What the recent political shakeup in Saudi Arabia means for global terrorism funding.

For 70 years, Saudi Arabia served as the largest and most significant incubator of Sunni jihad. Its Wahhabist Islamic establishment funded radical mosques throughout the world. Saudi princes have supported radical Islamic clerics who have indoctrinated their followers to pursue jihad against the non-Islamic world. Saudi money stands behind most of the radical Islamic groups in the non-Islamic world that have in turn financed terrorist groups like Hamas and al-Qaida and have insulated radical Islam from scrutiny by Western governments and academics. Indeed, Saudi money stands behind the silence of critics of jihadist Islam in universities throughout the Western world.

As Mitchell Bard documented in his 2011 book, The Arab Lobby, any power pro-Israel forces in Washington, DC, have developed pales in comparison to the power of Arab forces, led by the Saudi government. Saudi government spending on lobbyists in Washington far outstrips that of any other nation. According to Justice Department disclosures from earlier this year, since 2015, Saudi Arabia vastly increased its spending on influence peddling. According to a report by The Intercept, “Since 2015, the Kingdom has expanded the number of foreign agents on retainer to 145, up from 25 registered agents during the previous two-year period.”

Saudi lobbyists shielded the kingdom from serious criticism after 15 of the 19 September 11 hijackers were shown to be Saudi nationals. They blocked a reconsideration of the US’s strategic alliance with Saudi Arabia after the attacks and in subsequent years, even as it was revealed that Princess Haifa, wife of Prince Bandar, the Saudi ambassador to Washington at the time the September 11 attacks occurred, had financially supported two of the hijackers in the months that preceded the attacks.
The US position on Saudi Arabia cooled demonstrably during the Obama administration. This cooling was not due to a newfound concern over Saudi financial support for radical Islam in the US. To the contrary, the Obama administration was friendlier to Islamists than any previous administration. Consider the Obama administration’s placement of Muslim Brotherhood supporters in key positions in the federal government. For instance, in 2010, then secretary for Homeland Security Janet Napolitano appointed Mohamed Elibiary to the department’s Homeland Security Advisory Board. Elibiary had a long, open record of support both for the Muslim Brotherhood and for the Iranian regime. In his position he was instrumental in purging discussion of Islam and Jihad from instruction materials used by the US military, law enforcement and intelligence agencies. The Obama administration’s cold relations with the Saudi regime owed to its pronounced desire to ditch the US’s traditional alliance with the Saudis, the Egyptians and the US’s other traditional Sunni allies in favor of an alliance with the Iranian regime.

During the same period, the Muslim Brotherhood’s close ties to the Iranian regime became increasingly obvious. Among other indicators, Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated president Mohamed Morsi hosted Iranian leaders in Cairo and was poised to renew Egypt’s diplomatic ties with Iran before he was overthrown by the military in July 2013. Morsi permitted Iranian warships to traverse the Suez Canal for the first time in decades.

Saudi Arabia joined Egypt and the United Arab Emirates in designating the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group in 2014.

It was also during this period that the Saudis began warming their attitude toward Israel. Through Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, and due to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s leading role in opposing Iran’s nuclear program and its rising power in the Middle East, the Saudis began changing their positions on Israel.

Netanyahu’s long-time foreign policy adviser, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs president Dr. Dore Gold, who authored the 2003 bestseller Hatred’s Kingdom: How Saudi Arabia Supports the New Global Terrorism which exposed Saudi Arabia’s role in promoting jihadist Islam, spearheaded a process of developing Israel’s security and diplomatic ties with Riyadh. Those ties, which are based on shared opposition to Iran’s regional empowerment, led to the surprising emergence of a working alliance between Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE with Israel during Israel’s 2014 war with Hamas – the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood.

It is in the context of Saudi Arabia’s reassessment of its interests and realignment of strategic posture in recent years that the dramatic events of the past few days in the kingdom must be seen.

Saturday’s sudden announcement that a new anti-corruption panel headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and the near simultaneous announcement of the arrest of more than two dozen royal family members, cabinet ministers and prominent businessmen is predominantly being presented as a power seizure by the crown prince. Amid widespread rumors that King Salman will soon abdicate the throne to his son, it is reasonable for the 32-year-old crown prince to work to neutralize all power centers that could threaten his ascension to the throne.

But there is clearly also something strategically more significant going on. While many of the officials arrested over the weekend threaten Mohammed’s power, they aren’t the only ones that he has purged. In September Mohammed arrested some 30 senior Wahhabist clerics and intellectuals. And Saturday’s arrest of the princes, cabinet ministers and business leaders was followed up by further arrests of senior Wahhabist clerics.

At the same time, Mohammed has been promoting clerics who espouse tolerance for other religions, including Judaism and Christianity. He has removed the Saudi religious police’s power to conduct arrests and he has taken seemingly credible steps to finally lift the kingdom-wide prohibition on women driving.

At the same time, Mohammed has escalated the kingdom’s operations against Iran’s proxies in Yemen.

And of course, on Saturday, he staged the resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri amid Hariri’s allegations that Hezbollah and Iran were plotting his murder, much as they stood behind the 2005 assassination of his father, prime minister Rafiq Hariri.

There can be little doubt that there was coordination between the Saudi regime and the Trump administration regarding Saturday’s actions. The timing of the administration’s release last week of most of the files US special forces seized during their 2011 raid of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan was likely not a coincidence.

The files, which the Obama administration refused to release, make clear that Obama’s two chief pretensions – that al-Qaida was a spent force by the time US forces killed bin Laden, and that Iran was interested in moderating its behavior were both untrue. The documents showed that al-Qaida’s operations remained a significant worldwide threat to US interests.

And perhaps more significantly, they showed that Iran was al-Qaida’s chief state sponsor. Much of al-Qaida’s leadership, including bin Laden’s sons, operated from Iran. The notion – touted by Obama and his administration – that Shi’ite Iranians and Sunni terrorists from al-Qaida and other groups were incapable of cooperating was demonstrated to be an utter fiction by the documents.

Their publication now, as Saudi Arabia takes more determined steps to slash its support for radical Islamists, and separate itself from Wahhabist Islam, draws a clear distinction between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Given Saudi Arabia’s record, and the kingdom’s 70-year alliance with Wahhabist clerics, it is hard to know whether Mohammed’s move signals an irrevocable breach between the House of Saud and the Wahhabists.

But the direction is clear. With Hariri’s removal from Lebanon, the lines between the forces of jihad and terrorism led by Iran, and the forces that oppose them are clearer than ever before. And the necessity of acting against the former and helping the latter has similarly never been more obvious.

Originally published by the Jerusalem Post


Where are the tears for Aleppo’s Christians and Jews?

250,000 Christians lived in Aleppo before the Sunni-Shiite Islamic civil war began. Today their numbers have fallen to 40,000.

There were no worldwide protests over this ethnic cleansing of Christians from Aleppo as there are over the fall of the Sunni Islamic state whose Jihadis are euphemistically described as rebels. There were no photos of crying Christian children blanketing every media outlet. But today you can hardly open a newspaper without seeing a teary Sunni Muslim kid allegedly being evacuated from Aleppo.

Given a chance, the weeping Sunni Muslims did to their Christian neighbors in Aleppo what they had done to them back during the Aleppo Massacre a hundred years ago when they were upset that the decline of Islamic Sharia power led to Christians gaining some civil rights. The Jewish population of Aleppo, which had once made up 5% of the city, had already been wiped out in the 1947 Muslim riots.

The last Jewish family was evacuated from Aleppo to escape the Sunni Jihadis two years ago.

The destruction of the Jewish and Christian communities of Aleppo happened without a fraction of the hysterical tumult over the defeat of the Sunni Jihadis and their fellow Muslim religious dependents.

“Aleppo will join the ranks of those events in world history that define modern evil, that stain our conscience decades later,” Samantha Power declared at the United Nations.

Why doesn’t the ethnic cleansing of 210,000 Christians stain Power’s conscience? Or the church bombings by Islamists in Egypt, the stabbings of Jewish women in Israel and the Boko Haram genocide of Christians in Nigeria? True modern evil is the righteous conviction of liberals that only Muslim lives matter and that their Christian, Jewish and other non-Muslim victims somehow have it coming.

The fall of the Sunni theocracy is denounced as an outrage that will stain the conscience of the world. Journalists have taken a break from their ski vacations to lecture us on how we should have done something. That “something” being the thing they didn’t want us to do in Iraq, where Saddam Hussein had butchered hundreds of thousands, but that is somehow now a moral imperative in Syria.

Why do the Sunni Muslims of Aleppo matter while the ethnically cleansed Christians of Aleppo don’t? And why was removing Saddam Hussein, a Sunni, a crime that liberals still howl about while removing Assad, an Alawite Shiite, is a moral imperative? Because the “righteousness” axis of our foreign policy is controlled by the Sunni Muslim Brotherhood, the Sunni Saudis and the rest of their Sunni Gulfie ilk.

The Muslim Brotherhood set our agenda for the Arab Spring. It’s why our government and our human rights organization backed the popular overthrow of Mubarak, but fought the popular overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Morsi. Kenneth Roth, the head of Human Rights Watch, an organization which despite its name has solicited money from the Saudis, the sugar daddies of the Sunni Jihad, sneers at Copts for supporting the “persecution” of the Muslim Brotherhood. That’s not just Orwellian. It’s evil.

The outrage over Aleppo is a surreal partnership between Islamist butchers and their left-wing enablers.

“Are you truly incapable of shame?” Samantha Power demanded of Syria, Russia and Iran at the UN.

It goes without saying that three brutal dictatorships whose crimes run the gamut from raping teenage girls so that they won’t die as virgins and be allowed into Islamic paradise to radioactive poisonings of its political opponents have nothing that resembles shame or conscience.

But where is Samantha Power’s shame? The Iranian advance in Aleppo is funded by illegal cash shipments that Obama put on unmarked cargo planes and delivered to Iran’s Shiite Jihadists. Iran’s military budget increased 39% thanks to Obama’s cargo pallets full of Swiss Francs and Euros.

The barrel bombs that Power so angrily condemns were bought and paid for by her own boss. They were enabled by every American liberal who switched from defending the proposed Iranian nuclear genocide of millions of Jews to bewailing the Iranian attack on the Muslim Brotherhood in Aleppo.

Where is their shame? Is the American leftist even capable of shame anymore?

Obama’s inaction in Syria wasn’t caused by any philosophical struggle over the limits of intervention, as his media lackeys would have us to believe. The truth is uglier, simpler and more outrageous.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner couldn’t make up his mind if he wanted to back the Sunni or Shiite Islamists. Russia, which went all in on the Shiites, won. Obama tried to play both Islamist sides, funneling arms to the Sunni Jihadists in Syria and cash pallets to the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution in Iran. He backed the Shiite regime in Baghdad over the Sunnis in Iraq. But he aided the Sunni Jihadis in Syria over the Shiite government in Damascus. Yet he was afraid to go all in for fear of trashing the Iran nuke sellout that even he admits will create a Shiite bomb in a little over a decade.

All the noise over Aleppo doesn’t testify to an atrocity, but to the enormous power of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Saudi lobby to control not only our politicians, but our national narratives.

There is no doubt that the Shiite Jihadist gangs will extract their blood price from Sunnis in Aleppo, that money and gems will disappear, women will be raped and bodies will wind up in mass graves. But the death toll will fall far short of the hysterical rhetoric about Rwanda. And what will happen to Sunnis in Aleppo is the same thing that happened to Shiites when Sunni Jihadists seized a town or village.

There are no good guys in an Islamic civil war. Both sides operate by Mohammed’s ancient Islamic rules that treat the property and women of conquered populations as the rightful loot of the attackers. The atrocities of Shiites and Sunnis, Iranians and Alawites, ISIS, Al-Nusra and the countless Sunni bands are not aberrations from civilized norms, they are the entire horrid purpose of this Islamic conflict.

There are no innocent victims in an Islamic civil war because neither side believes in anything except demonstrating the Allahu Akbaring supremacy of their religious doctrine by subjugating the other.

Beheading captives, raping their wives and looting their belongings was how Islamic Jihadis, dating back to Mohammed, knew that Allah was on their side and favored their murderous cause.

The Jewish population of the Middle East now exists almost entirely in Israel, protected by guns wielded, as often as not, by the descendants of Jewish refugees from Islamic oppression in Syria, Egypt, Iraq and Iran. The Christian population, lacking an independent state of its own, continues to dwindle, dependent on the shaky goodwill of dictators like Mubarak or Assad who find them temporarily useful.

There is no future for non-Muslims in the Muslim world. Christians and Jews in the Middle East first achieved civil rights when European powers gained sway over the region. As Muslim migrants swarm into Europe, Jews and Christians now face Muslim persecution in France, Sweden and Germany.

But the media is far less interested in the tears on the face of 8-year-old Miriam Monsonego in Toulouse when a Muslim terrorist grabbed her by the hair, put a gun to her head in the schoolyard where she had been playing moments ago and pulled the trigger. The gun jammed. He switched guns and shot her. Then, as she lay bleeding, he lifted up her little head and shot the dying Jewish girl two more times.

Muslims in France consider the Muslim terrorist who did this a hero. A child was even named after him.

The Sunni Muslim Jihadis fleeing Aleppo like rats are the same breed of Allah’s killers as the murderer of a little girl in Toulouse, as the hijackers of September 11, as the San Bernardino shooters, the Boston Marathon bombers, the Benghazi militias, the rapists of Yazidi girls and the bombers of Coptic churches.

They are human predators that have nothing that resembles a conscience as we understand it. Their religious doctrine has taught them that preying on non-Muslims and the wrong kind of Muslims is their duty. They believe that their rapes and murders are proof that they love Allah and Allah loves them.

It is as impossible for us to coexist with Islamic supremacists as it was for the Christians and Jews of Aleppo. You can share a room with a tiger, but eventually the tiger will try to eat you.

Aleppo is a tragedy, but not because of the hypocritical theater of lies that the media has put on for us. The tragedy of Aleppo isn’t that of the Sunni Jihadis who failed to conquer the city and complete their ethnic cleansing of the last Christians living there, but of the endless war of Islam against non-Muslims.

And of the collaboration of those who call themselves liberals in that war against human civilization.

Aleppo was once a great center of civilization. Under Islam, it became a sad remnant of its former past. Whoever wins in Aleppo, it is a victory for Islamist triumphalism and a defeat for human civilization.

The bigger question is not who wins in Aleppo, but who will win in Paris, Brussels and Rome.

Originally published on FrontPageMag.