Al-Qaida has been an ongoing issue since its inception.
And according to one former U.S. Senator from Florida, the terror organization was created within the borders of an ally’s country.
During an appearance on a nationally-seen political broadcast, former U.S. Senator Bob Graham said, “We know that Saudi Arabia started al-Qaida.”
PolitiFact Florida heard the claim and gave it a HALF TRUE rating on the Truth-O-Meter.
PolitiFact writer Josh Gillin says that’s because it has to do with money.
Al-Qaida was created just after the Russians moved into Afghanistan in 1979 to fight what they called “invaders.” In the process, other countries, including the United States and Saudi Arabia, started funneling money to the group.
Later, when Osama bin Laden broke away to create and alternate group, money continue to be funneled to the fighters.
”There were people in Saudi Arabia and other countries giving money to these fighters, and this is the group that became al-Qaida,” Gillin said.
For that reason, Graham’s statement received a HALF TRUE rating.
SOURCES: Saudi Arabia created al-Qaida, Graham says
- Council on Foreign Relations, "Backgrounder: al-Qaeda (a.k.a. al-Qaida, al-Qu'ida)," June 6, 2012
- Email, Daniel Byman, research director, Center for Middle East Policy, The Brookings Institution, April 24, 2016
- Interview, Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, senior fellow, Foundation for Defense of Democracies, April 24, 2016
- The Guardian, "A history of terror: Al-Qaeda 1988," July 12, 2008
- BBC News, "Al-Qaeda's origins and links," July 20, 2004
- Foreign Policy, "Al Qaeda Core: A Short History," March 17, 2014
- PBS, "Brief History of al Qaeda," accessed April 24, 2016
- Washington Post, "U.S. Was Foiled Multiple Times in Efforts To Capture Bin Laden or Have Him Killed," Oct. 3, 2001
- Osama Bin Laden: A Biography by Thomas R. Mockaitis
- The History of Terrorism — From Antiquity to Al Qaeda, edited by Gerard Chaliand and Ganaud Blin, Al Qaeda chapter by Philippe Migaux
- The Wall Street Journal, "List of Early al-Qaeda Donors Points to Saudi Elite Charities," March 18, 2003
- Florida Bulldog, "9/11 victims: Saudi Arabia's 'lavish sponsorship' of al Qaeda made attacks possible," Sept. 24, 2014 and "Bob Graham questions decision to send Guantanamo detainees to Saudi Arabia for rehab," April 22, 2016
- Tampa Bay Times, "Why did the FBI detail Bob Graham?" Aug. 7, 2015 and "Bob Graham's push for disclosure on Saudi Arabia and 9/11 enters prez campaign in NH," Aug. 12, 2015
- CNN.com, "Transcript of Bin Laden's October interview," Feb. 5, 2002