It’s interesting how the pace of exposing Qatar’s scandals has accelerated. Pandora’s Box was suddenly opened, revealing all the evils since 1996 and until today. There is “international” synergy to expose Qatar’s role in conspiring against the entire world. If I were in the shoes of Qatar’s officials though I’d be worried of my allies’ leaks more than I’d be worried of my rivals’.
Bahrain recently broadcast a phone call between former Qatari prime minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr Al Thani and Ali Salman, the chief of the dissolved Al-Wefaq Party. This revealed Qatar’s role in conspiring against Bahrain during the coup attempt led by Al-Wefaq Party against the constitution. The phone call showed how Hamad bin Jassim provided all forms of support and conveyed an American initiative to make mediation efforts in support of Al-Wefaq – this was during Obama’s presidential term. Qatar, Al-Wefaq and part of the former American administration were thus pressuring against the entrance of Peninsula Shield troops to Bahrain.
Bahrain also published other evidence that shows the financial support which Qatar provided to terrorist groups in Bahrain. Meanwhile the role of Al Jazeera television channel was exposed by the leaked conversation between Attiyah, an advisor of the former Emir of Qatar, and a member of Al-Wefaq Party. The latter provided all forms of support to terrorists so “blood is shed,” and Attiyah voiced Al Jazeera’s willingness to broadcast this!
Qatar undermining security
In addition to exposing Qatar’s role in Bahrain, WikiLeaks recently exposed the role which Qatar played in undermining Egypt’s security and which led to the death of dozens of Egyptian soldiers, security forces and civilians. The Guardian and other media outlets published two leaked cables on the matter. The first one is numbered 432 and dated July 1, 2009.
It described a 50-minute meeting between Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim and Al Jazeera channel with the American ambassador. During the meeting, Bin Jassim discussed Qatar’s foreign policy towards some affairs including the Palestinian reconciliation and the peace process. He also launched a fierce attack against Egypt and its policies both directly and indirectly. The American ambassador analyzed the meeting and noted that Al Jazeera is a tool in the Qataris’ hand that they use any way they want to serve their interests.
The second cable is numbered 677 and dated November 19, 2009. It included a comprehensive evaluation prepared by different departments at the American embassy. The evaluation addressed the role of Al Jazeera channel in Qatar’s policy and analyzed the network’s orientation since Obama became president. The document said that Al Jazeera’s coverage became more positive towards the US. At the same time, the evaluation confirmed that Al Jazeera was still used as a tool in Qatar’s foreign policy.
What must worry Hamad bin Jassim and Hamad bin Khalifa is not exposing their role in conspiring to topple Arab regimes. What must worry them is exposing the secrets of Israeli-Qatari relations. Both men must be haunted by the idea! At some point someone wanted to end these close relations by exposing them!
Israel began to expose these secrets through Sammy Revel, the first chief of Israel’s trade bureau in Doha. According to his book “Qatar – Israel – A file of secret relations,” relations between Qatar and Israel began after Hamad bin Khalifa assumed power after the coup he staged against his father. The coup happened in June 1995. Qatar and Israel signed the gas agreement in October the same year. Few months later, in 1996, Israel opened its trade bureau in Doha while Al Jazeera channel was launched in November 1996. The role which Hamad bin Khalifa offered to play to serve Israel thus became clear.
The Daily Telegraph revealed information that is as dangerous as the information revealed by The Guardian. It reported that Qatar is involved in helping three terrorists, wanted by the US, escape. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said he has seven cables about Qatar and only five were published while the other two were not after Qatar negotiated with the website’s administration that requested huge sums of money in order to publish them as they contained dangerous information about meetings with Israeli and American officials and incited against Egypt and their people. (Al Arabiya English Editor's note: Julian Assange has denied those allegations).
Even Pakistan published documents that convict Hamad bin Jassim in the trial of Nawaz Sharif. Another document exposed Qatar’s role in funding Sarkozy’s campaign during the French presidential elections. Who else did not expose Qatar’s roles?
The scandals are being revealed, one after the other. This drives Qatar’s media crazy as it’s incapable of holding them off. Everything has become clear now.
This article is also available in Arabic.
Sawsan Al Shaer is a Bahraini writer and journalist. She tweets under the handle @sawsanalshaer.