Analyst says Qatar has become one of the most harmful influences in Middle East

Helicopters fly during Qatar’s National Day in Doha on December 18, 2017. (Reuters)

Rather than using the US military al-Udeid air base as an excuse for inaction against Qatar, we should be using it to leverage changes in Qatari behavior, a leading American foreign policy analyst and author has said.

In a column published by Fox News, Dr. Mitchell Bard said that Qatar has become one of the most harmful influences in the Middle East and a key supporter of terrorist groups.

According to Dr. Bard, Qatar is endangering America’s Arab allies and Israel “by bankrolling terrorists, inciting violence and hatred through its state-funded Al Jazeera TV network, and collaborating with the far more powerful and virulently anti-American Islamic Republic of Iran”.

Dangerous behavior

Dr. Bard argues that the Trump administration, like the Obama administration, prefers to look the other way at Qatar’s dangerous behavior. “The Trump administration needs to make clear to Qatar that its current conduct is unacceptable and will not be tolerated by the United States,” he writes.

According to Dr. Bard, Qatar wants to present itself as moderate and helpful to the US. Yet the government and individual Qataris have given financial and political support to two terrorist groups – the Muslim Brotherhood and its Palestinian offshoot, Hamas.

He writes that Qatar promotes terrorism through its broadcasts of sermons by the Muslim Brotherhood’s Yusuf al-Qaradawi who has a history of defending suicide bombings in Israel, condoning violence against US troops and agitating against other Arab states.

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