WikiLeaks cables shows that Saudi Arabia is a virtual ATM machine for Islamic extremists

WikiLeaks just released a 2009 cable from then U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, urging American diplomats to redouble their efforts in stopping Saudi Arabian money from reaching terror groups in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

“More needs to be done since Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support base for al-Qaida, the Taliban, [Lashkar e-Tayyiba] and other terrorist groups,” said in a secretly signed paper from Clinton.

According to the memo, Saudi Arabia has become the world’s largest source of funds for Islamist militant groups, however, the Saudi government is reluctant to stem the flow of currency to the terror groups.

“Donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide,” said Clinton

The other Arab countries that were also listed as sources for militant money are Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar.

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President Obama with King Salman of Saudi Arabia and members of the Saudi Royal Family. (Flickr)
The State Department’s cables also highlight the financing from rich, conservative donors across the Arabian Sea whose governments that do little to stop them. But much of the problem particularly lies inside Saudi Arabia, where terrorists soliciting funds disguise themselves as holy pilgrims and slip into the county virtually unnoticed.

“A major security loophole since pilgrims often travel with large amounts of cash and the Saudis cannot refuse them entry into Saudi Arabia,” Clinton said.

Clinton complained of the “ongoing challenge to persuade Saudi officials to treat terrorist funds emanating from Saudi Arabia as a strategic priority.”

Featured image via Flickr

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