Why Has Terror Financing Gone Unnoticed For Qatar?
One of the rarest Arabian countries is Qatar that plays a significant role in not only funding terrorism worldwide, but hiding it so well, that it is better known for its biennials and yearly interfaith dialogues only.
Despite repeated media reports doing rounds, Qatar is somehow able to hide itself behind its hefty financial aids to educational institutions, smart and robust PR driven positive image building activities in UK and the U.S., using fictitious non governmental entities worldwide to transfer money to various jihadist accounts and much more.
The ongoing biennial event organized by Doha International Centre for Interfaith Dialogue has been deemed as a terrorist organization. But it has continued to carry out interfaith dialogue bringing clergy and the likes from all over the world under one roof.
Qatar has been placed under a blockade by the rest of its neighboring nations, on the pretext that it has been funding and promoting terrorism. But on the flipside, political analysts believe that it is Qatar’s extremely unique foreign policy which this quartet has found very difficult to handle.
Qatar has somehow maintained ‘friendly’ and ‘peaceful’ relations with terrorist factions too. This has been sighted as one major reason as to why the US has continued to keep friendly relations with Qatar despite this knowledge. Qatar is known to have acknowledged and extended hospitality to various Al-Qaeda top operatives, given shelter and way out to even Hamas. It has been confirmed that Qatar has funded extremist groups throughout the Middle East, including radicals in Syria, and militants in Libya. In other instances, Doha has allowed terror financiers to live in Qatar – some under U.S. and UN sanctions.
In its last biennial programme held in Doha, Qatar has graciously invited Al-Qaradawi. The man is on US hit list as an extremist, promoting thoughts of terrorism and violence. He has been known to justify suicide bombings, especially in Palestine, has repeatedly spoken out against Jews as a community, and has issued fatwas (religious edicts) that demean women.
Austin Bodetti is a research scholar. According to his inferences, Qatar prides in its multifaceted nature, something it has leveraged to maintain relations with Western-designated terrorist groups. It is this approach that has helped Doha avoid the all-encompassing penalties affecting the pariah states that the US has deemed “state sponsors of terrorism,” namely Cuba, Iran, North Korea and Sudan.
American officials might have concluded an agreement on combating terrorism financing with their Qatari counterparts a little over two years ago. But the White House was more bothered about other things. It has always been more concerned about the dispute between Qatar and its neighbors and how it could undermine US-led counterterrorism efforts in the Persian Gulf as a whole than about Qataris’ particular ties to militants.