New Book, “Oil and the Business of Terror,” Alleges that Saudi Arabia and Others Profit by Funding Terror

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A new book, “Oil and the Business of Terror,” published by TheThinkingAmerican.com, alleges that Saudi Arabia and other oil exporting countries profit from funding terrorism to manipulate the price of oil.

A new book, Oil and the Business of Terror, written by Harry B., the publisher of TheThinkingAmerican.com blog, offers evidence and original research to make the allegation that Saudi Arabia, Iran and other states deliberately manipulate oil prices by funding acts of terrorism in oil-producing countries. Drawing on publicly-available information, the author’s painstaking research suggests a correlation between oil price movements and acts of terrorism in oil-rich states. The book argues that the government of Saudi Arabia and others have increased their oil export revenues by deliberately facilitating regional instability.

According to the book, the mechanism is simple – individuals in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait sponsor acts of terror that disrupt oil production in places like Iraq, Libya, Nigeria and Algeria.[1] Those publicly documented disruptions, in turn, allegedly create artificial worldwide oil shortages and sow fear of future scarcity, driving up the price of crude oil. The record shows that the Iraq War took oil production off the market and triggered fears of future supply disruptions.[2] “Oil and the Business of Terror” posits that same is happening right now in Libya.

“The more violence and instability you have in the Middle East, the more money the King of Saudi Arabia and Emir of Qatar make, personally. They pay for the instability and pocket the resulting profits,” said Harry B. “Awareness of this fact should make Americans seriously question our decisions about waging war in the Middle East, and revise our foreign policy when it comes to treating such states as allies. American men and women are dying in order to put money in the pockets of foreign powers, Wall Street and the big oil companies.”

Oil and the Business of Terror joins the dots between some well-accepted but seldom connected facts about the oil industry and its relationship with geopolitics:

  • Oil is a commodity. Its price goes up when there is a shortage or fear of a future shortage.
  • The price of two-thirds of the world’s oil is pegged to a single oil futures contract, the Brent, which is traded on the ICE exchange, owned by Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, BP, Total, Shell, Deutsche Bank and Société Générale. ICE discloses that it sets the price for 2/3 of the world’s crude oil.[3]
  • Terrorism, violence and instability in oil-producing countries not only has the immediate effect of taking oil production offline; it also creates fear among oil traders that supplies will continue to be disrupted in the future, quickly driving up the Brent.[4] Industry leaders recognize this fact.[5]
  • According to the book the Iraq insurgency, for example, has been funded by Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait – states that earn the majority of their income from oil exports. The Cato Institute has been calling Saudi Arabia “a prime sponsor of international terrorism” since 2001.[6] Respectable sources cite the current unrest in Libya as financed largely by Qatar.[7]
  • Between 2003 and 2008, the price of crude oil (Brent Benchmark) jumped from $25 per barrel to more than $140. Based on public financial disclosures and published industry analysis, the differential contributed unprecedented profits to the Saudis and other producers, as well as Big Oil and the Wall Street firms that trade in oil.
  • The book’s research suggests that between 2002 and 2013, more than 75% of downturns in the price of crude oil were followed, within two weeks, by surges of Saudi/Kuwaiti/Iranian/Qatari-funded terrorism in the top oil-producing states. The author further noted that during this period, the amounts of oil taken out of the global market as a result of terror and sabotage closely mirrored the growth in global oil demand. According to the author, this should be viewed as a suspicious series of coincidental shortages that influenced the price of oil to rise during this period.

Oil and the Business of Terror makes the case that terrorism is a fundamental part of the oil industry’s business model. The books argues that more violence, instability and uncertainty there is in oil-producing countries, the more money earned by the Saudis and other states with vested interests in the oil business. The book also alleges that major oil companies and Wall Street banks, knowingly or not, profit from this carnage.

Harry B. is the pseudonym of an independent American writer who is not affiliated with any political or media organization. He is the publisher of the non-partisan blog, thethinkingamerican.com.
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Sources (Taken from 100+ citations in the book itself)
(1) Simcox, Robin - "Boko Haram and defining the 'al-Qaeda network'" - Aljazeera - June 6, 2014 http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2014/06/boko-haram-al-qaeda-201463115816142554.html
(1) Walsh, Declan - "WikiLeaks cables portray Saudi Arabia as a cash machine for terrorists" - The Guardian - December 5, 2010
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/dec/05/wikileaks-cables-saudi-terrorist-funding
(2) Institute for the Analysis of Global Security (IAGS) - Iraq Pipeline Watch - "Attacks on Iraqi pipelines, oil installations, and oil personnel” - March 27, 2008 - http://www.iags.org/iraqpipelinewatch.htm
(2) Robertson, Nic "Libya's rival military commanders fight war of words" – CNN - November 16, 2011 and "Libya’s former PM accuses Qatar of seeking too big a role" - Lebanon Daily Star (Dubai). Reuters – January 25 2012.
(3) ICE website - https://www.theice.com/publicdocs/futures/ICE_Brent_FAQ.pdf
The book itself offers more than 100 additional references.
(4) Kilian, Lutz – “Not All Oil Price Shocks Are Alike: Disentangling Demand and Supply Shocks in the Crude Oil Market” - American Economic Review 2009, 99:3, 1053–1069
(5) Washingtons Blog - "Stockman: War Drums Are Driving Up Oil Prices" - February 28, 2012
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2012/02/stockman-war-drums-are-driving-up-oil-prices-and-hurting-the-economy/
(6) http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/terrorist-sponsors-saudi-arabia-pakistan-china
(7) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/qatar/11110931/How-Qatar-is-funding-the-rise-of-Islamist-extremists.html

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Oil and The Business of Terror
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