Sunday, 15 November 2015

Saudi blowback from ISIS‏

Letter sent to Independent, 15 November 2015:
I have consumed hours of broadcast media, newspaper articles and internet reportage since the terrorist atrocity in Paris on Friday night: yet not one media outlet, aside from the blog by Channel Four News presenter Jon Snow, ("Paris attacks: Middle East’s wars arrive in Europe,"
has addressed the crucial role of our “ally” Saudi Arabia in both funding and supporting ISIS terrorists.

Fifteen months ago your middle east editor, Patrick Cockburn, wrote an important analytical article revealing how Sir Richard Dearlove, former head of the MI6 spy agency, from 1999 to 2004, in a speech at the at the Royal United Services Institute in early July last year, asserted that Saudi Arabia is involved in the Isis-led Sunni rebellion in northern Syria andIIraq.

Cockburn observed that this revelation “ has attracted surprisingly little attention. : This remains the case. Dearlove, reported Cockburn “does not doubt that substantial and sustained funding from private donors in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, to which the authorities may have turned a blind eye, has played a central role in the Isis surge into Sunni areas of Iraq.

He further asserted: "Such things simply do not happen spontaneously."

(“Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country,” Independent

As Mohamad Bazzi  a journalism professor at New York University (and a former Middle East bureau chief at Newsday), explained carefully  in New Yorker magazine, on 29 June this year:  

"Saudi Arabia is built on an alliance between the Saud tribe, Bedouins from the Najd highlands of central Arabia, and clerics who espouse Wahhabism. The Wahhabis seek to return the religion to what they believe was its “pure” form, as practiced by the Prophet Muhammad and his followers in seventh-century Arabia. Many of the practices that the movement’s founder, an eighteenth-century preacher named Muhammad bin Abd al-Wahhab, banned were associated with Sufism and Shiism, two forms of Islam he particularly abhorred."

(ISIS, Saudi Arabia, and A New Wave of Terrorist Violence
A detailed  article on ISIS last summer included the following interesting observation: “ the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, told reporters on 24 August  [2014], on his way to Afghanistan, that he believes ISIS is more of a regional threat, and is not currently plotting attacks against the U.S. or Europe.”
(ISIS: Saudi-Qatari-Funded Wahhabi Terrorists Worldwide,“ 28 August 2014
What we have seen in Paris is a classic “blowback” from Saudi Arabia’s most important arms providers - US, UK and France- afraid to publicly demand Sunni Saudi Arabia stop supporting the ISIS fanatics, in their medievalist war against Iran dominated Shiites.

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