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Saudi Arabia A Cash Point For Terrorists Says Clinton

PTI 06 Dec 2010, 8:46:08 IST
PTI
Washington, Dec 5 (PTI) Saudi Arabia is a major focal point for terrorists financing and has failed in blocking funding for groups like al-Qaeda, Taliban and Lashkar-e-Taiba, top US officials believe, according to leaked US cable by WikiLeaks.

"More needs to be done since Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support base for al-Qaeda, Taliban, LeT and other terrorist groups," says a secret State Department cable of December 2009 which was signed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Besides, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates are listed as major source of terrorist financing.

The US, which has charged the whistle-blower Wikileaks of indulging in a criminal act by stealing and releasing these cables, has neither confirmed nor denied the authenticity of these documents.

According to the cable, the US Government engages regularly with Saudi Arabia.

It is notable that Special US Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke has made several trips to Saudi and other Gulf states in his efforts to curb the flow of illicit financing to terrorist networks from the region.

"The establishment in 2008 of a Treasury attache office in Riyadh contributes to robust interaction and information sharing on the issue. Despite this presence, however, more needs to be done since Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support base for al-Qaeda, Taliban, LeT, and other terrorist groups, including Hamas, which probably raise millions of dollars annually from Saudi sources, often during Hajj and Ramadan," the cable says.

"In contrast to its increasingly aggressive efforts to disrupt al-Qaeda's access to funding from Saudi sources, Riyadh has taken only limited action to disrupt fundraising for the UN 1267-listed Taliban and LeT-groups that are also aligned with al-Qaeda and focused on undermining stability in Afghanistan and Pakistan," it says.