Abu Dhabi: Qatar has earned the brand of the single most-favoured broker for terrorist organisations.
Despite its small population and military power, Qatar has sought to punch above its weight — by expanding its brand and influence abroad.
To this end, Doha spent billions of dollars in ransoms to terrorist organisations across the world including Taliban, Al Qaida, Al Houthis, Al Nusra Front and Daesh.
The modus operandi is financing through kidnapping for ransom.
Ransom payments as brand booster
Doha leaps at the opportunity of hostage-takings, pay ransoms and boost its brand and influence with countries of victims and — of course — with terrorist groups.
What happens is that the terrorist group Al Nusra kidnaps a group of Fijian, Italian, Lebanese, Syrian, or Turkish nationals, throwing in the occasional American for good measure.
Then, friend-to-the-world Qatar will sweep in and pay Al Nusra to return the hostages: $150 million (Dh550.9 million) for the Turks, $20 million for the Fijians, $30 million for the Lebanese, $16 million for the Syrians, $15 million for the Italians, and $150 million for the American.
Often the hostages are humanitarian aid workers, nuns, bishops, UN peacekeepers — people especially lauded by the West.
Once Sister Christian from the village of Maalulahas has been released, the world erupts in glorious thanks.
Through this method, Qatar has been openly funding Al Nusra since 2013. Nevertheless, it boasts of their “achievement of humanitarian and moral principles.”
Political favour to US
In another episode, the Qataris took the Taliban Five terrorists in what seemed to be a political favour to the United States, accepting a quintet of high-ranking ex-Guantanamo detainees.
This way, the Qataris give moral support to insurrectionists, asylum for terrorists, a diplomatic foothold for the Taliban-in-exile and a blind eye turned to terrorist financing via a network of fund-raising activities that operates in the open and permissive banking legerdemain.
“It is well known that to find the terrorists, you have to follow the money and at the moment it seems to be coming from Qatar,” said Professor Anthony Glees of the Centre of Security and Intelligence Studies, University of Buckingham.
A ransom of up to $1 billion paid by Qatar to Iranian and Al Qaida-linked terrorists in Syria to release kidnapped members of the country’s royal family may have been a trigger behind six nations’ cutting ties with Doha, officials have claimed.
The hefty ransom reportedly secured the release of 26 members of a falconry party, which included some members of Qatar’s royal family, who were kidnapped while hunting in southern Iraq in December 2015.
Qatar paid the ransom to an Al Qaida affiliate fighting in Syria and Iranian security officials, a person involved in ransom negotiations said in April.
SOURCE: AND MORE: http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/qatar/qatar-and-the-myth-of-humanitarian-work-1.2044321