When it broke, we posted on the story about the Saudi princess, wife of the Ambassador to the U.S., who paid $2,000 a month into the bank account of a man who later gave financial assistance to two of the September 11 hijackers. Over the last day or two, this story has been the occasion for considerable hysteria in the blogosphere, as various critics have excoriated the Administration and the FBI for not pursuing this money trail aggressively enough, and, more generally, for defending the Saudis as our allies when in fact, as everyone knows, they are the prime financial supporters of Wahabbism and their money has funded various terrorist groups and causes, both directly and indirectly. This morning the Saudi princess’ generosity was discussed on various news programs; here, the Toronto Star reports on anti-Saudi comments by John McCain, Joe Lieberman and others made earlier today.
As to this particular incident, the princess claims that she supported a large number of Saudi people and causes; here, she was aiding a Saudi woman living in America who asked for her help paying for medical treatment. Two thousand dollars a month sounds like a lot for medical treatment; then again, the Saudis have a lot of money. My guess, for what little it’s worth, is that this particular trail won’t lead anywhere. If the Saudi royal family wanted to aid terrorists, it would be hard to think of a worse way than to have one of their own–the wife of the U.S. ambassador, no less–write easily-traced checks, even to an intermediary. (Of course, she could be a renegade al Qaeda supporter operating independently of her husband and the Saudi government, but this seems highly unlikely.) More broadly, this episode may be useful in keeping the pressure on the Saudis until their turn comes, probably several years from now. This is most likely what McCain et al. had in mind.
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