Middle East

US using al-Qaeda for Mideast dominance: Cunningham

344296_Iraq-QaedaThe United States has been long using the terrorist al-Qaeda group as a cover for its imperialist policies in the Middle East, an analyst writes in a column for the Press TV website.

“Al-Qaeda has served as a protean ideological cover for imperialist predation in the Middle East and beyond,” Finian Cunningham wrote on Tuesday.

“The US has been working covertly with Saudi Arabia and British military intelligence for more than three decades to foster and fuel al-Qaeda extremists, beginning in Afghanistan to fight the Soviet Union from the late 1970s until 1990,” he added.

Cunningham described al-Qaeda as “a Western/Saudi creation” and a “ruthless proxy for waging regime change.”

His comments coincide with the escalation of al-Qaeda-led violence in Iraq and Syria.

“American weapons supplied covertly to Saudi Arabia are being used by al-Qaeda to inflict sectarian mayhem in Iraq, as well as in Syria, destabilizing both countries,” wrote Cunningham.

He said al-Qaeda in Iraq has re-branded itself as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) which is closely aligned with other terrorist groups like al-Nusra Front fighting in Syria.

“The alphabet-soup nature of these myriad groups does not alter the fact that they all share the same extremist Saudi Wahhabi ideology; they operate under the flag of al-Qaeda, they have conducted the most vile [sic] atrocities against civilians, including Sunni, Shia and Christians, and they are all sponsored by Saudi Arabia,” Cunningham wrote.

Document leaks recently revealed that Christopher Hill, a former US ambassador to Iraq, had explicitly stated in 2009 that Saudi Arabia was financing and arming al-Qaeda extremists in Iraq.

Hill said at the time that intelligence showed that Riyadh was “inciting sectarian violence” in Iraq.

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