Khalid bin Mahfouz is dead.
The New York Times tells us:
Khalid bin Mahfouz, a billionaire Saudi banker who paid $225 million to settle charges of bank fraud in 1993 and later won a string of lawsuits in Britain against writers who had accused him of supporting terrorism, died Sunday at his home in Jidda. He was 60.
Bin Mahfouz’s business dealings came under scrutiny by a number of scholars, and he fought back by suing them in English courts where libel laws are more favorable to plaintiffs. The Times notes:
But Sheik Mahfouzâ€™s criticisms were sometimes irrefutable. He was widely referred to as the brother-in-law of Osama bin Laden, which he was not. Many newspapers published corrections.
What’s the point of this observation. There’s no indication that Rachel Ehrenfeld (one of his legal targets, who was mentioned by the Times) made this false charge. Are we to infer that all of his defenses were equally valid? It would appear that the Times is going out of its way to defend Bin Mahfouz.
Though Ehrenfeld and Millard Burr – two of his legal targets – won’t miss him, they list a number of people who will.
Many will miss him. In Riyadh, he will be missed by the ruling members of the royal family who once used his National Commercial Bank as their own piggy bank, and often used him and his family members as fronts for their business and to fund their favorite organizations and terrorist groups. Likewise, those shady characters who run the Saudi-funded Muslim World League, the International Islamic Relief Agency, and the Rabita Trust of Pakistan will miss him.
Georgetown alum (1968) Prince Turki bin Faisal, former Saudi ambassador to the U.K. and the U.S. and director of Saudi Arabiaâ€™s General Intelligence Department from 1977 until ten days before 9/11, and overseer of Saudi financial aid to the jihad in Afghanistan, will have lost an old friend.
Bin Mahfouz will certainly be missed by a circle of notorious Saudi plutocrats who make an appearance in the annual Forbes list of the world’s wealthiest citizens, many as defendants in the lawsuits filed by the victims of the 9/11 attacks. There are the Rajis, the Bin Ladens, Al Amoudi, and such other disreputable individuals as designated terrorist Yassin al Qadi, who ran some of Mahfouzâ€™s businesses and charities â€“ the Muwafaq foundation, that funded al-Qaeda, Hamas and Abu-Sayyaf, to name but a few.
Al Qaeda, Hamas and Taliban leaders must be grief stricken and worried; will his sons be as generous as he was?
Crossposted on Soccer Dad.