Saudi Arabia “Foremost” in Funding UK Extremism

A new report from the Henry Jackson Society finds that Saudi Arabia is “foremost” among the sources of foreign funding and support for Islamist extremist ideology in the UK. The study examines the ways in which the Saudi and other foreign governments stoke Islamist thought and activities in Britain. It finds that:

  • Saudi Arabia has spent at least £67 billion promoting Wahhabi ideology abroad in the past 30 years;
  • A number of Britain’s most serious Islamist hate preachers sit within the Salafi-Wahhabi ideology” and have studied in Saudi Arabia as part of scholarship programmes, or have been provided with extreme literature and material within the UK itself;
  • In 2014 it was estimated that Britain’s Salafi Mosques had a collective capacity for a 44,994 strong membership;
  • In a minority of cases, institutions in the UK that receive Saudi funding are also run directly from Saudi Arabia;
  • Saudi textbooks are used in a number of the UK’s independent Islamic schools;
  • There have also been “numerous cases of British individuals who have joined Jihadist groups in Iraq and Syria whose radicalisation is thought to link back to foreign funded institutions and preachers“.

The report calls for a public inquiry in order to understand the foreign backing for Islamist extremism in the UK:

“What is publicly known about the foreign funding of Islamist extremist activities in the UK almost certainly does not represent the full extent of what has happened in recent years… Given that there is a clear lack of information and understanding about this subject, both among policy makers and the public, the government should start to address this issue by launching an official and public inquiry into the subject.”

May has been suppressing a government report on funding of extremism for over a year – likely because it reveals Saudi culpability. She could begin by making those findings public…




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