Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Service : > Op-Ed
Time : Monday, February 13, 2017
News ID: 427361
 
Consequences of CIA Chief Visit to Saudi Arabia
Rasa - The recent visit by United States spy agency's chief to Saudi Arabia is bound to have negative consequences in the region.

RNA - On Friday, Mike Pompeo was in the Saudi capital Riyadh where he presented Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef with a CIA award for his so-called contribution in fighting terrorism.

 

Nayef who is also the Saudi deputy premier and interior minister was awarded the George Tenet award, named after the former CIA director under Bill Clinton and George W Bush.

 

While receiving the award, Nayef boasted that the US-Saudi ties are “strong and historic,” adding that nothing would come between them or damage their ties.

 

CIA awards Saudi Crown Prince for terrorism

 

The award prompted criticism in many quarters as the Saudi regime's official religious ideology is Wahhabism, which is a source of inspiration for all Takfiri terrorist groups in the world such as ISIS, al Qaeda, Boko Haram, Al Shaba and Taliban. The Saudi regime also provides ideological, financial and military support for Takfiri terrorist groups operating against legitimate governments in Syria and Iraq as well as for terrorists conducting sporadic attacks in other parts of the world.

 

CIA is awarding Saudis for supposed anti-terrorism efforts while in a 2014 email released by WikiLeaks last October, during her term as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wrote about Saudi Arabia’s funding of ISIS: “While this military/paramilitary operation is moving forward, we need to use our diplomatic and more traditional intelligence assets to bring pressure on the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIS...”

 

Consequences of CIA Chief visit to Saudi Arabia

 

One of the first consequences of the visit by the CIA chief to Saudi Arabia is the continuation of US backed terrorism in the region this time under the watch of the new Donald Trump's administration.

 

Receiving an award from the CIA was an implicit endorsement of Nayef as the successor of Saudi King Salman and all indications are that Washington is strategizing on continuing to exert influence in the tribal monarchy beyond the current ailing and aging ruler. It remains to be seen whether this CIA apparent endorsement of Nayef, the king's 56-year-old nephew, will end his covert power struggle with the younger Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, King Salman's son.

 

Another factor which comes out of Pompeo's visit to Saudi Arabia relates to Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA), that legitimizes lawsuits by Americans regarding terrorist attacks committed on US soil. The US Congress passed the legislation in September, overriding US President Barack Obama’s veto of JASTA. The law paves way for lawsuits seeking damages from the Saudi regime regarding the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Former FBI agent John Guandolo, who worked on  9/11 and related al-Qaeda cases out of the bureau’s Washington field office, says Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud , former Saudi Ambassador to the US should have been a key suspect in the 9/11 probe.

 

He notes that bin Sultan should be treated as a terrorist suspect, as should other members of the Saudi elite class who the US administration knows are currently funding the global terrorism. The visit by Pompeo to Riyadh was an assurance to Saudis that JASTA will not be implemented as envisaged and that no terrorism linked Saudi prince will be brought to justice in the US.

 

Confronting Iran

 

Another major agenda during the visit by the CIA chief to Riyadh was to exchange notes with the Saudi regime on how to confront Iran, which is leading war on terror in the West Asia region. In an article appearing on Al Monitor last January, Bruce Riedel an Asian affairs analyst pointed out that it would make Washington and Riyadh to take steps to reassure each other in their supposed war on terrorism. He added that the CIA director under Obama, John Brennan was the point man for cooperation with Mohammed bin Nayef. His article published on 22nd January advised the new CIA chief to pay an early visit to Riyadh to assure the Saudi leadership that cooperation against the terrorist threat and Iran will continue. Saudi-backed Iranophobia is now expected to move to new heights after the CIA chief's visit to Riyadh.

 

Considering that Saudi Arabia has been a major destabilizing factor in the region through its backing of Takfiri terrorist groups, Trump's administration support for the Riyadh regime implies that the security crisis in West Asia will worsen and terrorism will spread under the watch of Trump.

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