Oil-rich Saudi Arabia chief foreign promoter of Islamist extremism in UK, claims report

Critics have suggested it could make uncomfortable reading for the government, which has close and long-standing diplomatic, security and economic links with the Gulf, particularly Saudi Arabia. 

By: PTI | London | Updated: July 5, 2017 6:03 pm
Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia islamic extremism, Saudi Islamic terror, Saudi Arabia UK terrorism, Saudi Arabia UK terror, Saudi Arabia news, World News Women pay their respects following a vigil in central Manchester. (Source: Reuters)

Oil-rich Saudi Arabia is the chief foreign promoter of Islamist extremism in the UK, a new report has claimed, asserting that a “clear and growing link” can be drawn between overseas money and the recent wave of attacks in Britain and Europe. The Henry Jackson Society, a foreign affairs think-tank, called for a public inquiry into the role of Saudi Arabia and other Gulf nations, BBC reported. The think-tank said there was a “clear and growing link” between Islamist organisations in receipt of overseas funds, hate preachers and Jihadist groups promoting violence.

However, the UK’s Saudi Arabian embassy says the claims are “categorically false”. Ministers are under pressure to publish a report on UK- based Islamist groups. The Home Office report into the existence and influence of Jihadist organisations, commissioned by former Prime Minister David Cameron in 2015, has reportedly yet to be completed amid questions as to whether it will ever be published.

Critics have suggested it could make uncomfortable reading for the government, which has close and long-standing diplomatic, security and economic links with the Gulf, particularly Saudi Arabia. Today’s report says a number of Gulf nations, as well as Iran, are providing financial support to mosques and Islamic educational institutions which have played host to extremist preachers and been linked to the spread of extremist material.

At the top of the list, the report claims, is Saudi Arabia. It alleges individuals and foundations have been heavily involved in exporting what it calls “an illiberal, bigoted Wahhabi ideology”, quoting a number of examples.

In a minority of cases, the report alleges institutions in the UK that receive Saudi funding are run directly from Saudi Arabia, although in most instances the money appears to “simply buy foreign donors’ influence”.

In a statement, the Saudi embassy here said any accusations that the Kingdom had radicalised “a small number of individuals are baseless and lack credible evidence”. And it pointed out that the country has itself been subject to numerous attacks by al-Qaeda and so-called Islamic State.

It added: “We do not and will not condone the actions or ideology of violent extremism and we will not rest until these deviants and their organisations are destroyed.” The report’s release comes at a time when Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt are all accusing Qatar of supporting extremism – a charge the report says is hypocritical. Arab foreign ministers are meeting in Cairo to discuss possible further sanctions on Qatar, while the Qatari foreign minister will be making his own country’s case at a press conference in London.

Endorsing the report, Labour MP Dan Jarvis said it shed light on “very worrying” links between Saudi Arabia and the funding of extremism and he called for the government to release its report on foreign funding.

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    Chandran
    Jul 6, 2017 at 6:48 am
    Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are two promoters of Sunni Wahabis, an intolerant version of Islam. They do it secretly through several charity organisations. The early world realises it the better for the world.
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      Anand Ch
      Jul 6, 2017 at 6:21 am
      It doesn't require rocket science to decode terrorism. There are power hungry groups which will try to exert any type of influence to attain their wish list. World knows about it but for various religious, economical and political reasons they preferred to close their eyes. Or else why any country in the world will have relations with countries like Pakistan, Iran and Saudi ? ?
      Reply
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        Sudhakar
        Jul 5, 2017 at 10:38 pm
        Ah... First time Western agency acknowledged this. Even though it was an open secret for decades. Seems soon change in policy coming. The Europeans kept thier eyes closed when Africa and Asian countries were burning. Why now when the fire reached Europe they woke up. Did they thought it will never cross Mediterranean Sea.
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          sundaram
          Jul 5, 2017 at 9:51 pm
          It is a fact as the report points out, Oil-rich Saudi Arabia is promoting Islamist extremism through Imams who preach and sermonise hatred and violence during prayer meeting at the Misque. Saudi Arabia finances Kashmiri Separatist and Imams through out the world are financed to promote Wahabi Movement which is has laid out cruel practices and basically want to eliminate by killing all Religious Prac ioners other than Sunni Islam.
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            Sunny
            Jul 6, 2017 at 1:54 am
            "GOD IS GREAT" "GOD IS GREAT" kill the Jews, Kill the Christians."GOD IS GREAT" Kill the Hindus, Kill the Kurds,"GOD IS GREAT "GOD IS GREAT .Kill for Honour, kill for fun, kill just for the heck of it."GOD IS GREAT.I have realised that there is no GOD, but there sure is the DEVIL.
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            VT
            Jul 5, 2017 at 9:27 pm
            That has a lesson of India. W should ensure no religious ins ution is funded externally.
            Reply
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              Ravishanker Verma
              Jul 5, 2017 at 9:13 pm
              Similar apprehensions were earlier expressed by Indian think tanks but they were rebuffed by foreign counterparts specially those belonging to UK.Now the fact that UK and rest of Europe are facing similar situations ,we are seeing this type of reports .Anyway its not too late if they start taking corrective measures to curtail these fundings.
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                SL DUA
                Jul 5, 2017 at 8:58 pm
                Saudi Arabia is the Mother of all Islamic Terrorism in this world. This has never been a secret. But Western countries have ignored it as they have been using Saudi sponsored terrorist to serve their own strategic interests. Al Qaeda, later its faction declared itself ISIL/ISIS was the creation of a TEAM of Saudi Arabia, USA and Pakistan. Saudis Money, US weapons and Pakistan's non-state trained manpower, that is what ISIS is.
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                  Namasivayam Chokkalingam
                  Jul 5, 2017 at 8:49 pm
                  The news about terrorism-sponsors is very much stale. The surprise is that the BBC, more bigoted about Islam than even the ISIS, should air this!
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