Who are our Real Enemies?
A good novel allows readers to learn and question, a gateway to world events. Such is the case with Vince Flynn’s Enemy Of The State by Kyle Mills. Flynn warned Americans on the dangers of Islamic terrorism in his first CIA operative Mitch Rapp book, Transfer of Power, published in 1999. This was two years before 9/11. Fast-forward eighteen years and Rapp books still discuss the dangers of jihadists. Mills took the torch from the late Vince Flynn, and has written a gripping novel about the Saudi involvement with terrorism. This is where fiction blends with reality.
Mills noted, “I thought about the redacted section from the 9/11 report that possibly showed the Saudi involvement. After reading the book people will understand I am not a big fan of the Saudis. Historically we have overlooked a lot of what they do in order to keep alive our strategic relationship. They not only support terrorism, but the schools that teach it. There is not much civil liberties and human rights there. I always wanted to see them slapped down and I enjoyed watching Mitch do it.”
It is rumored that this portion of the report details contacts between Saudi officials and some of the September 11 hijackers, checks from Saudi royals to operatives in contact with the hijackers, and the discovery of a telephone number in an Al Qaeda militant’s phone book that was traced to a corporation managing an Aspen Colorado, home of Prince Bandar bin Sultan, then the Saudi ambassador to Washington. The document is harsh in its criticism of Saudi efforts to undermine American attempts to dismantle Al Qaeda in the years before the September 11 attacks. Moreover, it portrays the F.B.I as generally in the dark about the maneuverings of Saudi officials inside the United States during that period.
In Enemy of The State, the CIA operative Mitch Rapp is quoted, “How many times are we going to have to go through this with them? We let them off the hook for the most deadly terrorist attack in US history and now here we go again.” It sure seemed that way when President Obama bowed before the Saudi King Abdullah at the opening of the G20 meeting in London in 2009.
Even President Trump seemed to be softening on his view of the Saudis. His speech in Saudi Arabia this May called them friends and allowed them to buy a $110-million-dollar defense purchase. This is a far cry when during the 2016 campaign he called on them to provide troops and funds to fight ISIS.
A powerful quote in the book shows the two sides of the Saudi regime, “It was a country with sufficient resources to provide prosperous lives for its citizens and to be a force of good throughout the region. Instead, these resources had been used to enrich a handful of monarchs and to promote the cycle of violence and misery that the Middle East was currently mired in.”
On the one hand it appears that they are now committed to fighting terrorism. Isobel Coleman, a Saudi expert for the Council on Foreign Relations, felt they had a change of heart. She noted, “For a long time the Saudi state encouraged Saudi men to fight Jihad. It was a heroic thing to do. The Saudis had a profound change after they had to deal with internal terrorism.”
During the May speech, President Trump announced Saudi cooperation to fight terrorism, “Muslim nations must be willing to take on the burden if we are going to defeat terrorism and send its wicked ideology into oblivion. The first task in this joint effort is for your nations to deny all territory to the foot soldiers of evil. Every country in the region has an absolute duty to ensure that terrorists find no sanctuary on their soil… I am proud to announce that the nations here today will be signing an agreement to prevent the financing of terrorism called the Terrorist Financing Targeting Center, co-chaired by the United States and Saudi Arabia, and joined by every member of the Gulf Cooperation Council.”
Yet, on the other hand, Saudi Arabia is still denying any involvement in the September 11th attacks even though fifteen of the nineteen hijackers were Saudis. They even threatened to sell off $750 billion in U.S. assets if Congress passes legislation allowing them to be sued for the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, a move that could destabilize the U.S. dollar.
Bob Graham, a former Democratic senator from Florida, says ISIS "is a product of Saudi ideals, Saudi money, and Saudi organizational support." Graham went on to say that ISIS represents a form of Wahhabi ideology, in which the monarchy has lost control. He believes it is a cancer that now threatens the kingdom, and that in order to stop ISIS the ideology must be dried up at the source.
Nina Shea, director of the Hudson Institute's Center for Religious Freedom, wrote, ”The Saudi government has given over its textbooks to the clerical Wahhabi extremists that it partners with to maintain control of the country.” She explained, each year, these textbooks speak of direct religious hatred, violence and indoctrinate a war mentality. Yet, their role in advancing Islamist extremist ideology has not been taken seriously as a U.S. national security concern. Since 9/11, regardless of which party is in power, the State Department has barely raised the issue and at times has even worked to cover up their toxic content.
As President Trump stated, "Muslim nations must be willing to take on terrorism and send its wicked ideology into oblivion… Terrorists do not worship God, they worship death.” Enemy Of The State shows how important it is for the U.S. to make sure the Saudis continue to hold up their end of the relationship by not promoting hatred against the West and stamping out the supporters of terrorism. In a sense the book is a reminder to Americans that September 11th should never be forgotten.
The author writes for American Thinker. She has done book reviews, author interviews, and has written a number of national security, political, and foreign policy articles.