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 Saudi Charities supports terrorism – fact or fiction?

In his book “Mein Kampf”, Hitler explained that the technique of a big lie [emphasis added] meant that when an extremely big lie was repeated often, people would at least partially believe it.

Now, in the 21st century, this technology has become a standard tool of the western media and the rhetoric of politicians.& Most notably, this point can be illustrated by the following example:

There have been steady streams of accusations that finance for terrorists and/or terrorism attacks was channelled through Islamic charitable societies. This has been repeated often enough to the point where those who are trying to defend charitable societies had reason to believe that there may be some truth to it.& Instead of verifying the validity of the accusations, they inadvertently defend the accusations when the say; “If some money had been channelled by one employee of one society to terrorists, then one has not to generalise and accuse all charitable societies of wrong doing.”

Presently, and in the recent past in particular, when a terrorist attack / foiled attack& is reported in the media, the defenders of charitable societies assume that it is probable that those events/attacks were funded by or money passed through a charitable society.& No attention is paid to the fact that not a single case had been proved in a court of law to support accusations against an individual employee or society.

The 9/11 investigating committee conclusively reported that the accusations labelled against charitable societies, regarding terrorist funding, were false and the following quotation (from the report) says it all:& “…the U.S. government appears, for the most part, to have tried to encourage the Saudis to act on the basis of little more than U.S. suspicions or assurances that the United States had intelligence it could not release.”

The report includes explicit statements which, when read carefully, will convince the reader that the obvious absence of a basis to support the accusations proves that the accusations were both false and unjustified.

It should be noted that the report was written by two kinds of members – one, loyal to the government (attempting to reflect the government’s official point of view) and the other, neutral.

The final report was thus written in a compromised style in an attempt to combine the two contrasting approaches. The result of this compromise has subsequently led to the explicit statements which negate the accusations against charitable societies.&

Following, are extracts taken from “Chapter 7” of the “9/11 Commission’s Report”.

1. The report had chosen al Haramain Islamic Foundation as a case study and defined it as follows:

1. “The al Haramain Islamic Foundation (al Haramain or HIF) is one of the most important and prominent Saudi charities.”

2. “Al Haramain, a Saudi Arabia-based nonprofit organization established in the early 1990s, has been described by several former U.S. government officials as the “United Way” of Saudi Arabia.& … At its peak, al Haramain had a presence in at least 50 countries.& … it sponsors more than 3,000 “callers to Islam” for tours of duty in different locations “to teach the people good and to warn them from wrongs.”& HIF provides meals and assistance to Muslims around the world, distributes books and pamphlets, pays for potable water projects, sets up and equips medical facilities, and operates more than 20 orphanages.”

& 2. The report stated that the U.S government suspected that HIF was involved in activities deemed undesirable to the U.S., and therefore subjected the society to thorough surveillance since the mid 1990s.& The report accordingly states that,

1. “Al Haramain has been on the radar screen of the U.S. government as a potential terrorist-financing problem since the mid- to late 1990s.”

2. “By no later than 1996, the U.S. intelligence community began to gather intelligence that certain branches of HIF were involved in financing terrorism.& Later, the U.S. intelligence community began to draw links among HIF, the 1998 East Africa bombings, …and support for al Qaeda generally… The United States sought information and reports from the Saudis on employees of al Haramain around the globe and their connections to Bin Ladin, but received no substantive responses.”
3. “Some in the United States suspected that the Saudis were complicit or at least turned a blind eye to the problem posed by charities during this period, although others vehemently disagreed.” [emphasis added]

3. The report tells frankly about the pressure of the U.S. government on Saudi Arabia to take practical steps to curtail the activities of Saudi charities abroad. The Saudis on their part asked for information so as to have a basis that they could act on. The U.S. government however failed to give such information.& The report also indicated that the U.S. could not put pressure on the host countries to take action against branches of HIF due to insufficient evidence justifying the legality of such procedures.& The report states.