Theresa May Blocks Release of Saudi Arabia Terrorism Report
Ignoring last-minute appeals by survivors of the 9/11 attacks in the U.S., the UK'S Prime Minister Theresa May refused to publish a report about Saudi Arabia's role in funding Islamic extremism in the United Kingdom.
The report in question was completed in early 2017. It was prepared for the Home Office at the direction of former Prime Minister David Cameron, to look into the sources of terrorism funding in the United Kingdom. As more evidence piles up suggesting Saudi Arabia’s involvement in that funding and as the UK continues to work together more closely than ever with the Saudis, releasing the report to the public has been considered more important than ever.
The news that the report would not be published first broke in July. The rationale then was that it contained a “vast amount of personal information” and could also not be published for “national security reasons”.
Survivors of the attacks rejected that first announcement. Together a group of them put together a public letter to Theresa May to beg her to reconsider the July decision about the report. That letter said:
“The UK now has the unique historic opportunity to stop this killing spree of Wahhabistinspired terrorists by releasing the UK’S Government report on terrorism financing in the UK which, according to media reports, places Saudi Arabia at its centre of culpability.
The longer Saudi Arabia’s complicity is hidden from sunlight, the longer terrorism will continue. They must be stopped, but who will stop them?
We submit that you are uniquely situated to shine the cleansing light of public consciousness. We respectfully urge you to release the report now, finished or unfinished.
We ask you to consider all the victims of statesponsored, Saudi-financed terrorism, their families and the survivors in the UK and all over the world.
Additionally, our democratic freedoms continue to be compromised. How can the UK public have confidence in their safety if nothing changes?”
Prime Minister May has now issued her final decision regarding the report, and will not release it. The decision was especially angering in view of the wave of recent terrorist attacks in the United Kingdom and across Europe. Sharon Remoli, who was on the 80th floor of the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York when the first plane made its attack on 9/11, was one of the signers of the letter that was sent to May, and now rejected. As she said in an interview with The Independent newspaper, she has been investigating who the real guilty parties were behind the 9/11 attacks ever since they happened. She said that she and others have “pursued the money trail…we are always led to the source: Saudi Arabia”. She also makes it clear that the United States and the United Kingdom have a major financial stake in keeping Saudi Arabia happy, largely because of weapons sales to the country. So perhaps it is no wonder Prime Minister May will not allow the report to surface.
After U.S. President Donald Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia in May along with many American companies present, deals involving mostly military-related items worth over $350 billion were signed with the Arab kingdom. Of those, $110 billion would be going into effect immediately.
The U.S., with it being the single largest weapons-exporter – and, therefore, ‘war merchant’ – in the world, supplies approximately one-third of all arms sales worldwide. 47% of all those weapons for the years from 2001 to 2016 went to three main countries: Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Turkey. Saudi Arabia was by far the largest buyer of those arms, which means keeping Saudi Arabia happy is definitely in the interests of the U.S.’S powerful military-industrial complex.
So it is with the UK’S government as well, which made an estimated £5.6 billion in sales of fighter jets, arms, and other military equipment to the Saudi Arabian government from 2010 to 2016, under the David Cameron administration. That’s about $7.5 billion U.S. at current exchange rates.
This could be a security or privacy based decision, as Prime Minister May has indicated. But to many looking in from the sidelines, this looks far more like a financial decision than anything else. The UK needs the military sales for its own businesses and contractors, and does not want to do anything to jeopardize them, especially in the fragile post-brexit economy.
It also may have finally put a price on the value of all those human lives lost in the tragedy of 9/11, which is perhaps the ugliest truth of all in making the decision to keep the 9/11 report quiet.