Abd al-Aziz bin Khalifa al-Attiyah

Abd al-Aziz bin Khalifa al-Attiyah is a Qatari-based fundraiser and financier for al-Qaeda and its then-formal Syrian affiliate, the Nusra Front.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. According to Lebanese and American authorities, Attiyah has funneled money to al-Qaeda and Nusra Front operatives in Lebanon. Attiyah has also voiced support for Osama bin Laden, the Nusra Front, and ISIS on Twitter. He is believed to live in Qatar.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.

In 2012, the United States informed Lebanese officials that Attiyah was using the country as a base in order to pass funds to the Nusra Front.Jay Solomon and Nour Malas, “Qatar’s Ties to Militants Strain Alliance,” Wall Street Journal, February 23, 2015, http://www.wsj.com/articles/qatars-ties-to-militants-strain-alliance-1424748601. Lebanese media reported that Attiyah gave $20,000 to two al-Qaeda operatives—Umar al-Qatari and Shadi al-Mawlawi— in Lebanon in May 2012. Lebanese authorities subsequently arrested Attiyah but he was released back to Qatar shortly thereafter following alleged pressure and lobbying on his behalf by Qatari authorities.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. In August 2013, Attiyah reportedly used the now-defunct Madad Ahl Sham social networking website to solicit donations for jihadists in Syria.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. In November 2014, a Lebanese court found Attiyah guilty in absentia for providing financial support to terrorist organizations. The Qatari government has dismissed Attiyah’s conviction as politically motivated.Jay Solomon and Nour Malas, “Qatar’s Ties to Militants Strain Alliance,” Wall Street Journal, February 23, 2015, http://www.wsj.com/articles/qatars-ties-to-militants-strain-alliance-1424748601;
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.

Attiyah is the cousin of Qatari Foreign Minister Khalid al-Attiyah and former Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah, who oversees Qatar’s enforcement against terror financing. The Attiyah family is related to Qatar’s ruling Al Thani family and is the second most prominent clan in Qatar.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. From 2005 to 2012 Attiyah was a member of Qatar’s Olympic Committee and head of the Qatar Billiards and Snooker Federation. In May 2013—after his temporary arrest in Lebanon—Attiyah was awarded with the committee’s Appreciation Award for Personalities Who Served Sports Movement.Martin Samuel, “Why the shadow of Al-Qaeda hangs over Bernie Ecclestone’s F! plans for Qatar,” Daily Mail (London), November 30, 2014, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/article-2855277/Why-shadow-Al-Qaeda-hangs-Bernie-Ecclestone-s-F1-plans-Qatar.html.

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