Private Saudi Arabians have allegedly donated millions of dollars to Sunni insurgents in Iraq, according to the Iraq Study Group and Iraqi officials. It’s an open secret that Iran has supported Shiite militants, causing some to worry that Iraq’s sectarian strife could develop into a regional quagmire.
Private Saudi citizens are giving millions of dollars to Sunni insurgents in Iraq and much of the money is used to buy weapons, including shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles, according to key Iraqi officials and others familiar with the flow of cash.
Saudi government officials deny that any money from their country is being sent to Iraqis fighting the government and the U.S.-led coalition.
But the U.S. Iraq Study Group report said Saudis are a source of funding for Sunni Arab insurgents. Several truck drivers interviewed by the Associated Press described carrying boxes of cash from Saudi Arabia into Iraq, money they said was headed for insurgents.
Two high-ranking Iraqi officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the issue’s sensitivity, told the AP most of the Saudi money comes from private donations, called zaqat, collected for Islamic causes and charities.