by Ahmed Khan,
Last Friday, President Trump delivered on one of his most controversial campaign pledges by banning citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States. He claims that the ban will protect America from terrorists. Yet, shockingly, the ban doesn’t include citizens of arguably the world’s largest exporter of “Islamic” terror—the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, home of 15 of the 9/11 hijackers and global financier of the extremist Wahhabi sect of Islam.
Why isn’t the Kingdom on the list? The reason is as simple as it is disturbing: Saudi leaders have helped the president and his friends make billions. Now, thanks to Trump, a Syrian widow and her children, running for their lives, will encounter a locked door in America — while a Saudi oil tycoon kicks back and relaxes at Trump Tower.
For decades, Saudis have spent billions to support schools, charities, mosques, and nonprofits that suppress pluralism and promote their corrupted, extremist form of Islam, which has done so much to defame the vast majority of peace-loving and tolerant Muslims, both here and around the world. In keeping with this mission, the Saudis have directly and indirectly financed the same Islamic terror organizations American troops have been fighting since the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993. As a 2002 Pentagon briefing put it: “The Saudis are active at every level of the terror chain, from planners to financiers, from cadre to foot-soldier, from ideologist to cheerleader.”
Worst of all, Western governments have been caught up in the Saudi export of violence from the very beginning. The British helped install the Saud family as the monarchs of Arabia after World War I, and the royal family surely wouldn’t still be ruling today if not for American military and political support. Once the California Arabian Standard Oil Company (today known as Aramco) struck oil in 1938, the Saudi rulers became our key economic, political, and military partner in the Middle East.
To protect this partnership, the Kingdom has purposefully expanded its financial ties to the United States over the years. Riyadh has invested $750 billion in the U.S. economy, including many placements in bedrock Wall Street funds and U.S. securities. Saudi Arabia is now the world’s largest purchaser of U.S.-manufactured arms. And just last June the Kingdom made news by investing $3.5 billion in Uber, the largest investment ever made in a privately held company.
The list of Wall Street banks, private equity firms, and hedge funds with extensive fundraising operations in Saudi Arabia reads like a “Who’s Who” of American business, including major firms from Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley to Blackstone and BlackRock. All these corporations are unwittingly helping to fund Saudi Arabia’s expansion of extremism. Read full in NM