Qatari Support for Extremism
On June 5, 2017, several Middle East and Gulf countries announced that they were severing ties with Qatar as a result of the country’s support for extremism and terrorism. Although Qatar announced that it is preparing to expel several Hamas leaders, the government has previously denied reports that it was expelling now-former Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal, referring to reports as “just rumors” and calling Meshaal a “dear guest” of Qatar. In early 2020, current Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh relocated from the Gaza Strip to Qatar to enjoy the same freedom of movement as Meshaal. In January 2021, Saudi Arabia and the UAE reopened their airspace and land and sea crossings to Qatar under a Kuwait-negotiated deal, but a UAE official said trust needed to be rebuilt before diplomatic ties could be restored. The agreement did not address Qatar’s support for extremism. As Hamas launched a massive surprise attack on Israel on October 7, 2023, Haniyeh and other Hamas officials watched events unfold from the safety of Haniyeh’s office in Doha.
Indeed, Qatar has a long history of harboring terrorist operatives and financiers from various extremist groups, including Hamas, the Taliban, al-Qaeda, the Nusra Front, and the Muslim Brotherhood. CEP is calling on Qatar to arrest, expel, or otherwise cut off support to the following sanction-designated or wanted individuals:
CEP also calls on Qatar to expel or arrest all members of the Hamas and Taliban delegations currently domiciled in Qatar. Hamas and the Taliban are internationally-sanctioned terrorist organizations and do not merit the legitimacy—let alone the relief and financial opportunities—granted by maintaining political offices in Qatar.
The Taliban opened a political office in Qatar in 2013. The office has become a point-of-contact for negotiations between the Taliban and Afghanistan, as well as between the Taliban and the United States, but it has also become a haven for internationally designated members of the terror group.
(Hosts and Assists Radicals By Offering Refuge and Support)
Qatar is home to numerous internationally sanction-designated and wanted extremists, including Hamas, Taliban, and al-Qaeda operatives. The Qatari government must take action to address the risks posed to international peace and security by the above-listed sanctioned and wanted individuals.
Fact Sheet: Qatar, Money, and Terror
The rich Gulf country sends direct financial and material support to terrorist groups such as Hamas and the Nusra Front