We can’t destroy terrorists so long as Saudi props Wahhabism: Congressman

A recent congressional hearing indicates America cannot defeat global terrorist groups such as Daesh (ISIL) as long as Saudi Arabia sponsors Wahhabism.

Speaking in an early January congressional hearing aired by C-SPAN, Democratic congressman from Georgia, Hank Johnson said, “It is true …that the ideology of ISIL lines up with Wahhabism.”

Congressman Johnson asked participant in the hearing panel Robert Ford, a former US ambassador to Syria, “Is it fair to say that Saudi’s support for the teachings of Wahhabism creates fertile ground for ISIL recruitment efforts?

Ford, now a senior fellow at the Middle East Institute in Washington, answered, “I think Saudi promotion of Wahhabism is absolutely a problem” when it comes to ISIL recruitment.

“And so, we would be unable to defeat the global jihadist movement which is based on largely Wahhabism which is a state-sponsored religion of Saudi Arabia without somehow enlisting the support of the Saudi royal family in withdrawing its financial support for Wahhabism. Is that a fair assessment,” the US lawmaker asked.

Michael Joseph Morell, former acting director of the US spy agency, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), took the question, saying, “There needs to be a discussion with the Saudis about their support for Wahhabism and how it should be treated.”

The hearing also points to the billions of dollars worth of weapons and ammunition the United States sells Saudi Arabia.

Takfiri terrorists like Daesh and other similar militant groups kill Muslims who do not conform to their ideology, accusing them of being infidels.

Takfirism is largely influenced by Wahhabism, the radical ideology dominating Saudi Arabia and freely preached by Saudi clerics.

The spread of such foreign-backed extremist groups over the past several years, especially in Middle Eastern countries like Iraq and Syria as well as North Africa, has led to bloody wars and heinous crimes, uprooting millions of people from their homelands and claiming hundreds of thousands of civilian lives.