Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Saudi Arabia's Glowering Displeasure

"In highly unusual testimony inside the federal supermax prison, a former operative for Al Qaeda has described prominent members of Saudi Arabia’s royal family as major donors to the terrorist network in the late 1990s and claimed that he discussed a plan to shoot down Air Force One with a Stinger missile with a staff member at the Saudi Embassy in Washington."
The New York Times, February 2016
"[I am] fully satisfied that Mr. Moussaoui is completely competent, [that he is in fact] an extremely intelligent man."
"He has actually a better understanding of the legal system than some lawyers I’ve seen in court."
Presiding lawsuit Judge Leonie M. Brinkema
The Twin Towers on fire during the September 11, 2001 terror attack in New York City. (Photo: © Reuters)
The Twin Towers on fire during the September 11, 2001 terror attack in New York City. (Photo: © Reuters)
Let us then count the ways in which Saudi Arabia has been responsible for the emergence of the Sunni wing of Islamist terror. The vast oil resources that nature endows the desert kingdom with earned it immense treasury, which it has used liberally to build a network of madrassas around the world teaching their Wahhabist Salafist style of Islam for which jihad is a monumentally important scaffold in the spread of Islam among the uninitiated.

Groups that the West has learned under great duress to identify as terrorist in nature -- who boast their love of death, both meeting it personally and introducing it to others who have no wish to surrender their lives either to Islam or to the Angel of Death -- have been lavishly funded by that same oil wealth. The importation of Saudi oil to the West comes at a steep price. The price paid to the Saudi Kingdom for their energy source is used to threaten that very same West with utter and complete destabilization through terror.

The ironies pile up, one atop the other. The geography and religion claiming to be one of peaceful relations and tolerance calls itself the "House of Islam", and the place of peace. The Koran quite explicitly describes the non-Muslim world as the "House of War". And it is the duty of Islam's faithful to prosecute the war of jihad against the house of war, while identifying themselves as the house of peace ... Allahu Akbar!

Saudi Arabia and the other oil sheikdoms, kingdoms and theocracies devote themselves to the proliferation of their faith. The West has faith in democracy. And never the twain shall meet in a blended affirmation that one can be tolerant of the other; decidedly the West does tolerate Islam; unfortunately Islam by its very nature is incapable of and resistant against returning the compliment, for its sacred mandate is to do otherwise.

Of the infamous 19 hijackers of the 9/11 attacks on New York, Washington and Pennsylvania through death flights, fifteen were Saudi nationals schooled in that Wahhabist Islamist purity. Documented phone calls between Saudi handlers in San Diego of the hijackers and the Saudi Embassy, along with the transfer of funding from the then-Saudi Ambassador Prince Bandar's family to one of the hijacker's handlers provides a measure of accounting for the kingdom's involvement in the attacks.

And then there is Zacarias Moussaoui who volunteered his inner knowledge of the plot, as one of those meant to be among the hijackers but whom fate had a different direction for. He was convicted in the U.S. and imprisoned for his role in the attacks, and he later implicated members of the Saudi royal family of having donated funds to al-Qaeda to enable their mission. A Saudi diplomat, he claimed, discussed with him in Washington a plot meant to assassinate the president with the use of a surface-to-air missile.

The controversial lawsuit brought by survivors and family members of those killed in the 9/11 attacks is presided over by Judge George B. Daniels of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Zacarias Moussaoui contacted Justice Daniels prepared to testify and he did so in the wake of negotiations with Justice Department officials and the federal Bureau of Prisons. As events developed Mr. Moussaoui had been detained on immigration charges weeks before the attacks.

He had taken flying lessons in early 2001, and had been wired funding by an al-Qaeda cell in Germany. He testified that several years earlier he had been tasked with the creation of a digital donor database for al-Qaeda. Listed were Prince Turki al-Faisal, at the time the Saudi intelligence chief; Prince Bandar Bin Sultan, the then-long-serving Saudi ambassador to the United States; Prince al-Waleed bin Talal, billionaire Saudi investor, along with many Saudi clerics.

"We talk about the feasibility of shooting Air Force One." He had met, he said, an official of the Islamic Affairs Department of the Saudi Embassy in Washington when the Saudi official was visiting Kandahar. "I was supposed to go to Washington and go with him [to] find a location where it may be suitable to launch a Stinger attack and then, after, be able to escape", he explained, but the plan was interrupted when he was arrested.

Relations between the United States and Saudi Arabia have been roiled of late. The G.W. Bush administration lost no time in spiriting members of the Saudi royal family out of the United States and back to Saudi Arabia for their own safety in the immediate wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks. The United States still wishes to maintain cordial, un-intrusive-investigative relations with Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia resents the U.S. no longer being in thrall to their oil and would dearly love to see environmental science prove that fracking is dangerous.

Another resentment is the Obama administration's move to embrace Iran's Shiite theocracy in a relaxation of tensions between the Obama administration and the Islamic Republic. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is not amused. And nor is it anything but furious that the U.S. administration has been unable to halt the lawsuit lodged by 9/11 victims' relatives to hold the Saudis responsible for the unspeakable carnage and wholesale deaths.

Saudi Arabia is warning of costly retaliation should Congress pas the bipartisan bill permitting the Kingdom to be sued. It warns it is prepared to sell off billions in American assets. Saudi foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir issued the warning to U.S. lawmakers last month during a visit to Washington, two senior State Department officials have revealed.

The blackmail of desperation. Guilty of nothing, they claim, but good wishes for all.

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