Hillary Clinton’s email to her current campaign manager John Podesta dated August 17, 2014 implicates Qatar and Saudi Arabia as the main "logistical and financial" supporters of the Islamic State. In the email, Clinton recommended the United States use its “diplomatic and more traditional intelligence assets to bring pressure on the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia" to put them “in a position of balancing policy between their ongoing competition to dominate the Sunni world and the consequences of serious U.S. pressure.”
Secretary of State Clinton’s proposal appears to be a reaction to growing awareness of the role Gulf monarchies have played in supporting and funding not only the Islamic State and al-Nusra but a constellation of jihadi groups in the Middle East. Left unmentioned by Clinton is the fact the United States under a number of administrations has worked closely with the Gulf monarchies to spread Sunni Wahhabism across the Muslim world.
The financial elite in the West played a direct role in the spread of Wahhabism. In 1976 Saudi Prince Mohammed al-Faisal established the Faisal Islamic Bank of Egypt (FIBE). Several of founding members were leading members of the Muslim Brotherhood, including the “Blind Sheikh,” Sheikh Omar Abdul-Rahman, implicated and in the first World Trade Center bombing in February 1993. The Muslim Brotherhood became an MI6 and later a CIA asset during the covert war and assassination plot against the nationalist pan-Arab leader in Egypt, Gamal Abdel Nasser.
FIBE and the rise of Islamic banking following the dramatic increase in oil prices in 1973 are closely associated with neoliberal financial policies and the philosophy of the of the Chicago School of Economics and the monetary prescriptions of the International Monetary Fund. FIBE worked closely with the infamous Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), a renegade bank used to fund covert terrorist activity and launder money, sell illegal weapons, and facilitate the international drug trade. After BCCI crashed and burned in 1991, investigators discovered it held $589 million in “unrecorded deposits,” $245 million of which were placed with FIBE. “BCCI consisted of a complex alliance of intelligence agencies, multinational corporations, weapons dealers, drug traffickers, terrorists, global bankers and high-ranking government officials,” writes David DeGraw.
The Muslim Brotherhood also established the al-Taqwa Bank in 1988. It funded radical Wahabbi groups, including al-Qaeda. The bank was associated with the late Said Ramadan, one of the Muslim Brotherhood’s top leaders. Ramadan was the son-in-law of Hassan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood. He also helped the Saudi monarchy establish the Muslim World League in 1962. The organization would later fund al-Qaeda and numerous other terror groups. Declassified Swiss documents from the 1960s reveal Ramadan was an asset of the CIA and British intelligence.
“It’s no exaggeration to say that Ramadan is the ideological grandfather of Osama bin Laden. But Ramadan, the Muslim Brotherhood, and their Islamist allies might never have been able to plant the seeds that sprouted into al-Qaeda had they not been treated as US allies during the Cold War and had they not received both overt and covert support from Washington,” writes investigative journalist Robert Dreyfuss.
In addition to funding radical Islamic groups, the Saudis helped establish the so-called Safari Club in 1976. The chief instigator of the group was Alexandre de Marenches, head of the French external intelligence service SDECE. Like the BCCI, the Safari Club funded off-the-books terror operations and worked closely with al-Mukhabarat al-A’amah, the Saudi intelligence organization. Kamal Adham and then his nephew Prince Turki. Adham acted as a channel between Henry Kissinger and Anwar Sadat, the president of Egypt and former member of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Safari Club was run by Saudi arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi of Iran-Contra fame. He also had connections to the BCCI.
According to author Joe Trento, the Safari Club preferred working with a rogue faction of the CIA made up of agents close to ex-CIA director George Bush Sr. and decorated CIA officer Theodore Shackley. The “private, shadow spy organization within” the CIA, according to Trento, was organized during an effort by the Carter administration to reform the agency following revelations of the Church Committee in the mid-1970s. (See Peter Dale Scott’s The Road to 9/11: Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America.)
Bush “cemented strong relations with the intelligence services of both Saudi Arabia and the shah of Iran. He worked closely with Kamal Adham, the head of Saudi intelligence, brother-in-law of King Faisal and an early BCCI insider,” Scott writes.
During a May 1979 meeting of the globalist Bilderberg Group the British historian Bernard Lewis presented a British-American strategy which “endorsed the radical Muslim Brotherhood movement behind [Iran’s] Khomeini, in order to promote balkanization of the entire Muslim Near East along tribal and religious lines. Lewis argued that the West should encourage autonomous groups such as the Kurds, Armenians, Lebanese Maronites, Ethiopian Copts, Azerbaijani Turks, and so forth. The chaos would spread in what he termed an ‘Arc of Crisis,’ which would spill over into the Muslim regions of the Soviet Union.” (See F. William Engdahl, A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order. London: Pluto Press, 2004: page 172.)
The previous year the CIA began training Islamic militants in Pakistan as part of an effort to destabilize neighboring Afghanistan and draw in the Soviet Union. Robert Gates, who would become CIA director and later secretary of defense under Obama, recalled a meeting held on March 30, 1979 where Under Secretary of Defense Walter Slocumbe proposed “sucking the Soviets into a Vietnamese quagmire.” President Carter formally approved covert aid to the CIA supported Afghan Mujahideen in July. (See Robert Gates, From the Shadows: The Ultimate Insider's Story of Five Presidents and How They Won the Cold War. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2007: page 145.)
“The CIA became the grand coordinator: purchasing or arranging the manufacture of Soviet-style weapons from Egypt, China, Poland, Israel and elsewhere, or supplying their own; arranging for military training by Americans, Egyptians, Chinese and Iranians; hitting up Middle-Eastern countries for donations, notably Saudi Arabia which gave many hundreds of millions of dollars in aid each year, totaling probably more than a billion; pressuring and bribing Pakistan-with whom recent American relations had been very poor-to rent out its country as a military staging area and sanctuary; putting the Pakistani Director of Military Operations, Brigadier Mian Mohammad Afzal, onto the CIA payroll to ensure Pakistani cooperation,” writes Phil Gasper.
According to Dreyfuss, “America’s alliance with the Afghan Islamists long predated the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 and had its roots in CIA activity in Afghanistan in the 1960s and in the early and mid-1970s. The Afghan jihad spawned civil war in Afghanistan in the late 1980s, gave rise to the Taliban, and got Osama bin Laden started on building Al Qaeda.”
The line between radical Islam in Afghanistan in the 1980s and the Islamic State remains unbroken. There is a direct correlation between al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), and the Islamic State in Iraq that originated with Tanzim Qaidat al-Jihad fi Bilad al-Rafidayn, aka al-Qaeda in Iraq. AQI was the subject of a Pentagon black op and propaganda campaign targeting the Iraqi resistance following Bush’s invasion in 2003.
Hillary Clinton’s email makes it appear the Saudi monarchy is primarily responsible for the ”logistical and financial" support of the Islamic State. In fact, the Islamic State is not the monolithic threat it is portrayed as by the government and its media. It is a loose confederation of jihadi groups sharing a similar ideology based in Saudi Wahhabism. Many of those groups are now receiving direct financial and military support from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United States, and others.
As secretary of state Clinton spearheaded an effort to arm and train “moderate” Syrian jihadists and overthrow the government of Bashar al-Assad. After Obama authorized the CIA effort to train and arm the jihadists in 2013, the agency used Saudi money to finance the project.
The New York Times noted in January: “In addition to Saudi Arabia’s vast oil reserves and role as the spiritual anchor of the Sunni Muslim world, the long intelligence relationship helps explain why the United States has been reluctant to openly criticize Saudi Arabia for its human rights abuses, its treatment of women and its support for the extreme strain of Islam, Wahhabism, that has inspired many of the very terrorist groups the United States is fighting.”
More accurately, the United States is reluctant to criticize its Wahhabi partner and seriously endanger the neocon-spawned “Arc of Crisis” carefully designed to divide and balkanize the Arab and Muslin Middle east.
Hillary Clinton clarified the objective in an email dated November 30, 2015. “The best way to help Israel deal with Iran’s growing nuclear capability is to help the people of Syria overthrow the regime of Bashar Assad,” Clinton writes. “Bringing down Assad would not only be a massive boon to Israel’s security, it would also ease Israel’s understandable fear of losing its nuclear monopoly.”