Leaked 'Clinton email' claims Saudi Arabia, Qatar fund IS

Leaked 'Clinton email' claims Saudi Arabia, Qatar fund IS

3 min read
11 October, 2016
Wikileaks have released a leaked email from Hillary Clinton where it is claimed that US intelligence believe that Saudi Arabia and Qatar funded IS.
Both Saudi Arabia and Qatar have long denied funding the jihadist group [Getty]
Wikileaks have released an email it claims to be from presidential nominee Hillary Clinton to her campaign chairman. In it, Clinton alleges that US intelligence had come to believe that Saudi Arabia and Qatar are funding the Islamic State group [IS].

The alleged email exchange dated to 17 August 2014 and appears to be between Clinton and John Podesta, who was then an advisor to President Barack Obama. She also outlined an eight-point plan to defeat IS by supporting Kurdish forces and avoiding a ground offensive.

"We need to use our diplomatic and more traditional intelligence assets to bring pressure on the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIL [IS] and other radical Sunni groups in the region," the email released on Monday reads.

The New Arab could not verify the authenticity of the allegedly leaked correspondences but both Saudi Arabia and Qatar have long denied funding the jihadi group.

IS - like al-Qaeda - have also made the overthrow of the royal family in Saudi Arabia one of its main aims and has launched militant attacks on security services in the kingdom.

The leaked email was allegedly written two months after the jihadi group swept across large swathes of Iraqi territory and seized Mosul, the country's second city.

"This effort will be enhanced by the stepped up commitment in the KRG [Kurdish Regional Government]. The Qataris and Saudis will be put in a position of balancing policy between their ongoing competition to dominate the Sunni world and the consequences of serious US pressure," the email adds citing Western intelligence, US intelligence and sources in the region.

     
      Wikileaks has been accused of being a mouthpiece of the
Russian government [Getty]

On Friday, US officials formally accused the Russian government of trying to "interfere" with the US presidential election following a spate of cyber attacks.

The statement said the disclosures of alleged hacked emails on WikiLeaks and other websites were "consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts". Russia is also hosting former US intelligence operative Edward Snowden who is wanted by US authorities for leaking confidential spy reports.

President Vladimir Putin has also voiced support for Republican candidate Donald Trump, while state-influenced Russian media have also leaned towards the right-winger.

Both Saudi Arabia and Qatar are part of the US-led military intervention against IS. The Saudi initiated Islamic Military Alliance to Fight Terrorism also claims to counter IS, although many believe it was formed to oppose Iran.

In August 2014, Qatar's former Foreign Minister Khalid bin Mohammad al-Attiyah unequivocally denied funding IS.

"Qatar does not support extremist groups, including [IS], in any way. We are repelled by their views, their violent methods and their ambitions. The vision of extremist groups for the region is one that we have not, nor will ever, support in any way," he said.