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Edited By: Musa Ahmed

Desk Editor (English)

Saudi Arabia chief foreign promoter of Islamist extremism in UK, reports BBC

05 Jul, 2017 19:24:00

Critics have suspected it could make uncomfortable reading for the government, which has close and long-standing diplomatic, security and economic links with the Gulf, particularly Saudi Arabia.

Oil-rich Saudi Arabia is the head foreign promoter of Islamist extremism in the UK, a new report has revealed, asserting that a “clear and growing link” can be drawn between foreign money and the recent wave of attacks in Britain and Europe. The Henry Jackson Society, a foreign affairs think-tank, called for a public inquiry into the role of Saudi Arabia and other Gulf nations, BBC reported. The think-tank said there was a “clear and growing link” between Islamist organisations in receipt of overseas funds, hate preachers and Jihadist groups promoting violence.

However, the UK’s Saudi Arabian embassy informs that the claims are “categorically false”. Ministers are under pressure to publish a report on UK- based Islamist groups. The Home Office report into the existence and influence of Jihadist organisations, commissioned by former Prime Minister David Cameron in 2015, has reportedly yet to be completed amid questions as to whether it will ever be published.

Critics have pointed out it could make uncomfortable reading for the government, which has close and long-standing diplomatic, security and economic links with the Gulf, particularly Saudi Arabia. Today’s report says a number of Gulf nations, as well as Iran, are providing financial support to mosques and Islamic educational institutions which have played host to extremist preachers and been linked to the spread of extremist material.

At the top of the list, the report claims, is Saudi Arabia. It alleges individuals and foundations have been heavily involved in exporting what it calls “an illiberal, bigoted Wahhabi ideology”, quoting a number of examples.

In a minority of cases, the report alleges institutions in the UK that receive Saudi funding are run directly from Saudi Arabia, although in most instances the money appears to “simply buy foreign donors’ influence”.

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