Wealthy Gulf Shiites Allegedly Funding Iraqi Shiite Militias
International arms dealers are supplying enormous amounts of arms to guerrilla groups in Iraq. A Maltese businessman was recently arrested, part of a multi-national smuggling ring that has provided 500,000 machine guns and 10 million rounds of ammunition.
Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Peter Pace is unwilling to allege that the Iranian government itself is deliberately providing deadly weaponry to militiamen in Iraq.
The USG Open Source Center reports on and translates a message at a Sunni jihadi discussion board that alleges that Saudi Shiites are bankrolling Shiite parties and militias in Iraq. These allegations should obviously be taken with a grain of salt. But at a time when the US is trying to blame everything on Iran, it is interesting to see this evidence that the situation is substantially more complex.
Saudi Shiites predominate in al-Hasa or the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, where most of the kingdom’s petroleum reserves are. They account for 10 percent of the Saudi population (i.e. 1.5 to 2 million persons). Traditionally repressed by the hyper-Sunni Wahhabi majority, the Saudi Shiites have recently been more emancipated.
Here is the report:
‘ Forum Participant Claims Saudi Shiites Co-Financing Badr Corps, Al-Mahdi Army
Jihadist Websites — OSC Report
Monday, February 12, 2007 T16:57:27Z
Terrorism: Forum Participant Claims Saudi Shiites Co-Financing Badr Corps, Al-Mahdi Army On 5 February, a Sunni participant posted a message to a jihadist website claiming that Saudi Shiites are co-financing Iraqi Shiites, Badr Corps, Al-Mahdi Army, and the “death squads” to the tune of “863 million riyals ($228 million) annually.” The unconfirmed number was attributed to contributions by merchants from Saudi Arabia and other places to the Shiite’s war efforts and groups in Iraq. The participant named a few Shiite companies and called for a “boycott of Shiite businesses” so that Sunni money will not support the Shiite causes and the killing of Sunnis in Iraq.
A summary of the message follows:
In his message, the participant claimed that “one-fifth of the income of every Shiite collected by the Shiite leaders is being routed to the efforts of spreading Shiism in the Middle East. That amount is 863 million riyals ($228 million) annually and a big part of it is coming from Sunnis in Saudi Arabia since these Sunnis buy goods from Shiite owned businesses.”
The participant called for “the boycott of Shiite businesses and goods throughout the kingdom and the Arabian Gulf,” naming a few of them such as fish producers in the eastern province . . . and some others. The participant suggested starting a list of all Shiite companies to be boycotted.
A few participants responded and named other Shiite owned businesses . . . ‘