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Boston Terrorism and the Saudi Arabian Public Relations Masters

April 16, 2013 10:15 am 9 comments

The blast scene. Photo: Twitter.

According to reports the suspect in the Boston Marathon terror attack is a 20-year old Saudi national who is currently under police guard.  One wonders how long it will take for the Saudi Public Relations spin machine to kick into action. Indeed in the years since the 9/11 attack, in which 15 of the 19 bombers were Saudi Arabian, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has spent over $100 million on American Public Relations companies.

Clearly, those funds have gone far and have been well spent. Including their current PR firm, Edelman, Hill & Knowlton (who has worked with them since 1982) and Washington D.C. powerhouse Qorvis Communications, undoubtedly there are many others. The Saudis spend a lot to pull the wool over the eyes of the West.

These well-paid companies are quite effective. One wonders which spin-doctors and lobbyists were responsible for securing “trusted traveler” status from America’s Department of Homeland Security for Saudis less than a month ago.  This means that Saudis, once through the program will receive special clearance through customs.  Previously, the Saudis were on a list of countries deemed susceptible to terrorists – including Libya and Iraq. Quite a change of policy.

It’s not only PR firms that they spend money on – the Saudis have given $20 million donations to Harvard and Georgetown universities, $200 million from Saudi King Abdullah went to  Stanford, Cornell, Texas A&M, CalTech, and others.  Money goes far.

And while the Boston investigation is just beginning, until this day questions remain about the Saudi government’s connection to the September 11 attacks.

Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.) said then:  “Either [the Saudis] have to change or the relationship that we have with Saudi Arabia is going to change dramatically. For too many generations, certainly years, they have pacified and accommodated themselves to the most extreme fanatical elements of Islam.” And Republican Mitch McConnell said “The Saudis are on all sides of every issue. We, in some ways, have had a good relationship with them over the years, and in other ways, it appears as if they’re funding our enemies.”

Democratic Senators Bob Graham and Bob Kerrey stated that they are “…convinced that there was a direct line between at least some of the terrorists who carried out the September 11th attacks and the government of Saudi Arabia.” As Graham said “Someday, I do believe we will get to the bottom of 9/11 and the Saudi government connections.”

This is a bi-partisan issue which hasn’t gotten enough attention – maybe now the sun will shine on Saudi activity. One also wonders how far public relations firms will go to help clean up the Saudi Arabian reputation before the public is able to focus on the truth about Saudi Arabia.

Ronn Torossian is an entrepreneur and author of best-selling PR book “For Immediate Release.”



    Fascinating! The media keeps quoting the Sura which paraphrases the mishna in Sanhedrin about the value of human life. This video shows that the Sura is a directive to the Jews and that the Sura validates/implies that the land of Israel belongs to the Jews.

    The video then goes on to the next verse which is a directive to the Muslims advocating
    death and mutilation to those who disagree with Islam.

    Not being familiar with the Koran, it was an eye opener not only seeing the first verse in context, but seeing the verse which follows it advocating terrorist behaviors.

  • Richard Heya

    Muslims are the bombers. That is all that has to be said. The Wahabbi faction of Islam is dominant in Chechnya. This originated in Saudi Arabia, the faction came from Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia funds this area today.

  • Jeffrey Justin

    Well Ron ,how does it feel to have a bit of EGG on your face . When you jump to conclusions ,you had better take a good long hard look at what you are Jumping into

  • The saudis are the head of the snake

  • Janet Maguire

    As one who lost a good friend to an IRA bomb (it killed his baby son as well, the bombers watched him get in his car carrying her and then pressed the remote detonator) I find the attitude in this article rather jaw-dropping. For many many years Boston was heavily involved in raising funds for the IRA. Yes, they kidded themselves they were supporting ‘freedom fighters’ (one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter, depending on whose ’cause’ it is) however the donors knew full well they were funding explosives. Even gleefully passing round the hat for ‘car bomb’ funds. Many innocent lives were lost yet still the funds rolled in.
    It wasn’t happening in their own back yard. It was easy to remain detached. It took 9/11 to begin a change of attitude.
    Its worth noting that many terrorist organizations are linked. Regardless of whether they share much in terms of ideology they certainly share expertise and hardware. So some of the funds that helped the IRA also helped the connections the IRA had in Libya and Colombia for example.
    I am just saying that Saudi Arabia far from the only country engaged in ‘spin’ regarding its attitude to terrorist activities.. To see Boston portrayed as an innocent victim totally unconnected with terrorism is very wide of the mark. The chickens always come home to roost. Unfortunately, regardless of where the bombs go off, and whether the cause in question means you call the bomber a hero or a villain, the outcome is always the same: innocent people die horribly.
    That’s something the good people of Boston and the rest of the US need to bear in mind the next time the hat gets passed round. If any good comes out of this terrible incident it will be through reinforcing that. But its the doom of men that they forget.

    • Sonia Willats

      Janet, your story is unspeakably sad .. as are all of those innocents who lose their lives to heartless killers. The non-acceptance of such behaviour NEEDS TO START AT THE POINT OF THE RHETORIC, as also with Hamas and Iran. If they SAY they want to obliterate innocents, THEY MEAN IT.

      Each life is sacred.

  • Richard Levi
    This PR guy was right. The Saudis issued a statement immediately. Great PR.

  • And Ronn, exactly, what would the truth about Saudi Arabia be? I know you must be suggesting something in your article, but I will be darned, if i know what it is. Speak up. Or if you have nothing to say, be quiet. Innuendo doesn’t make the grade.

  • Mohammed Almarri

    Well,we are sharing you guys the sadness you are in. hope everything will clear out and arrest the evil people who did that. but, i think the american media has to stop guessing about who did that. That will make some tensions between the U.S government and the other governments the media are trying to make them suspects. I have a confidence that no saudi will be involved in this tragedey. i request from the media to calm down until everything gets clear.

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