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On the Passing of Khalid Bin Mahfouz

Jonathan Schanzer

Ash-Sharq al-Awsat, the London-based Arabic newspaper, ran a gushing obituary of Khalid bin Mahfouz today. Bin Mahfouz was a prominent Saudi businessman who ranked 24 in a list of the 50 richest Arabs with an estimated fortune of $3.2 billion. He died on Sunday from a heart attack.

The newspaper failed to mention the accusations leveled against the deceased for allegedly financing al-Qaeda. Notably, Craig Unger’s book House of Bush, House of Saud alleges that bin Mahfouz gave more than $270,000 to Osama bin Laden’s terror network.

Bin Mahfouz was also notable for his pioneering efforts in the insidious practice of lawfare, as a means to deflect the accusations against him. Targets included Jean-Charles Brisard, the chief investigator for the 9/11 families lawsuit against al-Qaeda financiers, and inFOCUS contributor Rachel Ehrenfeld.