Role in Qaeda operatives’ release returns to haunt Qatar Attorney General

Qatar’s Attorney General Ali bin Mohsen bin Fetais al-Marri. (File photo: AFP)

Qatar’s Attorney General Ali bin Mohsen bin Fetais al-Marri continues to make headlines.

After reports of his financial corruption and accounts at the National Bank of Kuwait were exposed, his close relationship with two al-Qaeda leaders has returned to haunt him.

General Ali al-Marri managed to get them released from US prisons and ensured freedom of movement for them going against what was recommended in treaties.

The recent attention prompted by his financial scandals made the media leading to curiosity, which has brought to the fore many neglected stories such as this Washington Post article published in 2007.

This document revealed the Attorney General’s ties with his relative, Ali Saleh Kahla al-Marri, also known as Abdul Rahman al-Qatari.

Saleh al-Marri is not any ordinary mortal. He was arrested in December 2001 in the United States following the terrorist hunt after 9/11.

He admitted to being a very important member of al-Qaeda and that he had planned new attacks, including using chemical weapons.

In his personal computer, federal agents found records called “Jihad Arena or Jihad Stadium” containing information on hydrogen cyanide. During his arrest, more than 1,000 fake credit card numbers and forged identity documents were seized.

Before coming to the United States, Saleh al-Marri worked for more than 10 years as a senior officer at Qatar Islamic Bank and as a senior accountant for the Qatari government.

In addition, an investigation by the US authorities proved that Saleh had been in contact with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the September 11 attacks. He was finally released in 2015 after 13 years in detention.

Relative connection

Here comes the role of Qatar’s Attorney General Ali bin Mohsen bin Fetais al-Marri. In fact, the decision to release a relative was not an American decision, but it took place after behind the scenes diplomatic action and after lengthy negotiations conducted by a “close friend” of the Attorney General.

According to reports in the American media, Bin Fetais used all his contacts so that his relative can be released. As a last resort, thanks to this assistance, a prominent al-Qaeda member was exchanged against US citizens (a couple) who were arbitrarily detained in Doha. What justified such an exchange isn’t yet known?

Equally surprising is the fact that when he arrived in Doha, in January 2015, Saleh al-Marri received a “hero’s welcome” by the Qatari authorities. He even received a phone call from the Qatari prime minister.

Former Qatari anchor and current board member of Al-Jazeera, Elham Badr, congratulated Saleh al-Marri on Twitter on the return of al-Qaeda member.

 

The Attorney-General also played an active role in the release of Jarallah Saleh Mohammed Kahla al-Marri in 2008.

He is the younger brother of Saleh al-Yazid, who was arrested at Guantanamo after being caught at an al-Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan.

The Attorney-General succeeded in deporting him to Qatar on the condition that Jarallah does not leave Qatar forever. However, in violation of this agreement with the United States, Jarallah traveled and the Qataris did not inform their American counterparts.

According to a confidential memo from the US ambassador in Doha, unveiled by WikiLeaks, there was US resentment over Qatari non-compliance with the agreements reached regarding the conditions related to the release of Jarallah.

In the confidential memo, one official was identified as Qatar’s Attorney-General Ali bin Fattis al-Marri.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:53 - GMT 06:53
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