In a report released on Wednesday, the Henry Jackson Society said Saudi Arabia has, since the 1960s, sponsored a multimillion-dollar effort to export the radical Wahhabi ideology across the Islamic world, including to Muslim communities in the west, adding that foreign funding for extremism in Britain mainly comes from the Saudi kingdom.
In the UK, the report said, the funding “has taken the form of endowments” to institutions, which have played host to “extremist preachers and the distribution of extremist literature.”
“Influence has also been exerted through the training of British Muslim religious leaders in Saudi Arabia, as well as the use of Saudi textbooks in a number of the UK’s independent Islamic schools,” the report said.
A number of “hate preachers” in the UK sit within the Wahhabi ideology and are connected with overseas-sponsored extremism, it added.
The report further found a surge in the level of Saudi funding to promote Wahhabism worldwide, which doubled in 2015 compared to an estimated $2 billion annually in 2007.
It also revealed that “numerous” cases of British nationals fighting alongside the Takfiri terror groups in Iraq and Syria are thought to have been radicalized through foreign-funded institutions and preachers.