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The $1bn Lead Strangling Qatar

The $1bn Lead Strangling Qatar

Thursday, 19 July, 2018 - 08:30
Salman Al-dossary
Salman Aldosary is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper
A recently published BBC report revealed earth-shattering details on an astronomical ransom of $1.15 billion that Qatar paid to terror groups, later dubbed ‘scandal of the century’.

Nevertheless, the news wasn’t as much of a breakthrough as the details presented by the report-- the story was already covered by world-renown newspapers such as Financial Times, The New York Times and The Washington Post.

Evidence-based details, documented in both text and voice recordings, explain how far-gone terror support has spread into the Qatari state, exploiting the peninsula’s civilian and military institutions. The ransom paid by Qatar, which rewarded terror parties a staggering sum of money, virtually funds terrorism for the coming decade.

It is worth mentioning that Qatari intelligence service participated in the making of the deal. However, it goes without saying that it is both natural and understandable for state intelligence agencies to face cases involving high-level abductions and negotiations with criminals. But it is inconceivable and deplorable for Qatar's foreign minister - the country's top diplomat – to go into negotiations with terrorist groups.

More so, the national civilian carrier, Qatar Airways, transporting the ransom is in its own right an abuse of public and state institutions. Report details made another shocking revelation which professes Former Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa personally financing Hezbollah, a blacklisted terror group, with $50 million.

For Qatar, no lines are drawn to separate and uphold independent credibility among the country’s intelligence agencies, the ministry of foreign affairs, charities, civil aviation and the ruler. It seems that regardless of how unlawful or terror-linked the job need be done is, all Qatari state institutions, both civilian and military, are exploited and employed to serve skewed interests.

All the more illuminating, the report places the deal struck with terror groups about a month and a half before Qatar’s neighbors Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt announced cutting off ties with Doha in June 2017.

Such a discovery clears out the motives behind the severing of diplomatic ties as ultimately driven by Qatar’s stifling connection to terrorism. All four countries have tolerated, resisted and sought to change Qatar’s detrimental behavior yet with no avail.

Openly and persistently financing terror groups, in the same light of the region being embroiled in a fight against terrorism, delivers a clear message on Qatar’s unyielding desire to pursue subversive behavior so long it still enjoys the perks and support that comes along with being an Arab Gulf State.

Given that Doha involved state institutions in financing and supporting terrorism, other countries have rightfully lost confidence in any Qatari institution, even if it takes on a civilian demeanor. The very same civilian airliner used to host and help millions of passengers travel across the region, and land in neighboring countries’ airports, is being used for terror funding purposes. Placing confidence in a system that miss a single chance on exploiting any resource lain at its feet, even civilian, to carry out personal agendas is simply outrageous.

“Qatar has never supported terrorism and tolerated those who finance it,” said Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani in an interview with Fox News.

The very same statesman that regurgitated such a refined statement over and over again emerges as the one who participated, planed, engineered, supervised and coordinated a record deal which saw the transfer of $1bn and $150,000 in kickbacks in full to terror groups.

He did not simply tell lies and practice the art of deceit before on a world stage, but also reflected the nature of Qatari authorities. Betting on an inflated belief in its political veracity, Qatar puppeteered itself into an inescapable noose.

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