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GEOSTRATEGY-DIRECT INTELLIGENCE BRIEF

Saudis fight al-Qaida at home, fund abroad

Riyadh's orders: Keep Islamic holy war outside desert kingdom

Editor’s note: WorldNetDaily brings readers exclusive, up-to-the-minute global intelligence news and analysis from Geostrategy-Direct, a new online newsletter edited by veteran journalist Robert Morton and featuring the “Backgrounder” column compiled by Bill Gertz. Geostrategy-Direct is a subscription-based service produced by the publishers of WorldTribune.com, a free news service frequently linked by the editors of WorldNetDaily.

While Saudi Arabia fights for its life against al-Qaida, the kingdom still supports the Islamic terrorist organization’s campaign in the Russian breakaway republic of Chechnya, reports Geostrategy-Direct, the global intelligence news service.

The anomaly points to Saudi Arabia’s position on terrorism: The Saudis cry terrorism only when they are the victims, Geostrategy says.

Western and Russian intelligence sources agree that amid the height of the kingdom’s campaign against al-Qaida, Saudi princes and prominent businessmen continued to funnel millions of dollars to Islamic insurgents to attack civilian targets in Iraq, Israel, Jordan and Russia.

They point to the Saudi sponsorship of the large Saudi contingent of al-Qaida-aligned terrorists in Chechnya.

The latest example was Abu Walid, regarded as the commander of the Arab forces in Chechnya. Actually, the sources said, Abu Walid didn’t fight Russian troops. His claim to fame was bombing Russian civilian targets, such as the attack in the Moscow subway that killed about 40 people in February 2004.

The intelligence sources, in an assessment confirmed by Saudi analysts, assert that Abu Walid and al-Qaida are one and the same. The only difference is that Abu Walid and his gang in Chechnya knew how to follow Riyadh’s orders to keep Islamic holy war outside the Saudi kingdom, while a wing of al-Qaida has targeted the Saudi royal family.

For years, Russia has complained that Saudi princes have been funneling tens of millions of dollars to fuel the insurgency in Chechnya. When Chechens weren’t willing to fight, Saudi Arabia allowed hundreds of its nationals to fight in the breakaway Russian republic with many of them participating in suicide attacks.

Indeed, the Saudis, or Wahabis as termed by Moscow, were said to be the largest component in the Arab combat units in Chechnya.

In a videotape broadcast on Al Jazeera last month, Abu Walid threatened to launch a wave of attacks in Russia. Abu Walid reportedly directed many of the attacks in Russia, particularly the 1999 apartment bombings throughout the country. Abu Walid died in a clash with Russian security forces in Chechnya earlier this month.

For Saudi Arabia, Chechnya constitutes one of the last bastions of support for the kingdom’s pro-al-Qaida policy. U.S. pressure even has blocked Saudi funding of Hamas, a leading client of the kingdom. But the United States has not pressed Riyadh to stop funding for terrorists in Chechnya.

Why do the Saudis support al-Qaida these days? Western intelligence sources said Chechnya remains a safe outlet to export thousands of Saudi seminary students who have little prospect of decent jobs and are ill trained to actually work as clerics outside the kingdom. But the students are full of Islamic zeal and are all set for jihad.

That’s where Chechnya comes in — to serve as a release of pressure against the kingdom. Moreover, Saudi-funded al-Qaida fighters in Chechnya can also be recruited to oppose Islamic dissidents who attack the kingdom on religious grounds.

During the al-Qaida attacks in the kingdom, leading Saudi fighters in Chechnya issued statements denouncing attacks in Saudi Arabia. One such recording was by Abu Omar Al Seif. In a message posted on the Chechen website www.qoqaz.com, Al Seif, born Mohammed Bin Abdullah Al Seif, urges al-Qaida-aligned terrorists to abandon attacks against the Saudi royal family and instead fight the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq.

“They want to impose the blasphemous democracy in the region, steal and loot the Iraqi oil, and control the entire region,” Abu Omar said. “The holy warriors in the Levant, the Arabian Peninsula, Iraq, Turkey, and from other areas [must] join the holy war against the conspirator alliance: Christian-Jews with apostates.”

Abu Omar’s argument fits perfectly into Saudi strategy. The United States is dangerous because it is trying to turn Iraq into becoming a democracy.

Abu Omar hopes his words will result in lots of Saudi petro-dollars.

“Abu Omar’s admonishment may be a result of some strategic thinking on the part of the radical leader,” stated a report by the Washington-based Jamestown Foundation. “Clashes with the Saudi government may only serve to make the situation for radicals around the world more difficult.

Following Sept. 11, 2001, the Saudi government has tightened its grip on the activities of Islamic NGOs, private businessmen and other committees, which channel funds to Salafi-Jihadists in Chechnya and elsewhere.”


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