(Independent) Sept. 19, 2011 – The Lloyd’s syndicate is known as a “run-off”, meaning that it does not accept new premiums on the Lloyd’s of London insurance market and instead deals with historic claims. In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, its members settled a raft of multimillion-pound claims from affected businesses, including airlines, airports and security companies, as well as injured individuals and relatives of those killed.
Its complaint, which quotes heavily from US diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks detailing investigations by the US authorities into al-Qa’ida, attempts to establish funding links between some Saudi charities, and the terror group, and implicate the Saudi government in that funding through its support of the charities.
The lawsuit was filed Sept. 8 in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania in Johnstown, Pa.
The case singles out the activities of a charity, the Saudi Joint Relief Committee for Kosovo and Chechnya (SJRC), which was alleged by UN officials to have been used as a cover by several al-Qa’ida operatives, including two men who acted as directors of the charity. It is alleged that at the time the SJRC was under the control of Prince Naif bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud, half-brother of King Abdullah and the long-standing Saudi Interior minister. The claim states: “Between 1998 and 2000, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, through the SJRC, diverted more than $74m to al-Qa’ida members and loyalists affiliated with SJRC bureaus. Throughout this time, the Committee was under the supervision and control of Saudi Interior Minister Prince Naif bin Abdul Aziz.”
The Saudi embassies in London and Washington did not respond to requests.
One of the most active players, the Saudi Joint Committee for the Relief of Kosova and Chechnya, has additionally poured significant funds into education. Its robust aid program has supported the construction of more than 98 specialized Koranic primary and secondary schools in the regions most rural areas. Reminiscent in its mechanics of the Taliban program in Pakistan, this monopolization of Kosovos spiritual and educational life by Saudi agencies should not be dismissed as irrelevant, for the newly trained generation of Kosovan Muslims could very well translate its increasing sense of persecution and neglect into a volatile attitude toward other religious and ethnic groups.
Further, the formal alliance of Kosovos former Minister of Health, Numan Balic, and numerous Saudi organizations has allowed for the integration of Wahhabi proselytizing institutions into Kosovos political and cultural institutions. In the most extreme case, as Dr. Isa Blumi maintains, the international communitys ill-conceived policies for Kosovos rural Muslim population may prove to be directly responsible for the production of Europes own Taliban. In November 2006, for example, the BBC revealed that strong Wahhabi cells of Saudi Arabian origin had taken hold in the Kosovo villages of Planjane and Racane. In May of this year, four plotters, who identified as Islamic militants and trace their roots back to Kosovo and the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), were caught preparing a terrorist attack on Fort Dix, New Jersey.