Counter-Terrorism: For a Few Million More...


September 16, 2007: The United States has been very successful at tracking down the source of money terrorist organizations run on. Despite efforts to hide the money trail, the U.S. has used eavesdropping, and access to the international banking systems electronic funds transfer system, to identify frequent, and heavy, donors. These are often wealthy, and often prominent, Saudi Arabians. These guys are Islamic conservatives who, for a number of reasons, support Islamic terrorism. But because these men are prominent in Saudi society, and have taken no personal part in any terrorist acts, the Saudi government is reluctant to go after them.

Despite a population of 25 million, a few hundred families run things in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The men who head these families know each other, or of each other. It's a tight knit club, and no one wants to rock the boat because a few members have exotic causes they contribute money to. Another problem is that it's rather fashionable for powerful Saudi men to support Islamic causes. The few Saudis contributors that will comment on the subject, simply point out that they donate to numerous Islamic charities. It's true that some Islamic charities are fronts for terrorist organizations, or simply give some of their money to terrorists in the false belief that it will not directly finance violence. Terrorists also steal money from Islamic charities, or otherwise divert resources, for terrorist activities. The end result is that the Saudis who bankroll terror, and the Saudi government that does not want to antagonize any of its prominent citizens, have some wiggle room here. Thus, despite decades of evidence, the Saudi government refuses to crack down, and the U.S. continues to see millions of dollars flow out of Saudi Arabia every year, eventually finding its way to al Qaeda, Taliban, Hamas and other Islamic radicals.


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