A recently leaked 2014 email from Hillary Clinton acknowledges, citing Western intelligence sources, that the U.S.-backed regimes in Saudi Arabia and Qatar have supported ISIS.
“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 and other radical Sunni groups in the region,” the document states.
This adds to a growing body of evidence that theocratic Gulf monarchies have helped fuel the surge of extremist groups throughout the Middle East.
Another newly released email, from January 2016, includes an excerpt from a private October 2013 speech in which Clinton acknowledged that “the Saudis have exported more extreme ideology than any other place on earth over the course of the last 30 years.”
In that same speech, Clinton noted that she wanted to pursue “a more robust, covert action trying to vet, identify, train and arm cadres of rebels” in Syria, that would have fought both the government of President Bashar al-Assad and “the Al-Qaeda-related jihadist groups that have, unfortunately, been attracted to Syria.”
She added however, “That’s been complicated by the fact that the Saudis and others are shipping large amounts of weapons — and pretty indiscriminately — not at all targeted toward the people that we think would be the more moderate, least likely, to cause problems in the future.”
In a June 2013 speech to Goldman Sachs, an excerpt of which is also included in that January 2016 message, Clinton emphasized that “the Saudis in particular are not necessarily the stablest regimes that you can find on the planet.”
These emails are part of a trove released this week by transparency organization WikiLeaks. The group, which was founded by detained whistleblower Julian Assange, says it obtained thousands of emails to and from John Podesta, a close Clinton ally and the chair of her presidential campaign.