The head of the Muslim World League—a group known to have financed terrorism—is part of the new Saudi-led coalition to stop terrorsm.

Saturday 20 May 2017

Muslim World League chief outlines need for anti-terror initiatives

The head of the Muslim World League (MWL) on Saturday described the need to “counter extremist ideology,” as he outlined a new anti-terror initiative set to be launched during US President Donald Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia.

Addressing the media at the Riyadh Summit 2017, MWL Secretary General Mohammed Al-Issa said over 1,500 fighters that have embraced Daesh and are fighting on its side come from one non-Muslim country alone.

He added that more than 45,000 individuals from more than 100 countries have embraced the extremist group’s ideologies.

“MWL is keen to counter extremist ideology by spreading the moderate Islamic thought and by presenting the true image of Islam to the world, in order to clear any misconceptions,” Al-Issa said.

The Muslim World League and Terrorism

The connections between the the Muslim World League’s support for terrorism go back to 1980s, when Omar Naseef was the general secretary of the Muslim World League.

In 1984, foreign mujahidin fighters were streaming in from all over the world to an office in Peshawar, Pakistan—the office of the Muslim League–to the Maktab al-Khidamat (MAK) or “The Services Center” – to fight in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union. A

MAK had been created to recruit and raise money by three Muslims who believed in “the defense of Muslim lands”: Abdullah Azzam, Azzam’s protege, a Saudi Arabian named Osama bin Laden and an Egyptian called Ayman al-Zawahiri.

Donations to MAK came from a number of “Islamic charities” such as the Saudi Red Crescent, as well as a number of Saudi Arabian princes and mosques. MAK also worked with the Pakistan intelligence service, the ISI. The ISI was used by both the American CIA & Saudi Arabia Al Mukhabarat Al A’amah intelligence agencies to get money to Afghan fighters.

When the war against the Soviets ended, Al-Zawahiri and bin Laden would use the money they’d raised through MAK to declare global jihad on the West and al-Qaeda was born.

Just after the 9/11 attack, reports showed that intelligence officials believed for years that Naseef’s Muslim World League was connected to terror, but failed to inform the public of the connections due to pressure from Saudi Arabia.

As Newsweek reported less than a month after the 9/11 attack (emphasis added):

The Saudis have probably done more to penetrate Al Qaeda than any other foreign intelligence service, but Al Qaeda in turn has penetrated the Saudi regime. Two interrelated global charities directly financed by the Saudi government–the International Islamic Relief Organization and the Muslim World League –have been used by bin Laden to finance his operations. The organizations were left off the list of groups sanctioned by the United States last week, U.S. officials hinted to NEWSWEEK, in order to avoid embarrassing the Saudi government.

This inaction against Naseef’s Muslim World League was confirmed in a 2004 story by Harpers. They wrote:

In other cases, the Bush Administration made a conscious decision not to pursue major Saudi conduits for terrorist funding. The clearest example involves two ostensible charities that are long known to have funneled money to Al Qaeda–the International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO) and the Muslim World League (MWL). Both are financed directly by the Saudi government. MWL is an evangelical organization that was created to help spread Wahhabism, the Saudi brand of Islamic fundamentalism; IIRO is a humanitarian relief organization that operates primarily in Muslim countries.

Harper’s also noted that during the Clinton administration the Central Intelligence Agency issued a report about Naseef’s Muslim World League and the International Islamic Relief Organization.

Consider the timing: in the fall of 1996, Huma Abedin began working in the White House. Harpers wrote:

Yet a 1996 CIA report alleged that IIRO helped to fund six militant training camps in Afghanistan, and noted that the former head of the group’s Philippines office–Osama bin Laden’s brother-in-law–had been linked to plots to “target the pope and U.S. airlines.”


U.S. intelligence officials also believe that MWL employees were involved in the 1998 bombing of two U.S. embassies in Africa. Although both IIRO and MWL were known to have funded Al Qaeda, U.S. government sources indicated to Newsweek in October 2001 that the Bush Administration left the two organizations off the list of designated terrorist groups in order to spare the Saudi government from embarrassment.

Saudis Admit to Terror Funding

In an article on Politico Magazined titled ‘We Misled You’: How the Saudis Are Coming Clean on Funding Terrorism former senior Bush administration official Zalmay Khalilza reveals that on a recent trip to Saudi Arabia, top kingdom officials including Crown Prince Nayef and Deputy Crown Mohammad Bin Salman opened up about being deceptive with America over their own terror funding. Khalilza said that the officials said that beginning in around 1960 as a response to Egypt’s Gamal Abdel Nasser “the Saudis concluded that Islamism could be a powerful tool with broader utility.”

One of the ways that the Saudi spread Islamism was through the creation in 1962 of the massive “charity” called the Muslim World League, whose goals were to spread Saudi Arabian Sunni Wahhabism combating ideological incursions and aberrant thought. all of the major terrorist groups in the world today including Al Qaeda, Al-Shabaab, Boko Harum, Hamas and ISIS are Wahhabist.

In 1963, the Muslim World League in conjunction with their anti-Nasser Egyptian allies in the Muslim Brotherhood, formed the Muslim Students Association MSA in the United States, spreading Islam throughout North America through chapters on college campuses. MSA Alumni include famed terrorism evangelist Anwar al-Awlaki, who was president of the University of Colorado chapter of the Muslim Students Association, as well as Hillary Clinton’s top aide Huma Abedin and her father Syed Abedin.

While the article admits that “there are some questions about whether some extremist Sunni groups, such as al-Nusra in Syria, are still getting Saudi money” It points out that the Saudis are facing a threat of their own making, as the Kingdom itself has become the target of ISIS terrorism in recent months. The Saudi’s appear to hoping that their confessions will help protect them. Khalilza writes:

…the Saudis say, their support for extremism turned on them, metastasizing into a serious threat to the Kingdom and to the West. They had created a monster that had begun to devour them. “We did not own up to it after 9/11 because we feared you would abandon or treat us as the enemy,” the Saudi senior official conceded. “And we were in denial.”



  • Saudi-based Islamic NGO that advances Wahhabi extremism
  • Has a long history of ties to, and financial support for, Islamic extremists, terrorist operatives, and terrorist organizations
  • Enjoys observer status with the United Nations

####Terrorist and Extremist Ties

MWL has a long history of ties to, and financial support for, Islamic extremists, terrorist operatives, and terrorist organizations including Hamas, the Abu Sayyaf Group, al-Ittihaad al-Islami, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Jemaat-al-Islamiyya, and al Qaeda. Moreover, a number of MWL’s subsidiaries, particularly the IIRO, have been involved in terrorist financing.


MWL at one time oversaw Rabita Trust, a now-defunct (since 2001) charity whose professed purpose was to give aid to Afghani refugees in Pakistan. The Trust came under investigation by the U.S. Senate Finance Committee based on evidence that it had knowingly funded terrorist groups.

MWL’s current secretary-general, Abdullah Al-Turki, has noteworthy ties to al Qaeda and likens “Israeli oppression against the Palestinian people” to terrorism.

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