Explains former Treasury Department official and terror financing expert David Aufhauser at a recent Congressional hearing, ?What (Saudi-funded mosques and other Islamic institutions) taught was an unforgiving, intolerant, uncompromising and austere view of the faith that became kindling for Osama Bin Laden?s match.?
For proof, consider the recent survey of some 15,000 Saudis showing nearly half support Osama bin Laden?s ?sermons and rhetoric.? Various Arab and Muslim commentators have attempted to spin this finding as almost inconsequential; after all, they reason, ?it?s not as if they support his actions.?
When it comes to bin Laden, however, supporting his ?sermons? is to support his actions. Actions are all he advocates: death to the Jews, death to Israel, death to the West, death to America.
Bin Laden finds such a receptive audience among Saudis because they have been primed for it from their earliest educational experience.
And because of the pervasive influence of Saudi petrodollars, this is happening not just in the kingdom, but around the world.
Look at Palestinian children who are readied for death almost as soon as they are born. Suicide bombs the terror masters strap on these kids cost maybe $150. And the life of a young, brainwashed Palestinian is not even worth that to a Jihadist.
But buildings, textbooks, and teachers? That costs real money.
Throw in lump cash sums Saudis give to families of suicide bombers, and Saudi support for Palestinian terrorism?not even counting direct aid to terror groups?is literally cradle-to-grave.
Understanding that direct support is but a small piece of the terror financing puzzle, Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) recently spearheaded a request, also signed by five of her colleagues, to the General Accounting Office (GAO) to investigate the U.S. government?s progress in tracking?and halting?the funding of the infrastructure of terror.
What the GAO must do, though, is look inside the United States. Saudi cash has flooded Northern Virginia, Los Angeles, and everywhere in between, including Iowa.
Who knows what the GAO might find. Most frightening could be discovering just how many American Muslims feel like the Saudis do about bin Laden?s ?sermons and rhetoric.?
Joel Mowbray, who got his start with Townhall.com, is an award-winning investigative journalist, nationally-syndicated columnist and author of Dangerous Diplomacy: How the State Department Threatens America's Security.
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