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Qatar’s support for extremists undermines regional and international security

Provides direct financial and logistical support to internationally designated terrorist groups

Harbors sanction-designated or wanted individuals including former Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal and Muslim Brotherhood ideologue Yusuf al-Qaradawi, as well as seven al-Qaeda financiers and three Taliban operatives

Invests in global financial institutions directly linked to entities that finance and support the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas

Qatari commitment to counterterrorism efforts must be complete and unequivocal

Counterterrorism packages of 2004 and 2014 must be fully enforced

As signatory to the 2014 Jeddah Communique—Qatari is obligated to end terror/terror financing

Despite passing counterterrorism legislation and partaking in U.S.-led counterterrorism initiatives, Doha continues to directly fund internationally designated terrorist groups and harbor internationally designated operatives.

CEP’s QATAR-HARBORS Campaign seeks to end Qatari government support for terror groups and individuals.

Specifically, CEP is calling on Qatar to arrest, expel, or otherwise cut off support to sanction-designated or wanted individuals currently domiciled in Qatar

CEP is also calling on Qatar to halt all support—financial, material, and strategic—to internationally designated terrorist groups including Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Nusra Front, and the Taliban.

Overview

Qatar—a longtime U.S. ally and member of the Global Coalition to Counter ISIS—has supported and harbored international terrorist organizations and individuals. The hydrocarbon-rich Gulf country sends direct financial and material support to internationally designated terrorist groups such as Hamas and the Nusra Front,“Qatar says gives $30 million to pay Gaza public sector workers,” Reuters, July 22, 2016, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-palestinians-gaza-qatar-idUSKCN1021AQ; Dov Lieber, “Haniyeh seeks to pay Hamas ‘military personnel’ with Qatar’s money,” Times of Israel, August 2, 2016, http://www.timesofisrael.com/haniyeh-seeks-to-pay-hamas-military-personnel-with-qatars-money/; Miriam Karouny, “Insight - Syria's Nusra Front may leave Qaeda to form new entity,” Reuters, March 4, 2015, http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-mideast-crisis-nusra-insight-idUKKBN0M00G620150304. and knowingly permits internationally designated or wanted terrorist leaders and financiers to operate within its borders.Peter Kovessy, “Qatar FM: Hamas leader to remain in Doha as ‘dear guest’,” Doha News, January 13, 2015, https://dohanews.co/qatar-fm-hamas-leader-remain-doha-dear-guest/;
Shabina S. Khatri, “Egypt demands extradition of Sheikh Yusuf Al Qaradawi from Qatar,” Doha News, February 5, 2014, https://dohanews.co/egypt-demands-extradition-of-sheikh-yusuf-al-qaradawi-from-qatar/;
“Report on the Inquiry into: The Department of Defense’s May 2014 Transfer to Qatar of five law-of-war detainees in connection with the recovery of a captive U.S. soldier,” Committee on Armed Services, December 9, 2015, https://armedservices.house.gov/sites/republicans.armedservices.house.gov/files/wysiwyg_uploaded/Report%20on%20the%20Inquiry%20into%20the%20Taliban%20Five%20Transfer_0.pdf;
“Treasury Designates Al-Qa’ida Supporters in Qatar and Yemen,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, December 19, 2013, http://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/jl2249.aspx;
“Treasury Designates Twelve Foreign Terrorist Fighter Facilitators,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, September 24, 2014, http://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/jl2651.aspx;
Andrew Gilligan, “Minister’s family ties to terror,” Telegraph (London), November 1, 2014, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/qatar/11203140/Ministers-family-ties-to-terror.html;
“Treasury Designates Financial Supporters of Al-Qaida and Al-Nusrah Front,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, August 5, 2015, http://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/jl0143.aspx.
On June 5, 2017, seven countries—Bahrain, Egypt, Libya, the Maldives, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen—announced that they were severing diplomatic ties with Qatar as a result of the country’s support for terrorist and extremist groups in the region.Hilary Whiteman and Katie Hunt, “Saudi Arabia, UAE, others cut ties with Qatar: Live updates,” CNN, June 5, 2017, http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/05/middleeast/qatar-diplomatic-rift-live-blog/index.html;
“Arab powers sever Qatar ties, citing support for militants,” Reuters, June 5, 2017, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-gulf-qatar-idUSKBN18W0DQ.
In severing ties with Qatar, Saudi Arabia announced that it was working to “protect national security from the dangers of terrorism and extremism.” Bahrain and others similarly cited national security concerns and Qatar’s destabilizing activities in the region as reasons for the split.Tamara Qiblawi, Mohammed Tawfeeq, and Elizabeth Roberts, “Qatar rift: Saudi, UAE, Bahrain, Egypt cut diplomatic ties,” CNN, June 5, 2017, http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/05/middleeast/saudi-bahrain-egypt-uae-qatar-terror/index.html;
“Statement of the Kingdom of Bahrain on the severance of diplomatic relations with the State of Qatar,” Kingdom of Bahrain Ministry of Foreign Affairs, June 5, 2017, http://www.mofa.gov.bh/Default.aspx?tabid=7824&ItemId=7473&language=en-US.

The Qatari government has lent support to al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)David Andrew Weinberg, “Terrorist Financing: Kidnapping, Antiquities Trafficking, and Private Donations,” Foundation for Defense of Democracies, November 17, 2015, 8, http://docs.house.gov/meetings/FA/FA18/20151117/104202/HHRG-114-FA18-Wstate-WeinbergD-20151117.pdf., Hamas “Qatar says gives $30 million to pay Gaza public sector workers,” Reuters, July 22, 2016, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-palestinians-gaza-qatar-idUSKCN1021AQ; Dov Lieber, “Haniyeh seeks to pay Hamas ‘military personnel’ with Qatar’s money,” Times of Israel, August 2, 2016, http://www.timesofisrael.com/haniyeh-seeks-to-pay-hamas-military-personnel-with-qatars-money/., the Muslim Brotherhood“Egypt returns $2 billion to Qatar in sign of growing tensions,” Reuters, September 19, 2013, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-egypt-qatar-deposits-idUSBRE98I0N020130919., the Nusra Front Miriam Karouny, “Insight - Syria's Nusra Front may leave Qaeda to form new entity,” Reuters, March 4, 2015, http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-mideast-crisis-nusra-insight-idUKKBN0M00G620150304; “Syrian Nusra Front announces split from al-Qaeda,” BBC news, July 29, 2016, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-36916606; Erika Solomon, “Outside Help Behind Rebel Advances in Aleppo,” Financial Times, August 8, 2016, https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:1pPIFlb05uUJ:https://www.ft.com/content/da076830-5d77-11e6-a72a-bd4bf1198c63+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us. , and the Taliban“Q&A: Afghan Taliban open Doha office,” BBC News, June 20, 2013, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-22957827; Associated Press, “Taliban reaffirms authority of its Qatar ‘political office,’” Dawn, January 25, 2016, http://www.dawn.com/news/1235165.—including through direct money loans, ransom payments, and supplies transfers. Qatar is also currently harboring at least 12 sanction-designated or wanted individuals, including former Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal, Muslim Brotherhood ideologue Yusuf al-Qaradawi, three U.N.-sanctioned Taliban operatives, and at least seven al-Qaeda financiers.Peter Kovessy, “Qatar FM: Hamas leader to remain in Doha as ‘dear guest’,” Doha News, January 13, 2015, https://dohanews.co/qatar-fm-hamas-leader-remain-doha-dear-guest/; Shabina S. Khatri, “Egypt demands extradition of Sheikh Yusuf Al Qaradawi from Qatar,” Doha News, February 5, 2014, https://dohanews.co/egypt-demands-extradition-of-sheikh-yusuf-al-qaradawi-from-qatar/; “Report on the Inquiry into: The Department of Defense’s May 2014 Transfer to Qatar of five law-of-war detainees in connection with the recovery of a captive U.S. soldier,” Committee on Armed Services, December 9, 2015, https://armedservices.house.gov/sites/republicans.armedservices.house.gov/files/wysiwyg_uploaded/Report%20on%20the%20Inquiry%20into%20the%20Taliban%20Five%20Transfer_0.pdf; “Treasury Designates Al-Qa’ida Supporters in Qatar and Yemen,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, December 19, 2013, http://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/jl2249.aspx; “Treasury Designates Twelve Foreign Terrorist Fighter Facilitators,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, September 24, 2014, http://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/jl2651.aspx; Andrew Gilligan, “Minister’s family ties to terror,” Telegraph (London), November 1, 2014, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/qatar/11203140/Ministers-family-ties-to-terror.html; “Treasury Designates Financial Supporters of Al-Qaida and Al-Nusrah Front,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, August 5, 2015, http://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/jl0143.aspx. Although these individuals have been publically sanctioned by the United States or United Nations, or are the subject of INTERPOL arrest warrants, they are able to live with impunity—and in some cases, in luxury—within Qatar.

Direct Government Funding and Support

The Qatari government has paid ransom demands, shipped supplies, and funneled billions of dollars of funding to internationally designated extremist groups throughout the Middle East and North Africa.David Andrew Weinberg, “Terrorist Financing: Kidnapping, Antiquities Trafficking, and Private Donations,” Foundation for Defense of Democracies, November 17, 2015, 8, 9-14, http://docs.house.gov/meetings/FA/FA18/20151117/104202/HHRG-114-FA18-Wstate-WeinbergD-20151117.pdf; “Egypt returns $2 billion to Qatar in sign of growing tensions,” Reuters, September 19, 2013, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-egypt-qatar-deposits-idUSBRE98I0N020130919; Mick Krever, “Qatar's Emir: We don't fund terrorists,” CNN, September 25, 2014, http://www.cnn.com/2014/09/25/world/meast/qatar-emir/; Yusuf Kanly, “Is Turkish foreign policy successful?,” Hurriyet Daily News, October 21, 2013, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/is-turkish-foreign-policy-successful.aspx?pageID=449&nID=56527&NewsCatID=425; Miriam Karouny, “Insight - Syria's Nusra Front may leave Qaeda to form new entity,” Reuters, March 4, 2015, http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-mideast-crisis-nusra-insight-idUKKBN0M00G620150304. These groups include al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Nusra Front, and the Taliban.David Andrew Weinberg, “Terrorist Financing: Kidnapping, Antiquities Trafficking, and Private Donations,” Foundation for Defense of Democracies, November 17, 2015, 8, 9-14, http://docs.house.gov/meetings/FA/FA18/20151117/104202/HHRG-114-FA18-Wstate-WeinbergD-20151117.pdf; “Egypt returns $2 billion to Qatar in sign of growing tensions,” Reuters, September 19, 2013, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-egypt-qatar-deposits-idUSBRE98I0N020130919; Mick Krever, “Qatar's Emir: We don't fund terrorists,” CNN, September 25, 2014, http://www.cnn.com/2014/09/25/world/meast/qatar-emir/; Yusuf Kanly, “Is Turkish foreign policy successful?,” Hurriyet Daily News, October 21, 2013, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/is-turkish-foreign-policy-successful.aspx?pageID=449&nID=56527&NewsCatID=425; Miriam Karouny, “Insight - Syria's Nusra Front may leave Qaeda to form new entity,” Reuters, March 4, 2015, http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-mideast-crisis-nusra-insight-idUKKBN0M00G620150304.

Violent Extremist Groups
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Pensinula (AQAP)

Based in Yemen and Saudi Arabia, AQAP is known for its English-language magazine Inspire, as well as its involvement in both the 2009 Christmas Day bomb plot and the 2010 Times Square bomb plot. The group claimed responsibility for the massacre at the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo in 2015. It has seized and controls territory across Yemen’s southern provinces, where it seeks to implement sharia (Islamic law).

Designated by:

Australia, Canada, Israel, United Kingdom, United Nations, United States

Qatari Support:


Hamas

The ruling terror party of the Gaza Strip, Hamas openly seeks the destruction of Israel. The group uses suicide bombings, rocket and mortar attacks, shootings, and kidnappings in pursuit of its stated objectives.

Designated by:

Australia, Canada, Egypt, EU, Israel, Japan, Jordan, New Zealand, United Kingdom, United States

Qatari Support:


Muslim Brotherhood

The Muslim Brotherhood—founded in Egypt in 1928—is a transnational Islamist organization with branches worldwide. In the 1950s, Brotherhood theologian Sayyid Qutb legitimized the use of violent jihad—and the killing of secular Muslims—in order to implement sharia. Analysts argue that the Brotherhood’s ideology has spawned groups such as al-Qaeda and ISIS.

Designated by:

Bahrain, Egypt, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Syria, United Arab Emirates

Qatari Support:


Nusra Front a.k.a. Jabhat Fateh al-Sham

The Nusra Front, a.k.a. Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, is a territory-controlling jihadist insurgent group operating in Syria. Long known as al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate, the group claimed to have formally renounced ties to its mother group in July 2016. The Nusra Front has carried out military campaigns, kidnappings, suicide bombings, and assassinations, and is reported to receive the highest number of foreign fighters in Syria after ISIS. It currently operates under an Islamist umbrella organization known as Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (Assembly for the Liberation of Sham).

Designated by:

Australia, Canada, France, New Zealand, EU, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Nations, United States

Qatari Support:

[Qatar is] promising Nusra more support, i.e. money, supplies etc., once they let go of the Qaeda ties. Unamed Qatari government official, March 2015

Taliban

The Taliban is an Afghanistan- and Pakistan-based jihadist insurgent group that has carried out numerous deadly terrorist attacks in the region, including the shooting of Malala Yousafzai in Pakistan’s Swat Valley in October 2012, the December 2015 assault on Kandahar Air Field, which left 50 dead, and the December 2014 massacre at the army-run school in Peshawar that killed 148 people, 132 of whom were schoolchildren.

Designated by:

Canada, EU, France, Kazakhstan, New Zealand, Russia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Nations, United States

Qatari Support:

Financial Institutions

Al Rayan Bank

Based in Birmingham, England, Al Rayan Bank is reportedly the largest and oldest Islamic bank in the United Kingdom. Al Rayan claims it does not support any extremist entities, but its approximately 85,000 customers include a number of British Islamist organizations that are accused of promoting extremism and supporting groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas.Andrew Norfolk, “Al Rayan Bank: Clients include ‘terror’ group and Abu Hamza’s former mosque,” The Times (London), August 5, 2019, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/al-rayan-bank-clients-include-terror-group-and-abu-hamzas-former-mosque-zfq0xk3bd?region=global; For example, Al Rayan’s clients include London’s Finsbury Park Mosque, which previously employed extremist imam Abu Hamza al-Masri, who is serving two life sentences in the United States for supporting terrorism. The mosque was subsequently taken over by the Brotherhood-linked Muslim Association of Britain. HSBC closed the mosque’s accounts in 2014, calling the mosque outside of the bank’s “risk appetite.”Andrew Norfolk, “Al Rayan Bank: Clients include ‘terror’ group and Abu Hamza’s former mosque,” The Times (London), August 5, 2019, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/al-rayan-bank-clients-include-terror-group-and-abu-hamzas-former-mosque-zfq0xk3bd?region=global; Haroon Siddique, “HSBC shuts accounts of Muslim organisations, including Finsbury Park mosque,” Guardian (London), July 30, 2014, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/30/hsbc-shuts-accounts-muslim-organisations-finsbury-park-mosque; Al Rayan’s clients also include the U.S-sanctioned charity InterPal, which the U.S. government accuses of providing financial support to Hamas.“U.S. Designates Five Charities Funding Hamas and Six Senior Hamas Leaders as Terrorist Entities,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, August 22, 2003, https://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/js672.aspx;

Designated by:

Not determinded

Qatari Support: