by Ganesh Sahathevan
In a somewhat confusing about-face Saudi foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir has confirmed Malaysian PM Najib Razak's story that some USD 681 million found in his private bank accounts is in fact a donation from the Kingdom. Malaysian Government officials had earlier claimed that the donation was part of a larger scheme of funding provided by the Saudi Government for the benefit of Muslim groups throughout the region, including Muslim separatists in Thailand and the Philippines who have been waging guerrilla warfare against the majority in those countries.
Adel al-Jubei had earlier said that the money was an investment made by a private Saudi citizen, and had nothing to do with the Saudi government. Whatever the reasons for his about-face, the Kingdom is now directly implicated in the financing of terrorism in South East Asia,as are the banks that facilitated the transfers, which include Wells Fargo, Australia's ANZ ,and its Malaysian associate AMBank.
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