Terrorism Financing: It’s Time to Take Care of Unfinished Business

The SAAR network is a web of over 100 purported charities, nonprofits, and financial firms, centered in northern Virginia, that were accused of laundering money for terrorism. The SAAR Foundation, the nucleus of the network, was set up in 1983 under the patronage of Sulaiman Abdul Aziz al-Rajhi, a wealthy Saudi banking magnate who is strongly suspected of supporting al-Qaeda.

.. According to the federal affidavit filed by customs investigator David Kane, the SAAR network was funded with millions of dollars in Saudi cash and was then used to funnel money to terror organizations such as that of convicted terror financier Sami al-Arian, the North American representative of Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

.. at least $26 million was routed to suspicious accounts in the Bahamas and the Isle of Man that may have been used to fund Hamas. In this way, wealthy Saudi backers of terrorism could use America’s own banking system to escape increasing financial scrutiny from the Saudi government.

.. One-time SAAR executive assistant Abdurahman Alamoudi (later convicted of a plot to assassinate Saudi crown prince Abdullah) boasted of his close ties to Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush, as well as to political fixers such as Americans for Tax Reform president Grover Norquist.

.. In Virginia alone, SAAR-network companies have made over $265,000 in political donations, with special distinction going to Reston Investments ($96,550), Mar-Jac Investments ($64,950), and the think tank IIIT ($25,500).

.. the SAAR network bought influence with local Arab-American community groups, and through them gained access to vice-presidential candidate Tim Kaine.

.. Now it seems that the SAAR network is interested in Virginia’s gubernatorial race. Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam, the Democratic candidate for governor, recently received donations from at least two SAAR-network entities