“Saudi Arabia is led by a Sunni monarchy, the same branch of Islam whose extremist elements make up the violent Islamic State,” wrote Boston Globe reporter Bryan Bender in a Sept. 5th article entitled, “U.S. Wants More from Suadis in Fight against Extremists.” Bender says, “Counterterrorism experts in the U.S. worry Saudi Arabia is not exerting enough influence to undermine the group’s terrorist acts, including the recent beheadings of two American journalists.”
Highlighting Rep. Stephen Lynch’s (D-MA) effort to declassify the 28 pages of the Congressional 9/11 report, Bender reports that Lynch “has proposed legislation to declassify still-secret U.S. intelligence information relating to Saudi support for the 9/11 hijackers,” and then quotes Lynch on the current terrorist threat.
Read H. Res. 428 here.
Representative Lynch, who heads the bipartisan Task Force on Terrorism and Proliferation Financing, says:
“I think the Saudis—and there are different elements within the Saudi leadership—have been promoting some of the Sunni factions that have been challenging Assad up in Syria. … I think the Saudis in some capacity have been supporting the Al Nusra Front financially. … There are probably a fair amount of Saudi citizens fighting for that group. Some of them went over to the Islamic State when they had success.”
Watch Rep. Lynch, Jones and Massie at their March 2014 Capitol Hill press conference on the classified 28 pages.
Bender quotes two well-known U.S. experts, former Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Chas Freeman, and retired Col. W. Patrick Lang, saying that Saudi Arabia should do more. Lang, the former head of the Middle East and South Asia section of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) says that “If you wish to really go after the Islamic State, a group of scholars can launch a campaign and denounce them for their view of Islam. You could attack this thing by undercutting its foundation.” Freeman says that the Saudis are the “only ones” that can counter the IS’ “ideological bent.”
But, “The Muslim leadership in Saudi Arabia would rather spend their time writing [religious edicts] on the color of women’s fingernail polish,” James B. Smith, the American Ambassador to Saudi Arabia from 2009 to 2013, told the Globe.
Rep. Lynch will participate with Reps Walter Jones (R-N.C.) and Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), and representatives of the 9/11 families, in a Tuesday, Sept. 9 press conference in 2360 Rayburn House Office Building, in support of their H. Res. 428 to declassify the secret 28 pages of the Joint Congressional Inquiry’s report on 9/11.