Last week, possibly after reading posts like this one on BackChannels — and as each BackChannels post suggests, there are many sources for aggregating data, Germany’s minister for development aid accused Qatar of aiding in the funding of Abu Bakr al-Baghdaddi’s Islamic State, albeit possibly without a shred of independent state-obtained (and held) evidence or intelligence.
This week: oh, what an embarrassment!
And that any should even think such a thing! Perhaps somebody’s feelings have been hurt.
And yet . . .
How may any one state or defense organization of states audit another except by accepting declarations up front — while operating agents, perhaps, and again, “behind the curtains”, the same so convenient to the making of private agreements best kept private?
While often referring to the Islamic Small Wars as “wars for detectives and poets” — for intelligence sleuths and language experts — I’ve noted the same also pit the despotic against the democratic and the mendacious against those with great integrity — and at the end of a human day, not an ISIS day, integrity secures trust where power merely secures a vacuous obedience.
Qater’s royalty may well have taken a position looking westward and in the direction of peaceful cultural polyphony, but Qatar, no different than any other state featuring great wealth, may have also its outlaw elements: “Reports show that Qatar most recently seized nearly 75 percent of narcotics that traffickers were trying to smuggle here from South America” (reference published 9/17/2013).
Good for Qatar as regards that interdiction, but it brings up the question of how much criminal activity benefiting the terrorist fronts of Islam(ism) passes through the state, and, being presumably innocent of so many charges, how is it so much unwanted focus has come to rest on its name?
This post started not with Doha’s refuting Minister Mueller’s remarks but with alternative press agitprop in the form of a video. Reference to proofs of terrorist funding from West Point, the CIA, The Washington Post?
Call them “poofs” — thin air.
Searching up “Qatar” via the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point: I found no specific report.
From The Washington Post three days ago:
Today, the Post ran the AP’s article relaying the refutation by Qatar of any alleged Qatar-and-terrorism-funding connection.
Veteran journalist Christopher Dickey played the matter this way back in June:
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has been publicly accusing Saudi Arabia and Qatar of funding ISIS for months. Several reports have detailed how private Gulf funding to various Syrian rebel groups has splintered the Syrian opposition and paved the way for the rise of groups like ISIS and others.
Accusations are not evidence, of course.
However, there remains with Qatar a certain discomfort borne of privilege, privacy, and the possession of serious money that may be getting loose — shall I add the 😉 😉 ? — from known controls.
A Congressional Research Service report that showed up in search conveyed this note similar to the bank charge of 2009:
The U.S. State Department has characterized Qatar’s counterterrorism support since September 11, 2001, as “significant,”16 but noted in its August 2011 report on terrorism issues that U.S. officials “continued to seek improved cooperation and information sharing” with their Qatari counterparts.
The 2012 State Department report (released in May 2013) stated that “Qatar’s monitoring of private individuals’ and charitable associations’ contributions to foreign entities remained inconsistent,” (see below) and noted that the Qatari government “maintained public ties to Hamas political leaders.”17
http://fas.org/sgp/crs/mideast/RL31718.pdf – 1/30/2014.
So somebody’s holding out — ” . . . U.S. officials “continued to seek improved cooperation and information sharing” with their Qatari counterparts” — or is at least lazy about transparency involving security-related intelligence.
In light of the 2009 indictment of the Doha Bank for flubbing the record on billions of dollars of business in New York City, the fact that in 2012 Qatar’s monitoring of ” . . . contributions to foreign entities remained inconsistent” seems also telling.
We’re approaching the end of 2014 — the start of the 4th quarter is today less than a month away — and perhaps it’s time for Federal and independent research updates on Qatar’s sincerity or vigor as regards anti-terrorism and anti-money laundering policy and performance.
The Gulf state is home to exiled Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal and is a key financial patron for the Gaza Strip, which Hamas controls.
Qatar denies financially backing Hamas, however, and has sought to play a role in brokering a truce to end fighting between the group and Israel.
Doha denies supporting the hardline ISIS insurgents who have overrun large parts of Syria and Iraq and who this week sparked global outrage with the release of a video showing the beheading of US journalist James Foley.
A spokeswoman for Mueller’s ministry said he had merely “referenced press reports” and had made “no concrete allegations”.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel appeared to distance herself from the allegation too on Sunday.
“The IS militias are very, very well-equipped financially without, as far as I know, being directly supported by any state,” she said in an interview with ARD television.
Four days ago:
“This kind of conflict, this kind of a crisis always has a history … The ISIS troops, the weapons – these are lost sons, with some of them from Iraq,” Mueller told German public broadcaster ZDF.
“You have to ask who is arming, who is financing ISIS troops. The keyword there is Qatar – and how do we deal with these people and states politically?” said Mueller, a member of the Christian Social Union (CSU), the center-right Bavarian sister party of Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats.
Mueller did not elaborate and presented no evidence of a Qatari link to Islamic State.
This abomination of a country has been ruled by the Al Thani family for almost 200 years (according to the CIA Worldbook). Among other things, the family owns and controls the Al Jazeera Media Network. In size it is the world’s 166th country. It has a nominal population of slightly over two million, of which 75% are between 25 to 54 years of age. In other words, it is an aging population with fertility significantly below replacement.
This is the banker to the world of terror – Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda, Hamas, Boko Haram and more. They tend to pay more attention to Sunni organisations than to Shia. I say “more attention” but they have no problem funding Hezbollah and Syria, as well, just more quietly.
“Hamas has been able to get away from its crimes thanks to support and sponsorship it receives from Qatar,” Prosor said on Monday as he spoke with reporters in New York outside a UN Security Council meeting on the Gaza conflict and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Saudi Arabia is furious at Qatar for its ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, and reportedly wants Qatar to expel two prestigious think tanks – Brookings Doha Center (BDC) and the RAND-Qatar Policy Institute (RQPI) – from the country.
To date, only a handful of Qatari nationals have been found to participate in
extremist-inspired activities in places such as Iraq and Afghanistan, and the State Department evaluates the threat of indigenous terrorism as low in Qatar. The Embassy is aware of pockets of dissatisfied elements with extremist tendencies among Qataris and some expatriates here, but these elements do not appear linked or organized in ways that constitute a serious threat.
https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/05DOHA1657_a.html – 9/29/2005.
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency have fined Qatar’s Doha Bank – New York branch a $5m civil money penalty. According to FinCEN and the OCC, the bank’s branch in Manhattan – USA was engaged in high-risk services accompanied by lack of adequate anti-money laundering controls which led to the failure to report $7.4bn-worth of suspicious transactions in a timely manner. The OCC penalty order (PDF) states that the enforcement action was based on AML “deficiencies and violations” that occurred at the branch during the period between May 2004 and January 2007.
http://www.acc-co.com/content.asp?ContentId=598 – 4/23/2009.
Money laundering in Qatar is not a major issue. The financial sector is strictly monitored by the Central bank. In order to best protect itself from money laundering, Qatar signed the Anti Money Laundering Law on September 11, 2002.
Related on this blog:
Update November 25, 2014
Apart from cash advances to terrorist entities, the Qatari government seems to be directly involved in other activities, notably the shipping of planeloads of arms to Libyan jihadists. These shipments include a C-17 cargo plane carrying weaponry to a militia loyal to a warlord who had fought alongside Osama bin Laden; arms supplies to the jihadist coalition that now controls Tripoli after the launch of Operation Libya Dawn, and some $3 billion and 70 planeloads of arms to rebel forces in Syria.
Private fundraisers who coordinate donations from individual or corporate donors in Qatar are never detained or subjected to restrictions in Qatar, a privilege that means the transfer of considerable sums to al-Qaeda, Islamic State, Hamas, Jabhat al-Nusra and other Syrian Islamist groups.
The U.S. Treasury has given details of terrorist financiers operating in Qatar.
http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/4898/qatar-terrorism – 11/22/2014.
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