DOES SAUDI ARABIA FUND TERRORISM?
By The Editors of Middle East Quarterly
The report presents a mixed picture. It describes cooperation received by U.S. agencies such as the Defense Department, the State Department, the Treasury Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development, but does not comment on the sincerity or effectiveness of Saudi efforts. While the GAO takes pains to differentiate the Saudi government from individuals, there is very little discussion of whether Saudi officials merely use individuals as a way to advance an extremist policy, but still maintain plausible deniability with the West.
While the GAO report is more descriptive than analytical, it does suggest that, more than four years after the 9-11 attacks, U.S. government efforts to counter Islamic extremism are hampered by the lack of a common definition of Islamic extremism. Likewise, determining progress in the fight against Islamic extremism is made more difficult because most U.S. agencies still do not specifically analyze or report on the problem.
According to the 9-11 Commission report, despite numerous allegations about the government of Saudi Arabia's involvement with al-Qa'ida, the Commission found no persuasive evidence that the government of Saudi Arabia as an institution, or senior officials within the government of Saudi Arabia, knowingly supported al-Qa'ida. The agencies we reviewed also told us that the threat of the global propagation of Islamic extremism is emerging, not only from Saudi sources, but also from sources in other countries, such as Iran, Kuwait and Syria, as well as from indigenous groups within some countries. A current U.S. Defense Department official and a former U.S. Treasury Department official told us that Iran currently poses a larger threat in this regard than does Saudi Arabia. In addition, indigenous groups have been a source of support for Islamic extremism. For example, the State Department terrorist list includes the Filipino group Abu Sayyaf, Algeria's Armed Islamic Group, the Palestinian group Hamas, the Kashmiri militants of Harakat ul-Mujahedeen, Lebanon's Hezbollah, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, and Egyptian Islamic Jihad.
To address Islamic extremism, the government of Saudi Arabia has announced and, in some cases, undertaken, domestic educational and religious reforms; legal, regulatory, and institutional reforms with the assistance of the U.S. State and Treasury Departments; and political reforms. However, U.S. agencies do not know the extent of the Saudi government's efforts to limit the activities of Saudi individuals and entities that have allegedly propagated Islamic extremism outside of Saudi Arabia.
Determining the resources that agencies have committed for these efforts is complicated by the fact that the agencies do not disaggregate data for some of their activities addressing Islamic extremism from their broader efforts or goals, such as force protection, counterterrorism, and public diplomacy. However, since the attacks on the United States in September, 2001, some agencies' officials told us they have been devoting increasing resources to addressing the global propagation of Islamic extremism. Moreover, since the May, 2003, bombing in Riyadh, the government of Saudi Arabia, with some assistance from the United States, has announced and, in some cases, reportedly undertaken a number of reform efforts to address Islamic extremism, including educational, religious, legal, and political reforms.
Middle East -- Arabs, Arab States,
& Their Middle Eastern Neighbors
War & Peace in the Real World
Page Two Page One
Islamist Terrorist Attacks on the U.S.A.
Osama bin Laden & the Islamist Declaration of War
Against the U.S.A. & Western Civilization
Islamist International Terrorism &
U.S. Intelligence Agencies
Counterterrorism & U.S. National Security
U.S. National Security Strategy
The foregoing statement was originally published in the Middle East Quarterly, Spring, 2006, and can be found on the Internet website maintained by the Middle East Forum.
Africa: Black Africa *
Africa: North Africa *
American Government 1
LINKS TO PARTICULAR ISSUES & SUBJECT MATTER CATEGORIES
TREATED IN THE PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE, U.S.A.:
American Government 2 * American Government 3 * American Government 4
American Government 5 * American Politics * Anglosphere * Arabs
Arms Control & WMD * Aztlan Separatists * Big Government
Black Africa * Bureaucracy * Canada * China * Civil Liberties * Communism
Congress, U.S. * Conservative Groups * Conservative vs. Liberal
Constitutional Law * Counterterrorism * Criminal Justice * Disloyalty * Economy
Education * Elections, U.S. * Eminent Domain * Energy & Environment
English-Speaking World * Ethnicity & Race * Europe * Europe: Jews
Family Values * Far East * Fiscal Policy, U.S. * Foreign Aid, U.S. * France
Hispanic Separatism * Hispanic Treason * Human Health * Immigration
Infrastructure, U.S. * Intelligence, U.S. * Iran * Iraq * Islamic North Africa
Islamic Threat * Islamism * Israeli vs. Arabs * Jews & Anti-Semitism
Jihad & Jihadism * Jihad Manifesto I * Jihad Manifesto II * Judges, U.S. Federal
Judicial Appointments * Judiciary, American * Latin America * Latino Separatism
Latino Treason * Lebanon * Leftists/Liberals * Legal Issues
Local Government, U.S. * Marriage & Family * Media Political Bias
Middle East: Arabs * Middle East: Iran * Middle East: Iraq * Middle East: Israel
Middle East: Lebanon * Middle East: Syria * Middle East: Tunisia
Middle East: Turkey * Militant Islam * Military Defense * Military Justice
Military Weaponry * Modern Welfare State * Morality & Decency
National Identity * National Security * Natural Resources * News Media Bias
North Africa * Patriot Act, USA * Patriotism * Political Culture * Political Ideologies
Political Parties * Political Philosophy * Politics, American * Presidency, U.S.
Private Property * Property Rights * Public Assistance * Radical Islam
Religion & America * Rogue States & WMD * Russia * Science & Ethics
Sedition & Treason * Senate, U.S. * Social Welfare Policy * South Africa
State Government, U.S. * Subsaharan Africa * Subversion * Syria * Terrorism 1
Terrorism 2 * Treason & Sedition * Tunisia * Turkey * Ukraine
UnAmerican Activity * UN & Its Agencies * USA Patriot Act * U.S. Foreign Aid
U.S. Infrastructure * U.S. Intelligence * U.S. Senate * War & Peace
Welfare Policy * WMD & Arms Control
Africa: Black Africa *
Africa: North Africa *
American Government 1
POLITICAL EDUCATION, CONSERVATIVE ANALYSIS
POLITICS, SOCIETY, & THE SOVEREIGN STATE
Website of Dr. Almon Leroy Way, Jr.
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
An Online Journal of Political Commentary & Analysis
Dr. Almon Leroy Way, Jr., Editor