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@Gary: Saudi relationship to AQ and ISIS

Reader comment on item: Why Yemen Matters
in response to reader comment: ISIS and AQAP

Submitted by John in Michigan, USA (United States), Apr 7, 2015 at 01:11

My understanding is, although AQ and ISIS get lots of money from people and groups in Saudi Arabia, the government of SA, and most of the royal family, consider AQ and ISIS to be their enemies. AQ is an enemy because the King did not accept bin Ladin's offer to help defend SA from Saddam in 1990, instead, the King accepting US help vs. Saddam, and non-Muslim troops in the Holy Land, resulting in AQ denoucing him and the King declaring AQ a terrorist. ISIS is an enemy because they are even more extreme than AQ. The funds that go from SA to AQ and ISIS come, AFAIK, from Salafist clerics (who are more likely to support the Muslim Brotherhood than their own King) in SA that the Saudi Kings have had to tolerate as part of the grand bargain dating to 1930's that allowed the Saudi royal family to keep the throne.

In other words, the SA government is working with ISIS in Yemen to fight the Iranian threat, but is working against ISIS and AQ in other areas.

If Iran and friends lose in Yemen, or even if things grind to a stalemate, it will represent a setback for the clerics and other pro-ISIS/AQ elements in SA, and strengthen the SA government and especially, the new King. SA would presumably be in a position to oppose ISIS/AQ abroad, while still having to tolerate the elements that fund them.

I don't know if this helps answer your question, or maybe you already knew this?


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