Saudi Arabien — Petraeus Lauds Saudi Fatwa Condemning Terrorism Financing

WASHINGTON, May 22, 2010 — Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, com­man­der of U.S. Cen­tral Com­mand, praised Sau­di Arabia’s reli­gious lead­ers for tak­ing a major step toward pro­mot­ing broad­er coun­tert­er­ror­ism coop­er­a­tion by their recent rejec­tion of financ­ing ter­ror­ism as un-Islam­ic.

Petraeus laud­ed the Coun­cil of Senior Schol­ars in Sau­di Arabia’s recent issuance of a fat­wa that, for the first time, specif­i­cal­ly con­demns and out­laws the financ­ing of ter­ror­ism as a vio­la­tion of Islam­ic law.

A fat­wa is a reli­gious opin­ion, issued by an Islam­ic schol­ar con­cern­ing Islam­ic law.

The Sau­di council’s most recent fat­wa, issued last month in Riyadh, cites the Koran and lessons from the prophet Mohammed in declar­ing any means of financ­ing ter­ror­ism a pun­ish­able crime.

Petraeus not­ed the sig­nif­i­cance of the fat­wa in a state­ment released last night from his head­quar­ters at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla.

“This rul­ing makes clear that the strug­gle against ter­ror­ist financ­ing is not just an Amer­i­can or West­ern con­cern, but a glob­al threat,” he said. “In addi­tion, the council’s rul­ing but­tress­es with its inter­pre­ta­tion of Islam­ic law the inter­na­tion­al legal pro­vi­sions on financ­ing of ter­ror­ism.”

In doing so, Petraeus said the council’s rul­ing “will bol­ster the exist­ing counter-ter­ror­ist efforts with our Sau­di part­ners and with oth­er part­ners through­out the Mus­lim world.”

He praised the Sau­di council’s “coura­geous deci­sion” in issu­ing the fat­wa.

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)