Al-Qaeda and its allied groups have long been suspected of drug smuggling and the production of narcotics in order to both fund their terrorist operations and provide energy in battle. An example of this was the heavy use of drugs by Sunni fighters during the battle of Fallujah. Now, Saudi authorities are charging that Al-Qaeda is smuggling drugs, especially cannabis, over the Saudi-Iraqi border to finance their attacks in Iraq and Saudi Arabia, according to the World Tribune:
Saudi security sources said Sunni insurgents have been smuggling illegal drugs from Iraq to Saudi Arabia to finance insurgency attacks against coalition forces.
The sources said the drugs being smuggling now tend to be cannabis.
“In the space of one year, border police intercepted 10 tons of cannabis coming from Iraq,” a Saudi source said. “In the past, the [smuggled] merchandise used to consist of alcoholic beverages and prohibited drugs.”
The sources said revenues from the smuggling were being shared by Al Qaida operatives in Iraq and Saudi Arabia. They said the money has been used to purchase weapons and finance attacks in both countries.
“We have reason to believe that profits from drug smuggling has been financing militants who are fighting Iraqi and coalition forces and facilitating the illegal entry of people into the country,” a Saudi security source told the London-based A-Sharq Al Awsat daily. “It also supports Al Qaida’s terrorist activities inside the kingdom.”