Saudi Connections to ISIS? Nah, Can’t Be True After 9/11…

Reading Time: 3 minutes
Getting payback (or is it blowback?) in Iraq and Syria

Getting payback (or is it blowback?) in Iraq and Syria

Now that the U.S. is back at it in Iraq against a new foe, there’s suddenly renewed focus on evidence of Saudi involvement in 9/11.

More specifically, questions are now being asked about whether the U.S. government’s suppression of what it learned about Saudi Arabia during the 9/11 investigations contributed directly to the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

Former Sen. Bob Graham, who co-chaired the official 9/11 inquiry, told Counterpunch that “the failure to shine a full light on Saudi actions and particularly its involvement in 9/11 has contributed to the Saudi ability to continue to engage in actions that are damaging to the U.S.—and in particular their support for ISIS.”

Though it’s now well-known that there was some Saudi involvement in 9/11, WhoWhatWhy was the first news organization to uncover the fact that a Saudi in Florida, who hosted the hijackers, worked directly for the Saudi prince in charge of aviation. We also pointed out that there was no hurry to dig deeper into the story by the mainstream media.

The direct contacts we established are a crucial part of the story. So too is the FBI’s reluctant admission that it knew about—and covered up—“many connections” between a Saudi family and the hijackers. Then there’s also the information contained in 28 pages redacted from the congressional report on 9/11, a part of the puzzle getting a new look in the New Yorker thanks to the ISIS news peg.


What all this leads us to ask is this: Why is the U.S. once again plunging into a fight that is at least partially of its own making? (That’s to say nothing of the contribution of America’s failed policy in Iraq to the current fiasco.) ISIS is yet another example of a militant group that grew into a threat in large part due to the support of an ostensible ally.

In this latest case, said ally is going to be hosting training camps for moderate Syrian rebels, who are supposed to be some of the boots-on-the-ground against ISIS. This couldn’t possibly be a bad idea, could it?

That Saudi Arabia has a role, either tacit or implicit, in funneling money to Islamic militants is no secret to anyone, least of all the United States government. Hilary Clinton, when she was Secretary of State, was explicit in her request to put greater pressure on the Saudi government to knock off its loose approach to jihadi financing.

“Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support base for al-Qa’ida, the Taliban, LeT, and other terrorist groups, including Hamas, which probably raise millions of dollars annually from Saudi sources,” Clinton wrote in a Dec. 30, 2009 cable obtained by WikiLeaks.

Haven’t we seen this before? An ally that, for its own foreign policy or domestic political reasons, supports (or turns a blind eye to homegrown support for) groups that fight directly against the United States? You could start with Pakistan’s nurturing of al Qaeda and the Taliban, which began with the CIA’s backing of Afghan mujahideen who counted Osama bin Laden among their benefactors.


This latest episode of the U.S. vs Jihadis show is clearly a repeat, like a ham-handed Hollywood remake of a beloved TV series from an earlier time. At least the recurring characters are familiar.

Now, it looks like it’s the Saudis again—at a minimum, by way of a laissez-faire attitude toward fundraising on its soil—as well as rich Qataris and Kuwaitis. Official Washington, the powerful interests behind the scenes and the think-tanks allied to them would tell you otherwise, although there is some dissent.

So the cycle of post-9/11 warfare continues, with minimal official scrutiny of the history of how it started. Any guesses as to why it keeps going with no end in sight?

[box] WhoWhatWhy plans to continue doing this kind of groundbreaking original reporting. You can count on us. Can we count on you? What we do is only possible with your support.

Please click here to donate; it’s tax deductible. And it packs a punch.[/box]

Where else do you see journalism of this quality and value?

Please help us do more. Make a tax-deductible contribution now.

Our Comment Policy

Keep it civilized, keep it relevant, keep it clear, keep it short. Please do not post links or promotional material. We reserve the right to edit and to delete comments where necessary.


23 responses to “Saudi Connections to ISIS? Nah, Can’t Be True After 9/11…”

  1. planckbrandt says:

    Can we identify the business partnerships between Saudis and Americans and others around the world? How do we figure this out? How can we figure out what businesses they own together? What hedge funds, private equity funds, limited partnerships, etc. that control oil, shipping, pipeline, mercenary businesses? It is not enough pinning it on “Saudi state” or “US government”. The Saudi state is the royals and the US government has been sabotaged and taken over by our own “royals”. The coup was in 1954 according to Russ Baker. It was what they got away with in Guatemala that emboldened them, he said once. We need to start naming names and tying them to each other with real names and stop letting them hide behind states.

  2. edwardrynearson says:

    The connection is the petro dollar and who controls it.

  3. Brian James says:

    I don’t buy Saudi involvement in ISIS. By re-establishing the institution of the caliphate ISIS is directly challenging Saudi control
    /influence over the Islamic world. The Saudi’s have to know that once Iraq and Syria are united they’re next.

    The rise of King Saud is directly related to his role in abolishing the Ottoman Caliphate. Ever since there has been no cohesive force in the Muslim world, and the Saudi’s, with control over Mecca and Medina, have been the default governing body of Islam. Any Islamic-nationalist movement would naturally see the Saudi’s as enemies, guilty of an unforgivable betrayal.

    Continuity of Saudi reign depends on controlling Mecca and Medina, while maintaining a secular, ostensibly pro-western government. In exchange for the cash and military equipment/training they need to maintain power, they sell us cheap oil and keep the islamic world divided. Its a rotten deal, but its too late to turn back now.

    The only way I can see the Saudi’s being behind ISIS is something like: they funded an insurgency group to topple Assad in Syria (and thus weaken Iran); when Al-Maliki in Iraq started talking about closer ties with Iran they brought ISIS into Iraq; after a while the thing takes on a life of its own, they lose control, ISIS gets independent financing, tells the Saudi’s to fuck off, and the law of unintended consequences bites them in the ass. Either way, at this point, the Saudi’s must be getting nervous.

  4. News Nag says:

    Daniel Hopsicker’s work has been instrumental in fleshing out the details and pulling the threads leading to and from 9/11/01. It’d be nice to see him get the credit he deserves, including discovering the wealthy ‘connected’ Florida Saudi family who fled the U.S. in the middle of the night.

  5. Bubbalu says:

    I don’t Know why everybody is still “Muslim” crazy, when it’s been PROVEN, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that 9/11 was an inside job, and all the “unconstitutional” acts , put into place after that, were blamed on outsiders. That made it possible to go into wars, that we had no business, or right to go into. And look at the cost to AMERICA. She’s dying on the vine, and only the “super rich” are smiling. What a farce, and what a shame. It just keeps going on, because the “trillion-airs” love it, and NEVER get their hands dirty. Democrat, Republican, makes no difference. This goes beyond that. The government is 98% all corrupt, and that goes for the mainstream media also. I know that most ‘sheeple’ will say this is b**ls**t, this Bubbalu is a kook. Well all I can say to that is, what a damn shame that they pulled the wool over so many people, and made the population blind. People still have a SLIM chance to take back the control of the govt, but it better be quick. Another two years and it’s going to be too late to start turning it around. DON’T VOTE DEM or REP in November. Vote anything else that’s on the ballot, and start cleaning out the “bandits” that are stealing the country, right out from under your own feet, and right in front of your eyes!

    • ssivonda says:

      I fully agree, but you I and some others may scream it from the rooftops and it’ll fall on deaf ears. Not enough support from the MSM, and all the diversions like the NFL ,MLB, the Kardashians and on ad-nauseum. Throw in the political red herrings such as, abortion, gun regs, education, etc…and we have no power. Most folks can’t see beyond their noses, not alone listen to the truth.

  6. david t. krall says:

    from: david t.krall
    email: truthatlarge@hotmail

    just an addition & correction
    my prior message should read as Castro’s Cuba….sorry
    check out also Op Ohio…..and Operation Gladdio & The P-2…pacification
    and terror all in the name of “anti-terror”…and “national security….
    all proxy armies…what was supposed to have occurred in Cuba during the Bay of Pigs is what is happening NOW!!! a proxy army /rebel “force”
    didn’t or could not get the “job” done ( Castro-1961, Assad 2013/2014)
    BUT in 1961, JFK would NOT bomb or invade another counrry, and did not fall for any inducements, ploys, “tricks”, manipulations…and we know where that thinking & perspective “got” him??? you think this isn’t lost on Obama???…or is it Obomber, or LBJ-2 or is it Bush 3??? I’m not sure?
    The President must feel like the dog-owner “walking” an aggressive pack of running dobermans….”the leash is now too long” for him to control
    and it is now totally within the grasp of those “parallel” to or behind his back who are really “running” things and ISIS as well !!! The very same people who “sold” and “packaged” this op for him to ‘sign-off-on”…its the same old story…now its Sunni oligarchs instead of SE/NE Asian or
    Latin American Oligarchs all, long tied to the same corrupt interwoven sectors…
    from: david t. krall

  7. david t. krall says:

    from: david t, krall

    ISIS is NOT any different than and is a replication/repeat of the “worst
    of the worst”, “trained”/”fine-tuned, formed/ funded/ sponsored/supported
    by “higher interests” within CIA/DoD/US Bus/Financial Sectors allied with
    & closely linked to influential Latin Americn Bus Oligarcs in the “war” against Catro’s Cuba (op mongoose, JM/Wave, Bay of Pigs, op condor…)
    or ealier in SE and Ne Asia (Korea and Vietnam, etc.) allied with large
    “remnants” of the Chinese Nationalist Army that became a “front-line”
    and “fall-back” proxy army on the Asian Mainland, working with and “for: the same sectors and interests….IT IS ALL WITHIN THE SAME PARADIGM !!!
    The contras were part of this “contnuing” paradigm…The present “theater of operations” is NO (!) different…I suspect Assad & Syria are still the target and “end-game”….ISIS is a sunni-proxy army made in and with the same cast & mold….
    from: david t. krall

  8. JackNauti says:

    Phllip Marshal’s book “The Big Bamboozle” documents rather thoroughly the Saudi connections with the 9-11… people, and particularly Prince Bandar (affectionately known to the Bush family as “Bandar Bush”). The book was published in 2012. In early 2013, the author “committed suicide”.

  9. Rigo says:

    the military/industrial/oil complex needs cyclical triggers to keep the moneyball rolling…

  10. Wide Awakening says:

    We should let it be known who the Su’ud family was and who they worked with and what their goals were/are to be fair since the name of this site is whowhatwhy.

    The Birth of the Wahabi Movement and its Historical Roots

  11. Bilbo says:

    My guess as to why the warfare keeps going with no end in sight:

    • Kelly says:

      Excellent find, brother, and you are absolutely correct. Ike knew, and had the integrity to state it. When a Politicians had country first and foremost.

  12. edwardrynearson says:

    the Saudis are proxies for the Zionists > the Mossad executed 9/11 > the Judaic State’s global puppet show > the war on terror is grotesque projection > my humble opinion

  13. A J MacDonald Jr says:

    Israel seeking to demonize their ally? In order to deflect investigation into their role in 9/11 (and ISIS?)

    • edwardrynearson says:

      and to deflect global rage about their incremental genocide of the Palestinians

    • BonusGift says:

      Bingo: yes, let’s just talk about the Saudis without mentioning the tribe. Which reminds me of the quote from Voltaire: “To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.” We all need to remind ourselves of the USS Liberty and the various spies caught that represented our ‘ally’ that has a habit of destroying our country and stealing and selling our technology, etc. etcetera. Yes, the Saudis should be blown to Kingdom come for what they have done, but if they are an issue their current partner in crime that is now apparently throwing them under the bus is many, many, many …. times worse an enemy.

  14. Sunshine says:

    Congressman Steven Lynch is reportedly one of two Congressman looking to declassify the 9/11 redacted info.- Apparently the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have kept the public occupied and distracted with other, though related, concerns. The analogy to the past U.S. relationship with the mujahideen hits right in Congressman Lynch’s backyard where the MA Army National Guard spearheaded aide drives for the mujahideen as well as hosted Afghan’s in Boston in need of medical care coordinated through the former Free Afghanistan Alliance (FAA) and the MA Army National Guard Public Affairs office as well as others in the MA Army Guard command staff….The late Sen. Charlie Wilson (Charlie Wilson’s War) was a member of a historical military organization in Boston, “The Ancient and Honorable Artillery Co.”, of which Wilson’s military aide, the late Army Officer James Rooney was also a member. There’s always intermingled, convoluted, overlapping, contraindicated alliances, new and old, in these affairs, more so it seems in regards to the middle east. Congressman Lynch is thoroughly familiar with convoluted alliances – on a state level, in Lynch’s understandable opposition to MA organized crime lord James ‘Whitey” Bulger ( who shared top spots on the FBI most wanted list with Bin Laden) – Lynch and his congressional office effectively kowtowed to another organized crime hoodlum/Bulger associate, Edward MacKenzie, problem is MacKenzie was also a serial rapist which was overlooked while utilizing MacKenzie as a mouthpiece against Bulger while Bulger was comfortably on the lam – it’s all a chess game which the media enables and Lynch’s office, in this case, enabled. MacKenzie (a former mixed martial artist/kickboxer) was only recently indicted, subsequent to Bulger’s apprehension. Seems the boxing crowd in Boston is also up to their eyeballs in dung, including the Boston Marathon bombing. Coincidentally, another Bostonian/member of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Co. is one of Don King’s top boxing announcers (over seas broadcasts) immensely involved in the boxing and MMA scene and is the best friend of the MA Army Public Affairs officer involved in coordinating the aide drive/ medical aide for the mujahideen/FAA in Boston. Lynch knows these people. It would be interesting to see the redacted info.. Staying out of Syria and continued funding in Middle East affairs sound like very precarious endeavors…and old and familiar story.

  15. jongold says:

    First it started with stuff like this…

    And then moved onto this…

    And before all of that…

    In May 2007, a presidential finding revealed that Bush had authorised CIA operations against Iran. Anti-Syria operations were also in full swing around this time as part of this covert programme, according to Seymour Hersh in the New Yorker. A range of US government and intelligence sources told him that the Bush administration had “cooperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations” intended to weaken the Shi’ite Hezbollah in Lebanon. “The US has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria,” wrote Hersh, “a byproduct” of which is “the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups” hostile to the United States and “sympathetic to al-Qaeda.” He noted that “the Saudi government, with Washington’s approval, would provide funds and logistical aid to weaken the government of President Bashir Assad, of Syria,” with a view to pressure him to be “more conciliatory and open to negotiations” with Israel. One faction receiving covert US “political and financial support” through the Saudis was the exiled Syrian Muslim Brotherhood.

  16. jongold says:

    Those who point to Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Kuwait as being the only ones to fund, train, and support rebels sent into Syria are being dishonest. We trained rebels in Jordan and sent them into Syria. And do you really think that the Saudis, and the rest would do what they did without U.S. approval? We were just ITCHING to take out Assad. We were covertly operating in Syria FOR YEARS. LONG BEFORE the rebels were sent in.

  17. Orangutan. says:

    We need to figure out more about the war games scheduled on the day of 9/11 and who appointed Henry Kissinger to lead the long delayed formation of the 9/11 Commission. The anthrax attacks also deserve a lot more attention which were sent to top democrats and media personalities in the weeks after 9/11. These are crucial events that need to be uncovered to set us on a course to a more peaceful and prosperity filled future.

    • ssivonda says:

      I concur with your thoughts. Mentioning those Anthrax attacks brings to mind some thoughts I had several days ago. The way our 2 journalists were abducted , and ultimately murdered , this occurred to me. Both were in Syria as stringers, and had experience being imbedded with the US Military. No longer being imbedded, made them possible threats to us (US Military/CIA) as their mixing with the “natives” ,there might be some revelations given to them that would prove to be highly embarrassing. I have no proof of course…but it’s strange that journalists would be targeted.