The Roots of Global Terror

The current issue of U.S. News & World Report features an informative article, “The Saudi Connection: How billions in oil money spawned a global terror network,” based on five months of research, “a review of thousands of pages of court records, U.S. and foreign intelligence reports, and other documents,” and in-depth interviews with “more than three dozen current and former counterterrorism officers, as well as government officials and outside experts in Riyadh.” It’s ten pages long, so here are some highlights:

– U.S. intelligence officials knew about Saudi Arabia’s role in funding terrorism by 1996, yet for years Washington did almost nothing to stop it. Examining the Saudi role in terrorism, a senior intelligence analyst says, was “virtually taboo.” Even after the embassy bombings in Africa, moves by counterterrorism officials to act against the Saudis were repeatedly rebuffed by senior staff at the State Department and elsewhere….

The Saudi funding program … is “the largest worldwide propaganda campaign ever mounted”–dwarfing the Soviets’ propaganda efforts at the height of the Cold War.

– Saudi donors sent $150 million through Islamic aid organizations to Bosnia in 1994 alone…. A CIA investigation found that a third of the Islamic charities in the Balkans … had “facilitated the activities of Islamic groups that engage in terrorism,” including plots to kidnap or kill U.S. personnel.

– The agency identified over 50 Islamic charities engaged in international aid and found that, as in the Balkans, fully a third of them were tied to terrorist groups. … “Even high-ranking members of the collecting or monitoring agencies in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Pakistan–such as the Saudi High Commission–are involved in illicit activities, including support for terrorists.”

– The CIA found that the IIRO was funding “six militant training camps in Afghanistan,” where Riyadh was backing a then obscure sect called the Taliban….

– They receive substantial funds from the government and members of the royal family and make use of the Islamic affairs offices of Saudi embassies abroad.

– Electronic intercepts of conversations implicated members of the royal family in backing not only al Qaeda but also other terrorist groups….

…[I]n many of the jihad struggles, Washington was neutral, as in Kashmir, or even supportive, as in Bosnia. When Saudi money began financing jihadists headed to Chechnya, Washington responded with “a wink and a nod,” as one analyst put it. Continue reading “The Roots of Global Terror”

Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

Add another barking rat to the liberventionist nest. This one says the folks at Mises are “stark raving nuts” for criticizing Bush foreign policy, whether that policy is right or not. Hmmm. Oh well, he’s the expert:

Back in college I had a poli sci prof whose politics were straight out of the Scoop Jackson Democrat school. He always said that US politics were a circle rather than a spectrum. If you went far enough to the right, you ended up being a lefty. The Rothbard/Rockwell crew at the Mises Blog stand as proof he was right. I have a very hard time separating them from the nuts at ANSWER.

And I have a hard time distinguishing Glenn Reynolds’ lips from this guy’s ass, but I’ll venture that careful study might show the two to be discrete items. All I’m sure of is that David Frum’s “expose” of the antiwar right was pathetic tripe, and anyone who cites it approvingly can be dismissed with a laugh.

14 Days in the Big House

So maybe al Qaeda exploited US jihad support prior to Sept 11, 2001, but since then the government has been kicking the terrorists’ butts. Right?

Maybe not.

According to a new Syracuse University study, in the 2 years after the Sept 11 attacks the Justice Department resolved 2681 terrorism-related cases referred by investigators. Of these:

– 1,554 were thrown out without charges being filed. Of the remaining 1127 cases:

– 234 were dismissed. Of the remaining 893 cases:

– 14 resulted in not guilty verdicts. Of the remaining 879 cases:

– 506 resulted in no prison sentence. Of the remaining 373 cases:

– 260 were sentenced to the time they had already spent in jail, and were released. Of the remaining 113 cases:

– 23 were sentenced to 5 or more years — as compared with 24 sentenced to 5 or more years in the two years before the 9/11 attacks.


Terrorism cases fizzling out in US courts: study,” LA Times:

“…[W]hile 184 people have been convicted of crimes deemed to involve ‘international terrorism,’ defendants were sentenced to a median prison term of just 14 days.”