(New York, N.Y.) — The governments of Israel, Germany, Norway, and France each issued stern safety and data security warnings and recommendations last week to citizens traveling to Qatar for the FIFA World Cup tournament, which began on Sunday. Israel, which has no formal diplomatic relations with Qatar, launched a campaign urging visitors to be “downplay” any visible “Israeli presence and Israeli identity” by hiding symbols such as Israeli flags or Stars of David. Germany, Norway, and France warned that Qatar may attempt to monitor and collect data on visitors, including members of “vulnerable groups,” who download its World Cup apps.
Qatar’s government has ties to multiple extremist groups, including Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the Taliban, and Hamas. Qatar is currently harboring multiple sanction-designated or wanted individuals, including former Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal, current Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, several al-Qaeda financiers, and members of the IRGC. Although these individuals have been publicly 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.
To read the Counter Extremism Project (CEP)’s resource Qatar: Extremism and Terrorism, please click here.
To read CEP’s resource Qatar, Money, and Terror, please click here.