The report from the Council on Foreign Relations Task Force in regard to Saudi Arabia is politically motivated, ill-informed and factually incorrect. Charges that Saudi Arabia has not fulfilled its obligations to fight terror financing are incorrect and fly in the face of determinations by legitimate and financial experts who have examined Saudi Arabia’s laws, regulations and financial control mechanisms closely.
Recently, the Financial Action Task Force, established by G-8 nations, completed an in-depth evaluation that concluded the Kingdom has met or exceeded established international frameworks for combating money laundering and terror financing. In the area of charities, the evaluation concluded that the Saudi system of regulation, oversight and control was very thorough and effective.
The conclusions of the FATF team have been repeatedly echoed by senior law enforcement and counter-terrorism officials at the Departments of State and Treasury, the National Security Council and by senior American officials.
Unlike the CFR Task Force, the FATF had a team of experts on the ground in Saudi Arabia who closely examined our laws, regulations and practices, and who met with our officials and visited all relevant institutions. The CFR Task Force did not send a team to Saudi Arabia and ignored much of the information provided, including by American officials.
It is surprising that the CFR’s criticism of Saudi Arabia directly contradicts the opinions of the world’s foremost experts, including top U.S. government officials who have publicly and repeatedly attested to the steps taken by Saudi Arabia. It is clear that the CFR report is motivated by politics, and not the search for the truth. And that is regrettable.
We are at war with the terrorists and those who support or condone their actions. Every day, Saudi Arabia is fighting these murderous criminals who are terrorizing our people, our guests and our economy. Instead of seeking to be constructive in helping us win this war, the CFR Task Force opted to use the issue of terrorism to play politics in the U.S.”