Re "Pilot" training
In his comment "Pilot training?!" on 24th September 2007, Richard Laval writes: "Remind me again, where did the majority of the 9/11 terrorists come from?".
Shiv Malik, in an article entitled "My brother the bomber" (about the mastermind of the 7/7 bombings in London, Mohammad Sidique Khan, based partly on extended interviews with Khan's elder brother Gultasab) [Prospect magazine, issue 135, June 2007, pp 30-41] writes: "It is estimated that over the last two decades, Saudi Arabia has set aside $2-3bn a year to promote Wahhabism in other countries. It is not known how much of that money has come to Wahhabi groups in Britain, but one major recipient has been the Leeds Grand Mosque [with which Khan had close connections]."
Wahhabism is an intolerant and hard-line form of Sunni Islam (which originated in Saudi Arabia) and, although not identical with the jihadist or "Islamist" philosophies which have inspired the recent suicide bombings aimed at "the West", is very close to these world views and has acted as a springboard in the political development of most Islamist extremists.
If Saudi Arabia is a "friend of the West", one can only say that, with friends like those, who needs enemies?