Wikileaks: Saudis 'Chief Funders Of Sunni Militants'

"US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned last year in a leaked classified memo that donors in Saudi Arabia were the ""most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide"".

She said it was ""an ongoing challenge"" to persuade Saudi officials to treat such activity as a strategic priority.

The groups funded include al-Qaeda, the Taliban and Lashkar-e-Taiba, she added.

The memo, released by Wikileaks, also criticised efforts to combat militants by the UAE, Qatar and Kuwait.

Meanwhile, a lawyer for the founder of the Wikileaks website said he was holding back secret material for release if anything happened to him.

He told the BBC that a rape case being prepared in Sweden against Julian Assange, an Australian national, was politically motivated.In one classified cable sent in December 2009, Mrs Clinton urged diplomats to redouble efforts to stop funds reaching militants ""threatening stability in Pakistan and Afghanistan and targeting Coalition soldiers"".

""While the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) takes seriously the threat of terrorism within Saudi Arabia, it has been an ongoing challenge to persuade Saudi officials to treat terrorist financing emanating from Saudi Arabia as a strategic priority,"" she wrote.The Saudi government had begun to make important progress, but ""donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide"", she added.

Al-Qaeda, the Taliban and Lashkar-e-Taiba ""probably raised millions of dollars"" annually from Saudi sources, often during the Hajj - and the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, she alleged. "