Saudi Arabia is for the most part “guilty of advancing extremism” in Britain, a think-tank report has said in claims that were denied by the Saudi government.
“While entities from across the Gulf and Iran have been guilty of advancing extremism, those in Saudi Arabia are undoubtedly at the top of the list,” Tom Wilson, a fellow at the Henry Jackson Society, said in a report on Wednesday.
According to the London-based foreign policy think-tank, Saudi Arabia operates several large charities that fund education involved with their ideologies worldwide, including in Britain, spending at least 67 billion pounds ($87bn) on the programmes over the past 50 years.
Funding from Saudi Arabia has primarily taken the form of endowments to mosques, the report said, which have in turn “played host to extremist preachers and the distribution of extremist literature”.
The report also flagged that some of Britain’s most serious hate preachers have “studied in Saudi Arabia as part of scholarship programmes”.
In a statement to the BBC, the Saudi embassy in London said the claims were “categorically false”.
“We do not and will not condone the actions or ideology of violent extremism and we will not rest until these deviants and their organisations are destroyed,” it added.