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A Saudi Turki in Miami By: Joe Kaufman
FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, July 28, 2006

In the war on terrorism, Saudi Arabia has played a dual role.  On the one hand, it has worked with the U.S. to shut down the terrorist charities that finance our enemies (albeit under pressure).  On the other, the country has funded the worldwide fanatical Islam that created our enemies, in the first place.   No one represents this Saudi bipolar politic more than the recently appointed Ambassador to the United States, Prince Turki Al-Faisal.  On July 13, 2006, Prince Turki ventured to Miami, Florida to explain the Saudi Kingdom’s unique relationship with America.  By the end of his visit, his and his country’s true colors would be exposed.

The ‘Stars and Stripes’ and the green Saudi national flag, complete with ‘Sword of Allah,’ stood side-by-side behind Prince Turki, as he waited for his lofty and laudatory invitation to the podium to end.  The event – a lecture in the Graham Center of Florida International University (FIU) – was one of many to introduce the Prince to the American public.  His goal was simple:  to emphasize the American-Saudi “partnership” for what he called “the betterment of humanity.”


Part of his speech dealt with Saudi and U.S. cooperation, with regards to fighting Communism.  It was within this discussion that Prince Turki brought up the subject of the mujahideen (holy warriors) of Afghanistan.


He stated: “Saudi Arabia stepped in quietly to provide anti-Communist movements with support, in countries that were falling rapidly into the pro-Soviet seal – in Zaire, in Somalia, in Angola and Nicaragua.  Most importantly, we both supported the mujahideen in Afghanistan during the 1980’s, contributing to the end of the Cold War.  Saudi Arabia places great value to the defeat of godless Communism.”


Turki, himself, played a major role in support of the mujahideen, most notably assisting that of Osama bin Laden, who at the time was one of the leaders of the militant group.  The mujahideen was a ragtag gang of pre-Al-Qaeda Muslim terror fighters who converged upon Afghanistan and Pakistan to repel the Soviets, who had just launched an invasion on their Muslim brethren’s Afghani land – considered to be a major infraction of Islamic law.


According to Richard Clarke, in his book Against All Enemies, Prince Turki, who was chief of Saudi intelligence at the time, “empowered” bin Laden “to recruit, move, train, and indoctrinate the Arab volunteers in Afghanistan.”  One fairly large report in New Yorker magazine, entitled ‘THE HOUSE OF BIN LADEN,’ stated that Prince Turki “had long-standing ties to bin Laden” and went as far as to describe bin Laden as a “Turki protégé.”


During Prince Turki’s Miami speech, the subject of Israel was brought up, as well.  When asked what Saudi Arabia’s current relationship is to Israel and ways in which Saudi Arabia can move the Israeli-Palestinian “peace process” forward, Turki proceeded to place blame on Israel for not accepting “peace” agreements that Saudi Arabia had offered in the past – agreements that most would describe as one-sided and untenable.


He stated: “Back in 1981 – this is more than 30 years ago – the late King Fahd proposed a peace plan that was introduced to the Arab Summit conference in Casablanca, in Morocco.  And the year after the introduction of that plan, in 1982, all the Arab countries accepted that peace plan, which would have led to peace between Israel and the Arab world… Unfortunately, the Israelis did not respond at that time.  On the contrary, they invaded Lebanon, and all of us know what happened from that time, when they invaded Lebanon.  In 2002, Kind Abdullah, who was then Crown Prince, at the Summit conference in Beirut, introduced the Abdullah peace plan, which also called for a two state solution and the return of all Arab territory to Palestine and Syria and Lebanon… And again, unfortunately, Israel not only did not respond, but they expressed their opposition to that plan.  So our relationship with Israel is nonexistent, at this moment.”


While Prince Turki’s relationship with Israel is “nonexistent,” the same cannot be said about his relationship with Hamas.  Just this last April, the Prince participated in an event sponsored by the Chicago chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).  In fact, the event was named after him – ‘PRINCE TURKEY BIN FAISAL VISITS CHICAGO.’  CAIR is the offspring of the Hamas front, Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP), a group that was co-founded by the number two leader in Hamas today, Mousa Abu Marzook, and which closed down after being found liable for the murder of an American boy, David Boim, during a Hamas terror operation in Israel.  Two other organizations that Marzook was involved in the founding of, the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF) and the United Association for Studies and Research (UASR), also had major ties to CAIR.


The event was held at the Mosque Foundation, located in the Chicago suburb of Bridgeview.  According to counter-terrorism expert Steven Emerson, in testimony he gave before the United States Senate Committee of Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, in July of 2005: “The Mosque Foundation (MF) is intimately linked to Hamas.  Hamas operatives Mohammad Salah and Mohammad Jarad attended the mosque, while IAP President Rafeeq Jaber has served as a Mosque Foundation officer.  Former IAP Chairman Sabri Samirah has also headed the Mosque Foundation.  And, the MF’s imam and registered agent, Jamal Said, served as the Treasurer of the Al Aqsa Educational Fund, an entity identified by the FBI as a Hamas charitable front.  [In photos of the April event, Turki is pictured sitting next to Said.]  The MF has also employed Kifah Mustapha, the head of HLF’s Chicago office, and donated thousands of dollars to HLF.”


With all of this in mind, and credentials in pocket, this author went to confront the Prince:


Kaufman:  Prince.


Prince Turki:  You are with?


Kaufman:  Joe Kaufman, FrontPage Magazine.


Prince Turki:  FrontPage?


Kaufman:  I have a two-part question.  You have assisted Osama bin Laden in the past.


Prince Turki:  I did not assist Osama bin Laden.  I knew him – many years back – even before you did.


Kaufman:  So today, you consider bin Laden to be your enemy?


Prince Turki:  Yeah.


Kaufman:  Recently, you participated in an event sponsored by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), held at the Mosque Foundation, in Bridgeview, in April – Chicago… Both of these organizations are entities that have been known to have affiliations with Hamas.  As Ambassador to the United…


Prince Turki:  If they did have these affiliations with Hamas, do you think your government would let them exist?


Kaufman:  Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t.


Prince Turki:  Believe me, if your government says they have anything to do with Hamas, they would have shut them down.


Kaufman:  These things have been reported.


Prince Turki:  Reported by whom?  Your government is the authority on these issues.  The Kingdom does not support Hamas as a terrorist organization or any otherwise.  We have not sent money to Hamas, nor do we send money to Hamas.  What we do is we support the Palestinian people.


Kaufman:  If these two organizations [CAIR and the Mosque Foundation] are found to have been supportive of Hamas, would you denounce them, like you eventually did bin Laden?


Prince Turki:  That is for your government to find out.  That is for your government to decide.


It was obvious to all those observing that the Prince was a little taken aback by this author’s questions, as he was swiftly shuttled away by his royal entourage.  The queries were certainly nothing like the timid ones solicited by the two MSM reporters standing there, who asked such things as, “So how do you like it in Miami?” 


Later, in what seemed to be an act of damage control, Prince Turki’s “Media Advisor” and “Attaché,” Jamal Khashoggi, approached this author to discuss the matter.  Prior to joining Turki’s team, Khashoggi was the Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Arab News, which, while he was there, published hate-filled cartoons vilifying George W. Bush and Ariel Sharon.  He told me that the reports of CAIR having connections to terrorist organizations is “exaggerated.”  He then explained to me that the issue of Hamas, itself, is a matter of opinion.  He stated, “We in Saudi Arabia view Hamas differently than you in the United States.”  He said he saw Hamas as a “ministry organization.”  “They were voted into office,” he said, with no acknowledgement whatsoever of the Hamas kidnapping of an Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, that had taken place less than a month ago or any of the past suicide bombings perpetrated by the group.


Khashoggi’s views, unlike that of Prince Turki’s, no matter how detestable they seemed, were honest.  They were not the double-speak that cloaked the words of his royal highness and employer, where Osama bin Laden is a colleague and then an enemy or where Hamas is not really Hamas, unless the U.S. government says it is.


These contradictions are a way to fabricate reality, so as not to admit wrongdoing.  This is symptomatic of a much greater problem – the contradiction of Saudi Arabia, itself.  In November of 2005, the Senate Committee on the Judiciary held a hearing, entitled ‘Saudi Arabia: Friend or Foe in the War on Terror?  This is really a question that we all need to have answered, because in the end, this answer may very well be the one thing necessary in helping us to win this war.  And then, of course, we must act on it.


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Joe Kaufman is the Chairman of Americans Against Hate and the founder of CAIR Watch.

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