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Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Saudi Links to Terrorism are 'Poison for the International Community'


Rather than being a key US ally, Saudi Arabia should be added to Washington's list of state sponsors of terrorism, Alex Bernstein, a Republican candidate who is seeking election to the US Congress next year, told Radio Sputnik.

The influence that Saudi Arabia wields in the US economy and media prevents Riyadh from being held to account for supporting Islamic terrorism, Alex Bernstein, a political newcomer who is running in the 2016 election for the US House to represent the 3rd Congressional District of Colorado, told Radio Sputnik.

"Up until 2011, Seymour Hersh reports, the Saudi government itself was directly funding Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, and there's also evidence that there was a plan to shoot down Air Force One from its embassy in Washington with a Stinger missile," Bernstein said.

"If we're ever going to seriously solve this problem of Islamic terror I think we have to focus on Saudi Arabia."

Bernstein recommends that Saudi Arabia be added to the US list of state sponsors of terrorism, and the property of Saudi officials in the US should be frozen if they are found to have any ties to terrorists.

In addition, the US should reduce commercial ties with Saudi Arabia, which is preventing the US government and media from effectively investigating Riyadh's role in terrorism.
"Saudi Arabian officials have huge stakes in major American companies like NewsCorp, which is Fox News, (and) CNN, which is owned by Time Warner. They have huge stakes in Apple and Citibank and they're partners with Bill Gates in the Four Seasons (hotels management company), an iconic hotel in New York, the Plaza, has their awning."

Bernstein said that Saudi Arabia has evaded official scrutiny into its links with terrorists and distribution of extremist Sunni Islamic ideology thanks to its generous sponsorship of powerful Washington DC lobbying firms.

"It's because of their stakes in media companies, which is how we get our news in America, it's their stakes in the major law firms and lobbying firms, it's their very close relationship with huge military contractors," he explained.

"It's just one of those classic examples of big money controlling our economic system."

The next US government should give the Saudi government a period of six months to a year to stop supporting terrorism and extremism, but if things don't change then Washington should take decisive action, he said.

"If we're going to pick a fight with anybody in the Middle East it seems like that is the country to pick the fight with, until they change their behavior."

"I'm not even talking about their atrocious human rights record … I'm just talking about our direct national security interests, that they fund groups which in turn kill us and innocent Westerners and people all over the world. This is a poison for the international community, it's not just the United States."

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