The al Qaeda gangs rounded up this month across Europe, in Britain, France, Spain, Italy and Germany – some in advanced stages of preparation for chemical poison attacks – have been traced by DEBKA-Net-Weekly‘s counter-terror sources to two points of origin: Chechnya and Algeria.
Interrogations of the men in custody revealed that Saudi Arabia continues to be the leading purveyor of manpower and funds for the Islamic terror network, while branches of the Albanian mafia scattered over Europe serve as al Qaeda’s primary logistic arm – supplier of weapons, travel documents, forged passports, vehicles and hideouts from which to launch their strikes.
Our counter-terror experts have prepared a detailed map illustrating the routes that the terrorist cells follow to target. (The complete map can be seen by clicking on the small picture.)
They start out in Chechnya and Algeria and cut across Europe through Bulgaria, Macedonia and Bosnia.
But the most shocking discovery is that 17 months after the 9/ll atrocities in which 15 Saudi suicide bombers took part, the Saudis are still providing al Qaeda with funding for terrorist operations against the West.
Saudi officials have worked hard to show Washington that the kingdom has cleansed itself of the taint of funding and fueling al Qaeda terror. On September 13 last year, the Saudi interior minister Prince Naif set up a committee to oversee the flow of capital to charity organizations. Saudi labor minister, Dr. Ali Ibrahim Namleh, demanded greater transparency from all Islamic charities in the kingdom. At the same time, the princes launched an impressive PR campaign in America to show they were adamantly opposed to terrorism.
However, DEBKA-Net-Weekly‘s counter-terror sources have discovered from a senior Western source that the river of Saudi cash continues to reach al Qaeda through the circuitous channels the organization has devised to obtain the money for its activities. Two men are at the hub of this funding chain: Wael Hamza Jalidan, chairman of the Ribata Trust charity, and Mahmoud Jamal Khalifa, one of Osama bin Laden’s brothers-in-law.
Jalidan is a director of the Islamic International Relief Organization (IIRO) and a subsidiary of Ribata Trust. In recent years, he has spent much time in the Balkans, helping to dispense Saudi charity funds in Albania and Kosovo through the Saudi Joint Relief Committee for Kosovo, which until recently maintained an office in Pristina. He was also involved in the Mouafak charity in Bosnia, whose senior director is Adel Sadeq.
Jalidan and Khalifa are linked to another member of the bin Laden support team, Khaled bin Mahfuz, former head of the Saudi National Trade Bank and for long years an economic adviser to the royal house. Mahfuz has been arrested in the past for ties with al Qaeda but was always released quickly.
This trio shows no sign of heeding the directives issued by their interior and labor ministers. Under the patronage of King Fahd’s brother, the governor of Riyadh Prince Salman, they continue to pump funds to terrorist organizations in Lebanon and Yemen. Salman is one of the men who decide to which Islamic organizations around the world Saudi largesse will be assigned. He heads such important Saudi charity bodies as the Supreme Committee for Fund-raising for Muslims and the Popular Committee for Aiding Mujehadeen in Palestine.
DEBKA-Net-Weekly‘s senior Western source reports that Jalidan’s financial operation in the Balkans is sanctioned by Salman. Most of the money he hands out, though designated for stricken Muslim regions, ends up with Islamic organizations in Lebanon, Yemen and groups affiliated to al Qaeda.
A key figure in the Balkan funding enterprise is a Palestinian called Kamal Abu Foda, nominally coordinator of the Combined Saudi Fund for Kosovo, whose real job is to direct the incoming funds from Kosovo to banks in Lebanon and Yemen to finance the activities of al Qaeda affiliates. One of its recipients is the Arm of Ansar, based in Sidon and controlled by al Qaeda. In Yemen, the funds are funneled to the Aden Alabayan Army.