Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Qatar and Terror Finance

    Wednesday, December 17, 2014   No comments

Qatar’s performance in the fight against terror finance tests the notion that it is a reliable friend and ally. Despite its tiny size, Doha is now being described by some U.S. officials  as the region’s  biggest source of private donations to radical groups in Syria and Iraq.

Qatar’s  historical legacy of negligence against terror finance stretches back over two decades. Doha mishandled al-Qaeda’s  old guard in  the lead-up to 9/11, making those events more rather than less likely. In recent months, there has been considerable focus on Abdulrahman al-Nuaymi, a Qatari national who has been blacklisted by the  United  States, United Nations, and European Union on charges of financing al-Qaeda. Reports indicate that Nuaymi is still a free man in Qatar, presumably because of his extensive ties to Doha’s ruling elite. This report reveals new details about several other major Qatar-based terror finance cases over the past decade in which Doha’s  policies fell considerably short of full enforcement, allowing suspected terror financiers to continue their activities after coming under initial scrutiny. This report also explains why Qatar’s mishandling of these cases cannot be attributed to a lack of institutional capacity or societal opposition but instead must be understood as willful negligence on the part of Qatari authorities.

Because of the sheer volume of material on Qatar’s terror finance challenges, FDD’s Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance will release two additional documents after this one. Part Two takes a recent list of U.S. terror finance designations from September as a jumping off point for demonstrating how private terror finance networks linked to Qatar still appear to be intact. Part Three explains why it is up to Washington to change Doha’s  strategic calculus and reveals how sustained, high-level terror finance networks with links to Qatari territory have benefitted al-Qaeda or other terrorist groups in Syria, Gaza, Somalia, Yemen, Egypt, South Asia, and Iraq. The international community cannot successfully defeat terrorist groups such as the Islamic State, the Khorasan Group, and other manifestations of al-Qaeda’s malevolent ideology until private terror finance of this sort is significantly curtailed.


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