Cablegate: Terror Finance: Designees Continue to Rant with Some Support From Parliament
PP RUEHDE RUEHDIR
DE RUEHKU #0128/01 0311446
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 311446Z JAN 08
FM AMEMBASSY KUWAIT
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0703
INFO RUEHZM/GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 3162
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC PRIORITY
CONFIDENTIAL SECTION 01 of 03 KUWAIT 000128
STATE FOR NEA/ARP, EEB/ESC/TFS; TREASURY FOR KRISTEN HECHT
E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/27/2018
TAGS: EFIN KU KTFN PGOV PREL PTER
SUBJECT: TERROR FINANCE: DESIGNEES CONTINUE TO RANT WITH SOME SUPPORT FROM PARLIAMENT
Ref: A. 06 KUWAIT 4637
B. KUWAIT 79
c. KUWAIT 90
d. KUWAIT 97
e. KUWAIT 98
f. STATE 7443
Classified By: CDA Alan Misenheimer for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)
1. (C) Summary: The reaction by the Kuwaiti media and GOK
to the January 16 UN Security Council designation of three
Kuwaitis -- Hamed Al-Ali, Jaber Al-Jalahmah and Mubarak
Al-Bathali-- as terrorist facilitators and inciters has
remained relatively subdued with the exception of defiant
statements from the designees (Ref D) and now statements by
Kuwaiti Members of Parliament (MP) Dr. Walid Al-Tabtaba'i,
Khudair Al-Enezi and Abdullah Akash. Their comments appeared
in the January 20 internet version of the Arabic-language
newspaper Al-Rai Al-Amm and on January 30 in the
Arabic-language newspapers Al-Qabas and Al-Wasat. The MPs
criticize "the terrorist policy of the US" and condemn the
addition of the three Kuwaitis to the blacklist of terrorist
financiers by the UNSC. Two of the designees, Al-Ali and
Al-Bathali continue to blast the airwaves with interviews,
claiming their innocence and criticizing U.S. policy and the
UNSC decisions to designate them. The three vocal MPs are
all Islamists and are regular grandstanders in criticizing
U.S. policy on a host of regional issues. End Summary.
2. (U) In an interview appearing January 20 in the
Arabic-language newspaper Al-Rai Al-Amm, titled
"Al-Tabtaba'i Asks the Government to Object to the
International Resolution Against Three Kuwaitis," Dr. Walid
Al-Tabtaba'i, MP, informed Al-Rai of his intentions to
discuss the UNSC resolution with Minister of Foreign Affairs
Shaykh Dr. Mohammad Al Sabah. Al-Tabtaba'i told Al-Rai that
the government must object to the "unjust and unfounded
resolution," and pointed out that it is unacceptable to
accuse people without irrefutable proof. MP Akash accused
the U.S. of engaging in terrorism through its accusation of
innocent people without possessing irrefutable proof to
condemn them, stating, "America practices terrorism against
whoever disagrees with her, although she is the source of
terrorism." He added that he would submit a question to the
Foreign Minister concerning the resolution and would inquire
about the role that the government played in confronting such
an "unjust" resolution, which is not based on any legal
proof. He criticized the "terrorist policy of the U.S.,"
calling for the government to confront the accusations it
spreads against Muslims without any justification or proof.
In an article appearing January 30 in the Arabic-language
newspapers Al-Qabas and Al-Wasat, MP Khudair Al-Enezi
condemned the addition of the names of the three Kuwaitis to
the list of terrorist financiers by the UNSC and called on
the GOK to exert more efforts to have their names removed.
Al-Enezi stated, "It appears that all those who declare an
opinion against the U.S., which is totally biased in favor of
the Zionist entity (Israel), will be considered a terrorist
and based on this, the Security Council should then list the
names of all Arab and Muslim peoples to the blacklist." He
also praised the three men, saying that they played no role
in activities that breach the country's laws or encourage
3. (SBU) There has been no lull in the objections by
terrorist facilitators Al-Ali and Al-Bathali. In a January
28 interview appearing in the Arabic-language newspaper
Al-Wasat, Al-Ali claimed he was unfairly designated and that
the U.S. Treasury used false information regarding his
alleged involvement in terrorist financing. In a January 27
article appearing in the Arabic-language newspaper Al-Rai,
Al-Bathali opens with a message to the UNSC, claiming that
all reports they received were lies. Following are excerpts
from Post's unofficial translation:
Q: What would you like us to start with?
A: I would like to send a message to Richard Birth (sic),
UNSC Coordinator, to say that all reports you received are
lies. I have not been to Saudi Arabia for over five years.
My last visit to Saudi Arabia was in February 2003. From
where did you get these reports?
Q: Did you violate Saudi security?
A: No, I went for the Omrah (minor pilgrimage). They said
that I met with leaders in Saudi and coordinated with them,
Kuwait 00000128 002 of 003
but this is false.
Q: You mean with the outlaws in Saudi?
A: Yes, Al-Qaeda. I was in jail after the Omrah for six
months, but I did not meet anybody. I did not have money and
I did not hand over money to anybody. They took me directly
from the Jeddah Airport to jail. With whom then did I meet?
These reports are lies and I do not want the UNSC Coordinator
to be like a puppet following the instructions of other
countries or certain people.
Q: Have the sanctions affected you?
A: Yes, I have been gone without a salary for 11 months and
the GOK is not helping me. I need my salary. It is not an
asset to freeze. They have no right to freeze it. It is for
me and my children. I cannot get money without working.
Q: Are you still working?
A: Yes, at Kuwait Municipality.
Q: Is your salary being transferred to the Bank?
A: Yes, Kuwait Finance House. But, my account is frozen.
Q: Since you are in debt, does the "Jihad movement" pay you?
A: No one pays me. I am like the Gaza Strip in Kuwait.
Q: But you do not deny you participated in Jihad in Bosnia?
A: Yes, and I was honored. Jihad is mandatory for all
Q: The UNSC does not believe in that.
A: We follow God's law. We have nothing to do with the UNSC
or international law.
Q: You do not think you did anything against the law?
A: I did nothing against the law.
Q: You did not go to Afghanistan?
A: No, I did not go there.
Q: What about Iraq?
Q: In Bosnia, Muslims were being killed and you believe
there was a reason to defend them?
A: Also in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Q: What about Palestine?
A: Jihadis were there since Abdulla Azzam. But, Palestine
is being guarded very strictly and no one can penetrate it.
Q: Who are these guards?
A: Neighboring countries. Now Egypt has opened its borders,
I hope they can manage to penetrate.
Q: Does Islam call for a truce like what happened with
A: Saladin made a truce while he was in power.
Q: Who won in Lebanon in 2006?
A: It was the resistance, Jihadis, Hizbullah, and Sunnis
with them. There is a battalion of Sunnis and Druze and even
Christians. All together.
Q: This has never been published or shown through the media.
A: We have nothing to do with the media. But it is well
known. Why did that Army surround Naher al-Barid Refugee
Camp? Why did they not fight Israel?
Q: They say that you went to Kosovo?
A: Yes, I was the only Kuwaiti there. We should help our
Muslim brothers everywhere. The time that Iraq invaded our
country we asked the whole world to help us. Why is it
strange now to help each other?
Q: Many people think that you are dragging the youth into
trouble without reason.
A: We see victory so close. The Americans are in trouble in
Iraq. They are in a quagmire. Is that not a victory?
Q: You think the West is screaming in Afghanistan?
A: Yes I do.
Q: Is it true that Al-Qaeda's activity has been limited
A: American military leaders say that Afghanistan is a
difficult situation. This means it is a victory. Al-Qaeda's
recruitment is growing. In every house there is someone who
Kuwait 00000128 003 of 003
Q: Where are they?
A: Everywhere, in Kuwait and other countries. Is that not a
Q: Victory comes by making a truce and peace.
A: The one in power does not make a truce or peace with the
feeble. Shall we let them go on attacking the Muslims?
Q: If this is your position, why do you find it strange that
they punish you?
A: We are talking about my salary, my earnings, my food and
drink. My monthly salary is KD 300 (USD 1100), does that
defeat America in Iraq? They paid USD 400 billion in Iraq!
Q: I meant do you expect them to show you mercy?
A: Kuwait is an independent country and has sovereignty
Q: Would you like to say anything else?
A: I hope they intervene to unfreeze my salary before I find
myself forced to go according to Hadith (prophetic
tradition); whoever dies defending his honor or money, he is
a martyr. Please do not force me to do so. I tried my best
to get back my salary, but without success.
4. (C) The three designees continue to try to use the media
-- with limited success -- to gain sympathetic advantage with
the Kuwaiti audience and to try to exploit their roles as
"victims" of the USG war on terror. We have also noticed a
degree of discomfort with the designations within the MFA:
glossed over the TF charges against the three and showed more
concern over the financial plight of the families of the
designees (ref E).
--xxxxxxxxxxxx was indignant that three Kuwaitis would be
targeted in such a manner, and was convinced that there was
not enough evidence to support the UN's claims (ref B).
5. (C)xxxxxxxxxxxx (who plays a largely behind the scenes role in the
Kuwaiti political scene), told poloff that these three
individuals are guilty of TF and deserve the imposition of
sanctions. He added, though, that the GOK does "not know
how" to proceed with the UNSCR 1267 sanction mandates and is
secretly content to allow the negative attention on the USG
to continue while it sorts out the Kuwaiti role and
responsibility in the matter. We are continuing to press the
GOK for strict adherence to their international obligations
and will report results septel.
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