The US administration has decided to speak out about Qatar’s relations with terrorism in the Middle East as the White House’s new administration tries to calm the situation and control the growing terrorism on the international level.
During his visit to the Middle East, US Defense Secretary James Mattis, warned Qatari officials about their country’s continued support to the Muslim Brotherhood and other radical Islamic movements that are linked to extremist organizations such as al-Qaeda and ISIS.
Qatar has been accused, more than once, of financing terrorist groups or turning a blind eye to the Qatari financiers such as Salim Hassan Khalifa Rashid al-Kuwari, who works at the Qatari Interior Ministry. He is accused of “transferring hundreds of thousands of dollars to al-Qaeda through a terrorist network”. Kuwari was part of the US list of persons who are accused of officially financing terrorism in 2011.
In October 2014, the official documents of the US Treasury stated that the 37-year-old Kuwari was involved in “the financial and logistical support of al-Qaeda, with the help of another Qatari man named Abdullah Ghanem al-Khawar (33 years old). The latter has facilitated the movement of terrorist members and contributed to the release of al-Qaeda members in Iran.
Abdul Rahman bin Omair al-Nuaimi, was also blacklisted by the US and the UN, was accused of transferring 1.25 million GBP per month to al-Qaeda militants in Iraq, and 375,000 GBP to al-Qaeda in Syria.
Osama bin Laden’s Abbottabad documents that were seized by US forces during the attack on his residence in Pakistan, revealed Qatar’s relations with al-Qaeda.
Between these documents, there was a long letter Osama bin Laden sent to, Khayria Saber, his younger wife before his death where he asked her if she was willing to travel to Qatar.
In addition to funding terrorist groups, Qatar has been accused by the international community of hosting a number of al-Qaeda militants, Arab Afghan and Taliban fighters, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who planned to blow up 11 US aircraft over the Pacific Ocean. Mohammed is the nephew of Ramzi Yousef who had planned to attack the World Trade Center in 1993.
He was transferred to Qatar upon the advice of the Minister of Labor; he worked there as an engineer at the Ministry of Electricity and Water and traveled repeatedly at the Ministry’s expense. Although he was working in a government institution, Qatar claimed, according to US intelligence, that it could not find him, and later on, it secretly planned his escape from the country.
In the same context, Moroccan Fatiha al-Majati, wife of Abdel-Karim al-Majati, who is the most dangerous wanted man in Morocco for his role in establishing terrorist cells and recruiting suicide bombers in Morocco, said that she moved from Afghanistan to Saudi Arabia with her husband, using Qatari passports.
Moreover, Moroccan Younis al-Hayari, the leader of al-Qaeda in Saudi Arabia, who was killed in a security operation in the neighborhood of Rawda in 2005, managed to enter Saudi Arabia with a Bosnian passport through Qatar.
The media vehicle
There is a Qatari satellite channel that has been the main window for extremist organizations, al-Qaeda leaders, al-Nusra Front and other extremist radical movements and organizations. It broadcast all of al-Qaeda’s interviews and messages, including those of Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and others.
Dennis Ross had warned about the role of this channel in serving as a platform for broadcasting extremist stances. The channel has recently hosted in a special interview, Abdullah al-Muhaysini, the religious judge of al-Nusra.
Ossama bin Laden had praised the relations with this Qatari channel and called upon preserving good ties with it. He said that all the channels were working against them, except this one due to common interests. He added that this channel is an important media platform for them in the region.