Friday, December 08, 2006

Saudis reportedly funding insurgents

Now you just know Bush will be looking into this. Uh, not so much.
Private Saudi citizens are giving millions of dollars to Sunni insurgents in Iraq and much of the money is used to buy weapons, including shoulder fired anti-aircraft missiles, according to key Iraqi officials and others familiar with the cash flow.

Saudi government officials deny that any money from their country is being sent to Iraqis fighting the government and the U.S.-led coalition.

But the U.S. Iraq Study Group report said Saudis are a source of funding for Sunni Arab insurgents. Several truck drivers described carrying boxes of cash from Saudi Arabia into Iraq, money they said was headed for insurgents.

Saudi Arabia is a key U.S. ally in the Middle East. The Iraq Study Group report noted that its government has assisted the U.S. military with intelligence on Iraq.

But Saudi citizens have close tribal ties with Sunni Arabs in Iraq and sympathize with their brethren in what they see as a fight for political control — and survival — with Iraq's Shiites.

The Saudi government is determined to curb the growing influence of its chief rival in the region, Iran. Iran is closely linked to Shiite parties that dominate the Iraqi government.

Two high-ranking Iraqi officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the issue's sensitivity, told the AP most of the Saudi money comes from private donations, called zakat, collected for Islamic causes and charities.

Let's see, what was it Bush said yesterday? Oh yeah.
"Countries that participate in talks must not fund terrorism, must help the young democracy survive, must help with the economics of the country," Bush said. [emphasis mine]

Well, not unless they are friends of the Bush family. And yes, I do realize the story says most of the Saudi money comes from private donations. Its the word "most" that stands out.

(read more)


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