By Scott Morgan
This is the second report dissecting the report that the House of Saud has circulated in Washington, D.C. through their PR Firm Qorvis. It is clear that the Kingdom is feeling pressure on various fronts and feels the need to improve their PR Image.
One area they are focusing on is their cooperation with the United States in the War on Terror or the Struggle against Radical Islam which the West is currently losing. But one will ask since when has the Kingdom been an ally in this struggle? The Majority of the attackers on 9/11 were Saudi Nationals, and there has been a concern that terrorist groups have received massive amounts of cash through Saudi Charities as well.
The report also contains an annex which includes the Item that the director of the information office in the Saudi Embassy penned for Politico. Some of the information compiled in the report is very interesting to say the least. It states that the criticism that the Saudis have received in the past for funding extremists and their ideology is wrong. Later in the piece it states that Cash Collections as Mosques and other public places have been banned for a decade. So, are these two statements truth or fallacies? Or is this a case of Officially the Saudis are cracking down on terrorism while elements of society support it?
After all Zakat (Charitable Giving) is one of the five pillars of Islam. It has also been estimated that Saudi Citizens give an estimated $3-6 Billion Annually of which between 10 to 20% is distributed overseas. The Saudis realize they have a problem with these donations and have been working with the United States to disrupt financing major networks supporting terror groups in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Some of the relationships go back as far as the War against the Soviets. So if the Saudi Pipeline has been “officially” closed that means these groups have been able to generate new revenue streams.
Another tactic that the Kingdom claims to be using are new laws preventing ATM or credit cards from being issued by Charitable Accounts. These transactions must now be made only by checks payable to the first beneficiary for deposit in a Saudi Bank. This and other controls seek to maintain that donations are made for Humanitarian Causes.
One thorny issue that needs to be addressed more is Religious Preaching. The Kingdom has instituted a program to Electronically Monitor all messages being preached in Mosques and the Saudi Embassies around the World have suspended the distribution of several religious materials. However this does not really specifically what materials have been suspended. One place where radicalization occurs, but seems to be a no-go area, is within the the US Penal System.
There are several interesting factoids mentioned regarding the fight against Daesh/ISIS. The report states that Daesh has launched between 15 to 20 attacks in Saudi Arabia since November 2014. ISIS also claims three provinces as their own: Najd which is centrally located, Hijaz Province in the West and the Bahrain province in the East. The Country is also willing to send in ground forces to stabilize Syria and has contributed Aircraft to the Air Strikes in both Syria and Northern Iraq.
Here is an interesting observation regarding this report. The report highlights contacts between the Ministry of the Interior and the US Department of Homeland Security. However there is no mention of contacts between the Ministry of Defense and the US Central Command when it comes to joint ops or even training. Derailing the Money Train is a good tactic but with some operations you would think that some Military Cooperation is crucial and most likely has taken place. This happens when you want to have others see what you want them to see...
(Image: US Special Forces - Fox News)
[The views expressed in this publication are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Dissecting Society]