Saudi Arabia's Export Of Radical Islam - Part Two

mosqueSaudi Arabia's influence in establishing mosques around the world has been condoned by the House of Saud. In 1963, Belgium had a small Muslim population, and in a small rented building in a Brussels suburb, the Islamic Center of Belgium (CIB) began its life.

 The following year, King Faisal visited Belgium. A virulent anti-semite, Faisal is said to have been convinced by the 19th century anti-semitic Russian forgery - "Protocols of the Elders of Zion", and disseminated copies throughout his kingdom. During the Saudi monarch's visit to Belgium, King Baudouin gave him a plot of land, in a prime parkland site in Molenbeek, Brussels. In 1968, Faisal approved Saudi government funding of the construction of a CIB mosque in this new location.

After Faisal's assassination in March 1975, his successor, King Khaled Ibn Abdul Aziz al-Saud opened the "Grand Mosque" of the CIB in 1978. It remains the largest mosque in Belgium. The CIB controls other smaller mosques. Despite royal patronage, the CIB is not exempt from accusations of extremism.

Two days before 9/11, a pair of Tunisians based in Belgium had gone to the Panjshir Valley, northern Afghanistan, posing as journalists. Abdessatar Dahmane and Bouraoui El Ouer mingled with real journalists who were interviewing Ahmed Shah Massoud, head of the "Northern Alliance". Massoud was a sworn enemy of the Taliban. A bomb was hidden inside their video camera, and when it went off, Massoud was injured, dying shortly after.

On January 26, 2006, 27-year old Abdel Rahman Ayach was arrested with 31-year old Raphael Gendron. The pair had maintained the CIB website,, which contained virulent propaganda. The material on the CIB website was first exposed in the Belgian press in February 2002, but it took four years for the webmasters to be arrested. The pair were sentenced to short jail sentences with fines on June 21.

Some of the tracts from the now-defunct website can still be found, and these come directly from the heart of Wahhabist Saudi Arabia. One of the authors, Osama Khayyat, is an imam at the Grand Mosque in Mecca.

Awdah has written, in an article called "Virtues of Martyrdom" and formerly published on the CIB website (my translation): "Slaves of Allah! The Jews are described in the Book of Allah as those who distort the utterances and the deeds decreed by Allah, and take them out of context. This is exactly what they do in the same way as the tyrants of this world who support them. They use false terminology to lead astray, to confound and to deceive. What your brothers (Palestinian terrorists) do in their battle at Al-Aqsa (Jerusalem) are not acts of gratuitous violence, but moreover it is a blessed uprising to resist and to diminish the Jewish oppression and is against their aggression."

The situation in Belgium is no different from other countries, where Saudi money has sponsored mosques which promote extremist views. The exact number of mosques which have been established by the Saudi administration is not known. In 2002, the Saudi Embassy in Washington proclaimed that it had established 210 Islamic centers in Europe, North and South America, Australia, and Asia.

King Fahd (who had been debilitated by a stroke in 1995) was said to have personally funded mosques in Toronto, Buenos Aires, the Maldives, N'djamena, and Edinburgh, as well as the giant King Fahd Islamic Center in Malaga, Spain. In addition to these officially funded mosques, a host of others exist, funded by Saudi charities and the zakat of Saudi businessmen.

In Whitechapel, east London, the East London Mosque was built with Saudi money. It is six storeys high and can accommodate 10,000 worshippers. It opened its doors in June 2004. The inaugural sermon was made by a visitor from Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Abdur-Rahman al-Sudais (Sudeis), senior imam at the Grand Mosque of the Ka'abah at Mecca.

SudeisSudeis (pictured) told worshippers that the UK Muslim community had taken "great steps towards achieving community cohesion". He said: "Muslims should exemplify the true image of Islam in their interaction with other communities and dispel any misconceptions portrayed in some parts of the media."

This message is typical of Wahhabists and others who blame non-Muslim media, and not Muslim extremists and terrorists, for tarnishing Islam's image. Sudeis himself is an extremist and an anti-semite. He has said: "Read history and you will understand that the Jews of yesterday are the evil fathers of the Jews of today, who are evil offspring, infidels, distorters of words, calf-worshippers, prophet-murderers, prophecy-deniers... the scum of the human race 'whom Allah cursed and turned into apes and pigs...' These are the Jews, an ongoing continuum of deceit, obstinacy, licentiousness, evil, and corruption." In another sermon, Sudais has called Jews "the scum of the human race, the rats of the world, the violators of pacts and agreements, the murderers of the prophets, and the offspring of apes and pigs."

The chairman of the East London Mosque is Dr Abdul Bari, who was elected to the position of secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain in June 2006. When confronted by BBC journalist John Ware, Bari refused to accept that Sudeis had ever said anything anti-semitic.

The mosques funded by Saudi money almost without exception promote a strict interpretation of Sunni Islam that is close to Wahhabism. Azzedine Gaci, head of a regional Muslim Council in the Rhône area of southern France stated: "When Saudi Arabia gives you 1 million euros with one hand, with the other they give you a list you must or must not say."

In the United States, Saudi-funded mosques have been at the forefront of controversy. The US-born individual who now manages the propaganda videos produced by Al Qaeda is 29-year old Adam Gadahn,who grew up on a goat farm. His first introduction to practicing Islam was at the Saudi-built mosque of the Islamic Society of Orange County, California in 1995, when he was 17. He became part of a group of radicals at the mosque and soon fell out with Haitham Bundakji, the imam, and went on to Pakistan.

The imam at the King Fahd Mosque in Culver City, Los Angeles was Fahad al Thumairy, an accredited diplomat at the Saudi consulate from 1996 to 2003. He was barred from re-entering the US on May 6, 2003, after the US State Department suggested he could be linked to terrorist activity.

One of the largest mosque building projects in the United States involves the Islamic Society of Boston, which is currently involved in a lawsuit against 14 individuals and organizations whom it accuses of "defamation". According to the Boston Globe, the plan to build the Roxbury mosque was financed by the Islamic Development Bank. On January 9 this year, the society admitted that in late 2005, it had received a loan of $1 million from this bank, funds which paid for construction costs.

The principal owners of the bank are Saudi Arabia, Libya, Iran, and Egypt.
The Islamic Society of Boston admits that in its early fund-raising, 30% of its money came from Saudis. The mosque is estimated to cost $24 million, and will have a 125-foot minaret and a 75-foot dome.

ISB has a bad history of association with extremism. Dr Walid Fatahi, a treasurer and trustee of the group, apparently wrote in an Arabic newspaper on March 2004 that Jews were the "murderers of Prophets" and would be punished for their "oppression, murder, and rape of the worshipers of Allah".

Six months later, after numerous complaints, ISB published on its website a statement which claimed that Fitahi had "intended to condemn particular individuals whom he believes were working to destroy one of Islam's holiest sites, killing innocent children, and thereby blocking the possibility of peace in the Middle East; the articles were not meant to incite hatred of an entire faith or people".

alamoudiOne of the eight founders of the ISB is Abdurahman Alamoudi (pictured), who in October 2004 received a 23 year sentence for his involvement in financing terrorism, and plotting an assassination. Another former trustee of the ISB is the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi.

The issue of the litigious Islamic Society of Boston was taken up by the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) in January, 2006. Arsalan Iftikhar, CAIR's legal director, said: "Unfortunately, I see the Boston case as indicative of a growing trend in anti-Muslim rhetoric that has grown after 9/11. It has especially impacted local Muslim communities in terms of building their mosques. High concentrations of Muslim populations are being given a hard time for just trying to practice their faith."

A class action lawsuit against CAIR, filed by relatives of the victims who died in the 9/11 attacks, states: "CAIR was founded by donations from the Holy Land Foundation (HLF), which is a Specially Designated Global Terrorist Organization, World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), and International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO).

CAIR is funded by terrorists. The International Institute of Islamic Thought, an organization linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, donated money in 2003, according to its tax filings. Additionally, the Saudi-based Islamic Development Bank (IDB) gave CAIR $250,000 in August 1999. The IDB also manages funds for the Al-Quds which finance suicide bombings against Israeli civilians by providing funds to the families of Palestinian "martyrs"."


A fund-raiser for CAIR was Rabih Haddad. This individual was a co-founder of the Global Relief Foundation, which was designated by the US Treasury under Executive Order 13224 on October 18, 2002. During the early 1990s, Haddad worked for Makhtab al-Khidamat (MAK) in Pakistan. MAK was a precursor of Al Qaeda.

From 1997 to October 2001, Randall Todd "Ismail" Royer was CAIR's "Communications Specialist". He was also "Civil Rights Coordinator." He was indicted on charges of conspiring to help Al Qaida and the Taliban to battle American troops in Afghanistan. On January 16, 2004, he pleaded guilty to lesser offenses and was convicted of weapons and explosives charges in connection to a terrorist related offense. He admitted assisting four people to gain entry to a terrorist training camp in Pakistan operated by the terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba.

CAIR was co-founded by Omar Ahmad and Nihad Awad, who were members of the Islamic Association for Palestine. Omar Ahmad has famously said: "Islam isn't in America to be equal to any other faiths, but to become dominant. The Koran, the Muslim book of scripture, should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on Earth."

Other individuals from CAIR have been involved with supporting terrorism, such as Ghassin Elashi, who was founder of the Texas chapter. In April 2005, he was convicted of knowingly doing business with Mousa Abu Marzook, a senior leader of terrorist group Hamas.

Despite these negative aspects, CAIR, which claims to have 31 offices and chapters in the US and Canada, has been entertained by the US government. Executive director of CAIR, Nihad Awad, has been entertained at the US State Department's annual "iftar dinners".

A group listed by 9/11 relatives as providing funds to help start CAIR is the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY). In November 8, 2005, Daniel L. Glaser of the Office of Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes submitted testimony to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. He said: "Saudi Arabia has taken steps to bring its charities and NGOs under control. We have, however, been repeatedly raising the issue of so-called international NGOs, namely the International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO), the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), and the Muslim World League (MWL). The Saudis have responded that charitable organizations and these international NGOs are de facto prohibited from sending funds abroad. It is not clear to us that this de facto prohibition is having true effect and we remain deeply concerned about this issue."

In June 2004, the US offices of WAMY in Alexandria, Northern Virginia, were raided by FBI, the Bureau of Immigration and the Joint Terrorism Task Force. The US branch of WAMY was founded by Abdullah bin Laden, Osama's nephew. Computers were taken away and since then, WAMY has not had an official presence in the United States. Its US publications included anti-semitic content, including "The Jews are humanity's enemies: they foment immorality in this world."

The World Assembly of Muslim Youth was founded in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in 1972, under the patronage of the Saudi royal family. It has branches in 55 nations, and links with 500 youth organizations around the globe. Despite its dubious associations, it is nonetheless affiliated with the United Nations. Its current secretary-general is Dr. Saleh Al-Wohaibi. The FBI appear to have been interested in WAMY's activities since 1996.

In 2002, the head of the Islamic Community of Germany, Ibrahim el-Zayat was investigated by German federal police. Their report, seen by the Wall Street Journal, alleged that Zayat had transferred funds worth more than $2 million, on behalf of WAMY. Some of these funds were sent to a charity called Taibah. On May 6, 2004 the Bosnian branch was designated by the US Treasury, accused of funneling funds to Al Qaeda.

According to Dr Dore Gold, former Israeli Ambassador to the UN and President of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, WAMY was, along with the Muslim World League, "suspected by various global intelligence organizations of terrorist funding". He stated that in October 2002, while the Saudi Embassy in Washington was claiming that "charitable groups have been closely monitored and additional audits have been performed to assure that there are no links to suspected groups," WAMY was inviting Khaled Mashal, a senior leader of terror group Hamas, to its Riyadh headquarters for a conference.

Dr Gold told the U.S. Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs on July 31, 2003: "The Saudi Grand Mufti, who is also a Saudi cabinet member, chairs the Constituent Council of the Muslim World League. The Saudi Minister of Islamic Affairs chairs the secretariat of WAMY and the administrative council of al-Haramain."

Al-Haramain received large donations from the Saudi royal family. Its international branches were involved in funding Al Qaeda. Omar al Faruq was al-Qaeda's senior representative in Southeast Asia. He was arrested by Indonesian authorities on June 5, 2002. According to Jean-Charles Brisard, al Faruq confessed: "Al Haramain was the funding mechanism of all operations in Indonesia. Money was laundered through the foundation by donors from the Middle East."

On March 11 2002, the Bosnian and Somali branches of Al Haramain were designated by the US Treasury, and in a simultaneous move, the accounts of these charities were blocked by the Saudi government. The Somali branch was responsible for sending money to Al Qaeda and its related terror group al-Itihaad al-Islamiya (AIAI). AIAI was led by Sheikh Hassan Dir Aweys, who recently headed the Islamists in Somalia. This group was responsible for bombings in Addis Ababa, kidnappings, and also the 1998 attack upon a Jewish owned hotel in Kenya in 1998, killing 3 people.

In 2003, the Saudi government ordered that all of Al Haramain's offshore branches be closed, but monitoring proved that the branches were still functional. On January 22, 2004, the charity's branches Indonesia, Kenya, Tanzania, and Pakistan were jointly designated by the US Treasury and the Saudi government. On June 2, 2004, the two nations designated Al Haramain's branches in Afghanistan, Albania, Bangladesh, Ethiopia and the Netherlands. The head of Al Haramain, Aqeel Abdul Aziz Al-Aqil, was also designated.

According to Saudi royal adviser Adel Al-Jubeir, Al Haramain was raising $40 to $50 million per annum at its peak.

The US branch of Al Haramain was founded in 1997. It had been founded by Soliman al-Buthe, who was named as its attorney by the head of the Al Haramain Foundation. The main base of Al Haramain US was in Ashland, Oregon, with another center in Springfield, Missouri.

sedaIn Ashland, an Iranian called Pirouz Sedaghaty, aka Pete Seda (pictured), managed the group's day to day affairs. He ran a group called Arabian Nights, to introduce people to Islam. To this end he also purchased a camel, which he took to the local July 4 parade. He also distributed copies of a Quran, which was produced by the Saudi Al Haramain headquarters. In Appendix 3 of this book, readers are advised to "race to jihad" and in that race to include missiles, planes and ships against the enemies of Allah.

The Oregon branch of Al Haramain was raided by FBI agents in February 2003. Al Haramain US was designated as a terrorist organization on September 9, 2004.

On February 16, 2005, the US branch of Al Haramain, along with Pete Seda and Soliman al-Buthe were the subjects of a three point indictment. It was claimed that in February 2000, an Egyptian individual offered the group $150,000 to assist the jihad in Chechnya. Soliman al-Buthe had come to Oregon, and with Seda had drawn out the funds in the form of travelers' cheques. He then left the country without declaring these funds.

By the time of the indictment, both Seda and al-Buthe had left the United States. On July 21, 2006, a court ordered that all of Al Haramain's literature which had been confiscated, including the controversial copies of the Quran, be returned to Tom Nelson, the group's attorney. Nelson said that he would be giving the material. "My goal is to do what was intended and give it to anyone who is interested. Friend or foe," he said.

The founder of Wahhabism, Muhammad Abdul-Wahhab, wrote little. All that remains of his written teachings can be found in a book called Kitab al-Tawhid, the "Book of Monotheism". In Chapter 36 of this book, Wahhab stated that no-one should obey a scholar or ruler if the scholar or ruler contradicts the Qur'an or the Sunnah (actions of the Prophet) in any way.

As a result of this, there are Wahhabists within Saudi Arabia's government and Royal family, yet also there are Wahhabists among the religious authorities and population who believe the government and Royal family are committing shirk. This means literally "polytheism", and practically means any behavior which is in contradiction of "tawhid". Shirk was regarded by Wahhab as "the most dangerous of all sins, the wickedest and the most severely punished." In chapter 2 of Kitab al-Tawhid, even minor shirk is regarded as dangerous, because of its corrupting influence.

On May 12, 2003, Al Qaeda mounted its first attack within Saudi territory, with vehicle bombs detonating at three housing compounds for foreign workers. Nine US civilians were among the 26 people killed. There followed a wave of subsequent attacks, forcing the Saudi government to take some responsibility for international terrorism. Arrests and extraditions took place. Even though the Saudis took a more pro-active stance against terrorism, they continued to export the same Wahhabist ideology which engenders hate and terrorism.

As Dore Gold said in September 2004: "The Saudis have been jolted by the al-Qaida threat. At the same time, they are ideologically committed to supporting jihad externally."

This continued support for jihad, coming from the heart of Saudi Arabia, will be discussed in part Three, the conclusion of this article.

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