The Saudis are already screeching that the discovery of a money link between members of the royal family and the Sept. 11 terrorists is a set-up job, designed to further damage their reputation with Americans, that it's just an attempt by U.S. hawks to push the Saudis into helping with an Iraq invasion.

The story has to do with the wife of the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. who sent some charity money to somebody who then turned the checks over to somebody else. Eventually, the money wound up in the hands of two of the Sept. 11 hijackers.

Was the wife of the Saudi prince, who is the longtime ambassador to the U.S., funding terrorism? Knowingly, willingly and with malice aforethought?

Probably not. She probably just wrote a check to somebody who asked for charitable help.

It seems unlikely that someone in that position — her husband could end up king someday — would do something so open.

But what the Saudis do all the time is just as bad, and that is fund Wahhabi madrassas in this country, and fund their Arab-American lobbying organizations.

If the Saudis wanted to help in the war on terror, we should be happy to say, "Okay. Forget the wife of the ambassador. We want to know which mosques and which imams you fund, and we want to know what they are telling the faithful."

Those imams in those Saudi-funded mosques are suspected of pushing the Wahhabi line, which is extreme in its anti-Western view, extreme in its anti-Americanism and extreme its willingness to encourage young men to take action.

We want to know who the Saudis are funding here in America, and what those people are telling other people to do. It's that simple.

That's My Word .

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