Press TV: ‘Saudi harbors, trains Iraq terrorists’

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As Press TV reports:

Saudi security forces are reportedly involved in training terrorists operating in Iraq, where political leaders are pushing to form a ruling coalition.

Reports from Saudi Arabia say militants are assembled in a base set up outside Abha in the Red Sea province of Asir where they receive training on how to carry out suicide attacks and bombing operations.

The participants, mostly crossing into Iraq via Jordan and Syria, receive theoretical courses which portray Shia Muslims as “infidels” who only deserve to be killed. Under such theoretical approach supporters of the government are also considered as infidels.

The question is how credible are those claims. Let’s have a look at some other sources. The claims that Saudi Arabia supported terrorism are not new. In 2008, the LA Times wrote:

Saudi Arabia remains the world’s leading source of money for Al Qaeda and other extremist networks and has failed to take key steps requested by U.S. officials to stem the flow, the Bush administration’s top financial counter-terrorism official said Tuesday.

Stuart A. Levey, a Treasury undersecretary, told a Senate committee that the Saudi government had not taken important steps to go after those who finance terrorist organizations or to prevent wealthy donors from bankrolling extremism through charitable contributions, sometimes unwittingly.

“Saudi Arabia today remains the location where more money is going to terrorism, to Sunni terror groups and to the Taliban than any other place in the world,” Levey said under questioning.

Even back in 2005 there were concerns about Saudi’s financing of terrorism:

‘Wealthy Saudi financiers and charities have funded terrorist organizations and causes that support terrorism and the ideology that fuels the terrorists’ agenda’, Levey told lawmakers yesterday.

‘Even today, we believe that Saudi donors may still be a significant source of terrorist financing, including for the insurgency in Iraq,’ he added.

Abha, it may be noted, is the capital of Asir Province which borders Yemen. In fact,  Asir Province was once part of Yemen:

By the Treaty of Ta’if (May 1934), Yemen lost ‘Asir to Sa’udi Arabia but won British and Sa’udi recognition of its independence. However, incursions by the imams against the UK protectorate in Aden continued until 1962.

There may be still some tribal ties across the border from that period. And Yemen is, as they tell us, another hotbed and rallying point for Al-Qaeda, but Al-Qaeda was founded and financed by Osama bin Laden who is a Saudi of Yemeni descent. Saudi Arabia has a long history of involvement in Yemen too:

In 1962, a revolution in Yemen ended over 1,000 years of rule by Zaydi Hashemites, who claimed descendance from the Prophet Mohammed.

Zaydism is a branch of Shia Islam, though its practices often appear closer to Sunni Islam than traditional Shia belief.

Saada, in the north, was their main stonghold and since their fall from power the region was largely ignored economically and remains underdeveloped.

During Yemen’s 1994 civil war, the Wahhabis, an Islamic group adhering to a strict version of Sunni Islam found in neighbouring Saudi Arabia, helped the government in its fight against the secessionist south.

Zaydis complain the government has subsequently allowed the Wahabis too strong a voice in Yemen.

It seems that Saudi Arabia is intervening everywhere to establish its version of Islam, Wahhabi Islam – which bin Laden preaches also –  and that one of the obstacles to its domination of Islam are the Shi’as and, of course, Iran.

Shi’ites are regularly targeted in Pakistan and Afghanistan by pro-Taliban militants. Sixteen were killed only recently in Pakistan, women and children among them, eleven were killed and beheaded in Afghanistan a few weeks back. Not to mention the regular attacks on Shia mosques in Pakistan, Iraq and now Iran.

Wahhabi Islam is making progress elsewhere too, namely in the United States, where from the rubble of the 9/11 attacks a 13-story Mosque will rise.

Somehow, it just doesn’t look like Iran is the real problem here. The only question that needs to be answered is, why is it in the interest of the United States and Israel to spread an intolerant fundamentalist Wahhabi/Salafi Islam all over the planed including in their own countries? It looks rather like a self-defeating strategy, in which Western values like democracy, freedom and human rights are sacrificed on the altar of power in the quest of world domination.