for-phone-onlyfor-tablet-portrait-upfor-tablet-landscape-upfor-desktop-upfor-wide-desktop-up
World News

Saudis said failing to crack down on al Qaeda donors

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Despite six years of promises, Saudi Arabia has failed to pursue wealthy individuals identified as sending millions of dollars to al Qaeda, the U.S. official in charge of tracking terror financing said in an ABC News interview on Tuesday.

“If I could somehow snap my fingers and cut off the funding from one country, it would be Saudi Arabia,” said Stuart Levey, the under secretary of the Treasury.

No one identified by the United States and the United Nations as a terror financier has been prosecuted by the Saudis, Levey said.

“When the evidence is clear that these individuals have funded terrorist organizations, and knowingly done so, then that should be prosecuted and treated as real terrorism because it is,” Levey said.

Saudi Arabia is a U.S. ally in Washington’s campaign to combat terrorism launched after the Sept. 11 attacks carried out by Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda network.

Bin Laden, who has eluded capture for six years, is from a wealthy and influential Saudi family.

Yasin al Qadi, a wealthy Saudi businessman named in both the U.S. and U.N. lists of al Qaeda financiers one month after the Sept. 11 attacks, is among those identified as donors, ABC reported, citing American officials.

Al Qadi has repeatedly denied the allegations. He remains free and is still a prominent figure in Saudi Arabia, ABC said.

His London-based attorney, Guy Martin, told ABC the United States has never produced any evidence in support of the allegations against his client.

“He hasn’t been charged or tried anywhere in any jurisdiction in the world,” Martin said. “While allegations have been made, there have been no formal criminal proceedings.”

The Saudi embassy in Washington had no comment, ABC said.

for-phone-onlyfor-tablet-portrait-upfor-tablet-landscape-upfor-desktop-upfor-wide-desktop-up