Senate Report: UK Bank Dealt Illegally With Iran, Saudi Radicals, and Mexican Drug Dealers
7:25 AM, Jul 24, 2012 • By STEPHEN SCHWARTZ
Finally, Al Rajhi Bank was utilized by “several of the hijackers in the 9-11 terrorist attack, including Abdulaziz Al-Omari who was aboard American Airlines Flight 11,” the first aircraft to strike the World Trade Center. In discussing HSBC’s relations with Al Rajhi Bank, the Senate subcommittee declares, “Taken together, the information – the Al Qaeda Golden Chain document, the 2002 search of Al Rajhi-related entities in Virginia, the 2003 CIA report, the 2005 Al-Haramain Foundation indictment and trial, the 2007 media reports, the 2010 refusal to provide bank documents in a terrorist-financing trial, and the multiple links to suspect banks and accountholders – present an unusual array of troubling allegations… HSBC was fully aware of the suspicions that Al Rajhi Bank and its owners were associated with terrorist financing, describing many of the alleged links in [HSBC’s] Al Rajhi Bank client profile. In addition, despite all the allegations, neither [Al Rajhi Bank] nor its owners have ever been charged in any country with financing terrorism or providing material support to terrorists.”
The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations has dedicated a worthy effort to exposing the questionable practices of HSBC, a British bank, in dealing with probable Mexican narcotics traffickers, Iran, and Saudi financiers involved with terrorism. But 10 years after 9/11, much of the Saudi file on financing of violent extremism remains opaque. The subcommittee report illustrates dramatically that a full investigation of Saudi Arabian involvement in global terrorism remains necessary.