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Risky Business: Extremists Make US World’s Leading Arms Seller

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The US should not be proud of being the world’s leading arms dealer because the majority of American weapons are sold to Gulf nations, Salon reported.

In the past five years the US has made arms contracts with Saudi Arabia, worth over $100 billion. However, the US media has been silent about the implications of this relationship.

"Former US Sen. Bob Graham has identified Islamic extremist groups like ISIS [Daesh] and al-Qaeda as 'a product of Saudi ideals, Saudi money, and Saudi organizational support.' US government officials secretly admit among themselves that extremist groups like al-Qaeda are supported by rich Saudis, but say little, because the Gulf monarchies have the world’s largest oil reserves," the article read.

Qatar, another significant buyer of US weapons, also supports Salafi Islamist groups around the world.

Saudi Arabia and Qatar are using their American weapons primarily in two conflicts, according to the article. They are bombing Yemen, the poorest country in the Middle East. They are also delivering weapons to Islamist groups in the Syrian war.

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This arms trade is fueling extremism, the author wrote. With this accelerating cooperation – to bolster allies in the war against terrorism – the US in fact is further strengthening the extremists it purports to be fighting.

On Friday, The New York Times published a new congressional study showing that the US is the world’s leading arms dealer.

In 2014, the US made over $36.2 billion selling weapons, $9.5 billion more than the previous year. Russia came in second place, with $10.2 billion. Sweden came third, with $5.5 billion. France and China were also among the top five, with $4.4 and $2.2 billion respectively.

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