Qaida-linked suspects in recent months plotting various attacks, including on oil installations. The Saudi Interior Ministry, in a statement distributed to media, listed six separate arrests but gave no timeline on when the groups were taken into custody. The total number of the arrested was 208. The statement said they belonged to different cells and were involved in different plots against the kingdom.369 However, in light of the clear and consistent pattern of Saudi fraud and deception laid out above, it is not clear why we should take such claims at face value. Indeed, it appears likely such announcements are simply a part of a premeditated public relations strategy. Much as the Bush administration issued regular and conveniently timed terror threat warnings in the run up to the 2004 elections,370 so the Saudis seem to be following a similar strategy. For instance, just seven months before their November announcement, in April 2007, the Saudis announced a then record 172 arrests of Al Qaeda terrorists, under strikingly similar circumstances. As The New York Times recounted: Saudi security officials said Friday that they had broken up a vast terrorist ring, arresting 172 men who planned to blow up oil installations, attack public officials and military posts, and storm a prison to free terrorist suspects. The wide-ranging plot was uncovered over seven months, officials said.371 Tellingly, the Times went on to note, "The number of people was large, officials acknowledged, and came just six months after another 136 people were arrested in a similar sweep and charged with plotting similar crimes, the general said."372 So here we have a clear and distinct pattern, a major announcement of vaguely described terror plots occurring about once every six months. One can almost see the wheels at Qorvis Communications turning. 56

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Indeed, there was another curious element to the timing of the November announcement. While the actual arrests at issue purportedly took place "in recent months," the report itself was not released to the news wires until the afternoon of November 28, 2007. Serendipitously, that same morning ABC News was in the midst of breaking a much different story. As Brian Ross reported: Saudi Arabia has released 1,500 prisoners suspected of belonging to a radical Islamic group after the prisoners underwent what was described as a five-week counseling program, according to Middle Eastern newspapers. Critics of the prisoner reform program worry it does nothing to seriously combat Islamic radicalism and releases dangerous extremists back into society. "This is the sort of failure to recognize the threat and deal with it seriously that has characterized the Saudis for years," said former White House counterterrorism chief Richard Clarke, an ABC News consultant.373 Reviewing the major media reports on November 28, it's clear that the Saudis succeeded brilliantly in drowning out ABC's revealing look at their catch-and-release policy toward Islamic extremists. What's more, it's equally clear that what ABC was describing was not an isolated incident, but a longstanding and ongoing policy of the Saudi government. For example, in the wake of the U.S. incursion into Afghanistan after 9/11, those Saudis who were able to escape and make their way back home were peremptorily released by Saudi authorities. As one pair of commentators wrote: Significantly, the state has had to absorb 160 returnees from Afghanistan since the summer of 2002. These returnees were detained, interrogated and released once it was established they did not have links with al-Qaida; they are under close observation. In addition to the returnees, more than 100 Saudis, who were captured during the U.S. war against Afghanistan, have been detained by the U.S. in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.374 Needless to say, it's a safe bet that if these men really "did not have links with al-Qaida," they would not have been in Afghanistan on September 11, 2001, in the first place. Moreover, as noted above, of the initial 158 detainees shipped from Afghanistan to Camp X-Ray in Guantanamo Bay, over 100 were Saudis.375 What has been their fate? The Washington Post has recently provided an update: For five years, Jumah al-Dossari sat in a tiny cell at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, watched day and night by military captors who considered him one of the most dangerous terrorist suspects on the planet. In July, he was suddenly released to his native Saudi Arabia, which held a very different view. Dossari was immediately reunited with his family and treated like a VIP. He was given a monthly stipend and a job, housed and fed, even promised help in finding a wife. Today, he is a free man living on the Persian Gulf coast. The treatment is part of a Saudi "reintegration program" designed to help Dossari, 34, and other former Guantanamo prisoners adjust to modern society and learn the meanings of Islam. About 40 of the more than 100 Guantanamo detainees from


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Saudi Arabia who have been transferred to Riyadh since last year have been released after participating in the program, and the rest are scheduled to be let go in coming months. The Defense Department considered more than 90 percent of the transferred detainees to be terrorist threats to the United States and its allies, but sent them home as part of an agreement that Saudi Arabia would mitigate the threat, according to Cmdr. J.D. Gordon, a Pentagon spokesman.376 And we wonder why the string of Saudi nationals attacking and murdering Americans continues to this day, particularly at the hands of the suicide bombers now attacking our servicemen in Iraq. As discussed in Part 1, despite all their high-profile press releases, Saudi government efforts against "Al Qaeda" seem minimal at best, aimed solely at protecting the Saudi economy and preventing mayhem inside the Kingdom itself. On the other hand, when it comes to known Al Qaeda operatives who have pledge their lives to murdering Americans abroad, we've seen the Saudi government, again and again, offer nothing but safe havens and revolving doors. And on top of all this, one should note that a prominent liberal blogger from Saudi Arabia, Fouad alFarhan, has now been arrested by Saudi authorities. Chief among their complaints, as reported by The Washington Post, is that he had spoken out in defense of a group of liberal Saudi reformers who had been arrested in February 2007. As the Post recounted: At the time of their arrest, the government accused the Jiddah-based group, made up of a former judge, academics and businessmen, of supporting terrorism. The men's attorney, Bassim Alim, had said they were arrested for their political activism and their plans to form a civil rights group.377 Of course, this raises the question of how many other of the Kingdom's much ballyhooed terrorrelated arrests actually represent little more than attempts to crack down on political reformers. Again, why should anyone take these claims at face-value? At the end of the day, looking at the carnage the Saudis have wrought against the United States and its allies, alongside the incessant lies by which the Saudi government has desperately tried to cover it all up, the basic question remains the same: for just how long will we continue to let these people get away with this? As the Republican presidential candidates continue to blindly follow the Bush administration by railing against Iran, and the Democratic presidential candidates do little more than complain and equivocate about Iraq, the answer to that question seems nowhere in sight. Indeed, the pathetic and disturbing story of the U.S. government's official ambivalence toward all of this will be the subject of the next and final Report.


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Index Part 4

1 2 3

Robert Baer, Sleeping With the Devil (New York: Three Rivers Press, 2003), p. 17. Gerald Posner, Why America Slept: The Failure to Prevent 9/11 (New York: Ballantine Books, 2003), p. 202.

Zubaydah was the superintendent of Al Qaeda's training camps in Afghanistan, and a key coordinator for the interwoven cells of Al Qaeda operatives that stretched across the globe. He screened potential recruits as they entered Afghanistan, and then remained in contact with the mid-level operatives who acted as ringleaders for Al Qaeda's cadre of foot soldiers. As the millennium bomber, Ahmed Ressam, testified in federal court, "He is the person in charge of the camps. He receives young men from all countries. He accepts you or rejects you. And he takes care of the expenses of the camps. He makes arrangements for you when you travel coming in or leaving." Of Palestinian ancestry, Zubaydah was born and raised in Saudi Arabia. But even after traveling to Gaza to participate in the Intifada as a teenager, he remained devoted to Saudi cleric Sheikh Sulaiman bin Nasr al-Ulwan for spiritual guidance and ultimately traveled to Afghanistan to join Bin Laden in his global jihad against the West. Clearly, his ideological roots were firmly planted in Saudi soil. Posner, Why America Slept, pp. 204-05; Rohan Gunaratna, Inside Al Qaeda: Global Network of Terror (New York: Berkley Books, 2002), pp. 131-32; Trial Transcript, United States v. Mokhtar Haouari, Case No. S4 00 Cr. 15 (S.D.N.Y. July 3, 2001), pp. 547, 557 (Available at; "Trail of a Terrorist," PBS Frontline, original airdate October 25, 2001 (Available at; Mark Coatney, "Person of the Week: Abu Zubaydah," Time, May 24, 2002 (Available at,8599,249910,00.html); "Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons," United States Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control, February 19, 2006, p. 3 (Available at; Interview with Prince Saud al-Faisal, online supplement to "In Search of Al Qaeda," PBS Frontline, October 2, 2002 (Available at; David E. Kaplan, "Playing Offense: The inside story of how U.S. terrorist hunters are going after al Qaeda," U.S. News & World Report, June 2, 2003 (Available at Posner, Why America Slept, p. 207. According to investigative journalist James Risen, the authorization for this treatment came from the very top ­ Pres. George W. Bush himself. James Risen, State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration (New York: Free Press 2006), pp. 22-23.

5 6 7 8 9 4

Posner, Why America Slept, p. 209. Ibid., p. 208. Ibid., p. 210. Ibid., p. 4. Ibid., p. 211. Ibid., p. 211-12. Ibid., p. 212. Ibid., p. 212-13. Ibid., p. 213. Ibid., p. 214. Ibid., p. 215. Posner went on to describe how his sources responded to all this:

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"It's interesting that we can't talk to most of the people that Zubaydah named because they all died after he told us about them," one CIA official familiar with the Zubaydah disclosures told me. "And [Prince] Turki wouldn't give us the time of day on this. But it does make a lot of us wonder what these people might have known and failed to tell us." Ibid., p. 216. Andrea Mitchell, "The Saudi-Bin Laden Romance," NBC News, September 5, 2003 (Available at; "Prince Dies of Thirst," The Tribune (India) (Agence France-Presse), July 30, 2002 (Available at; Eamon Martin, "Saudi royals die mysteriously, spark fears of coup," Asheville Global Report, July 31, 2002 (Available at Gerald Posner, Secrets of the Kingdom: The Inside Story of the Saudi-U.S. Connection (New York: Random House, 2005), p. 6. Center for Disease Control website at, accessed on May 31, 2006.

19 20 18 17 16

Center for Disease Control website at, accessed on May 31, 2006. As The Los Angeles Times reported: Yet [Vincent] Cannistraro, the former CIA official who worked in Saudi Arabia, said the situation is far more problematic. He noted that Turki bin Faisal, the veteran head of Saudi Arabia's intelligence service--a Georgetown University graduate who had been a reliable counterpart for U.S., British and French intelligence--was ousted in late August by the head of the country's military, Crown Prince Abdullah. "He was sacked with no explanation," Cannistraro said, adding that the newly installed Saudi intelligence chief, Prince Nawaf ibn Abdulaziz, has "no background in intelligence whatsoever."

David William and Greg Miller, "Saudi Aid to War on Terror is Criticized," The Los Angeles Times, October 31, 2001 (Available at,0,6916109,full.story). See also Simon Henderson, "The Saudis: Friend or Foe?", The Wall Street Journal, October 22, 2001 (Available at

21 22 23

Henderson, "The Saudis: Friend or Foe?" Risen, State of War, p. 187.

For more on Risen's Pulitzer Prize-winning work, see

24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32

Risen, State of War, p. 187. Ibid. Posner, Why America Slept, p.45. Ibid., pp. 45-46. Ibid., pp. 148-49, 212. Ibid. Ibid., p. 148. Ibid., p. 149.

Niles Lathem and William J. Gorta, "Saudis in $200m deal with Devil," The New York Post, August 25, 2002 (Available at It should be noted that Prince Turki was dismissed as a defendant from at least one of the 9/11 lawsuits, but this ruling was based on the doctrine of sovereign immunity. That is, the judge ruled that he was immune from a civil lawsuit under U.S. law since his actions were presumptively official actions on behalf of the Saudi government. The judge specifically noted that he was not deciding the truth of the allegations made by the plaintiffs. Carol D.



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Leonnig, "Judge Rejects Saudi Terrorist Link," The Washington Post, November 15, 2003 (Available at Paul Harris and Martin Bright, "Saudi Envoy in UK Linked to 9/11," The Observer (London), March 2, 2003 (Available at,6903,905698,00.html); Interview with Prince Turki, "`And then Mullah Omar screamed at me'," Der Spiegel, March 8, 2004 (Available at,1518,289592,00.html).

35 36 34

Harris and Bright, "Saudi Envoy in UK Linked to 9/11."

As French terrorism expert Jean-Charles Brisard, who served as the lead investigator for the 9/1l lawsuit, recounted in congressional testimony: The major issue regarding Saudi Arabia concerns its unwillingness until a recent period, to face Islamic terrorism as a threat. "We have never worried about the effect of these organizations on our country", these are the words of Prince Bandar Bin Sultan in September 2001. . . . The same Saudi official acknowledged that the kingdom might have paid the price of its own protection. This is a major revelation of our investigation, substantiated by several testimonies, interviews and documents emanating from Osama Bin Laden himself, members of the Saudi governmental apparatus or foreign intelligence. It is believed that since 1994, Saudi Arabia has funneled money to Bin Laden for the purpose of his jihad around the world to preserve the political power of the Al-Saud family in the kingdom. Prince Bandar refuses to call it "protection money", and prefers the notion of, quote, "paying some people to switch from being revolutionaries to be nice citizens", which is leading to the very same consequence. Testimony of Jean-Charles Brisard before the United States Senate Committee on Banking Housing and Urban Affairs, October 22, 2003, p. 20 (Available at Mullah Kakshar was formerly the Taliban's Minister of Security, and then their Deputy Minister of the Interior. He is now serving as a high-level official in the current Afghan government, under Pres. Hamid Karzai. Paul Watson, "Taliban's army is recruiting in Pakistan for holy war," San Francisco Chronicle, September 5, 2003 (Available at; Pepe Escobar, "Kabul Diary, Part 4: Super Defector," Asia Times, December 1, 2001 (Available at Interview with Prince Turki, "`And then Mullah Omar screamed at me'," Der Spiegel. Prince Turki's denials have also been contradicted by Vincent Cannistraro, the former counterterrorism director of the CIA. As The New Yorker reported: Cannistraro believes that Prince Turki made two trips to meet with bin Laden . . . He also said that he had been able to verify independently that on one of the trips the Saudis made "a large monetary offer" to bin Laden, consisting of tens of millions of dollars, if he would agree to end his murderous political rebellion.38 Whether attacks on the U.S. would qualify as a "rebellion" from the Saudi perspective, and whether the Saudis actually paid off on that offer, he did not say. Jane Meyer, "The House of Bin Laden," The New Yorker, November 12, 2001 (Available at

39 40 38 37

Mitchell, "The Saudi-Bin Laden Romance".

Seymour Hersh, "King's Ransom," The New Yorker, October 22, 2001 (Available at David E. Kaplan, "The Saudi Connection," U.S. News and World Report, December 15, 2003 (Available at Bruce B. Auster and David E. Kaplan, "Saudi Royalty Gives Money to bin Laden," U.S. News & World Report, October 19, 1998 (Available at; Dore Gold, Hatred's Kingdom: How Saudi Arabia Supports the New Global Terrorism (Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing, Inc., 2003), p. 181.

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Linda Robinson and Peter Cary, "Princely Payments," U.S. News & World Report, January 14, 2002 (Available at Simon Henderson, "The Saudi Way," Wall Street Journal, August 12, 2002 (Available at The connection between Prince Salman, who is known to have been a key supporter of the mujahideen in Afghanistan at the same time Bin Laden was leading the fight against the Soviets, and his son Prince Ahmed, who was fingered by Abu Zubaydah as an Al Qaeda collaborator, was first made by Gerald Posner himself. Posner provided some further background on Prince Salman: Intelligence analysts speculated that Zubaydah's inclusion of Prince Ahmed raised the possibility that the supposedly apolitical prince might merely be a conduit of information for someone higher ranking. Ahmed's father, Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz, is the governor of Riyadh, the Saudi capital, a post he has held since 1962. One of seven sons of the country's founder, he is one of the Kingdom's most influential ministers and a trusted advisor to King Fahd.. . . Besides his official position, Salman, whose Riyadh office overlooks Sahat al-Adl--"Justice Square"--where public beheadings take place on Fridays after noon prayers, is influential both with Saudi intelligence and in censoring the media. But there were several other roles that interested American investigators more. One was Salman's multiyear courtship of religious fundamentalists as his power base, especially after his born-again conversion to strict Islam in the 1990s. He has strong ties to the religious conservatives, particularly those in the regional strongholds of Buraydah and Darriya, places Salman frequently visits. The CIA was also intrigued that during the 1980s Afghan war against the Soviets, Salman was responsible for organizing transportation to Afghanistan for the militant armies (mujahideen) from various Arab countries. And finally, he controlled the Kingdom's charities that raised tens of millions for the mujahideen, and brought in billions for Muslim causes worldwide. And many of those charities were on the U.S. government's list of terror sponsors. Posner, Secrets of the Kingdom, p. 5. Reviewing the accounts above, one discrepancy that pops up numerous times is when exactly did the Saudi government first start funding Al Qaeda. Posner claims that the Saudis backed Al Qaeda from the very beginning, since Bin Laden's "exile" in 1991. Many of the other reports cited above point to the 1995 bombing of the Saudi National Guard building as the start of Saudi "blackmail" payments. My own view on the matter is that Posner will most likely be proven correct. In particular, I would point to the decades of support the Saudi government provided to the National Islamic Front in Sudan as an important consideration. By supporting Bin Laden from 1991 through 1995, the Saudi royals would have advanced their mutual interest in supporting the NIF, since that appears to have been one of Al Qaeda's primary enterprises during that period. One should note that during the same period the Saudi government made a show of withdrawing formal government aid to Sudan, because the Khartoum regime voiced its support for Saddam Hussein during the Persian Gulf War. Bin Laden would have provided a perfect means for the Saudi royals to continue their support of the like-minded Islamic fundamentalists in Khartoum ­ under the geo-political table, so to speak. But in the broader scheme of things, this discrepancy appears to be moot. By either account the Saudi royals financially supported Al Qaeda even as it attacked the United States again and again. The 9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States (New York: W.W. Norton, 2004), p. 171 (Available at See, for example, Douglas Jehl, "The Reach of War: Intelligence; No Saudi Payment to Al Qaeda Found," The New York Times, June 19, 2004 (Available at; "9/11 Probe clears Saudi Arabia," BBC News, June 17, 2004 (Available at; Susan Schmidt, "Saudi Arabia Did Not Directly Finance 9/11, Panel Says," The Washington Post, June 17, 2004 (Available at MTS=ABS:FT&date=Jun+17%2C+2004&author=Susan+Schmidt&pub=The+Washington+Post&edition=&startpa ge=A.16&desc=Saudi+Arabia+Did+Not+Directly+Finance+9%2F11%2C+Panel+Says).

48 47 46 45 44



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By way of contrast, searches of the archives of both The New York Times and The Washington Post for numerous variations on "70% Al Qaeda training camps Saudi Khalid Sheikh Mohammed" did not yield a single hit.

49 50

Henderson, "The Saudi Way."

Simon Henderson, "The Hands of Bandar?",, August 5, 2004 (Available at Johanna McGeary, "Confessions of a Terrorist, Time, August 31, 2003 (Available at,9171,1101030908-480226,00.html). Posner, Secrets of the Kingdom, pp. 10-14. Note that the first chapter of this work (which is the one quoted above) is available for free here: Philip Zelikow, Memorandum dated December 13, 2007, p. 6 (Available at See also Mark Mazzetti, "9/11 Panel Study Finds That C.I.A. Withheld Tapes," The New York Times, December 22, 2007 (Available at Given Gerald Posner's reporting on the subject, it does seem to me that Zelikow is glossing over the full extent of the controversy here, or at least being coy about it. And how could he find it an acceptable answer that the CIA "believed this was untrue"? They're the ones who purportedly did, or did not, perform the interrogation in the first place! For them it would be a matter of knowledge, one way or the other, not belief. For more on Zelikow's fidelity to the public's right to know, see: Susan B. Glaser, "U.S. Figures Show Sharp Global Rise in Terrorism: State Dept. Will Not Put Data in Report," The Washington Post, April 27, 2005 (Available at Elsa Walsh, "The Prince" The New Yorker, March 24, 2003 (Available at Stephen Schwartz, The Two Faces of Islam (Anchor Books: New York 2003), p. 276. See also Robert Baer, Sleeping With the Devil (New York: Three Rivers Press, 2003), p. 20 ("Long after September 11, Saudi Arabia refused to provide advance manifests for its flights coming to the U.S., a basic and potentially fatal breach of security.")

56 55 54 53 52 51

Time recognized this phenomenon in September 2003, reporting that: [T]op-level officials commenting on the record tend to be more generous than hands-on investigators speaking privately. Armitage has said that since May 12, "cooperation on things that are internal to Saudi Arabia has been magnificent." On the other hand, a top Administration counterterrorism official told TIME he has "significant concerns" about the level of assistance from Riyadh. . . . Also, the Saudis have offered only "selective cooperation" on the financial front, according to a senior U.S. official.

Pres. Bush himself has repeatedly and consistently praised the Saudis. For example, in October 2001 he declared, "[Am] I pleased with the actions of Saudi Arabia? I am." And after King Fahd's death in 2005, Pres. Bush described the former King Fahd as, "a friend and ally of the United States for decades." Lisa Beyer with Scott MacLeod, "Inside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia," Time, September 14, 2003 (Available at,9171,1005663,00.html); David William and Greg Miller, "Saudi Aid to War on Terror is Criticized," The Los Angeles Times, October 31, 2001 (Available at,0,6916109,full.story); Barry Schweid, "Bush Calls Abdullah to Express Condolences," The San Francisco Chronicle (Associated Press), August 1, 2005 (Available at

57 58

William and Miller, "Saudi Aid to War on Terror is Criticized."

Douglas Jehl, "Holy War Lured Saudis as Rulers Looked Away," The New York Times, December 27, 2001 (Available at


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A full year later the Times reported once again that, "investigators examining the backgrounds of the hijackers have complained that they have received little cooperation from the Saudi government." And as The Philadelphia Inquirer reported: One top U.S. official told the joint inquiry staff that the Saudis since 1996 would not cooperate on matters relating to Osama bin Laden. Robert Baer, a former CIA officer, said the Saudis blocked FBI agents from talking to relatives of the 15 hijackers and following other leads in the kingdom. David Johnston and James Risen, "9/11 Report Says Saudi Links Went Unexamined," The New York Times, November 23, 2002 (Available at; Frank Davies and Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson, "Bush rejects call to give more 9/11 data," The Philadelphia Inquirer, July 30, 2003. Charles M. Sennott, "Why Bin Laden Plot Relied on Saudi Hijackers," The Boston Globe, March 3, 2002 (Available at Dore Gold, Hatred's Kingdom: How Saudi Arabia Supports the New Global Terrorism (Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing, Inc., 2003), p. 172; Gerald Posner, Why America Slept: The Failure to Prevent 9/11 (New York: Ballantine Books, 2003), p. 108. The four were identified by the Saudi Ministry of the Interior as Abdul Aziz Bin Fahd Bin Nasser AlMothem, Khalid Bin Ahmed Bin Ibrahim Al-Sa'eed, Riyadh Bin Suleiman Bin Is'haq Al-Hajeri, and Muslih Bin Ali Bin Ayedh Al-Shemrani. "Execution of perpetrators of Riyadh bombing," Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, May 31, 1996 (Available at; Jehl, "Holy War Lured Saudis as Rulers Looked Away"; The 9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States (New York: W.W. Norton, 2004), p. 60 (Available at; Posner, Why America Slept, p. 108-09.

62 63 61 60 59

Posner, Why America Slept, p. 108-09.

Ibid.; See also Evan Thomas, "The Road to Sept. 11," Newsweek, October 1, 2001 ("Freeh's gumshoes got a feel for Saudi justice when they asked to interview some suspects seized in an earlier bombing attack against a military compound in Riyadh. Before the FBI could ask any questions, the suspects were beheaded.") (Available at; Elsa Walsh, "Louis Freeh's Last Case," The New Yorker, June 14, 2001 ("Nearly a month before the bombing, the Saudis had beheaded several suspects who were being held in connection with the 1995 bombing of an American-run military compound in Riyadh--executing them before the F.B.I., despite entreaties, had had a chance to interview them.") (Available at Ibid.; "Patterns of Global Terrorism: 1996," United States Department of State (Available at; Gold, Hatred's Kingdom, p. 172. Alfred B. Prados, "Saudi Arabia: Current Issues and U.S. Relations," Congressional Research Service, June 17, 2005, p. 4 (Available at James Risen, State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration (New York: Free Press 2006), p. 180-81 John B. Judis and Spencer Ackerman, "28 Pages," The New Republic, August 1, 2003 (Available at Report of the Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities before and after the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001, United States House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, December 2002, p. 110 (Available at

69 70 68 67 66 65 64

Ibid., p. 111. As The New York Times reported in September 2002: Spanish and American investigators believe that hundreds of thousands of dollars flowed from Saudi Arabia into the accounts of Spanish companies that were used as conduits for money to Al Qaeda and other radical Islamist groups, law enforcement and intelligence officials said. . . .


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But American officials have been frustrated in efforts to get further information about the transactions from the government of Saudi Arabia, officials involved in the investigation said. Tim Golden and Judith Miller, "Al Qaeda Money Train Runs From Saudi Arabia to Spain," The New York Times, September 21, 2002 (Available at wanted=print). The Chicago Tribune has published a series of reports detailing the efforts of German authorities investigating a Saudi-backed jihadist named Reda Sayem. As The Chicago Tribune recounted in November 2004: German prosecutors also want to know more about Seyam's employment by two Saudi companies with purported links to the Saudi government's intelligence service. But a senior official in the German Foreign Office, who spoke on condition that he not be identified, says the Saudis refused to cooperate with German investigators "for a long time," and only recently began providing some information. John Crewdson, "A couples' life torn apart by Islamic jihad," Chicago Tribune, November 26, 2004 (Available at,1,7884981.story?coll=chi-news-hed). See also John Crewdson and Viola Gienger, "2 firms linked to Al Qaeda, Saudi intelligence agency," The Chicago Tribune, March 31, 2004 (Available at

72 73 71

Risen, State of War, p. 182.

Peter Finn, "Al Qaeda Arms Traced to Saudi National Guard," The Washington Post, May 19, 2003 (Available at

74 75 76

Beyer and MacLeod, "Inside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia." Risen, State of War, p. 181. Ibid.

Time magazine has further reported on the flip side of this behavior, the Saudi's incessant probing of U.S. intelligence, reporting that: A former Bush Administration official says the Saudis generally insist on knowing everything the Americans know before moving against a suspect. U.S. investigators, he says, sometimes suspect that the Saudis are fishing, trying to ferret out details of U.S. intelligence, or stalling, to protect Saudi individuals from embarrassment. Beyer and MacLeod, "Inside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia."

77 78 79 80

Risen, State of War, p. 173. Ibid., p. 174 Ibid., p. 176-77. Beyer and MacLeod, "Inside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia."

In addition, Time reported that the Saudis had displayed a distinct lack of interest in pursuing financial leads in the first place. They recounted that: Some U.S. investigators think the Saudis could be learning a lot more about al-Qaeda members they have captured or killed. These officials say their Saudi counterparts have not seemed interested in setting up an analytical unit to pore over the suspects' financial records, computer hard drives, emails, phone records and other data. Ibid. David E. Kaplan, "Playing Offense: The inside story of how U.S. terrorist hunters are going after al Qaeda," U.S. News & World Report, June 2, 2003 (Available at Another telling incident, as recounted by Robert Baer:



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In November 2002 the Saudi embassy in Washington gave the finger to the State Department and federal law officials, providing a new passport for the wife of a suspected al Qaeda sympathizer and slipping her and her five children out of the U.S. after she was subpoenaed to testify before a federal grand jury. Baer, Sleeping with the Devil, p. 21. Dana Milbank, "More Terrorism Likely, U.S. Warns," The Washington Post, October 1, 2001 (Available at =ABS:FT&fmac=&date=Oct+1%2C+2001&author=Dana+Milbank&desc=More+Terrorism+Likely%2C+U.S.+Wa rns). See also "Campaign Against Terror,' PBS Frontline, original airdate September 8, 2002 ("In Saudi Arabia, homeland to most of the September 11th terrorists, the U.S. maintained a huge high-tech airbase. But the Saudis would not allow it to be used to attack fellow Muslims in Afghanistan.") (Available at; "On U.S.-Saudi Relations With us . . . or against?", The San Francisco Chronicle, November 18, 2001 ("The Saudis will not allow American planes to strike Afghanistan from Saudi bases, despite the continued presence of thousands of U.S. troops defending the nation from Iraq.") (Available at The New York Times tried to put the whole sordid affair into perspective: Until recent weeks, Saudi Arabia was one of the two critical sponsors of Afghanistan's ruling Taliban movement, along with Pakistan. Saudi money, religious teachings and diplomats helped the Taliban secure and keep control of Afghanistan. The country was then used to provide sanctuary and training camps for the bin Laden network. Saudi Arabia has also sponsored the fundamentalist academies known as madrassas in Pakistan. Many graduates of these madrassas have headed straight to Afghanistan, some to bin Laden training camps. Since Sept. 11, Riyadh has refused pleas from Washington to freeze Mr. bin Laden's assets and those of his associates. Of the 19 hijackers who carried out last month's attacks, at least 10 were Saudi nationals. Riyadh has so far refused to cooperate fully with Washington's investigations of hijacking suspects. It has also barred Washington from using Saudi air bases to launch attacks against Afghanistan. "Reconsidering Saudi Arabia," The New York Times, October 14, 2001 (Available at Don Van Atta, Jr., "THE STRUGGLE FOR IRAQ; Last American Combat Troops Quit Saudi Arabia," The New York Times, September 22, 2003 (Available at

84 85 83 82

9/11 Commission Report, p. 232.

Gerald Posner, Secrets of the Kingdom: The Inside Story of the Saudi-U.S. Connection (New York: Random House, 2005), p. 175. William Langewiesche, "The Wrath of Khan," The Atlantic, November 2005 (Available at 9/11 Commission Report, pp. 73, 521 n. 60; "Top al Qaeda operative caught in Pakistan," CNN News, March 1, 2003 (Available at; "Bush hails capture of top al Qaeda operative," CNN News, May 1, 2003 (Available at; "Officials: Alleged al Qaeda paymaster in custody," CNN News, March 4, 2003 (Available at; James Risner, "U.S. Says Suspect Tied to 9/11 And Qaeda Is Captured in Raid," The New York Times, September 14, 2002 (Available at Times%20Topics/People/b/bin%20al-Shibh,%20Ramzi). Olivier Guitta, "A Nation at Risk," The Weekly Standard, April 4, 2005 (Available at; Lisa Getter, Chuck Neubauer and Robert J.

88 87 86


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Lopez, "Islamic American Nonprofits Face Increased Scrutiny in U.S.," The Los Angeles Times, November 4, 2001 (Available at Government's Evidentiary Proffer Supporting the Admissibility of Coconspirator Statements, United States v. Enaam M. Arnaout, No. 02 CR 892 (N.D.Ill. January 6, 2003), p. 18 (Available at [Note that the pagination, taken from the document on file with the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, is slightly askew in the online PDF available at]

90 91 89

Ibid., pp. 35-36; Peter Bergen, The Osama bin Laden I Know (Free Press: New York 2006), p. 80.

"Treasury Department Statement on the Designation of Wa'el Hamza Julidan," United States Department of the Treasury, September 6, 2002 (Available at; Mark Coatney, "Person of the Week: Abu Zubaydah," Time, May 24, 2002 (Available at,8599,249910,00.html).

92 93 94

"Treasury Department Statement on the Designation of Wa'el Hamza Julidan," U.S. Treasury Department. Ibid.

"U.S. Treasury Designates Two Individuals with Ties to al Qaida, UBL," United States Department of the Treasury, December 21, 2004 (Available at; Sam Roe, Laurie Cohen and Stephen Franklin, "How Saudi wealth fueled holy war," Chicago Tribune, February 22, 2004 (Available at,1,7589348.story?coll=chi-newsspecialshed); "Terrorist Financing Staff Monograph," National Commission of Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, p. 94 (Available at

95 96

Government's Evidentiary Proffer, United States v. Enaam M. Arnaout, pp. 15-17, 27.

The person Bin Laden told this to was Jamal Ahmed Al-Fadl, a former high-level lieutenant in Al Qaeda who defected from the organization and became a key source of information for U.S. authorities. Government's Evidentiary Proffer, United States v. Enaam M. Arnaout, p. 24; "U.S. Treasury Designates Two Individuals with Ties to al Qaida, UBL," U.S. Treasury Department; Testimony of Mathew Epstein and Evan Kohlmann before the United States House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, March 11, 2003, p. 1 (Available at

97 98

Roe, Cohen and Franklin, "How Saudi wealth fueled holy war." "U.S. Treasury Designates Two Individuals with Ties to al Qaida, UBL," U.S. Treasury Department.

Clearly unrepentant about the events of 9/11, Batterjee actually published a memoir in 2002 in which he declared that jihad is "the pinnacle of Islam." Roe, Cohen and Franklin, "How Saudi wealth fueled holy war." "Update on the Global Campaign Against Terrorist Financing," Independent Task Force on Terrorist Financing Sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations, June 15, 2004, p. 19 (Available at; Jeff Gerth and Judith Miller, "Philanthropist, or Fount Of Funds for Terrorists?", The New York Times, October 13, 2001, (Available to subscribers at "Treasury Department Releases List of 39 Additional Specially Designated Global Terrorists," United States Department of the Treasury, October 12, 2001 (Available at; "List of Individuals and Groups Whose Assets Were Frozen on Friday," Fox News (Associated Press), October 12, 2001 (Available at,2933,36377,00.html). Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball, "Paying for Terror: Treasury Department documents detail the murky world of Al Qaeda's financing," Newsweek, May 12, 2004 (Available at "Additional Al-Haramain Branches, Former Leader Designated by Treasury as Al Qaida Supporters: Treasury Marks Latest Action in Joint Designation with Saudi Arabia," United States Department of the Treasury, June 2, 2004 (Available at Although Al-Aqil's nationality is missing from the international terrorist watch list, an online directory for Al Haramain (at states that Al-Aqil was born in

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Saudi Arabia. See also Matthew Levitt, "Charity Begins in Riyadh," The Weekly Standard, February 2, 2004 (Available at

103 104 105

Ibid. Levitt, "Charity Begins in Riyadh."

Testimony of Steven Emerson with Jonathan Levin before the United States Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, July 31, 2003 (Available at "Update on the Global Campaign Against Terrorist Financing," Independent Task Force on Terrorist Financing Sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations, p. 19; Roe, Cohen and Franklin, "How Saudi wealth fueled holy war."

107 106

As The Washington Post reported on efforts to gather information on Khalid bin Mahfouz: A 70-page French intelligence report, prepared for Parliament in October and obtained by The Washington Post, outlined some details of this network. "The financial network of bin Laden, as well as his network of investments, is similar to the network put in place in the 1980s by BCCI for its fraudulent operations . . . The French report highlighted the role of Saudi banker Khalid bin Mahfouz, a former director of BCCI. . . [I]n April 1999 bin Mahfouz was placed under house arrest in a hospital in Taif when Saudi officials, at the urging of the United States, audited his bank and found that millions of dollars were being funneled through the bank to charities controlled by bin Laden, U.S. officials and the French document said. U.S. intelligence officials said Washington pushed for the audit of bin Mahfouz's bank but was never allowed to question him. Saudi officials "weren't willing to let us talk to him," said one U.S. source with direct knowledge of events, "and we asked at a very senior level."

Douglas Farah, "Al Qaeda's Road Paved with Gold," The Washington Post, February 17, 2002 (Available at


"Terrorist Financing Staff Monograph," 9/11 Commission, p. 113.

The investigators further found, "Similarly, the Saudis have yet to hold prominent individuals--like the former head of al Haramain, for instance--accountable for terrorist financing." Ibid., p. 130. "Update on the Global Campaign Against Terrorist Financing," Independent Task Force of Terrorist Financing Sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations, pp. 19-20. Brian Ross, "U.S.: Saudis Still Filling Al Qaeda's Coffers," ABC News, September 11, 2007 (Available at "Update on the Global Campaign Against Terrorist Financing," Independent Task Force of Terrorist Financing Sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations, p. 19 n. 11. Douglas Farah, "Saudis Face U.S. Demand on Terrorism," The Washington Post, November 26, 2002 (Available at "Treasury Department Statement on the Designation of Wa'el Hamza Julidan," U.S. Treasury Department; Len Sherman, "Al Qaeda Among Us," Arizona Monthly, November 2004 (Available at As David Aufhauser, the Treasury Department General Counsel, testified before the congressional Joint Inquiry in July 2002: [T]hings are not being volunteered. So I want to fully inform you about it, that we have to ask and we have to seek and we have to strive. I will give you one-and-a-half examples. The first is, after some period, the Saudis have agreed to the designation of a man named Julaydin, who is notoriously involved in all of this; and his designation will be public within the next 10 days. They came forward to us two weeks ago and said, okay, we think we should go forward with the

113 112 111 110 109


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designation and a freeze order against Mr. Julaydin. We asked, what do you have on him? Because they certainly know what we have on him, because we shared it as we tried to convince them that they ought to join us. The answer back was, nothing new. . . . I think that taxes credulity, or there is another motive we are not being told. Likewise, former FBI counterterrorism analyst Matthew Levitt wrote an op-ed in February 2004 pointing out how vacuous Saudi promises of reform had been. He observed: Finally, U.N. and U.S. officials both note that Wael Jalaidan, an al Qaeda founder and "designated terrorist entity," still works with suspicious charities and handles large sums of money. There have been no arrests of prominent Saudis or closures of financial institutions in the kingdom. Very few accounts have been frozen, and the Jalaidan case suggests those few have been frozen in name only. In short, evidence that Riyadh is serious about drying up the funding for terror remains thin indeed. Report of the Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities before and after the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001, United States House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, p. 111; Levitt, "Charity Begins in Riyadh."

114 115 116

"Terrorist Financing Staff Monograph," 9/11 Commission, p. 95. Ibid.

Baer, Sleeping with the Devil, p. 69; Mary Ann Weaver, "Blowback," The Atlantic Monthly, May 1996 (Available at Citing the same 1996 U.S. intelligence report mentioned above, The Wall Street Journal reported: "The former head of the IIRO office in the Philippines, Muhammad Jamal Khalifa, has been linked to Manila-based plots to target the pope and U.S. airlines; his brother-in-law is Usama bin Ladin," the report states, using alternate spellings of Mr. bin Laden's names. In addition, "another high-ranking [IIRO] official in the Philippines leads Hamas meetings, and the majority of Hamas members in the Philippines are employed by the organization." Glenn Simpson, "U.S. Officials Knew of Ties Between Terror, Charities," The Wall Street Journal, May 9, 2003 (Available at Robert Frank and James Hookway, "Manila Police Say Rebels Have Links to Bin Laden," The Wall Street Journal, September 25, 2001 (Available at "Abu Sayyaf: `no al Qaeda link'," CNN News, January 27, 2007 (Available at; "Bin Laden's brother-in-law killed," CNN News, January 27, 2007 (Available at Affidavit in Support of Complaint, United States v. Benevolence International Foundation, Inc., No. 02 CR 0414 (N.D. Ill. filed April 29, 2002), pp. 16-21 (Available at; "Associate of Bin Laden's brother-in-law arrested," USA Today (Associated Press), October 23, 2003 (Available at; Posner, Why America Slept, pp. 87-88; Rohan Gunaratna, Inside Al Qaeda: Global Network of Terror (New York: Berkley Books, 2002), pp. 192-94, 23335, 242-43. Posner, Why America Slept, p. 88; Gunaratna, Inside Al Qaeda, p. 233; Affidavit in Support of Complaint, United States v. Benevolence International Foundation, Inc., p. 19 n. 15.

121 122 120 119 118 117

Gunaratna, Inside Al Qaeda, p. 235.

Note that, thankfully, Khalifa was murdered earlier this year under mysterious circumstances while on an international "business" trip to Morroco. "A Blueprint for 9/11," CBS News, January 17, 2003 (Available at; Nick Fielding, "Gems, al-Qaida and murder. Mystery over killing of Osama Bin Laden's friend," The Guardian (London), March 2, 2007 (Available at,,2024731,00.html).


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"Saudi officials identify man on bin Laden tape," CNN News, December 16, 2001 (Available at "Militant Saudi sheikh surrenders," BBC News, July 13, 2004 (Available at; "Saudi Tied to bin Laden Turns Himself In Under Amnesty Offer," Reuters, July 14, 2004 (Available at In addition to Omar al-Bayoumi, a number of other Saudis have been implicated in helping Al-Midhar and Al-Hazmi. For instance, Omar Bakarbashat would later take over the rent payments on that apartment when AlHazmi and Al-Midhar suddenly decided to change location. He also helped tutor them in English, an essential part of their plan to take flight lessons in the U.S. And after his arrival in San Diego in July 2000, Yazeed al-Salmi promptly handed over $1,900 in traveler's checks to Al-Hazmi. Al-Bayoumi, Bakarbashat, and Al-Salmi were all Saudi nationals. 9/11 Commission Report, pp. 159, 217-19, 221-22; Senator Bob Graham with Jeff Nussbaum, Intelligence Matters: The CIA, the FBI, Saudi Arabia, and the Failure of America's War on Terror (New York: Random House 2004), pp. 12-13, 18-19, 25. "US Agents `can questions' Saudi," BBC News, July 30, 2003 (Available at

127 128 126 125 124


Graham, Intelligence Matters, pp. 43.

Ibid., pp. 43-44; 9/11 Commission Report, p. 521 n. 60; Sherman, "Al Qaeda Among Us"; Barbara Ferguson, "Saudi Student `Missing' After FBI Arrest," Arab News, June 26, 2003 (Available at E2%80%98Missing'%20After%20FBI%20Arrest); Audrey DeAnda, "UA Student Outraged at America West," Arizona Daily Wildcat, November 30, 1999 (Available at Indeed, the 9/11 Commission has found that they are still sticking to their story about mistaking the cockpit door for a lavatory, even though their connections to Al Qaeda have now been revealed. 9/11 Commission Report, p. 521 n. 60; Graham, Intelligence Matters, pp. 43-44.

129 130

Ibid.; 9/11 Commission Report, p. 521 n. 60. Ibid.

The Al Qaeda accomplice who identified Al-Shalawi was Ghassan al-Sharbi, yet another Saudi operative who was captured in the same March 2002 raid that netted Al Qaeda's No. 3 man ­ Abu Zubaydah (further discussed above). Al-Sharbi had also attended school in Arizona, and considered Al-Shalawi a good friend. After attending Al Qaeda's training camps and swearing allegiance to Osama bin Laden in the Summer of 2001, he went to look for Al-Shalawi so the two could engage in a secret project together, presumably another truck bombing in Saudi Arabia. Ibid.

131 132


Ibid, p. 437; Government's Evidentiary Proffer, United States v. Enaam M. Arnaout, p. 25; Trial Transcript, United States v. Usama bin Laden, et al. (February 6, 2001), pp. 205, 209, 335 (Available at; Gunaratna, Inside Al Qaeda, p. 90. Government's Evidentiary Proffer, United States v. Enaam M. Arnaout, pp. 35-36; Trial Transcript, United States v. Usama bin Laden, et al. (February 6, 2001), p. 205; Gunaratna, Inside Al Qaeda, p. 76; Bergen, The Osama bin Laden I Know, p. 80.

134 135 133

Risen, State of War, p. 181.

Trial Transcript, United States v. Usama bin Laden, et al. (February 7, 2001), p. 357 (Available at

136 137 138

Government's Evidentiary Proffer, United States v. Enaam M. Arnaout, p. 26. 9/11 Commission Report, p. 68. Ibid., p. 122.


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This also sheds some further light on an earlier report in The Washington Post from May 2003. As the investigation into the May 2003 Riyadh residential compound bombings, in which nine Americans were killed, got underway the Post reported that some U.S. officials were optimistic about the Saudi response. The Post reported that one U.S. official "said that in the current climate of cooperation he didn't rule out the possibility that U.S. officials might be allowed to speak to detainees, something the Saudis have previously refused to allow." Once again it must be asked, from what other nation could we see such plaintive expectations from U.S. officials in the aftermath of witnessing 3,000 American citizens murdered on our own native soil? On the other hand, it now seems clear from The 9/11 Commission Report that this simply turned out to be another false hope anyway. Finn, "Al Qaeda Arms Traced to Saudi National Guard."


As James Risen further recounted: In 1997, Saudi Arabia detained Sayed Tayib al-Madani, who had been a key financial aide to Osama bin Laden while bin Laden had been living in the Sudan. The CIA repeatedly asked the Saudis for access to al-Madani, because he knew virtually everything there was to know about Al Qaeda's finances. It was said that, within al Qaeda, al-Madani had to approve every expenditure of more than $1,000. But the Saudis repeatedly refused, and the CIA did gain access to him until after the September 11 attacks, according to a CIA source.

Risen, State of War, p. 181.

140 141

Beyer and MacLeod, "Inside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia."

"Saudis Bar Access to Terror Suspects," CBS News (Associated Press), June 19, 2002 (Available at

142 143

Sennott, "Why Bin Laden Plot Relied on Saudi Hijackers."

Major James F. Gebhardt, U.S. Army, Retired, "The Road to Abu Ghraib: U.S. Army Detainee Doctrine and Experience, Military Review, January-February 2005 (Available at

144 145 146

9/11 Commission Report, pp. 62-63. Ibid., pp. 109-10. Baer, Sleeping with the Devil, p. 20. To the rest of the world, the Saudis had "expelled" bin Laden in 1991 and had taken the highly visible steps of stripping him of citizenship in 1994, freezing his known assets, and urging his family to cut ties with him. But the Saudis had curiously never urged the Sudanese to take any action against bin Laden. This double standard, senior CIA officials now believe, was the result of the 1991 agreement between the Saudi chief of intelligence, Prince Turki, and bin Laden, in which the Saudis continued to allow money to flow to bin Laden in return for his agreement to keep his own fundamentalists deflected away from the Kingdom. That was particularly galling to CIA officials who had pressed the Saudis for cooperation on bin Laden. Although the Saudis were publicly committed to bringing bin Laden to justice--"We didn't leave any stone unturned," Prince Turki would later tell The New York Times--they effectively had had him on their payroll since the start of the decade.

Gerald Posner has gone even further in explaining the source of the Saudi's ambivalence toward Bin Laden:

Posner, Why America Slept, p. 112. Interview with Prince Turki, " `And then Mullah Omar screamed at me'," Der Spiegel, March 8, 2004 (Available at,1518,289592,00.html). Richard A. Clarke, Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on Terror (New York: Free Press, 2004), pp. 193-95. In fact, when tracking a fugitive here in the U.S., federal authorities would not even need to get a warrant under the circumstances described above (and that was the case even before the Patriot Act was passed). See 18 U.S.C. 2516(l), Chapter 119 at

149 148 147


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Neil MacKay, "Family Ties; The Bin Ladens", The Sunday Herald, October 7, 2001 (Available at

151 152


Jehl, "Holy War Lured Saudis as Rulers Looked Away."

Jeff Gerth and Judith Miller, "Saudi Arabia Is Called Slow in Helping Stem the Flow of Cash to Militants," The New York Times, December 1, 2002 (Available at David E. Kaplan, "The Saudi Connection," U.S. News & World Report, December 15, 2003 (Available at Likewise, Gerald Posner recounted: Pres. Clinton sent State Department officials to Saudi Arabia in 1999 to gather information on charities that might be aiding Al Qaeda, but the Saudis refused to cooperate. According to a deputy assistant secretary of state, "They listened carefully. The meetings were courteous. And very little happened afterwards." Posner, Why America Slept, p. 139. Steve Coll, "Global Network Provides Money, Haven," The Washington Post, August 3, 1993 (Available at =ABS:FT&fmac=&date=Aug+3%2C+1993&author=Steve+Coll&desc=Global+Network+Provides+Money%2C+H aven+Series%3A+ISLAMIC+WARRIORS+Series+Number%3A+2%2F2). David B. Ottaway, "U.S. Eyes Money Trails of Saudi-Backed Charities," The Washington Post, August 19, 2004 (Available at Likewise, Jean-Charles Brisard reported to the U.S. Senate: In 1994, the Saudi Kingdom issued a royal decree banning the collection of money in the Kingdom for charitable causes without official permission. King Fahd set up a Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs (al-Majlis al-A'la lil-Shu'un al-Islamiyya), headed by his brother Prince Sultan to centralize, supervise and review aid requests from Islamic groups. This council was established to control the charity financing and look into ways of distributing donations to eligible Muslim groups. Testimony of Jean-Charles Brisard before the United States Senate Committee on Banking Housing and Urban Affairs, October 22, 2003, pp. 7-8 (Available at; Rachel Ehrenfeld, "Show Me the Money," National Review, August 17, 2004 (Available at

156 157 155 154 153

"Terrorist Financing Staff Monograph," 9/11 Commission, p. 116.

"Terrorist Financing," Independent Task Force on Terrorist Financing Sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations, October 2002, p. 19 (Available at Likewise, investigative journalist Gerald Posner reported that things had not changed a year later: Saudi Arabia approved amendments in 1999 so that its existing money-laundering regulations could be brought into compliance with international standards, but as of 2003 it had not implemented the changes. And in December 2004, the Congressional Research Service noted that the Saudis had not even instituted the basic United Nations convention on counterterrorist financing: The FATF review notes that Saudi Arabia has not ratified the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism, adopted by the U.N. General Assembly in December 1999. The FATF report urges Saudi Arabia to do so "as soon as possible." Posner, Why America Slept, p. 137; Testimony of Brisard before the United States Senate, October 22, 2003, pp. 78; Alfred B. Prados and Christopher M. Blanchard, "Saudi Arabia: Terrorist Financing Issues," Congressional Research Service, December 8, 2004, p. 24 (Available at


"Terrorist Financing Staff Monograph," 9/11 Commission, p. 122.


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In December 2002, The New York Times reported: Saudi officials have repeatedly pledged to tighten regulations on some 300 charities that dole out as much as $4 billion a year, but a senior Bush administration official said Saudi cooperation in stopping the money flow had been "difficult and slow" since the Sept. 11 attacks. . . . Hassan Yassin, a former Saudi information officer in Washington, said in a telephone interview from London that the Saudis were moving at their own pace to curb terrorism. Gerth and Miller, "Saudi Arabia Is Called Slow in Helping Stem the Flow of Cash to Militants." "Update on the Global Campaign Against Terrorist Financing," Independent Task Force of Terrorist Financing Sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations, pp. 16-17.

160 161 162 163 164 165 159

"Terrorist Financing Staff Monograph," 9/11 Commission, pp. 127, 129. Schwartz, The Two Faces of Islam, pp. 200-01. Levitt, "Charity Begins in Riyadh." Ross, "U.S.: Saudis Still Filling Al Qaeda's Coffers." Beyer and MacLeod, "Inside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia."

To cite but one example, in June 2002, CBS News quoted State Department spokesman Richard Boucher as stating that, "We've been very satisfied with Saudi cooperation in a wide variety of areas, whether its financial, law enforcement or other matters." "Saudis Bar Access to Terror Suspects," CBS News.

166 167 168 169

Levitt, "Charity Begins in Riyadh." "Terrorist Financing Staff Monograph," 9/11 Commission, p. 124. Ibid., p. 121

"Additional Al-Haramain Branches, Former Leader Designated by Treasury as Al Qaida Supporters," U.S. Treasury Department; "U.S.-Based Branch of Al Haramain Foundation Linked to Terror: Treasury Designates U.S. Branch, Director," United States Department of the Treasury, September 9, 2004 (Available at

170 171 172 173 174 175 176

"Terrorist Financing Staff Monograph," 9/11 Commission, p. 115. Ibid., p. 119. Ibid., p. 120. Ibid., p. 122. Ibid., p. 123. Testimony of Emerson and Levin before the United States Senate, July 31, 2003.

"Saudis Quietly Promote Strict Islam in Indonesia," The New York Times, July 5, 2003 (Available at See also Zachary Abuza, "Asia Hasn't Stopped The Terror Funding," Asian Wall Street Journal, October 1, 2003 (Available at Former FBI counterterrorism analyst Matthew Levitt wrote an op-ed in February 2004 pointing out how vacuous Saudi promises of reform had been. He observed: In a similar case, even as Saudi officials were negotiating the closure of the four al Haramain branches shut this week, a Saudi official insisted that "al Haramain cannot spend a penny outside Saudi Arabia." Then, apparently contradicting himself, he added, "If Indonesia thinks that al Haramain is active there, then Indonesians must take action and not us the Saudis." Levitt, "Charity Begins in Riyadh."


Kaplan, "The Saudi Connection."


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U.S., Saudi Arabia Freeze Assets of Saudi Charity Branch Offices," United States Department of State, January 22, 2004 (Available at Likewise, terrorism experts Steven Emerson and Jonathan Levin testified before congress: In a June 12 news conference, Adel Al-Jubair announced that Al-Haramain "would be shutting down all of its foreign offices" . . . Despite these assertions, there is no available evidence indicating that the Al-Haramain Foundation has ceased its operations. Testimony of Emerson and Levin before the United States Senate, July 31, 2003. Justin Rood, "Treasury Ties Oregon Branch of Saudi Charity to al Qaeda," Congressional Quarterly, September 10, 2004 (Available at Abdul Rahman Al-Mutawa, "No Notice of Closure Served on Haramain," Arab News, October 7, 2004 (Available at =Kingdom). "U.S.-Based Branch of Al Haramain Foundation Linked to Terror: Treasury Designates U.S. Branch, Director," U.S. Treasury Department.

182 183 184 185 186 187 188 189 181 180 179


Rood, "Treasury Ties Oregon Branch of Saudi Charity to al Qaeda." Gerth and Miller, "Saudi Arabia Is Called Slow in Helping Stem the Flow of Cash to Militants." Kaplan, "The Saudi Connection." Beyer and MacLeod, "Inside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia"; Posner, Secrets of the Kingdom, p. 176. Testimony of Brisard before the United States Senate, October 22, 2003, pp. 7-8. Testimony of Emerson and Levin before the United States Senate, July 31, 2003. 9/11 Commission Report, p. 372.

Brian Eads, "Saudi Arabia's deadly export," Reader's Digest (Australia), February 2003 (Available at Testimony of Emerson and Levin before the United States Senate, July 31, 2003; Gold, Hatred's Kingdom, p. 238; Posner, Secretes of the Kingdom, p. 167.

191 190

Testimony of Epstein and Kohlmann before the United States House of Representatives, March 11, 2003, p.

4. As U.S. News & World Report explained: Although they called themselves private foundations, these were not charities in the sense that Americans understand the term. The Muslim World League and the IIRO, for example, are overseen by the grand mufti of Saudi Arabia, the kingdom's highest religious authority. They receive substantial funds from the government and members of the royal family and make use of the Islamic affairs offices of Saudi embassies abroad. The Muslim World League's current secretary general, Abdullah Al-Turki, served as the kingdom's minister of Islamic affairs for six years. Kaplan, "The Saudi Connection."


Testimony of Epstein and Kohlmann before the United States House of Representatives, March 11, 2003, p. Testimony of Emerson and Levin before the United States Senate, July 31, 2003.


193 194

Sharon LaFraniere, "How Jihad Made Its Way to Chechnya," The Washington Post, April 26, 2003 (Available at; Testimony of Emerson and Levin before the United States Senate, July 31, 2003.




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Mark Hamblett, "Saudi Charity" Dropped From Suit Over Sept. 11 Attacks," New York Law Journal, September 28, 2005 (Available at Testimony of Emerson and Levin before the United States Senate, July 31, 2003; Baer, Sleeping with the Devil, p. 20.

198 197


Testimony of Brisard before the United States Senate, October 22, 2003, p. 19.

For those who don't recognize the name "John O'Neil," I would highly recommend watching PBS Frontline's documentary, "The Man Who Knew," available at Salah Nasrawi, "Saudis reportedly funding Iraqi Sunnis," The Washington Post (Associated Press), December 8, 2006 (available at; Zain Verjee, "Is Saudi money financing Iraqi insurgents," CNN News, October 26, 2004 (available at Christopher Isham and Elizabeth Sprague, "Sunni Insurgents Still Causing Most U.S. Military Deaths in Iraq," ABC News, November 6, 2006 (Available at; Farah Stockman and Thanassis Cambanis, "Doubts raised on link of Iran to US deaths in Iraq," The Boston Globe, February 14, 2007 (Available at Caroline Drees, "US Says Saudis Still Funding Terrorism," Reuters, April 4, 2006 (Available at

202 203 201 200 199

Ross, "U.S.: Saudis Still Filling Al Qaeda's Coffers."

"Saudi Time Bomb?", PBS Frontline, original airdate November 15, 2001 (Available at Foreign Agents Registration Act, 22 U.S.C. 611, et seq. (1938) (Available at; "FARA Q&A," United States Department of Justice website, accessed on December 29, 2007, (Available at Report of the Attorney General to the Congress of the United States on the Administration of the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938, as amended, for the six months ending June 30, 2002, pp. 233-37 et seq.; Ibid., for the six months ending December 31, 2002, pp. 228-32; Ibid., for the six months ending June 30, 2003, pp. 228-32; Ibid., for the six months ending December 31, 2003, pp. 217-21; Ibid., for the six months ending June 30, 2004, pp. 191-95; Ibid., for the six months ending December 31, 2004, pp. 192-96 (Each of the above reports is available at Ibid., for the six months ending December 31, 2002, p. 230; Sari Horwitz and Dan Eggen, "FBI Searches Saudi Arabia's PR Firm," The Washington Post, December 9, 2004 (Available at See also Christopher Marquis, "Worried Saudis Pay Millions To Improve Image in the U.S.," The New York Times, August 29, 2002 (Available with subscription at Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball, "Did Saudis Deceptively Finance Ad Campaign?", Newsweek, December 16, 2004 (Available at; Horwitz and Eggen, "FBI Searches Saudi Arabia's PR Firm."

208 209 207 206 205 204

Isikoff and Hosenball, "Did Saudis Deceptively Finance Ad Campaign?"

Philip Shenon, "3 Partners Quit Firm Handling Saudis' P.R.," The New York Times, December 26, 2004 (Available with subscription at At times, all that public relations coaching can become painfully obvious. For instance, journalist Elsa Walsh interviewed both Prince Bandar and his wife, Princess Haifa, for a profile of the Prince in The New Yorker. It turns out that Princess Haifa was caught in an apparent scheme to transfer money to the same Omar al-Bayoumi discussed above (see the Newsweek article cited below for a brief primer). Recounting the media firestorm in the wake of this revelation, the Princess recalled, "I felt like the whole world fell on my head." Ironically, in the very same New


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Yorker article, Prince Bandar described his reaction when he was first informed by CIA Director George Tenet that fifteen of the nineteen hijackers were Saudi nationals. He recalled, "I felt the whole world collapse over my shoulders." Clearly, their talking points were showing. Walsh, "The Prince"; Michael Isikoff and Evan Thomas, "The Saudi Money Trail," Newsweek, December 2, 2002 (Available at "Dallah group plans media blitz," Arab News (Agence France Presse), November 3, 2002 (Available at; Neil Quilliam and Maggie Kamel, "Modernizing Legitimacy: Saudi Strategies," Alternatives: The Turkish Journal of International Relations, Volume 2, Number 2, Summer 2003 (Available at Glen Simpson, "List of Early al Qaeda Donors Points to Saudi Elite, Charities," The Wall Street Journal, March 18, 2003 (Available at Javid Hanson, "Media Campaign in US to Dispel Islamophobia," Arab News, June 21, 2006 (Available at =Kingdom).

213 212 211 210

As terrorism expert Steven Emerson and Jonathan Levin testified before the U.S. Senate: According to a December 23, 1999 Arab News article, Dr. Hamid Shaygi, assistant Secretary General of WAMY announced at a Riyadh press conference, with Nihad Awad in attendance, that WAMY "was extending both moral and financial support to CAIR in its effort to construct headquarters at a cost of $3.5 million in Washington, DC." The article continued saying WAMY would also "introduce CAIR to Saudi philanthropists and recommend their financial support for the headquarters project."

Testimony of Emerson and Levin before the United States Senate, July 31, 2003. See also "Al-Walid Bin Talal donates half a million for CAIR campaign in the USA," Arabic News, November 19, 2002 (Available at

214 215

Rudolph W. Giuliani and Ken Kurson, Leadership (New York: Hyperion, 2002), p. 374.

Greg Levine, "Saudi Prince Backs Murdoch, Ups News Corp. Stake," Forbes, September 6, 2005 (Available at Asma Ali Zain, "Media should not be allowed to rule in Iraq: Prince Waleed," Khaleej Times, December 6, 2005 (Available at er146.xml). See also "Saudi Billionaire Boasts of Manipulating Fox News Coverage," Accuracy in Media, December 7, 2005 (Available at Michel Gurfinkiel, "France Facing `Horrendous' Balance Sheet," The New York Sun, November 8, 2005 (Available at One can only guess at how successful they've really been, but I do recall very distinctly observing in wonderment that every single talking head on Fox News came out staunchly in favor of the Dubai Ports Deal, even as grassroots conservatives recoiled in horror at the prospect of outsourcing our national security to wealthy Arab countries. For more on that, see Inaugural Address by President George W. Bush, White House Transcript, January 20, 2005 (Available at Posner, Secrets of the Kingdom, p. 185; "Winners announced in Riyadh City's municipal elections," Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, February 11, 2005 (Available at; "Thousands Vote in Saudi Election," CBS News, February 10, 2005 (Available at; "Saudis Cast Ballots In First Nationwide Vote," Fox News (Associated Press), February 10, 2005 (Available at,2933,146957,00.html); Donna Abu-Nasr, "Saudis finally get to vote, and they're not interested," Chicago Sun-Times, December 21, 2004 (Available at

220 219 218 217 216


Copyright © 2007-08 WFB; "`Islamist win' in key Saudi poll," BBC News, February 11, 2005 (Available at; "Islamists win Saudi Elections," CBS News, February 11, 2005 (Available at Note that Gerald Posner has reported that only 86,462 men registered in Riyadh, out of 600,000 potential voters. The BBC provided higher numbers, reporting that 148,000 registered out of 400,000 eligible voters. That would presumably be a registration rate of 18.5% of the voting-age population. To make matters more confusing, CBS News reported that 149,000 had registered out of 600,000 eligible voters. That would yield be a registration rate of 12.4% of the voting-age population. However, taking a closer look at the press reports, it is noteworthy that the 148,000 out of 600,000 figures were widely reported on February 10. But the next day, press reports settled on the 86,462 figure as the number of registered voters during the election, a number also confirmed by the Saudi Embassy in Washington, DC. Thus, it appears the earlier figure for registered voters was misstated, and Posner was working with the correct figures after all.

221 222

"`Islamist win' in key Saudi poll," BBC News.

"Country Briefings: Saudi Arabia ­ Political Forces," The Economist, April 25, 2005 (Available at "Two women win in Saudi election," BBC News, November 30, 2005 (Available at

224 225 223

Abu-Nasr, "Saudis finally get to vote, and they're not interested."

"`Islamist win' in key Saudi poll," BBC News; "Islamists win Saudi Elections," CBS News; John R. Bradley, "The House of Saud's eternal dilemma," Asia Times, March 1, 2005 (Available at; Posner, Secrets of the Kingdom, p. 185. According to the 9/11 Commission, the number of death certificates issued as a result of the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon was 2,933. 9/11 Commission Report, p. 552 n. 188.

227 228 229 230 231 232 226

9/11 Commission Report, p. 371. Ibid., pp. 3, 452. Ibid., pp. 5, 7-8, 12. Ibid., pp. 3, 11-13, 19, 28-29, 456 n. 76. Ibid., p. 220.

Kate Connolly, "`I did what I had to do,' says suicide pilot's last letter," The Observer (London), November 18, 2001 (Available at,1300,596942,00.html). 9/11 Commission Report, p. 23; Terry McDermott, Perfect Soldiers: The 9/11 Hijackers: Who They Were, Why They Did It (New York: HarperCollins, 2005), p. 220. "Transcript of Usama Bin Laden Video Tape," Defense Department transcript, released December 13, 2001, p. 4 (Available at; David Ensor, "Bin Laden named nine hijackers on tape, not one," CNN News, December 21, 2001 (Available at Jonathan Wald, "Remains of 2 Sept. 11 hijackers identified," CNN News, February 27, 2003 (Available at

236 237 235 234 233

Walsh, "The Prince."

Mary Beth Sheridan, "15 Hijackers Obtained Visas in Saudi Arabia," The Washington Post, October 31, 2001 (Available at "Saudis Want Detainees Turned Over," CBS News, January 28, 2002 (Available at



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"Official: 15 of 19 hijackers were Saudis," USA Today (Associated Press), February 6, 2002 (Available at "In search of Al Qaeda," PBS Frontline, original airdate November 21, 2002 (Available at "Saudi Minister of Interior, Prince Nayef Ibn Abd-Al-Aziz: `Who Committed the Events of September 11... I Think They [the Zionists] are Behind these Events... [Arab] Mass Media Should Condemn Terrorism, Warn Arab Nationals of it, and Let Our Voice be Heard by the World... It is Impossible that 19 Youths, Including 15 Saudis, Carried Out the Operation of September 11'," The Middle East Media Research Institute, Special Dispatch No. 446, December 3, 2002 (Available at; Ken Adelman, "Saudi Arabia: No Friend of Ours," Fox News, December 11, 2002 (Available at,2933,72684,00.html); Peter Bergen, "The Al Qaeda Connection: Try Riyadh, Not Baghdad," The Nation, December 18, 2002 (Available at Interview with Prince Bandar bin Sultan, NBC News Meet the Press, April 25, 2004 (Available at Prince Bandar himself tried to play down the Saudi connection to the attacks on 9/11 when he told PBS Frontline in late September 2001: So Osama bin Laden has been blown out of proportion? I think he has, I do. And I think the U.S. . . . the Western media has blown him out of proportion; definitely, definitely. Interview with Prince Bandar bin Sultan, September 2001, online supplement to "Looking for Answers," PBS Frontline, original airdate October 11, 2001 (Available at "Transcript of Usama Bin Laden Video Tape," U.S. Defense Department, p. 4; Tariq Ali, "In the Princes Pockets," The London Review of Books, July 19, 2007 (Available at; "Saudi Time Bomb?", PBS Frontline. "Update on the Global Campaign Against Terrorist Financing," Independent Task Force of Terrorist Financing Sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations, p. 12. The report continued: To the best of our knowledge, these statements were never retracted; indeed, at a press conference in Washington on June 2, 2004, neither Adel al Jubeir, the foreign policy adviser to the crown prince, nor a State Department official by his side repudiated them in specific response to questions from reporters. Ibid. See also Posner, Secrets of the Kingdom, p. 175.

245 246 244 243 242 241 240


Jehl, "Holy War Lured Saudis as Rulers Looked Away."

Elaine Sciolino, "Don't Weaken Arafat, Saudi Warns Bush," The New York Times, January 27, 2002 (Available at

247 248 249

Sennott, "Why Bin Laden Plot Relied on Saudi Hijackers." 9/11 Commission Report, pp. 232-33. "Terrorism: Questions & Answers ­ Saudi Arabia," Council on Foreign Relations, 2004. The Saudi government has denied that al-Qaida has been operating in the Kingdom; nevertheless, it arrested 13 suspects in June 2002, which demonstrated that al-Qaida is active in Saudi Arabia. The suspects are being held on charges of planning to attack `vital installations in the kingdom, including an airbase used by U.S. forces, using explosives and surface-to-air missiles'.

Likewise, another commentator observed:

Quilliam and Kamel, "Modernizing Legitimacy: Saudi Strategies."


Beyer and MacLeod, "Inside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia."


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Evan Kohlmann, "A Saudi Home," National Review, February 9, 2004 (Available at Dana Priest and Joe Stephens, "Secret World of U.S. Interrogation," The Washington Post, May 11, 2004 (Available at "Saudi's Qaeda rejects renewed amnesty by king: Web," Reuters, July 4, 2006 (Available at Vivienne Walt and Thanassis Cambanis, "US, Iraqis hold 19 men in bombing," The Boston Globe, August 31, 2003 (Available at Gold, Hatred's Kingdom, p. 217. See also Ali al-Ahmed and Haydar Hamdani, "Sources: Saudis Behind Iraq Car Bombings," Saudi Information Agency, September 25, 2003 ("SIA news has identified several Saudis killed in Iraq fighting US and Iraqi troops since April. They include Abdul Aziz Saud al-Gharbi, 22, born in the northern city of Hail. He was the suicide bomber who killed five people, including an Australian journalist March 22, in Northern Iraq, his relatives told SIS.") (Available at

256 257 255 254 253 252


Associated Press, "Saudi fighters cross border to kill `infidels'," by Faiza Saleh Ambah, August 31, 2003.

Donna Abu-Nasr, "Saudi Network Backs Iraq Insurgency," Associated Press, February 28, 2005 (Available at,3566,148635,00.html). Reuven Paz, "Arab volunteers killed in Iraq: an Analysis," The Project for the Research of Islamist Movements Series on Global Jihad, Vol. 3, No. 1, March 4, 2005 (Available at; Mohammed M. Hafez, "Suicide Terrorism in Iraq: A Preliminary Assessment of the Quantitative Data and Documentary Evidence," Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, Vol. 29, Iss. 6 (2006) (Available at; Susan B. Glasser, "`Martyrs' In Iraq Mostly Saudis," The Washington Post, May 15, 2005 (Available at; Lisa Myers, "Who are the foreign fighters in Iraq? An NBC News analysis finds 55 percent hail from Saudi Arabia," NBC News, June 20, 2005 (Available at Ned Parker, "The Conflict in Iraq: Saudi Role in Insurgency," The Los Angeles Times, July 15, 2007 (Available at; Helene Cooper, "Saudis' Role in Iraq Frustrates U.S. Officials," The New York Times, July 27, 2007 (Available at See also "U.S. Ally Blamed For Iraq Suicide Attacks," CBS News, July 16, 2007 (Available at; "Iraq detains hundreds of Saudi militants," Khaleej Times (Agence France Presse), July 15, 2007 (Available at ction=focusoniraq). Anthony Cordesman and Nawaf Obaid, "Saudi Militants in Iraq: Assessment and Kingdom's Response," Center for Strategic and International Studies, September 19, 2005 (Available at

261 262 260 259 258

Ibid., p. 5.

Dominic Evans, "Iraq Invasion Radicalized Saudi Fighters: Report," Reuters, September 18, 2005 (Available at; Tom Regan, "The `Myth' of Iraq's Foreign Fighters, The Christian Science Monitor, September 23, 2005 (Available at; "Report: Saudis Bring Money, Fighters to Iraq's Insurgency," Fox News (Associated Press), September 20, 2005 (Available at,2933,169945,00.html); Bryan Bender, "Study cites seeds of terror in Iraq," The Boston Globe, July 17, 2005 (Available at; Sudha


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Ramachandran, "Trashed: Some myths about Iraq," Asia Times, September 27, 2005 (Available at

263 264 265

Bender, "Study cites seeds of terror in Iraq". Cordesman and Obaid, "Saudi Militants in Iraq: Assessment and Kingdom's Response," pp. 5, 6, 8, 18.

Nawaf Obaid Profile, Center for Strategic and International Studies website, accessed November 17, 2007 (Available at,com_csis_experts/task,view/id,78/). Cordesman and Obaid, "Saudi Militants in Iraq: Assessment and Kingdom's Response," pp. 8, 10; Dominic Evans, "Saudi Arabia says Ready to Beat Militants from Iraq," Reuters, July 10, 2005 (Available at Cordesman and Obaid, "Saudi Militants in Iraq: Assessment and Kingdom's Response," p. 9; Bender, "Study cites seeds of terror in Iraq".

268 269 267 266

Cordesman and Obaid, "Saudi Militants in Iraq: Assessment and Kingdom's Response," p. 22, n. vi.

Anthony H. Cordesman, "Weapons of Mass Preservation," The New York Times, August 16, 2007 (Available at Interview With Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, The New York Times, January 28, 2002 (Available at

271 272 270

Sennott, "Why bin Laden plot relied on Saudi hijackers."

Interview with Adel al-Jubeir, CNN American Morning with Paula Zahn, August 27, 2002 (Available at Similarly, the Saudi Foreign Minister, Prince Saud al-Faisal would later declare that, "To achieve that objective, they had to first drive a wedge between Saudi Arabia and the United States, and what better tool to utilize than the spectacular criminal attack of 9/ 11, with the major instrument for that attack being the 15 Saudis." And in April 2004, then Saudi ambassador to the U.S., Prince Bandar bin Sultan, claimed in an interview on Meet the Press: It's an evil work done by evil people who were targeting your country, but also targeting the relationship between our two countries. Otherwise is it accidental that they would choose 15 misguided young people to be out of 19 that when they had the pool of so many people from so many different countries? "Saudi Foreign Minister HRH Prince Saud al Faisal: Remarks to the Foreign Policy Association and US-Saudi Business Council," Saudi-US Relations Information Service, April 26, 2004 (Available at; Interview with Prince Bandar bin Sultan, NBC News Meet the Press, April 25, 2004. "President Bush Meets with Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia," White House Transcript, April 25, 2002 (Available at; David E. Sanger, "Threats and Responses: Alliances; Bush Officials Praise Saudis For Aiding Terror Fight," The New York Times, November 27, 2002 (Available at =rss). Interview with Prince Turki, " `And then Mullah Omar screamed at me'," Der Spiegel. See also David Johnston, "TWO YEARS LATER: 9/11 TACTICS; Official Says Qaeda Recruited Saudi Hijackers to Strain Ties," The New York Times, September 9, 2003 (Available at

277 278 279 276 275 274 273

9/11 Commission Report, p. 232. Schwartz, The Two Faces of Islam, pp. 310-11.

Interview with Michael Scheuer, online supplement to "Al Qaeda's New Front," PBS Frontline, January 10, 2005 (Available at


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280 281

Interview With Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, The New York Times, January 28, 2002. Sennott, "Why Bin Laden Plot Relied on Saudi Hijackers."

Regarding the bit about the hijackers being just"15 individuals out of 16 million Saudis," it wasn't long before AlJubeir was contradicting himself, once again. In May 2003, he conceded to host Tim Russert on Meet the Press that the problem went well beyond the 15 hijackers on 9/11, admitting that between 1,500 and 2,000 members of Al Qaeda were Saudis. So now even the Saudis' top spinmeister was conceding that thousands of his fellow countrymen were involved in Al Qaeda, although needless to say, this was still a blatant lie. Notably, he didn't bother to bring up the fact that Saudi intelligence itself had admitted that as many as 25,000 young men from Saudi Arabia had received military training or experience abroad prior to September 11, largely in Al Qaeda's training camps in Sudan and Afghanistan, as reported two years earlier in The New York Times. Interview with Adel al-Jubeir, NBC News Meet the Press, May 18, 2003 (Available at; Jehl, "Holy War Lured Saudis as Rulers Looked Away."

282 283

Baer, Sleeping with the Devil, p. 166

Linda Robinson and Peter Cary, "Princely Payments," U.S. News & World Report, January 14, 2002 (Available at

284 285

Interview with Adel al-Jubeir, NBC News Meet the Press, May 18, 2003.

"A Terror Breeding Ground," CBS News, February 27, 2005 (Available at Al-Jubeir did not say which attacks during the 1990's he was referring to, but presumably he was talking about the bombing of the Saudi National Guard headquarters and the Khobar Towers. Needless to say, both of those attacks targeted Americans who happened to be in the Kingdom, not the Saudi government or Saudi Arabia itself, as further detailed above. For a few examples, see "Saudi police arrest bomb suspects," BBC News, November 11, 2003 ("US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage said earlier during a visit to Riyadh that al-Qaeda was trying to topple the Saudi royal family and the pro-Western government.") (Available at; "Saudis Nab Alleged Bomb Plotter," CBS News, December 2, 2005 ("[The Riyadh bombers] were believed to be receiving orders directly from al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden and may have been planning to attack the Saudi royal family.") (Available at; "A Terror Breeding Ground," CBS News, ("Yet after 9/11, the Saudis vehemently denied that they had an extremist problem. And they continued denying it until homegrown terrorists, followers of bin Laden, attacked them."); Beyer and MacLeod, "Inside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia." ("After the May 12 attacks, the House of Saud understood that it was under direct assault by an organization committed to its overthrow.")

287 286

Schwartz, The Two Faces of Islam, pp. 234-35.

Schwartz went on to observe, "This seemed, if anything, a strategy to help keep the Saudi regime in power by concentrating attacks on the United States." Ibid., p. 236. Osama bin Laden, "Declaration of War against the Americans Occupying the Land of the Two Holy Places," August 1996, translated by PBS Online NewsHour (Available at Osama bin Laden, "Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders," February 23, 1998, translated by PBS Online NewsHour (Available at Daniel McGrory, "The day when Osama bin Laden applied for asylum ­ in Britain," The Times (London), September 29, 2005 (Available at,,2-1802835,00.html); Robert Windrem, "Al-Qaida timeline: Plots and attacks,", accessed December 29, 2007 (Available at Jason Burke, Al Qaeda: Casting a Shadow of Terror (T.B. Tauris & Co. Ltd.: London 2003), pp. 99-100; Gunaratna, Inside Al Qaeda, p. 40; Windrem, "Al-Qaida timeline: Plots and attacks."

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"Patterns of Global Terrorism: 1993," United States Department of State, April 1994 (Available at; Lawrence Wright, "The Man Behind Bin Laden," The New Yorker, September 16, 2002 (Available at; Windrem, "Al-Qaida timeline: Plots and attacks." "Patterns of Global Terrorism: 1993," U.S. State Department; Robert Windrem, "Al-Qaida timeline: Plots and attacks." Investigative journalist Lawrence Wright described the aftermath of the assassination attempt: The following November, Zawahiri's men tried to kill Egypt's Prime Minister with a car bomb as he was being driven past a girls' school in Cairo. The bomb missed its target, but the explosion injured twenty-one people and killed a twelve-year-old schoolgirl, Shayma Abdel-Halim, who was crushed by a door blown loose in the blast. Her death outraged Egyptians, who had seen more than two hundred and forty people killed by terrorists in the previous two years. As Shayma's coffin was borne through the streets of Cairo people cried, "Terrorism is the enemy of God!" Wright, "The Man Behind Bin Laden"; Robert Windrem, "Al-Qaida timeline: Plots and attacks." Affidavit in Support of Complaint, United States v. Benevolence International Foundation, Inc., pp. 14, 1621; Simpson, "U.S. Officials Knew of Ties Between Terror, Charities"; Posner, Why America Slept, pp. 87-88. "Patterns of Global Terrorism: 1995," United States Department of State, April 1996 (Available at; 9/11 Commission Report, p. 62; Wright, "The Man Behind Bin Laden"; Robert Windrem, "Al-Qaida timeline: Plots and attacks"; Gunaratna, Inside Al Qaeda, p. 182. Anna Melman, "Bombers in our backyard," The Australia/Israel Review, August 2003 (Available at; Wahyu Mulyono, "Omar Al-Faruq Confirms TIME Magazine Report," Tempo, October 17, 2002 (Available at,20021017-01,uk.html). 9/11 Commission Report, p. 214; Windrem, "Al-Qaida timeline: Plots and attacks"; Gunaratna, Inside Al Qaeda, p. 67; John F. Burns with James Brook, "Karzai, Under Heavy U.S. Guard, Travels to Honor Assassinated Resistance Leader," The New York Times, September 8, 2002 (Available at "Pakistan ­ On a Razor's Edge," PBS Frontline/World, March 2004 (Available at; "Musharraf bomb was `large, expert'," CNN News, December 17, 2003 (Available at "Pakistan ­ On a Razor's Edge," PBS Frontline/World; "Arrests follow Musharraf attack," BBC News, December 27, 2003 (Available at Stephen Schwartz, "Saudi Mischief in Fallujah," The Weekly Standard, June 16, 2003 (Available at Paul Tait, "Six tribal leaders among 50 killed in Iraq," Reuters, June 26, 2007 (Available at; "Baghdad blast kills Sunni leaders," BBC News, June 25, 2007 (Available at On December 29, 2004, Al Qaeda may finally have lashed out at a Saudi royal. At least, that's what a post on an Al Qaeda affiliated website claimed. A car bomb went off near the Interior Ministry building in Riyadh, and its target was said to be the Minister of the Interior, Prince Nayef. His security forces had captured or killed a number of Al Qaeda operatives in response to their attacks on foreign workers in the Kingdom. However, there are several suspicious circumstances surrounding the attack. For one, Al Qaeda appears to have entered into a cease-fire period immediately thereafter. There were no more major attacks in the Kingdom until March 2006, when Al Qaeda operatives made a lackadaisical attempt and sabotaging some of the Kingdom's oil processing facilities. Indeed, that particular attack may have actually helped the Saudi royals by further driving up the price of oil. Moreover, it has also been reported that Prince Nayef wasn't even in Riyadh at the time of the attack, an egregious "mistake" which Al Qaeda had never made in the past. These facts suggest the assassination attempt may have been a ruse, providing cover for a cease-fire within the Kingdom. Regardless, the December 2004 bombing is a far cry from the trail of carnage Al Qaeda has left in other Muslim countries, and still leaves the question as to why Al Qaeda refrained from lifting a finger against the Saudi royals through its first decade-and-a-half of existence, a time when it

302 301 300 299 298 297 296 295 294 293



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was both actively targeting other Muslim leaders from Indonesia to Egypt, and very successfully killing Americans and other westerners inside the Kingdom. Stephen Ulph, "Al Qaeda's Diminishing Returns in the Peninsula," Terrorism Focus, January 7, 2005, Vol. II, Iss. 1 (Available at Posner, Secrets of the Kingdom, p. 64; Eliyahu Kanovsky, "Oil: Who's Really Over a Barrel," The Middle East Quarterly, Spring 2003, Vol. X, No. 2 (Available at Ibid.; "Saudi Succession Follows Tradition," Aljazeera, August 1, 2005 (Available at "House of Saud," PBS Frontline, original airdate February 8, 2005 (Available at; Jehl, "Holy War Lured Saudis as Rulers Looked Away." Prados, "Saudi Arabia: Current Issues and U.S. Relations (2005)," p. 4; Anthony H. Cordesman and Nawaf Obaid, "Saudi Counter Terrorism Efforts: The Changing Paramilitary and Domestic Security Apparatus," Center for Strategic and International Studies, February 2, 2005, p. 10 (Available at

307 308 309 306 305 304 303

Gold, Hatred's Kingdom, p. 172; Gerald Posner, Why America Slept, p. 108. 9/11 Commission Report, p. 60.

Prados, "Saudi Arabia: Current Issues and U.S. Relations (2005)," p. 4; Cordesman and Obaid, "Saudi Counter Terrorism Efforts: The Changing Paramilitary and Domestic Security Apparatus," p. 10. "Patterns of Global Terrorism: 2003," United States Department of State, June 22, 2004 (Available at; "House of Saud," PBS Frontline; Gold, Hatred's Kingdom, p. 223; Andrea Mitchell, "The Saudi-Bin Laden Romance," NBC News, September 5, 2003 (Available at; "Saudi Arabia announces terror arrests," USA Today (Associated Press), May 28, 2003 (available a

311 312 310

Testimony of Brisard before the United States Senate, October 22, 2003, p. 21.

As Posner concluded, "[A]l-Fadl would have no way of knowing that the Saudis had maintained a secret relationship with bin Laden since 1991 and knew far more about bin Laden's operation than the low-ranking al-Fadl could tell them." Posner, Why America Slept, p. 109.

313 314

Interview with Prince Bandar bin Sultan, NBC News Meet the Press, April 25, 2004.

Zogby International, "Saudis Reject Bin Laden and Terrorism; Tragedies of 9/11 and in Riyadh Do Not Represent Saudi People or Islam, According to New Zogby International Poll Impressions of American Life and Culture Down from 2002 Study," released July 31, 2003 (Available at It should be noted that 91% of respondents in the July 2003 poll stated that they had "no quarrel" with the American people. That is clearly not the same thing as saying that they "like" the American people. Indeed, there seems to be a passive-aggressive element to these responses. Moreover, it seems to me that asking someone if they have a quarrel with another person comes very close to asking them if they want a quarrel with that person. Given that this poll was conducted just months after the Saudis watched the American military dismantle the Iraqi Republican Guard with impunity on Aljazeera, and given the fact that the poll was sponsored by an American-based polling company, it does not seem surprising that the respondents would express little enthusiasm for "quarrelling" with the U.S. "Impressions of America: 2004," Arab American Institute, pg. 3 (Available at; Dafna Linzer, "Poll Shows Growing Arab Rancor at U.S.," The Washington Post, July 23, 2004 (Available at Henry Schuster, "Poll of Saudis shows wide support for bin Laden's views," CNN News, June 28, 2004 (Available at; Nawaf Obaid, "Yes to bin Laden

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rhetoric, no to Al Qaeda violence," The International Herald & Tribune, July 5, 2004 (Available at Michael Isikoff and Mark Rosenball, "Terror Watch: Tangled Ties," Newsweek, April 7, 2004 (Available at

318 319 320 317

Ibid. Ibid. On the other hand, Newsweek somewhat contradictorily reported: U.S. law-enforcement officials familiar with the matter say there is no evidence that officials at the Saudi Embassy were knowingly financing Al Qaeda activity inside the country.

However, this sort of equivocation about evidence implicating the Saudis is not unique. The odd and disturbing behavior of U.S. law enforcement and intelligence officials toward the Saudis will be further discussed in forthcoming Reports. Ibid. Michael Isikoff with Stefan Theil, "How High Do They Go?" Newsweek, May 5, 2003 (Available at; "Top Saudi Diplomat at Berlin Embassy Frequently Met With Suspected Al Qaeda Cell Leader at Berlin Mosque," PRNewswire, April 6, 2003 (Available at Isikoff and Theil, "How High Do They Go?"; "Top Saudi Diplomat at Berlin Embassy Frequently Met With Suspected Al Qaeda Cell Leader at Berlin Mosque," PRNewswire; Baer, Sleeping with the Devil, p. 21; Peter Finn, "Hamburg Suspect Linked to Saudi Diplomat," The Washington Post, December 4, 2002 (Available at Ibid.; "Top Saudi Diplomat at Berlin Embassy Frequently Met With Suspected Al Qaeda Cell Leader at Berlin Mosque," PRNewswire; Testimony of Matthew Levitt before the United States Senate Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology, and Homeland Security, September 10, 2003 (Available at David Crawford, "How a Diplomat from Saudi Arabia Spread his Faith," The Wall Street Journal, September 10, 2003 (Available at

325 326 324 323 322 321


"Top Saudi Diplomat at Berlin Embassy Frequently Met With Suspected Al Qaeda Cell Leader at Berlin Mosque," PRNewswire. See also Crawford, "How a Diplomat from Saudi Arabia Spread his Faith" ("[O]n March 22, the German Foreign Ministry, following a recommendation from the country's domestic-intelligence service, told the Saudi Embassy that Mr. Fakihi's diplomatic accreditation would be withdrawn unless he left the country, according to a senior German official.")

327 328 329 330

Crawford, "How a Diplomat From Saudi Arabia Spread His Faith." Isikoff and Theil, "How High Do They Go?" Ibid.

The source of the animosity between Iran and Saudi Arabia is clearly religious. Iran is a Shiite nation. And as detailed in Part 2, the Wahhabis of Saudi Arabia view Shiites as heretics and traitors to Islam. One striking example of this animosity occurred in March 1998, when Iranian President Hashemi Rafsanjani visited the Kingdom on a "rapprochement" tour. During his stay, he visited to the Prophet's Mosque in Medina, where he was forced to listen to the mosque's grand imam attack and berate the Shiites as those who "attempt to destroy Islam." Gold, Hatred's Kingdom, pp. 176-77.

331 332

Cooper, "Saudis' Role in Iraq Frustrates U.S. Officials."

As an additional note, in Part 1 you'll see that I've raised a few questions regarding who is ultimately responsible for the Khobar Towers attack in June 1996. Specifically, the consensus in Washington (during both the


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Clinton and Bush administrations) has been that certain operatives within Iranian intelligence played a role in supporting and instigating that attack. However, other evidence seems to contradict this theory. And one point that sticks out, after reading numerous accounts of the Khobar Towers investigation, is that almost all of the evidence implicating Iran in that attack seems to have been handed to us by the Saudi government. At the time, U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials (including the former Director of the FBI, Louis Freeh) seemed more than happy to take that evidence at face value. In light of the story above, it may be high time to revisit that assumption, as well. "News conference with Adel Al-Jubeir, adviser to the Saudi Crown Prince, at Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Washington DC," Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia Transcript, June 12, 2003 (Available at; James Dao, "Saudis Fire Clerics Who Preached Intolerance," The New York Times, June 13, 2003 (Available at

334 335 336 337 338 339 333

Interview with Adel al-Jubeir, NBC News Meet the Press, May 18, 2003. Beyer and MacLeod, "Inside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia." Ibid. Interview with Adel al-Jubeir, NBC News Meet the Press, May 18, 2003. Beyer and MacLeod, "Inside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia."

"Saudis Schools Teaching Hate?", CBS News 60 Minutes, September 6, 2002 (Available at Prince Saud also reiterated that, "There are some elements in the books that are necessary to remove and they have been removed. "The Saudis Respond: Foreign Minister Prince Saud interviewed by Scott Macleod [sic] (`TIME' exclusive)," Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia Transcript, September 10, 2003 (Available at; Beyer and MacLeod, "Inside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia." Steven Stalinsky, "Preliminary Overview--Saudi Arabia's Education System: Curriculum, Spreading Saudi Education to the World and the Official Saudi Position on Education Policy," The Middle East Media Research Institute, Special Report No. 12, December 20, 2002 (Available at; Steven Stalinsky, "Inside the Saudi Classroom: Seeking Reform," National Review, February 7, 2003 (Available at "Report on Saudi Arabia," United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, May 2, 2003, p. 16 (Available at; Stalinsky, "Preliminary Overview--Saudi Arabia's Education System: Curriculum, Spreading Saudi Education to the World and the Official Saudi Position on Education Policy"; Steven Stalinsky, "Inside the Saudi Classroom: Seeking Reform." "Report on Saudi Arabia," United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, May 2, 2003, p. 16; Steven Stalinsky, "Preliminary Overview--Saudi Arabia's Education System: Curriculum, Spreading Saudi Education to the World and the Official Saudi Position on Education Policy"; Stalinsky, "Inside the Saudi Classroom: Seeking Reform."

344 343 342 341 340

Interview with Prince Bandar bin Sultan, NBC News Meet the Press, April 25, 2004.

Note that Prince Bandar wasn't the only one doing an abrupt about-face on the issue. In May 2003, Saudi spokesman Adel al-Jubeir assured Fox News: Absolutely. Absolutely. And we've looked at our textbooks, we've looked at the teaching methods. We've made changes to them. We have put in place two pilot programs, one in Riyadh and one in Jeddah. We are assessing its effectiveness, and we may roll it out on a nationwide basis. However, regarding the above referenced "pilot programs," The Saudi Institute later reported:


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Al-Jubeir also claimed that two pilot programs are being implemented in Jeddah and Riyadh, however no evidence exists that proves such experiments are taking place. The Saudi Institute contacted several sources in the Ministry of Education who denied such experiments. "Foreign Policy Advisor Adel al-Jubeir on `Fox News Sunday'," transcript by The Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, May 18, 2003 (Available at; "Saudi School in Virginia Disparages Christianity and Judaism," The Saudi Institute, July 13, 2004. Note also that the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom has now recommended that the above referenced "Saudi School in Virginia" be closed pending further investigation. Greg Simmons, "U.S. Commission Wants Saudi-Funded School Closed Until Textbooks Can Be Reviewed," Fox News, October 19, 2007 (Available at,2933,303421,00.html).

345 346

Beyer and MacLeod, "Inside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia."

United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, "Policy Focus: Saudi Arabia," February 2004, p. 2 (Available at For further information on Dr. Yamani, see Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball, "Terror 101: Are the Saudis funding schools devoted to fomenting radical Islamic ideology?", Newsweek, December 3, 2003 (Available at "Saudi moves to reform education system as academic year opens," Agence France-Presse, September 8, 2004 (Available at "Saudi scholars warn against changing schoolbooks," Reuters, January 3, 2004 (Available at In particular, Saudi cleric Sheikh Nasser al-Omar stated flatly, "We oppose the change of the curriculum because America is interfering in our religion, in our tradition and in our privacies. . . . This is a fundamental issue. Muslims are willing to renounce everything but their religion." Gerald Posner, Secrets of the Kingdom, p. 141; "House of Saud," PBS Frontline. R. James Woolsey, "The Elephant in the Middle East Living Room," National Review, December 14, 2005 (Available at

351 352 353 350 349 348 347

Gold, Hatred's Kingdom, p. 139. Bradley, "The House of Saud's eternal dilemma." See also Guitta, "A Nation at Risk."

"Annual Report of The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom," May 2005, p. 115. (Available at Likewise, in January 2005, the Center for Religious Freedom reported: The Saudi government is currently waging a multi-million dollar public relations campaign in the United States, which among other activities advertised in American journals that the Kingdom's textbooks are being "updated." We have not attempted to investigate this claim but we remain skeptical based on our own recent interviews of Saudi official religious scholars who denied that reform was necessary and said that textbook reform would have to "evolve slowly over many years," as well as other reports. We have confirmed that, as of December 2004, the retrograde, unreformed editions of Saudi textbooks and state-sponsored, hate-filled fatwa collections remain widespread and plentiful in many important American mosques. Nina Shea, the principle author of the report, further described the meeting with Saudi education officials: I recently [December 2004] met with a delegation of Saudi religious officials, including Sulaiman Muhammad al-Jarallah, the former director of the Institute of Islamic and Arabic Sciences of Fairfax, Virginia, and a current teacher at the government's Imam Ibn Saud Islamic University in Riyadh who serves on a teacher training commission at the University and on the organizing committee for the National Dialogue. Dr. Jarallah replied to my question about the progress of such reform by stating that Saudi Arabia was a "conservative" society whose textbooks properly


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reflected religiously conservative values. After I raised specific examples of hate ideology expressed in the Saudi government textbooks, he sought to mitigate it by giving an example of a heavily veiled Saudi woman having difficulty getting a taxi in London. He added that "updating" the textbooks would take "many years" and "evolve slowly." "Saudi Publications on Hate Ideology Invade American Mosques," Center for Religious Freedom, a division of Freedom House, January 28, 2005, pp. 16, 69 (Available at "Saudi Arabia's Curriculum of Intolerance: With Excerpts from Saudi Ministry of Education Textbooks for Islamic Studies," Center for Religious Freedom, a division of Freedom House, with the Institute of Gulf Affairs, May 2006, p. 11 (Available at See also Nina Shea, "This is a Saudi textbook. (After the intolerance was removed.)," The Washington Post, May 21, 2006 (Available at "Saudi Arabia's Curriculum of Intolerance: With Excerpts from Saudi Ministry of Education Textbooks for Islamic Studies," Center for Religious Freedom, a division of Freedom House, with the Institute of Gulf Affairs, May 2006, p. 12-13 (Available at

356 357 355 354

Ibid., p. 11.

"Excerpts from Saudi Ministry of Education Textbooks for Islamic Studies: Arabic with English Translation," Center for Religious Freedom, a division of Freedom House, with the Institute of Gulf Affairs, May 2006, p. 11-12 (Available at

358 359 360 361 362 363

Ibid., p. 56. Ibid., p. 75. Ibid., pp. 76-77. Ibid., p. 43. Ibid., p. 104.

Note that this is not to be confused with the spiritual jihad or "Wrestling with the spirit." That is a distinct category of jihad, according to the textbook. Ibid., pp. 102-03.

364 365 366

Ibid, p. 103. Ibid, p. 105.

"Saudi Arabia's Curriculum of Intolerance: With Excerpts from Saudi Ministry of Education Textbooks for Islamic Studies," Center for Religious Freedom, p. 22. Joseph Braude, "The King's English: How King Abdullah outwitted Barbara Walters," The New Republic, October 18, 2005 (Available at "Reactions and Counter-Reactions to the Saudi Clerics' Communiqué Calling for Jihad in Iraq," The Middle East Media Research Institute, Special Dispatch No. 896, April 21, 2005 (Available at "Saudi Arabia Arrests 208 in Terrorism Sweep," Fox News (Associated Press), November 28, 2007 (Available at,2933,313449,00.html). See Joshua Micah Marshall, "Toying With Terror Alerts?", Time, July 6, 2007 (Available at,8599,1211369,00.html); Transcript, MSNBC Countdown with Keith Olbermann, June 4, 2007 (Available at Michael Slackman, "Saudis Arrest 172 in Anti-Terror Sweep," The New York Times, April 27, 2007 (Available at

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Copyright © 2007-08 WFB

Brian Ross and Rehab El-Buri, "Saudis Release 1,500 Suspected Extremists," ABC News The Blotter, November 28, 2007 (Available at Quilliam and Kamel, "Modernizing Legitimacy: Saudi Strategies." See also "Riyadh frees 160 returnees from Afghanistan," Arab News, June 18, 2002 (Available at "Saudis Want Detainees Turned Over," CBS News; "Bush reconsiders prisoners' rights," BBC News, January 28, 2002 (Available at Josh White and Robin Wright, "After Guantanamo, `Reintegration' for Saudis," The Washington Post, December 10, 2007 (Available at Faiza Saleh Ambah, "Dissident Saudi Blogger Is Arrested," The Washington Post, January 2, 2008 (Available at

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Copyright © 2007-08 WFB


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