Former al-Qaeda Mufti comes out in solidarity with Qatar

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Al Qaeda's former Mufti and religious scholar has expressed his support for Qatar in the ongoing diplomatic rift.

Mahfouz Ould al-Walid, also known as Abu Hafs al-Muritani, who is a Mauritanian, stated in a series of tweets on Wednesday his disapproval of the economic and diplomatic measures taken by Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt towards Qatar.

Al-Muritani, in his tweets, described the actions taken by Qatar’s Gulf and Arab neighbors as an “unjust siege” and vehemently supported Qatar.

Mauritania has condemned Qatar’s actions earlier and has cut its diplomatic ties in solidarity with the Kingdom, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.

Al-Muritani met Osama bin Laden in Sudan and joined Al Qaeda and had become very close to the leader. He was a teacher at the al-Qaeda training facility in Afghanistan, before becoming a consultant and the head of the Sharia council of the group ahead of the American invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.

He claims that he has opposed the September 11 attack plans and had advised Osama bin Laden against them.

Escapes to Iran from Afghanistan

At the time of the American invasion and occupation of Afghanistan Muritani escaped to Iran with a number of the advisory council members, including Abu-’Walid al-Masry and Ab-Leith al-Libya through the help of Iranian officials. He has resided tin Tehran for 10 years according to his statements.

He had also attested to having had “good” treatment in Iran and was “under limited restrictions” there.

In 2012 Iran handed over Ould al-Walid to Mauritanian authorities in 2012 where he was questioned by American and local authorities before he was released and all charges were dropped.

He then settled in Nouakchott and received his full rights and ever since he became a regular guest on Qatari television channels.

After the 2011 Abbottabad raid and killing of Osama bin Laden, video tapes of Bin Laden recovered in Pakistan show him pledging 1 percent of his fortune to Ould al-Walid.