On the payroll of the House of Saud?
Are the Saudis still playing a double game? From WND:
Prominent members of the Saudi royal family continue to supply millions of dollars to al-Qaida and related groups, U.S. officials said, according to Geostrategy-Direct, the global intelligence service
The money is funneled through so-called charities, such as the Al Haramayn Islamic Foundation, they said.
On Feb. 19, the Treasury Department ordered banks to freeze accounts of the Oregon and Missouri branches of Al Haramayn. The foundation’s U.S. headquarters is in Ashland, Ore.
An affidavit filed in U.S. District Court in Oregon asserted Al Haramayn was used to relay $131,000 from Saudi Arabia to al-Qaida-aligned fighters in Chechnya. The affidavit also reported a federal grand jury investigation of Al Haramayn.
“We have to stop the princes soliciting support among the radical militants in Saudi Arabia,” former CIA official Robert Bauer told the International Commission on Religious Freedom in November 2003. “We have to stop them from giving money. We have to encourage them to start reforms throughout the kingdom or it’s going to bring the whole system down.”
In January, Riyadh and Washington agreed to relay a request to the United Nations to freeze the assets of Al Haramayn in Indonesia, Kenya, Pakistan and Tanzania. But officials said Saudi Arabia has refused to take responsibility for Al Haramayn, which is overseen by Islamic Affairs Minister Saleh Al Sheik.
The Bush administration is disappointed with Saudi Arabia’s lack of cooperation to halt the financing to al-Qaida and related groups.
Despite the administration’s insistence of growing cooperation, U.S. officials said Riyadh and Washington have made little progress in stopping the flow of funds from the kingdom to al-Qaida operatives in Europe and Asia. The officials said the administration’s policy has been to publicly express optimism in hopes that Riyadh would improve cooperation.
“Saudi Arabia we’re still dealing with,” said Sen. Jon Kyl, an Arizona Republican and regarded as close to the White House. “I mean, we’ve made progress there, but a lot of the money that supports terrorism comes right out of one place. We had to deal with that in a different way,” he told the Council on Foreign Relations on March 12.
“Talking to the Saudis has been very frustrating,” an administration official familiar with the U.S. effort with Riyadh said. “There’s been some promises of cooperation, but they were quickly forgotten.”
“Now, think for a minute. Al Haramayn is established by the Saudi royal family,” said former Treasury Department general counsel David Aufhauser. “It strikes me that there is too much abdication of actual power and responsibility when you say you do not have the ability to actually close down these offices abroad and the best you can do is to freeze what assets they have within the jurisdiction and to prohibit further contributions.”
Aufhauser made his comments to a conference of the Middle East Policy Council on Jan. 23.
Until November 2003, Aufhauser was the administration’s point man in the effort to prevent al-Qaida financing. He said Saudi Arabia has not prosecuted any of its nationals on charges of relaying funding to Islamic insurgency groups.
“In the two and a half years I spent on this matter, I cannot remember a single Saudi who was held accountable for being a donor to terrorist financing,” Aufhauser said. “Until we get to the donors, the exercise is a fool’s errand.”