On todays anniversary of the 911 attacks, the Money Jihad blog has posted an article titled “Revisiting the Golden Chain, 11 years later” which looks at Sulaiman Al-Rajhi, the Saudi founder of the Al-Rajhi Bank and identified in the “Golden Chain” document as a key funder of Al Qaeda. The report begins:
It was the 1990s. Osama bin Laden was broke, busted, and disgusted. Al Qaeda had spent its last dime, and Osama needed a bailout. Sulaiman Al-Rajhi and 19 other millionaire and billionaire Muslims came to the rescue. They constituted a ‘golden chain’ of financial backers that would enable a second life for Al Qaeda in Afghanistan from which to stage the terrorist attacks of 9/11. The U.S. Senate presented the evidence against the Golden Chain once again this summer in its report about the misdeeds of the British bank HSBC. HSBC maintained a relationship with Al-Rajhi Bank, of which Sulaiman Al-Rajhi was a founder, until 2005 despite the earlier discovery of the Golden Chain and Al-Rajhi Bank’s record of facilitating terrorist transactions. Don’t take my word for it. This comes from the Senate’s Jul. 17, 2012, report:
Al Qaeda List of Financial Benefactors. The al Qaeda list of financial benefactors came to light in March 2002, after a search of the Bosnian offices of the Benevolence International Foundation, a Saudi based nonprofit organization which was also designated a terrorist organization by the Treasury Department, led to seizure of a CD-ROM and computer hard drive with numerous al Qaeda documents
Read the rest here.
A post from August reported on a U.S. Senate investigation into the London-based HSBC banking and financial services conglomerate that found serious issues with the firms anti-money laundering compliance department including supplying currency to Saudi Arabia’s Al Rajah Bank, which, the report said, has links to financing terrorism.
The now-defunct SAAR Foundation was a Northern Virginia Islamic charity that was thought to have been funded largely by the Al Rajhi family and received substantial attention in 2002 when many of the organizations linked to SAAR were raided by federal authorities in a terrorism investigation. In July 2007, a post reported that the Wall Street Journal had gained access to new intelligence documents detailing the how the Saudi Al Rajhi Bank had maintained accounts and accepted donations for Saudi charities designated as Al Qaeda terrorists fronts:
The U.S. intelligence reports, heretofore secret, describe how Al Rajhi Bank has maintained accounts and accepted donations for Saudi charities that the U.S. and other nations have formally designated as fronts for al Qaeda or other terrorist groups. In addition, Mr. Al Rajhi and family members have been major donors to Islamic charities that are suspected by Western intelligence agencies of funding terrorism, according to CIA reports and federal-court filings by the Justice Department. A 2003 CIA report claims that a year after Sept. 11, with a spotlight on Islamic charities, Mr. Al Rajhi ordered Al Rajhi Bank’s board “to explore financial instruments that would allow the bank’s charitable contributions to avoid official Saudi scrutiny.” A few weeks earlier, the report says, Mr. Al Rajhi “transferred $1.1 billion to offshore accounts — using commodity swaps and two Lebanese banks — citing a concern that U.S. and Saudi authorities might freeze his assets.” The report was titled “Al Rajhi Bank: Conduit for Extremist Finance.”
As detailed by a Hudson Institute report, the SAAR Foundation was intimately related to the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), a part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood.