Saudi Arabia lead the foreign funding of Islamist extremism, a report published by foreign affairs think tank Henry Jackson Society has claimed.

The study, titled “Foreign Funded Islamist Extremism in the UK”, has called for a public inquiry into allegations that Islamist terrorists received foreign funding, especially from Arab states, to carry out attacks in the United Kingdom.

“An open and public inquiry into the funding of extremism from overseas would represent an important step toward formulating policy to address this problem,” the reprot said, adding that Saudi Arabia has “sponsored a multimillion dollar effort to export Wahhabi Islam across the Islamic world, including to the Muslim communities in the West” since the 1960s.

Tom Wilson, who authored the study, believes that in the past 30 years, Saudi Arabia has spent at least £67 billion in its endeavour.

Saudi’s denial

In a statement to the BBC, the Saudi Arabian Embassy in London denied the report, calling it “baseless and lacking credible evidence”.

“We do not and will not condone the actions or ideology of violent extremism, and we will not rest until these deviants and their organisations are destroyed,” it added.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May had visited Saudi Arabia in April. She has been accused of being subservient to the Saudis for failing to release a report on the funding of extremist groups in the UK, The Telegraph reported.

What the Henry Jackson Society report claims:

  • The foreign funding of terror in the UK has allegedly taken the form of endowments to mosques and Islamic educations institutes, which “play host” to extremist preachers and distribute extremist literature.
  • Some Saudi individuals and foundations have allegedly been involved in exporting “illiberal and bigoted” Wahhabi ideology. “So it is ironic that Saudi Arabia is singling out Qatar for links to extremism when it has patently failed to get its own house in order.”
  • The Qatari-funded Al-Muntada Trust allegedly has connections with many mosques where radicalisation takes place.
  • The number of mosques in Britain that adhere to Salafism and Wahhabism rose from 68 in 2007 to 110 in 2014, the report claims citing research.
  • According to a 2009 report by Civets, there were at least 24 Muslim schools in the UK described as “Saudi schools”. “The content of the textbooks is so extreme that in 2014, the Islamic State group had adopted these books as the official textbooks for the schools in its so-called caliphate.”