Fifteen of the 19 hijackers who carried out the 9/11 terrorist attacks were from Saudi Arabia. Their ringleader, Mohamed Atta, was from Egypt. The mastermind who planned the entire 9/11, former Al-Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden, had established a vast terrorist network in Afghanistan before moving to Pakistan, where he was found holed up and eventually taken out by US Special Forces in a brazen military operation.

In recent times, the San Bernardino shooting in America’s California state which left 14 persons dead was committed by Syed Rizwan Farook, a man with a Pakistani background, and his wife who reportedly hailed from Saudi Arabia.

Omar Mateen, an Afghan-American, perpetrated the Orlando nightclub massacre that resulted in 49 deaths.

Yet, none among Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Egypt or Afghanistan feature in the list of seven majorly Muslim countries whose citizens have been barred from entering the United States by Donald Trump. America hasn’t copped a single terrorist attack from citizens of Syria, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Yemen and Somalia, the countries that the Trump administration believes pose a major threat to the US’ internal security.

(Source: Youtube/Fox Business)

Why possibly did then Trump leave out countries who have a well-documented history of committing terrorism against the United States?

Trump being Trump hasn’t given much of an explanation behind his decision. In the absence of a plausible explanation, there are two theories that may go some way into explaining American government’s controversial immigration order

Business interests

Donald Trump wouldn’t reveal his tax returns so this is just like shooting in the dark, but several media outlets have pointed out that the Trump Organisation has business interests in Saudi Arabia, the Middle-East kingdom which is practically the fountainhead of radical Islamic terrorism.

Bloomberg reported that Trump has had business ties with Egypt too, which may explain why he has been reluctant to include citizens of the sub-Saharan country in the travel ban list.

The Trump Organisation also reportedly owns golf courses in the UAE, a country from where one of the 9/11 hijackers came from.

Strategic and military ties

Why would’t Trump censure countries such as Pakistan, whose security establishment has been accused of being bedfellows with UN-designated terrorists at the same time Islamabad was accepting American funds to combat terrorism? Several security experts have predicted that the president may have been too wary of ticking off Washington’s long-standing military partners, no matter how brash he came across on alliances during his campaign trail.

“Mr Trump’s business interests were not the sole reason for the order,” a US expert at Australia’s University of Sydney, Dr David Smith, was quoted as saying by News Corp Australia.

“Nations such as Pakistan were also a strategic military ally.”