King Salman of Saudi Arabia
President Obama cancelled a day of sightseeing in India with Michelle to travel to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to pay a condolence call on the half brother successor to the late ‘reformer’ King Abdullah, King Salman. Through the diligence of David Weinberg at the Washington, DC-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) we now know the extent to which Salman funded the Mujahideen in the Afghan secret wars of the 1980’s, contributed to a questionable Islamic charity with terrorist ties and praised anti-Semitic clerics, one of whom was a mentor to the late Osama bin Laden. We wonder if the West Wing and State Department did its due diligence upon the announcement of Salman’s designation as successor to the late Abdullah? If they did, they kept it quiet. We also wonder what views Salman may have on the reform of the Kingdom’s medieval punishment practices, decapitation, lashes for criticism of the Wahhabist extremist ideology, oppression of women and gays, if the later even deign to come out? All of this is spelled out in Adam Kredo’s article in today’s Washington Free Beacon, “Saudi Arabia’s New King Helped Fund Radical Terrorist Groups.”
Here are some of the revelations from Weinberg at FDD, former CIA officers Bob Baer and Bruce Riedel.
However, throughout his public career in government, Salman has embraced radical Muslim clerics and has been tied to the funding of radical groups in Afghanistan, as well as an organization found to be plotting attacks against America, according to various reports and information provided by David Weinberg, a senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.
In 2001, an international raid of the Saudi High Commission for Aid to Bosnia, which Salman founded in 1993, unearthed evidence of terrorist plots against America, according to separate exposés written by Dore Gold, an Israeli diplomat, and Robert Baer, a former CIA officer.
Salman is further accused by Baer of having “personally approved all important appointments and spending” at the International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO), a controversial Saudi charity that was hit with sanctions following the attacks of September 11, 2001, for purportedly providing material support to al Qaeda.
Salman also has been reported to be responsible for sending millions of dollars to the radical mujahedeen that waged jihad in Afghanistan in the 1980s, according to Bruce Riedel, a former CIA officer who is now director of the Brookings Intelligence Project.
“In the early years of the war—before the U.S. and the Kingdom ramped up their secret financial support for the anti-Soviet insurgency—this private Saudi funding was critical to the war effort,” according to Riedel. “At its peak, Salman was providing $25 million a month to the mujahedeen. He was also active in raising money for the Bosnian Muslims in the war with Serbia.”
Salman also has embraced radical Saudi clerics known for their hateful rhetoric against Israel and Jews.
Salman has worked closely with Saleh al-Moghamsy, who tweeted in August 2014 that “Allah only gathered Jews in the land of Palestine to destroy them.”
Al-Moghamsy also stated in a 2014 television interview that “the hatred of Jews toward Muslims is an eternal hatred.” He also claimed in 2012 that Osama bin Laden had died with more “sanctity and honor” than any infidel, or non-Muslim.
Despite this rhetoric, Salman has maintained close ties to al-Moghamsy.
Salman chairs the board of an organization run by al-Moghamsy and has sponsored the cleric’s public events, including a 2013 festival. Salman and al-Moghamsy were pictured many times together at that event, according to regional reports.
Salman also has reached out to other hardline preachers, including Safar Hawali, a one-time mentor of Osama bin Laden who has called for non-Muslims to be expelled from Saudi Arabia.
While crown prince, Salman also made a point of phoning Aidh Abdullah al-Qarni, a Saudi author currently on the U.S. Terrorist Screening Center’s No Fly List who has praised Hamas and called Israelis “the brothers of apes and pigs.”
Additionally, Salman, in his role as crown prince, has recently visited Saudi Arabia’s grand mufti, the nation’s highest religious authority, who has asserted that 10 is an appropriate age of marriage for girls and called for the destruction of all churches in the Arabian Peninsula.
Weinberg, who has been tracking Salman closely, said that the new monarch is taking up his predecessor’s mantle of moderate reform.
“Just like King Abdullah tried to present himself as a reformer, some are trying to suggest that the new king, Salman, is a moderate who will continue his half-brother’s so-called progressive policies,” Weinberg said. “But just look at where Saudi Arabia is after Abdullah: people are being decapitated and flogged by the state in the streets.”
“Women are systematically oppressed by their own government, and the regime continues to propagate incitement and intolerance,” he continued. “Salman’s background funding mujahedeen abroad and embracing hateful clerics suggests that he is at best a political opportunist who will tolerate continued religious extremism, even if he does not hold such views himself.”
Will President Obama follow the precedent of bowing to King Salman , when he greeted the late Saudi King Abdullah in London during a meeting? Watch this You Tube video from a Fox New’s O’Reilly Factor report.