Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld, author of Funding Evil: How Terrorism is Financed and How to Stop It, is well aware of just how insidious the smiling, hand-shaking Saudis can be. They are well aware that no one can beat us militarily. Instead they have found our weaknesses: Americans like to live well and are accustomed to the use of oil to run the economy and, for decades, have borrowed heavily from foreign governments to fund our life style.
Many are aware of widespread Saudi investments in the United States, but few know how potentially harmful they are. Moreover, U.S. policy-makers remain unaware of this grave danger.
On Sept. 28, 2001, after the attacks on the United States, Osama bin Laden called for financial jihad against the United States, and on Dec. 27, 2001, he called on jihadists "to look for [and strike] the key pillars of the U.S. economy." Although now the Saudis claim bin Laden is their enemy, many of them continue to follow his agenda.
Religious and ideological support has been also provided by Hussein Shihata, a leading Sunni scholar of Islamic Economy at Cairo's al-Azhar University. Mr. Shihata's July 10, 2002, fatwa says: "We do not use the term 'economic jihad' as a mere motto or a resounding slogan with no action. Rather, we mean by it a practical jihad that requires action to turn it into an effective and concrete reality. The aim behind that is to benefit all Muslims and to challenge the aggression staged by the U.S. and Jews against Islam and Muslims."
Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who claims to abhor bin Laden, seems nevertheless eager to follow his agenda. In an interview with Arab News in May 2002, the prince said that if the Arabs "unite through economic interests," they would achieve influence over the U.S. decision-makers. Since government sources estimate Saudi holdings in the United States at $400 billion to $800 billion, the matter warrants public attention.
The Saudi agenda extends far beyond policy-makers. In the late 1990s, the privately owned Massachusetts technology company, Ptech, designed software used to develop enterprise blueprints that held every important detail of a given concern. The company was financed with more than $22 million, by Saudi multi-millionaire Yasin al Qadi, a Specially Designated Global Terrorist. The Saudis thus gained access to strategic information about many major U.S. corporations such as SYSCO, ENRON, and the U.S. Departments of Defense, Treasury, Justice, Energy, and even the White House. The extent of the damage, if it was investigated, remains a mystery.
Meanwhile, substantial Saudi and Gulf financial contributions "to bring the proper message to America's brightest minds," are pouring into U.S. educational institutions through Arab and Islamic centers and professorial chairs. Last month the prince gave $20 million each to Georgetown and Harvard universities. According to the Center for Religious Freedom, the Saudis also supply textbooks for public libraries, schools and colleges, and provide the content concerning Islam to some U.S. textbook publishers.
The Saudis' potential influence on U.S. and international media was recently illustrated by the prince's purchase of 5.6 percent of voting shares in News Corp., the world's largest publisher of English newspapers. Moreover, Reuters reported on Dec. 5 that the prince announced his plan to "spread the right message" via a new television channel, "The Message," to broadcast to the U.S. within two years.
Yet, information regarding the magnitude of the Saudi economic infiltration into the United States is secret. The U.S. Treasury's interpretation of the census law, supported by a 1982 court decision, shields this data from the public. On Oct. 27, 1982, the American Jewish Congress (AJC) was denied information requested under its own FOIA inquiry, by the U.S. District Court in Washington D.C. (Civ. A. No. 81-1745). The AJC litigated its FOIA case up to the Supreme Court, but the government won.
Read the rest.
Perhaps the rich Arabs are already pulling the strings behind the scenes. One day we'll wake up with Saudis and other rich Arabs openly flaunting their power in Washington D.C. and we'll wonder "how we got there.