Qatar - Material Support
A number of fundraisers operating in more permissive jurisdictions – particularly in Kuwait and Qatar – are soliciting donations to fund extremist insurgents, not to meet legitimate humanitarian needs. The 2017 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes, highlights the most significant steps countries and jurisdictions categorized as “Major Money Laundering Countries” have taken to improve their anti-money laundering (AML) regimes. Neither Kuwait nor Qatar are mentioned in this report.
The term “material support” includes actions such as providing a safe house, transportation, counterfeit documents, or funds to a terrorist organization or its members. It also includes any action that can assist a terrorist organization or one of its members in any way, such as providing food, helping to set up tents, distributing literature, or making a small monetary contribution. Material Support includes training, communications equipment, facilities, weapons, lethal substances, explosives, personnel, transportation and other physical assets, except medicine or religious materials.
The al-Qaida-linked terrorist organization Al Nusrah Front (ANF) and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), previously known as al-Qaida in Iraq (AQI) have been designated as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT). ANF and ISIL continued to receive donations from private citizens located predominantly in the Arabian Peninsula to fund their operations. The recipients of these funds are often terrorist groups, including al-Qa’ida’s Syrian affiliate, al-Nusrah Front, and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), the group formerly known as al-Qa’ida in Iraq (AQI).
Traditional terrorist financing sources have also helped fuel the ongoing conflict in Syria. Over the past few years, charitable fundraising networks in the Gulf have collected hundreds of millions of dollars through regular fundraising events held at homes or mosques and through social media pleas. These networks then use couriers, wire transfers, hawalas, and exchange houses to move those funds to Syria, often to extremists. Certainly much of the private fundraising in the Gulf related to Syria is motivated by a sincere and admirable desire to ease suffering, and the funds are used for legitimate humanitarian purposes. The Asad regime’s ongoing brutality in Syria has led to a dire humanitarian crisis – certainly the most pressing in the world today – and the need for humanitarian relief is undeniable.
Private fundraising networks in Qatar, for instance, increasingly relied on social media to solicit donations for terrorists and to communicate with both donors and recipient radicals on the battlefield. This method has become so lucrative, and Qatar has become such a permissive terrorist financing environment, that several major Qatar-based fundraisers act as local representatives for larger terrorist fundraising networks that are based in Kuwait.
Following the Arab Spring revolutions in 2011, Qatar expanded its inciting activity and targeted the UAE by supporting opposition against it. It then focused on Egypt in such an unprecedented and obvious manner vowing to topple the regime of Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi. In the 2014 Riyadh agreement, Qatar pledged to put an end to the incitement machine. It did in fact have Al-Jazeera channels calm down for the next three years, but it secretly established alternative television channels and websites to assume that old task. Qatar excluded a number of Gulf opposition members from Doha but it had them settle in Turkey and London and funded them and supported them via secret networks they established inside these countries.
In 2014 some in Washington accused Qatar of directly supporting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria — a charge that many Western officials, independent analysts and Arab diplomats critical of Qatar called implausible and unsubstantiated. “That is just disinformation,” Michael Stephens, a researcher based in Doha for the Royal United Services Institute, a British research center, told the New York Times 08 September 2014. “I am not going to excuse what Qatar has done: It has been grossly irresponsible when it comes to the Syrian conflict, like many other countries,” he said. “But to say that Qatar is behind ISIS is just rhetoric; it is politics getting in the way of things, and it blinds people to real solutions.”
In 2014 the US Treasury Department designated prominent terrorist financiers Abd al-Rahman bin ‘Umayr al-Nu’aymi (Nu’aymi) and Muhammad `Abd al-Rahman al-Humayqani (Humayqani). Nu’aymi is a Qatar-based financier who secured funds and provided material support for al-Qa’ida and its affiliates in Syria, Iraq, Somalia, and Yemen. Humayqani is a Yemen-based fundraiser who used his status in the charitable community as a cover for funneling financial support to AQAP.
The policy agreed upon among the parties which supported the opposition in Syria was a specific and official channel that is internationally supervised to train and support fighters from among “the moderate opposition” and whom the Free Syrian Army is its backbone. The “joint operations’ room” in the Jordanian capital Amman, and its other branch in Turkey, were a small cell that included military and intelligence officers and political representatives from the US, Britain, France and Arab countries that included Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar and Jordan in addition to Turkey. These representatives met periodically while officers continuously worked in rotation.
Instead of committing to the agreement reached between countries that support the Syrian opposition, Qatar began to fund, arm and support groups outside the context of “the operations’ room.” This was one of the reasons behind the problem between Saudi Arabia and Qatar in Syria. The Saudis believe that Doha is playing a “destructive” role that has prolonged the conflict in Syria. On 09 June 2017 Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain have collectively designated 59 individuals and 12 institutions that have financed terrorist organizations and received support from Qatar.
“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Arab Republic of Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and the Kingdom of Bahrain are unified in their ongoing commitment to combatting terrorism, drying up the sources of its funding, countering extremist ideology and the tools of its dissemination and promotion, and to working together to defeat terrorism and protect all societies from its impact.,” according to a statement made available to Al Arabiya News Channel.
“As a result of the continued violation by the authorities in Doha of the obligations and agreements signed by them, including the pledge not to support or harbor elements or organizations that threaten the security of states and to ignore the repeated contacts that they called upon to fulfill what they had signed in the Riyadh Agreement of 2013, its implementing mechanism and the supplementary agreement in 2014; The four States have agreed to classify 59 individuals and 12 entities on their prohibited lists of terrorists, which will be updated in succession and announced,” the statement added.
Yemeni Abdul Wahab Mohamed Abdul Rahman Al-Hmeiqani is number 12 on the terrorist list issued by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt. He holds a senior position at the Sheikh Eid Al Thani Charity Foundation in Qatar, the institution that was classified as terrorist in the Arab Quartet statement.
Al-Hmeiqani, born in 1972 in the village of Al-Zaher in the province of Al-Bayda (central Yemen), has a good history of terrorist activity. In December 2013, US authorities imposed sanctions on him as part of the terrorist lists. He was included in the list of “supporters of terrorism” as he supported al-Qaeda, and the first Qatari funder Abdul Rahman bin Omair al-Nuaimi, owner of “Wessal” channel and founder of Al Karama network.
Al-Hmeiqani is the head of Al Karama network’s Qatari office in Yemen, he is also a Secretary General of Al-Rushd Charitable Society, and has participated in the founding of Al-Rashad Salafist Party. He was elected its Secretary-General, and is also a former member of the National Discussion Conference and was a professor at Al Iman University, which is headed by Abdul Majid al-Zindani, formerly one of the names on the US terrorists lists. According to information obtained by Al Arabiya, Al-Hmeiqani is the Qatari finance engineer for terrorists and armed groups in Yemen, under the guise of charitable work that he uses to receive and collect money then send it to their terrorist militants inside Yemen.
The list of terrorism issued by Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt and Bahrain included the name of Abdullah bin Khalid al-Thani, a member of the Qatari ruling family, who has been listed for providing help and sanctuary to al-Qaeda leaders since the 1990s. He is the man who harbored the mastermind of September 11 attacks Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in his home, and gave him a job at the Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed transferred funds to al-Qaeda operatives to plot attacks against the United States, including Ramzi Yousef, the conspirator of the World Trade Center attack. This happened during his stay in Qatar between 1992 and 1996.
Abdullah bin Khalid al-Thani continued to occupy prestigious positions in the Government of Qatar in addition to hosting and protecting al-Qaeda terrorists such as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and others. He also handled the Interior and the Awqaf ministries at times. Abdullah bin Khalid al-Thani travels aboard a private jet provided by the Qatari government in 2014. Rumored reports about his house arrest are false. Al-Thani’s personal and close associate, Abdul Rahim Ahmad Al-Haram, a Qatari citizen, has also been included in the joint statement. Al-Haram is still in contact with senior Qatari government officials on behalf of Abdullah bin Khalid Al-Thani.
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