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|Posted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 2:53 pm Post subject: 9/11 Survivors Urge May: Release Spiked Saudi Terror Report
|Saudi terror report spiked
'Do ministers care more about arms sales to Riyadh, than about public safety in Britain?' http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/theresa-may-saudi-arabia -report-funding-uk-islamist-extremism-arms-deals-pmqs-terrorism-caroli ne-a7849296.html
Survivors of 9/11 attack urge Theresa May to release Saudi Arabia terror report she suppressed
Exclusive: Relatives and survivors say British Premier has chance to pour ‘sunlight’ onto funding of extremism
Andrew Buncombe New York @AndrewBuncombe 20 hours ago
Ms May met with King Salman of Saudi Arabia last year in Bahrain Getty
Survivors of the 9/11 attacks have written to Prime Minister Theresa May – urging her to make public a British government report into the extent of Saudi Arabia’s funding of Islamist extremism in the UK.
The report into the significance of the financing of Islamic extremists in Britain by Saudi Arabia and other nations was commissioned by Ms May’s predecessor, David Cameron, as part of a deal to obtain political support for a parliamentary vote on UK airstrikes on Syria.
Last week, British Home Secretary Amber Rudd said the report was not being published “because of the volume of personal information it contains and for national security reasons”. Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas suggested the refusal to make public the report was linked to a reluctance to criticise the kingdom, with which Britain has long had close strategic and economic interest.
Almost 3,000 people were killed in the attacks (Getty)
Now, a group representing US survivors of the 9/11 attacks and the relatives of some of the almost 3,000 people who died, has urged Ms May to seize the chance to release the report, even if it is not fully complete.
“The UK now has the unique historic opportunity to stop the killing spree of Wahhabism-inspired terrorists by releasing the UK government’s report on terrorism financing in the UK which, according to media reports, places Saudi Arabia at its centre of culpability,” says the letter, signed by 15 people.
“The longer Saudi Arabia’s complicity is hidden from sunlight, the longer terrorism will continue. They must be stopped; but who will stop them? We submit that you are uniquely situated to shine the cleansing light of public consciousness.”
It adds: “We respectfully urge you to release the report now, finished or unfinished. We ask you to consider all the victims of state-sponsored, Saudi-financed terrorism, their families and their survivors in the UK and all over the world.”
Sharon Premoli, one of the authors of the letter, was on the 80th floor of the North Tower of the World Trade Centre when the first Al-Qaeda plane struck and rushed to safety. She is among those who have been pursuing legal action against Saudi Arabia and is adamant the attacks could not have happened without its support.
Ms Premoli, from Vermont, told The Independent that in the 16 years since the attacks were carried out, she and others have pursued the “money trail”. “We are always led to the source - Saudi Arabia,” she said.
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She added: “This has been a long time coming. If you think, we’re 16 years on from the murder of 3,000 people and the injuring of another 6,000 and the deaths and illnesses from countless others.”
Others who have signed the letter are Brett and Gail Eagleson, the son and widow of John Eagleton, who died on the 17th floor of the Second Tower, Ellen Saracini, the widow of Victor Saracini, a pilot of United Airlines Flight 175, which was hijacked as it made its way from Boston to Los Angeles and flown into the South Tower, and Kathy Owens, whose husband, Peter, perished on the 104th Floor of the North Tower.
Copies of the letter have been sent to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott, Ms Rudd, and Sir Kim Darroch, Britain’s Ambassador to Washington.
Ms Premoli, the author of a memoir Autumn: On the Way Back from 9/11, said the US government was actively involved in a cover-up of Saudi Arabia’s role. In addition, she said the US and Britain were promoting closer ties with Riyadh, and the sale of arms and weapons.
She said the weapons were now being used to devastating effect in Yemen, where the Saudis have been attacking Shia Houthi rebels, resulting in thousands of civilian deaths.
Though 15 of the 19 hijackers who carried out the attacks on New York and Washington were from Saudi Arabia, the government has always denied having any role. The bi-partisan 9/11 Commission Report “found no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or senior Saudi officials individually funded the organisation”.
Last year, a long-classified section comprising 28 pages that detailed potential Saudi government ties to the attack but which had not been verified, were finally made public.
Earlier this spring, a lawsuit was filed in New York on behalf of the families of 850 individuals who were killed and 1,500 who were injured.
The suit, which was filed in federal court in the Southern District of New York and will be heard US District Judge George Daniels, seeks unspecified monetary damages and says Saudi supported Al-Qaeda in four critical ways – supporting government-linked charities that ran training camps, directly funding Osama Bin Laden’s terror group, supporting the hijackers by providing them with passports and, finally, and providing on-the-ground support to the hijackers in the 18 months leading up to the attacks.
“9/11 could not have happened without Saudi Arabia’s support for al-Qaeda,” said lead lawyer Jim Kreindler.
Many believe Britain and the US share a long history of promoting and using Islamist extremists when it has benefited their strategic, economic or military goals. Mark Curtis, the historian and author of Secret Affairs: Britain’s Collusion with Radical Islam, wrote recently that Saudi Arabia’s role in promoting Wahhabism had been known for decades.
“The British elite is perfectly aware of the insidious role that Saudi Arabia plays in fomenting terrorism,” he said. “In October 2014, General Jonathan Shaw, a former Assistant Chief of the Defence Staff, told the Telegraph that Saudi Arabia and Qatar were primarily responsible for the rise of the extremist Islam that inspires Isis terrorists.”
This is not the first time that a British government has sought to protect strategic ties with Saudi Arabia by covering up embarrassing or damaging information.
In 2006, Tony Blair halted a major criminal investigation into alleged corruption by the arms company BAE Systems and payments to Saudi officials involved in the Al-Yamamah arms deal, after it was decided continuing the probe would endanger Britain’s security - the same excuse cited by Ms Rudd.
Downing Street directed enquiries to the Foreign Office. The Foreign Office did not immediately respond. The Saudi Arabia Embassy in Washington also did respond to questions.
The attacks of 2001 killed people from around the world. In addition to the more than 2,600 US victims, 372 foreign nationals from 61 countries lost their lives. The second largest number, 67, were British.
Ms Lucas, the MP Brighton Pavilion said she supported the efforts of the survivors.
“I fully support these 9/11 survivors in their appeal to Theresa May to release this report. The Government’s refusal to publish it, and their recent vague statement on the issue, are completely unacceptable,” she said in a statement.
“The Government accepts that foreign funding is a significant source of income for some extremist groups here in Britain – but they won’t say in public where that money is coming from. This group of 9/11 survivors are right to demand answers... and I hope Theresa May takes heed of it.'
Saudi Arabia boosting extremism in Europe, says former ambassador
Sir William Patey says Riyadh may not be aware of how its support for a ‘certain brand of Islam’ is leading to radicalisation
Sir William Patey
Patrick Wintour Diplomatic editor
Thursday 13 July 2017 11.12 BST Last modified on Thursday 13 July 2017 11.41 BST
Saudi Arabia has been funding mosques throughout Europe that have become hotbeds of extremism, the former British ambassador to Saudi Arabia Sir William Patey has said.
His remarks come a day after the government published a brief summary of a Home Office-commissioned report into the funding of extremism in the UK. The full report is not being published for security reasons.
Patey said he did not believe Saudi Arabia was directly funding terrorist groups, but rather an ideology that leads to extremism, and suggested that its leaders might not be aware of the consequences. “It is unhealthy and we need to do something about it,” he said.
“The Saudis [have] not quite appreciated the impact their funding of a certain brand of Islam is having in the countries in which they do it – it is not just Britain and Europe.
“That is a dialogue we need to have. They are not funding terrorism. They are funding something else, which may down the road lead to individuals being radicalised and becoming fodder for terrorism.”
Patey said the Saudis “find it every easy to back off the idea that they are funding terrorism because they are not.
“What the World Association [sic] of Muslim Youth and the Muslim World League are doing is funding mosques and promoting an ideology – the Salifist Wahhabist ideology.”
He called for clarity on the definition of funding terrorism and “a grownup dialogue with the Gulf about what we think”. There were also “individual Gulf citizens that defied their governments to fund terrorism,” Patey added.
Patey, who was the UK ambassador to Riyadh from 2006 to 2010 and previously head of the Foreign Office Middle East desk, also questioned whether Saudi Arabia and its allies had worked out the implications of their bitter dispute with Qatar.
Three Gulf States – Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) – along with Egypt, have sought to isolate Qatar diplomatically and economically, citing its support for terrorism and groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood.
“This has all the hallmarks of a policy that has not been thought through. It does not smack of a considered strategy,” Patey said at roundtable discussion in London organised by the Conservative Middle East Council.
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“It is not a smart move even if you are sympathetic to their vision. It is a short cut to achieve something quickly and I think they miscalculated and I think they did think that with Trump behind them, Qatar would back down. They raised these stakes because they thought Qatar would back down in the end, so I think they were a bit surprised.”
The boycott had backfired, he argued and far from leading to a coup in Qatar, a cult had developed around the newly popular emir. “The Qataris are rallying round their leadership,” Patey said.
He said he believed the true motive for the dispute was not Qatar’s funding of terrorism, but a wider difference in political vision. “This is about the Muslim Brotherhood. It is a battle for the future of the Middle East,” he said.
Patey also questioned whether all the emirates within the UAE were united behind the boycott. “This is about Abu Dhabi asserting its dominance in foreign policy issues, because this is not in Dubai’s interest,” he said.
Speaking at the same event, Michael Stephens, the head of the Royal United Services Institute Qatar desk, said the Gulf row may lead to an intractable dispute that could prompt investors to think seriously about disinvesting across the Gulf.
“We are now facing five weeks of the conflict when most people thought it would last 72 hours,” he said, calling for a series of de-escalatory measures leading to a joint agreement to fight extremism
'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."