By Ahmed al-Qudah/Researcher
As the world still mourns the fateful death of thousands of innocent people in the attacks on Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11, 2001, a major complicit in the terrorist attacks is still somehow playing smart and on the loose. Whenever people mention the September 11 attacks, fingers are pointed at Saudi Arabia as the main culprit, thanks to the overwhelmingly large number of terrorists from that country who took part in the dastardly act, forgetting about the involvement of United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the tragedy.
Too many indicators and revelations have exposed the Emirati role in the attacks. Still, some of the popular Western media outlets try to hide it partly due to the ubiquitous petrodollars which Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohamed bin Zayed, the de facto ruler of the country, has so far been able to ply them with.
To some extent the 9/11 episode could have been avoided had the UAE placed some control over the mayhem-like nature of illegal transactions its banks were making at the time. The integral part the UAE played in the attacks was in providing financial support to the hijackers.
* The integral part the UAE played in the attacks was
in providing financial support to the hijackers
Consider the scenario in which a terrorist exists in area X and wants to bomb area Y. He can never do anything in Area Y, unless there’s financial support. With financial muscle, you increase the probability of executing your plot, which is where the UAE, thanks to the suspicious role of its banks, facilitated the culprits.
As already known to the international community, the UAE has been a vigorous hub for money laundering for decades. A 2016 report by US Department of State designated the UAE as a country “of primary concern” in this regard. According to the report, the US has “some indications trade-based money laundering occurs in the UAE … and that such activity might support sanctions-evasion networks and terrorist groups in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and Somalia.”
In another report published in ‘The American Conservative’ magazine on June 22, 2018, writer and author Brian Saady refers to the UAE as “A Hub for Terrorist Money Laundering.” Questioning the US approach, Saady asks: “We claim to be fighting terrorism. So why don’t we get tougher on the United Arab Emirates?”
The argument about the UAE and its close links to September 11 terror attacks is not new. Writing for HuffPost, activist Kristen Breitweiser detailed a report in which she highlighted the means through which the UAE helped support the 9/11 attacks. In the report, Breitweiser underlined the hesitation on the US part to “to acknowledge, sanction/blacklist, and hold accountable every nation that participates in the funding of terrorist groups.”
In my considered view, there is so much contempt on the part of the UAE for the international community which must be brought to an immediate end, if the world wants to prevent future catastrophes. The world can no longer bear the consequences of UAE’s defiance and recklessness — evident in its ongoing support for terrorism directly as is the case in Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Libya, and others, or indirectly through being one of the safest havens for money laundering for terrorists.
Sooner than later, the aura of influence the UAE has been shaping for decades, whether in the US, Europe, or in other parts of the world, has to be exposed and Abu Dhabi denied the ability to support terrorist networks. Activating ‘Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act’ (JASTA) will also hopefully, bring positive outcomes, and help eliminate the reign of terror Saudi Arabia and the UAE have unleashed upon the world.