Tag Archives: WikiLeaks

Saudis ‘chief funders of Sunni militants’

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned last year in a leaked classified memo that donors in Saudi Arabia were the “most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide”. She said it was “an ongoing challenge” to persuade Saudi officials to treat such activity as a strategic priority. The groups funded include al-Qaeda, the Taliban and Lashkar-e-Taiba, she added. The memo, released by Wikileaks, also criticised efforts to combat militants by the UAE, Qatar and Kuwait. Meanwhile, a lawyer for the founder of the Wikileaks website said he was holding back secret material for release* if anything happened to him. He told the BBC that a rape case being prepared in Sweden against Julian Assange, an Australian national, was politically motivated.

*File was released by WikiLeaks months ago which is heavily encrytped and was called “Insurance File”

Al-Qaeda, the Taliban and Lashkar-e-Taiba “probably raised millions of dollars” annually from Saudi sources, often during the Hajj – and the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, she alleged. Mrs Clinton said reforms to criminalise terrorist financing and restrict the overseas flow of funds from Saudi-based charities had been effective, but that they did not cover equally suspect “multilateral organisations”. Another cable alleges that the Pakistani charity Jamaat-ud-Dawa, which has been accused of being a front for Lashkar-e-Taiba, used a Saudi-based front company to fund its activities in 2005. Leaked US diplomatic cable  The US embassy in Riyadh said in February that the Saudi authorities remained “almost completely dependent on the CIA” for information.

 SECRET SECTION 01 of 03 RIYADH 000182



E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/10/2020

Ref: KABUL 500

RIYADH 00000182 001.2 of 003

Classified By: Ambassador James B. Smith for reasons 1.4 (B) and (D)

1. (C) Ambassador Holbrooke, Embassy Riyadh warmly welcomes
you to Saudi Arabia, which, by virtue of its historical and
cultural ties to Central Asia; personal relationships between
Saudi, Afghani and Pakistani leaders; financial power; and
leadership of the Muslim world, can play a central role in
implementing the President’s strategy for Afghanistan and
Pakistan. Your visit comes at a time of great potential but
great uncertainty: the Saudi-Afghan relationship appears to
be warming up, while the traditionally close Saudi-Pakistani
relationship has grown increasingly strained. The Saudis are
broadly supportive of our approach to Afghanistan and
Pakistan, but occasionally express skepticism about our
timing or our approach. Your visit provides an opportunity
to mine the Saudis’ wealth of experience in dealing with
Afghanistan, Pakistan, and extremism, and further explore
ways to translate our shared goals into action in the unique
Saudi context. We have requested meetings with GIP Director
Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz, Assistant Interior Minister
Prince Mohammed bin Nayif, and Prince Turki Al-Faisal during
your visit.

February 2-3 visit to the Kingdom, although richer in
symbolism than substance, was a sign that lukewarm
Saudi-Afghan relations may finally be warming up. In his
official statement at the London Conference, FM Saud
announced a $150 million pledge of additional financial
support for Afghan reconstruction. He expressed broad Saudi
support for reconciliation, adding that they would be willing
to assist at the request of President Karzai– on the
condition that the Taliban sever its relationship with
Al-Qaeda and cease providing refuge to its leaders. While
not as forward leaning as we may have liked, FM Saud’s
statement put the Saudis on the record and created an
opportunity to put reconciliation talks back in
motion–eventually. Saudi participation at the Turkish-led
regional conference on Afghanistan on January 26 was further
evidence of the Saudi commitment to engagement. Karzai’s
visit showed that the King was ready to deal with Karzai as a
legitimate, Muslim head of state. However, the Saudis
continue to have concerns about Afghan corruption and believe
greater political incorporation of the Pashtun community is
essential. Their apparent wish to downplay Karzai’s
visit–as compared to the Afghans (reftel)–may also indicate
the King’s desire to keep some distance and maintain his
credibility as a potential reconciliation mediator.

3. (s/nf) but mediation not ready for prime time:
Privately, the Saudis tell us it’s still “too soon” to be
publicly discussing technical and financial aspects of
reintegration efforts. GIP Director Prince Muqrin has made
clear that his marching orders are to work through
intelligence channels only until progress becomes
sustainable, at which point foreign ministries will be
brought in. In a recent meeting with the Ambassador, Prince
Muqrin hinted at but did not provide details about what
appears to be significant movement on the Saudi mediation
effort, with visits by high-level Taliban and Afghan
officials, since the Hajj. We surmise that Muqrin is
reluctant to share information because the talks remain
delicate and he fears U.S. involvement could derail progress.
He has also voiced concern about how to address UNSCR 1267
prohibitions on dealing with various Taliban members.

generally agree that there is a need to deny terrorists
safehavens in Pakistan, but question whether the methods we
have outlined will be effective. Despite tense relations
with the Zardari government, close military and intelligence
cooperation continues between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. The
Saudis believe opposition leader Nawaz Sharif can play a
“great role” in working with tribal chiefs and that “money is
better than bullets” in the fight against the Taliban. They
have started to fulfill their pledge from the Tokyo donor,s
conference (over half of the $700 million pledged has been
disbursed) and have expressed a willingness to continue with
financial support for a stable Pakistan. Saudi interlocutors
stress the importance of remembering that Pakistan remains

Riyadh 00000182 002.2 of 003

pre-occupied with issues on its Indian border, coloring its
ability to deal with the Taliban.

5. (C) IN THE ARMY WE TRUST: The tumultuous democratic
process in Pakistan makes the Saudis nervous, and they appear
to be looking for “another Musharraf”: a strong, forceful
leader they know they can trust. In his January meeting with
General Jones, the King cited President Zardari as an
impediment to denying terrorist safehavens, calling him an
“obstacle” and “a rotten head” that was infecting the whole
body. He maintained that the Pakistani Army was capable of
being a strong partner for the U.S., and opined that U.S.
development assistance would rebuild trust. He asserted that
that the Army was staying out of Pakistani politics in
deference to U.S. wishes, rather than doing what it “should.”
FM Saud told General Jones that we must reach out to tribal
leaders and separate “those we could work with” from “those
we must fight.” He believed that using the military to fight
extremists posed certain dangers, and that the credibility of
the army must be maintained. The Saudis were pushing
Pakistan’s civilian leaders to work together, but “compromise
seemed alien to Pakistani politicians.”

6. (C) TURKI’S TAKE: During a recent meeting with
Ambassador, former GIP Director Prince Turki Al-Faisal called
Afghanistan a “puzzle,” where establishing trust with Afghan
leaders, and recognizing the links between Pakistan and the
Taliban, were keys to success. All financial aid to the
Afghan government should be conditional: benchmarks must be
set for the leadership, and aid must be withheld until these
are met. Recent Saudi efforts to assist in Taliban mediation
had failed, he said, when “both sides fell short.” He
described the Taliban leadership as “fractured,” and
suggested the U.S. and NATO needed to target criminal
elements more vociferously and re-focus our attention on
capturing Osama Bin Laden and Ayman Al-Zawahiri. He
suggested Saudi Arabia, the U.S., China, Russia, Afghanistan
and Pakistan could join forces and share assets in order to
capture or kill bin Laden and Al-Zawahiri. This would break
the terrorists’ “aura of invincibility” and allow the U.S. to
“declare victory” and move on.

7. (S/NF) TERRORISM FINANCE: Terrorist funding emanating
from Saudi Arabia remains a serious concern. Over the last
year, however, Saudi Arabia has made important progress in
combating al-Qaida financing emanating from the country.
Sensitive reporting indicates that al-Qaida’s ability to
raise funds has deteriorated substantially, and that it is
now in its weakest state since 9/11. The Kingdom is also
cooperating more actively than at any previous point to
respond to terrorist financing concerns raised by the United
States, and to investigate and detain financial facilitators
of concern. Nonetheless, sustained engagement is required to
maintain the current momentum, particularly in providing the
Saudis with specific details and actionable information.
Your visit provides another opportunity to welcome the
progress Saudi Arabia has made, and reiterate the importance
that President Obama and the USG place on curtailing
fundraising activity by global terrorist groups in Saudi
Arabia, particularly those that undermine the stability of
Afghanistan and Pakistan.

the KSA stood reluctant to pursue Saudi donors who backed
groups that did not directly threaten the Kingdom, the Saudi
Ministry of Interior (MOI) has now demonstrated willingness
to take action, and has begun to detain individuals involved
in funding networks for groups such as Lashkar e-Tayyiba
(LeT), the Taliban, and in some cases even Hamas. xxxxxxxxxxxx
as donors in Saudi Arabia continue to
constitute a source of funding to Sunni extremist groups
worldwide. Available intelligence reflects that the Kingdom
remains an important fundraising locale-especially during the
Hajj and Ramadan-for the Taliban, LeT, and other terrorist
groups based in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The MOI remains
almost completely dependent on the CIA to provide analytic
support and direction for its counterterrorism operations. As
such, our success against terrorist financing in the Kingdom
remains directly tied to our ability to provide actionable
intelligence to our Saudi counterparts. In order to enhance
the USG’s ability to influence and direct Saudi efforts to

Riyadh 00000182 003.2 of 003
disrupt terrorist financing, in 2008 we stood up a Treasury
attach office in Embassy Riyadh. This office actively
contributes to the daily intelligence sharing process that
is led by CIA.

taken increasingly aggressive efforts to disrupt al-Qaida’s
access to funding from Saudi sources. An example of recent
progress by the KSA is the conviction of over 300 people for
involvement in terrorism, including some for providing
financial support. News reports suggest that appeals may be
opened to the media in order to enhance the deterrent effects
of such prosecutions. In addition, Assistant Interior
Minister for Security Affairs Mohammed bin Nayif stated that
the Ministry of the Interior (MOI) deliberately timed its
August 19, 2009 press release regarding the arrest of 44
terrorist supporters to deter potential donors from giving
money to suspected terrorist groups during Ramadan. Although
a great deal of work remains to be done, Mohammed bin Nayif
has given his commitment to work with the United States on
Taliban finance, and has said that the MOI will arrest
individuals involved in Saudi-based Taliban fundraising
activities – even if involved in the reconciliation process –
when provided with actionable intelligence.

expressed broad support for the President’s strategy on
Afghanistan and Pakistan, but often balk when asked to
designate an SRAP to coordinate policy with the USG and
others. In part, this reflects the centralized Saudi
decision-making process and the reality that issues related
to Afghanistan and Pakistan policy are not delegated, but
rather dealt with directly by the King and members of the
intelligence community. While the Saudis are hesitant to
delegate authority and tend to make only broad-based
commitments to high-profile, multilateral initiatives, they
appear ready, willing and eager to share their experiences
with us and identify greater opportunities for cooperation on
a bilateral basis. Your visit provides an opportunity to
further explore how we can best translate our shared goals
into action in the unique Saudi context.
Smith S E C R E T STATE 083026


EO 12958 DECL: 08/07/2019
REF: STATE 65044
Classified By: IO Assistant Secretary Esther Brimmer for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

1. (U) This is an action request. Please see paragraphs 4-6.


2. (SBU) In May 2009, legal representatives for 1267-listed entity Jamaat-ud-Dawah (identified by the UN 1267 Committee as an alias for Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, permanent reference number QE.L.118.05) and its leader, Muhammad Saeed (permanent reference number QI.S.263.08) petitioned on their clients behalf for delisting via the UN focal point. The focal point, which was established in the UN Secretariat pursuant to UNSCR 1730 to allow listed individuals/entities (or their representatives) to petition directly for de-listing, forwarded the de-listing request on behalf of JUD and Saeed for review to the USG (designating state) and to the Government of Pakistan (state of citizenship/residence/incorporation). The USG and GOP have had three months to review the de-listing petition. We have completed our review and plan to notify the UN focal point on August 25 of our opposition to de-listing. Before doing so, we would like to take this opportunity to: — share the results of our review of the de-listing petition for JUD and Muhammad Saeed with Pakistani officials; — seek GOP views on the request; — underscore our ongoing oncern over the threat posed by LeT/JUD and Saeed; — ask Pakistani officials to update us on actions taken to impose UN 1267 sanctions on LeT/JUD and Saeed.


3. (S) On December 10, 2008, the UN 1267 Committee took several actions related to the terrorist group Lashkar-e-Tayibba (LeT), including its listing of Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JUD) as an alias for LeT, as well as the listing of JUD’s leader, Muhammad Saeed. The Committee in 2005 added LeT to its Consolidated Listciting its affiliation with al-Qaida. The addition of the JUD alias, as well as the listing of Saeed, followed closely on the heels of the LeT-perpetrated attacks in Mumbai, India, in November 2008. Prior to the attacks, our request tolist JUD and Saeed were placed on hold by China at the behest of Pakistan. In spite of Pakistani acquiescence to the listings in December 2008, we continue tosee reporting indicating that JUD is still operating in multiple locations in Pakistan, and that the group continues to openly raise funds. It is unclear what,if any, steps the GOP has taken to freeze JUD’s assets or otherwise implement UN 1267 sanctions, which include an asset freeze, travel ban, and arms embargo.


4. (SBU) USUN is requested to inform the focal point on August 25, after both USUN and Islamabad have had a chance to inform Pakistani officials of our views,of our opposition to the de-listing request on behalf of JUD and Muhammad Saeed.In its communication to the focal point, USUN should refute the assertion in Saeed’s and his legal representatives claim in the focal point de-listing petition that “there are no grounds for placing Saeed and JUD on the Consolidated List and the material relied upon is incorrect and baseless” andnote that we stand by the information included in the statements of case we submitted (co-sponsored by the UK and France) to the UN 1267 Committee to add JUD and Saeed to the Consolidated List. USUN should further state that we haveseen no evidence of a change in circumstance warranting de-listing of JUD or Saeed.

5. (SBU) USUN and Embassy Islamabad should inform Pakistani officials in New York and Islamabad, respectively, of our opposition to the de-listing petitionfor JUD and Saeed. Action addressees may wish to draw upon the following points:
— We have reviewed the de-listing petition from attorneys on behalf of Jamaat-ud Dawa (JUD) and its leader Hafiz Saeed and will soon inform the UN 1267 Committee, via the UN focal point, of our opposition to de-listing.
— We first wanted to share our views with Pakistani officials, and to seek Pakistan’s view on the de-listing petition.
— As you are no doubt aware, we are deeply concerned about the threat posed byLeT/JUD, and reject Saeed’s and his legal representatives claim in the focal point de-listing petition that “there are no grounds for placing Saeed and JUDon the Consolidated List and the material relied upon is incorrect and baseless.”
— In fact, LeT and JUD stem from the same original organization, Markaz-ud-Dawawal-Irshad (MDI). When LeT was declared a terrorist organizationin Pakistan in 2002, MDI publicly divested itself of LeT at that time and renamed itself JUD. LeT transferred most of its assets and personnel to the newly formed JUD, ensuring its survival.
— We believe that LeT uses JUD facilities as a public front for its activitiesand shares offices, phone numbers, personnel and bank accounts. LeT’s old offices merely changed the name on the door.
— JUD’s budget, using funds from both witting and unwitting donors, is dedicated to social services and/or humanitarian relief but some is used to finance LeT operations.
— We are also aware that LeT and JUD share many senior leaders, including Hafiz Saeed, who according to information available to the USG, as of 2009 continued to control LeT and issue guidance to LeT members.
— We would like here your views on the status of LeT/JUD and Saeed, and wouldparticularly appreciate an update on steps Pakistan has taken or will take to implement UN 1267 sanctions on them.

6. (S/REL to Pakistan) Embassy Islamabad is also requested to share a non-paper, included below in paragraph 7, prepared by our intelligence community in February 2009 assessing JUD’s links to LeT. This non-paper, which was previously passed by former S/CT Coordinator Dell Daily to PakistaniAmbassador to the United States Husain Haqqani, provides more detailed information on our concerns about LeT/JUD and Saeed that underpin our view that their listing by the UN 1267 Committee was and remains appropriate.

(U//FOUO) Assessing Jamaat-ud-Dawa’s Links to Lashkar-e-Tayyiba
(S//REL) The Community assesses that LT, a Pakistan-based terrorist group, usesthe JUD name as an alias. JUD is a religious, educational, and humanitarian organization that the Community assesses provides cover and protection for LT’s militant activities in Pakistan. LT and JUD share many senior leaders; LT falls under the authority of JUD leader Hafiz Muhammad Saeed; and JUD supports and facilitates LT’s violent activities.  – LT and JUD stem from the same original organization*Markaz-ud-Dawawal-Irshad (MDI)*that was founded around 1986 and for which LT served as its armed, militant wing. MDI was renamed JUD in December 2001.  – LT was declared a terrorist organization in January 2002, and MDI publicly divested itself of the LT at that time. LT transferred most of its assets and personnel under the newly formed JUD.
(S//REL) The Community assesses that JUD relies heavily on private donations, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), madrassas, and businesses spread throughout South Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. Some of the money to finance LT operations is obtained by fraudulently redirecting donations intended for humanitarian work.
(S//REL) JUD and LT have branch offices with different names and have adopted anumber of aliases as a denial and deception tactic.


(C//REL) Various Names and Aliases
(S//REL) The Intelligence Community assesses that Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LT) and Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JUD) are part of the same organization, originally called Markaz-ud-Dawawal-Irshad (MDI), that was founded by Hafiz Muhammed Saeed and other faculty at the University of Engineering and Technology in Lahore in 1986.MDI was established with funding from donors in the Middle East and set up campsto prepare its personnel to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan.
MDI reorganized after the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan in 1989, creatingLT as its paramilitary wing to fight in the Indian-controlled districts of Jammu and Kashmir while MDI focused on religious and humanitarian activity. Saeed led both MDI and LT during the 1990s.

When the US declared LT a terrorist organization in December 2001, MDI reorganized*changing its name to JUD to draw a distinction between its charitable and educational work and LT’s militant activities*in an effort by MDI leaders to shield their fundraising and other activities from sanctions.Saeed publicly resigned from LT, telling the media that he had assumed the leadership of JUD. In mid-January 2002, LT was banned.
Islamabad “watchlisted” JUD in 2003, but the government has resisted pressure to take action against the group, particularly after JUD,s popular earthquake relief efforts in 2005 and 2006 in response to the October 2005 earthquake in Pakistan.
LT has used JUD facilities as a public front for its activities and, shared offices, phone numbers, leaders, and bank accounts. LT members identified themselves as JUD when in Pakistan and as LT when in Kashmir.
LT/JUD purportedly raises funds for the Palestinian people in response to Israel’s attacks on Gaza. The Community judges that as of January, JUD alsomay be operating under the alias Tehreek-e-Hurmat-e-Rasool. LT’s political affairs coordinator Khalid Waleed identified himself in late December as the chief organizer for a conference for Tehreek-e-Hurmat-e-Rasool, according to intelligence reporting. – On 6 February, the JUD held a Kashmir Solidarity Conference at which JUD renamed itself Tehreek-e-Azadi-e-Kashmir (TAK). At JUD,s first public protest since December, supporters used old JUD banners and chanted JUD slogans, but rallied under the name TAK to avoid arrest.

(U//FOUO) UN Links Jamaat-ud-Dawa to Terrorism
(S//REL) The United Nations (UN) banned Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JUD), and on 10 December, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee (the 1267 Committee) approved the addition of JUD as a new LT alias for targeted sanctions. This UN designation required all UN memberstates to freeze any assets this entity may have under the member states’ jurisdiction, Impose a travel ban, and implement an arms embargo against themas set out in paragraph 1 of UNSC Resolution 1822 of 2008.
(S//REL) The Community assesses that LT/JUD, in an attempt to evaderestrictions, has established branch offices with different names and adopteda number of aliases. One branch, Idara Khidmat-e-Khalq, is a publiclyacknowledged charitable arm of JUD and has its own web page with photos ofhospitals and ambulances. Other aliases include Paasbaan-e-Ahle-Hadith,Paasban-e-Kashmir, Al-Mansoorian, and Al-Nasaryeen. We assess that LT andLT-associated militants will continue to use aliases in order to circumventrestrictions on their movement and operations.

(U//FOUO) Financial Support
(S//REL) The Community assesses that JUD fundraising has relied heavily onprivate donations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), madrassas, andbusinesses spread throughout South Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. Some ofJUD’s budget, using funds raised both from witting donors and by fraud, isdedicated to social services or humanitarian relief projects, while some isused to finance LT operations.  – In December 2005, an official of IdaraKhidmat-e-Khalq forwarded JUD donation receipts to a probable LT front companyin Saudi Arabia where an LT finance official may have been closely associatedwith the general manager*possibly acting as a front for moving LT funds,according to intelligence reporting.  – Makki in 2002 frequently visited theMiddle East and viewed it as a main source of funding. To demonstrate resultsto donors, JUD would finance the cost of building a new school or upgradingfacilities at a madrassa, but would inflate the cost to siphon money to LT.
(S//REL) The Community lacks sufficient intelligence to determine if or howthe November Mumbai attacks have affected donations to JUD. Some donors maybe dissuaded from supporting JUD if they become aware that their funds may beused for additional terrorist attacks, whereas other donors may support LT’sattacks. As public and government scrutiny increases in the wake of the attacksand subsequent designation of JUD as an alias of LT by the UN, we assess thatJUD will rely more on covert fundraising efforts.
(U//FOUO) Leadership
(S//REL) The Community assesses that Saeed is the leader of LT and Lakvi isLT’s operations commander*and they continue to run the organization despitebeing detained for their role in the November Mumbai attacks. We also judgethat they have planned, directed, and executed LT attacks throughout South Asiaand likely have used some funds collected in the name of JUD’s charitableactivities to support multiple LT terrorist operations, including the NovemberMumbai attacks. The Community assesses that Saeed continues to lead bothorganizations. However, the Community is unable to assess to what extent senior JUD leaderssuch as Saeed are involved in specific terrorist operations or the level ofdetail to which they are knowledgeable about specific past and pending attacks.- As of mid-July Lakvi was responsible for the LT’s military operations budgetof PKR 365 million (approximately US $5.2 million) per year. He reportedly usedthe money to purchase all materials required for LT operations other than weapons and ammunition, according to a source claiming direct and ongoing access to LT leaders.


8. (U) Action addressees should report as soon as possible but no later than August 19 results of their demarche to Pakistani officials .

9. (U) Questions may be directed to IO/PSC (Erin Crowe, 202-736-7847). CLINTON