Thursday, August 10, 2017

Breitbart News Network: H.R. McMaster’s Former Firm Funded by Sharia-Ruled Bahrain — Up to 25% of Total Income

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H.R. McMaster’s Former Firm Funded by Sharia-Ruled Bahrain — Up to 25% of Total Income

by AARON KLEIN9 Aug 2017
TEL AVIV — The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), where White House National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster has been listed as a member for 11 years, quietly took in about $32.5 million in funding from Bahrain, a country whose constitution explicitly enshrines Sharia Islamic law as the governing doctrine.

The funding from Bahrain, a repressive regime with a dismal human rights track record but also an important regional U.S. ally, reportedly amounted to one quarter of the think tank’s total income.
A significant portion of this funding reportedly pays for the think tank’s annual conference in Bahrain, the Mamana Dialogue. The original agreement between IISS and Bahrain to finance the conference contained a clause calling for the memorandum of understanding to remain confidential, according to the document, which was leaked by a watchdog and published by the Guardian newspaper last year.
As a member of IISS, McMaster participated in the Sixth Mamana Dialogue summit in Bahrain from December 11 to December 13, 2009, Breitbart News found. He is listed in IISS literature as being part of the Mamana Dialogue’s four-person panel that year on “military transformation, intelligence and security cooperation.”
From September 2006 to February 2017, McMaster is listed as a member of IISS, where he served as consulting senior fellow. The IISS describes itself as a “world-leading authority on global security, political risk and military conflict.”
IISS has offices in London, Washington, Bahrain and Singapore.
As of press time, IISS did not return a Breitbart News request seeking comment on the Bahraini financing, although the organization already confirmed funding from the kingdom in response to last year’s Guardian expose.
The “donor” section of IISS’s website lists the “Kingdom of Bahrain” as a major host nation, but no monetery amount is publicly revealed.  The Bahrain Economic Development Board is listed in the highest category of donations on the webpage – those who provided more than £500,000 (over $650,000).
Last December, the Guardian obtained confidential documents from a watchdog showing IISS “secretly” received £25 million (about $32.5 million) from the Bahraini royal family during the previous five years.
The UK newspaper reported that the Bahraini donations amounted to 25 percent of IISS’s income and included significant funding to the group’s Manama Dialogue events in the kingdom. The funding for the dialogue was reportedly meant to remain confidential.
The newspaper reported:
Confidential documents seen by the Guardian show that the country’s repressive rulers donated the sum to the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) over the last five years.
The documents also reveal that IISS and the Bahraini royals agreed to “take all necessary steps” to keep most of the donations secret. The Bahrain donations make up more than a quarter of IISS’s income.
The Bahraini donations have been used to fund an IISS office in the country, and to pay for annual conferences on Middle East politics attended by heads of state and other powerful figures. The three-day gatherings in the Gulf island state are called the “Manama Dialogue.”
Bahrain Watch, an independent organization seeking to promote democracy in Bahrain, provided the documents to the Guardian.
According to the cited documents, which are fully viewable online, IISS agreed with Bahrain’s ruling family to keep the kingdom’s funding of the think tank’s Manama Dialogue strictly confidential.  Those funds amounted to over $19 million since 2011, according to the documents.
IISS has been holding the Mamana Dialogue in Bahrain for over a decade. The next event slated to take place in Mamana is being billed under a different name, the Bahrain Bay Forum.
In 2013, IISS and Bahrain further signed a memorandum of understanding for $3.3 million per year to keep an office in Manama for a decade, the documents show.
That agreement, obtained by the Guardian, stated:
The Kingdom of Bahrain and the IISS jointly recognize the huge success of the establishment of a regional headquarters for the IISS in Bahrain as well as the mutual benefits that such a presence offers.
In response to the Guardian expose, IISS did not deny the Bahraini funding. The think tank released a statement that Bahrain’s regime “expressly gives the IISS full freedom to develop the agenda and invite participants in line with priorities it judges to be important to encourage strong debate on regional issues and facilitate important diplomatic contacts.”
“The IISS for a number of years has received funding from a wide range of governments for conferences and major international summits,” IISS added.


Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.