Commentary Magazine


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Fuel for Terrorism

The New York Times ran a long, interesting article on Sunday detailing how Iraqi insurgents manage to siphon off oil from the Baiji refinery in order to fuel their terrorism. What caught my eye in particular was this sentence ,which describes other sources of funding for the extremists:

A military official familiar with studies on the insurgency estimated that half of the insurgency’s money came from outside Iraq, mainly from people in Saudi Arabia, a flow that does not appear to have decreased in recent years.

The Saudi government has made a big show of cracking down on Islamic extremists, as I got to see first-hand when I visited the kingdom in the fall. But while the Saudis have undoubtedly been effective in moving against Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula–the terrorist group which most directly threatens Riyadh–it appears they have been less willing and/or less effective in stopping the flow of support from Saudi Arabia to other terrorists groups. Assuming that the New York Times is right, this is further evidence that the Saudis still aren’t doing enough to crack down on terror finances.