Issue 100

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Page 12 of 55

REAL MEDIA 2017 / ISSUE 100 WHY THERESA MAY CANNOT BE TRUSTED TO KEEP BRITAIN SAFE Kieran Turner-Dave Strong, stable and secure – or weak, wobbly and dangerous? Theresa May has spent much of the election campaign presenting herself as a safe pair of hands. However, in the wake of three terrorist attacks on British soil in as many months, it is time that the Prime Minister – and former Home Secretary – was treated to the same scrutiny as Jeremy Corbyn over her record on security and defence. Defending arms sales to Saudi Arabia, knowing they would be used on civilians Since the Saudi-led coalition bombing of Yemen began, the UK government has exported over £3.3billion in weapons to Saudi Arabia, as well as sending British military advisors to assist in bombing raids. These weapons have been used to kill over 10,000 people in Yemen,one third of them civilians. A UN inquiry found that "in eight of the ten investigations, the panel found no evidence that the air strikes had targeted legitimate military objectives" therefore "the attacks may amount to war crimes." Theresa May was challenged by Jeremy Corbyn during Prime Minister's Questions to end arm sales to Saudi Arabia after the bombing of international hospitals and schools (after all, knowingly selling weapons to states that commit war crimes is a breach of both British and international law). The Prime Minister strongly defended the sales of weapons, insisting that our close military relationship with Saudi Arabia "keeps people on the streets of Britain safe". It remains to be seen whether the 3 million Yemeni refugees fleeing the British- made cluster bombs agree with her. Remaining silent while Saudi Arabia funds terror groups But exactly how safe is our military alliance with Saudi Arabia? Saudi Arabia remains arguably the most prolific state sponsor of international Islamist terrorism; funding a variety of Islamist groups including the Taliban (Afghanistan), Al Qaeda (Iraq), and the Al-Nusra Front (Syria). The Wahhabist- Salafist jihadi ideology promoted by The Kingdom is also shared by ISIS, who have around 2,500 Saudis in their ranks. A leaked White House memo from 2010 shows that then-Secretary of State Hilary Clinton referred to Saudi as the "most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide". The Pakistani militant group that carried out the 2008 Mumbai bombings were funded by Saudi Arabia, and enjoyed an annual budget of $5.25million. According to studies, most suicide bombers in Iraq are Saudis. Fifteen of the nineteen hijackers responsible for 9/11 originated from Saudi Arabia (as well as Osama bin Laden himself). In 2016, relatives of 9/11 victims tried to use US courts to hold Saudi royals, banks, or charities responsible for funding the attackers. However, in March that year, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir threatened to sell $750billion worth of American assets owned by Saudi Arabia unless Obama's government amended laws giving foreign governments immunity from prosecution for terror acts. As Prime Minister, Theresa May will be privy to this information and much more. Yet, she continues to defend our "military partnership" with funders of international terrorism. Read more reasons why Theresa May cannot be trusted to keep the UK safe on

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