November 1, 2023 MEMRI Daily Brief No. 536

Qatar – Enabler Of Islamist Terrorism And A Dishonest Broker

November 1, 2023 | By Yigal Carmon*
Qatar, Palestinians | MEMRI Daily Brief No. 536

Hamas political bureau head Isma'il Haniya with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Aal Thani (Source:

A few days ago, Qatari Ambassador to Washington Meshal Aal Thani, the brother of Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Aal Thani, published an article in the Wall Street Journal claiming that Qatar is an honest broker that is a victim of a campaign of disinformation. Is that so?

What any vegetable seller in the Arab world knows, most Westerners, including their governments at the highest levels, have no clue about. One example is the role that Qatar is playing in the Arab and Muslim world.

Any Arab who hears American officials say that Qatar is America's ally would burst into laughter – those clueless Americans, who don't even know that Qatar is spitting in their face with wild anti-U.S. incitement 24/7 against the colonialist America of President Biden because they only watch the deceptive Al-Jazeera TV in English.

Ask Egypt, not just the rulers, but the people and journalists. Ask the Emirates, the government and people. Ask Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Jordan. They all know that for decades Qatar has been promoting Islamist and terrorist organizations. There are lawsuits against Qatar in the U.S. and Europe in connection with its support for terrorism.

Ask former Saudi intelligence chief Prince Turki Al-Faisal, who said in 2019 that Iran and Qatar had cooperated with Al-Qaeda, particularly against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. 

Ask David Cohen, former U.S. Treasury undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, who said that Qatar finances terrorists who live in Doha.

Hamas is not the only Islamist organization that Qatar has supported over the years.

The German media news organization Die Zeit was first to report, in July 2020, on an American security contractor's revelation that Qatar is financing Hizbullah, an organization designated terrorist by the U.S. and the E.U. 

The Aal Thani family, which rules Qatar, supported the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM).

Ask Richard Clarke, counterterrorism advisor to Presidents Bill Clinton and George H. W. Bush, who revealed Qatar's role with regard to 9/11 through its hiding of KSM, the future mastermind of those attacks, in Doha.

When the FBI came to arrest KSM, informing only the emir, within hours KSM disappeared. Clarke concludes as follows: "Had the Qataris handed [KSM] over to us as requested in 1996, the world might have been a very different place."

Ask the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT), whose records show that Qatar finances terrorists (see APPENDIX).

In 2017, four Arab countries — Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Bahrain—launched a boycott of Qatar due to the Aal Thani family's support of terrorism and the Islamic Republic of Iran. These countries also demanded that Qatar shut down Al-Jazeera.

That same year, the Subcommittee on the Middle East And North Africa of the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs devoted a hearing to Qatar's role in harboring terrorists and financing terrorism. The hearing, titled "Assessing the U.S.-Qatar Relationship," focused on Qatar's material aid to Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, named in the 9/11 Commission Report as "the principal architect of the 9/11 attacks," and Al-Qaeda and its affiliates, the Taliban, Libyan Islamists, and Hamas.

The story of Afghanistan is the most telling. For years, Qatar had funded the Taliban, all the way up to their takeover of Kabul in August 2021, which involved the killing of 13 U.S. military personnel – only to be praised by the U.S. administration for its help in transferring Americans from Afghanistan to Qatar, after Qatar was responsible for the entire tragedy and the blood is on their hands.

With regard to Israel, it is a double tragedy. For over a decade, Qatar funded Hamas in Gaza. For over a decade, and throughout the wars – culminating in the current one – Qatar supported Hamas's buildup of its military force.

The U.S.'s pleading with Qatar to obtain the release of the hostages held by Hamas in Gaza, instead of pressuring it to do so, shows that the U.S. government does not realize that only massive pressure on Qatar could most quickly bring the American and other hostages home.

Just one comment by the U.S. administration that it is considering relocating Al Udeid Air Base from Qatar (without which Qatar will cease to exist within a week) to the UAE will set the Qataris running to bring all the American hostages back home. Since when do experienced American officials conduct negotiations without power pressure on the side? It is childish and naïve beyond belief. They are unfit to handle tough challenges of state.

The Israeli tragedy lies in the fact that for over a decade Israel's prime minister was personally behind the policy of allowing Qatari money to flow to Gaza – that is, to Hamas, which controls Gaza. This sin is unforgivable.

Qatar is Hamas and Hamas is Qatar. Every missile, every one of the 30,000-40,000 Hamas terrorists, every drone, every motorcycle, every weapon and bullet and all the munitions, and the Gaza underground with its "metro" of, according to Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar, over 500 kilometers of tunnels, are what Israel's soldiers would face when they enter this death trap. All of this is Qatari money.

War on Israel was declared on Qatar's Al-Jazeera TV by Hamas military commander Muhammad Deif, on the morning of the Jewish holiday and Sabbath, October 7. This amounts to a declaration of war by Qatar on Israel through Hamas. Since then, the channel has broadcast all of Hamas's messages. Al-Jazeera in Arabic is the megaphone for all of Hamas' messages. Worse, their reporters are going all over Israel, with Israeli press passes, and are actually spying on the IDF and passing the information on to Hamas in the form of reporting.

The female broadcasters of Al-Jazeera, pretending to be Westernized, could not hide their glee when reporting on the Hamas atrocities of October 7 – including the rape and burning of Jewish girls.

Al-Jazeera directed Hamas to special targets such as Israel's natural gas facilities in the Mediterranean Sea, and brings experienced Arab generals to analyze the front and give Hamas their best advice based on information that Hamas does not even have. Al-Jazeera invented the whole lie of the hospital that Israel allegedly bombed, which sparked violent demonstrations across the West.

Al-Jazeera has been granted a strange and unheard-of immunity by Israel's government. Israeli government bodies were prepared, with a legal basis, to prohibit it from operating in Israel during this war – but the Israeli prime minister, entangled with Qatar for the past decade, blocked the move. Only he can explain why.

Clearly, he is striving to protect Qatar’s name as a mediator because if he admits that Qatar is an enemy, he will have to explain how he could allow $1.5 billion in enemy money to be funneled to Hamas in the past decade. His sin is unforgivable and he is doubling down on his collaboration with Qatar. But the blood that has been spilled is on his hands, and he cannot wash it off.

This policy of protecting Qatar will not wash it off.

Everyone in the media world knows how Qatar uses its wealth to force its way into the centers of power in the West. Qatari Ambassador to the U.S. Meshal bin Hamad Aal Thani has been discussed in the French media, based on leaked Qatari documents, regarding alleged bribing of the French minister Jean-Marie Le Guen. Meshal never sued the French news website, Blast, that reported on this; he would be the last one to write about Qatar as an honest broker.

It might be an eye-opener for the U.S. State Department to know that this ambassador has no credibility because of his alleged involvement in bribing a French minister.

In 2017, Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Aal Thani publicly kissed terrorist spiritual leader Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi on the forehead. This photo appeared in a paid announcement published by MEMRI in The Washington Post on July 9, 2019, that also included a quote from a video clip of that spiritual leader Al-Qaradawi saying: "Allah imposed Hitler upon the Jews to punish them. Allah willing, the next time will be at the hand of the believers [Muslims]."

Qatar hosted that sheikh for many years, granting him his own weekly show, Sharia and Life, on Al-Jazeera to spread his antisemitic and jihadi incitement to the Muslim masses.

In 2019, the Saudi journalist Adnan Muhammad said on Saudi Arabia's Saudi 24 TV: "Qatar played a role in Somalia by supporting the terrorist Al-Shabab movement, which has been a branch of Al-Qaeda since its establishment in 2004." He added: "Qatar's penetration of the Somali political leadership enabled it to gain control. Fahad Yasin was Al-Jazeera's correspondent in Somalia, and he has now managed to become the head of the National Security and Intelligence Agency in Somalia," reportedly in exchange of Qatar's support for the government of Somalia.

For years, Qatar has been doing grave harm to the U.S. Al-Jazeera aired all of Osama bin Laden's speeches. It allowed Al-Qaeda spokesman Suleiman Abu Ghaith to speak freely on air for 10 minutes, and to call for 12,000 mujahideen to join Al-Qaeda – two months before 9/11. In 2014, the channel allowed a pledge of allegiance to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi to take place live on air.

In Spain in 2005, Al-Jazeera correspondent Tayseer Allouni was sentenced to seven years in prison for transferring funds to Al-Qaeda – and Al-Qaeda even issued a public statement in support of him.

Al-Jazeera broadcast, live, an Iraqi sniper's killing of an American soldier – meaning that it had to coordinate with the killer to film the killing.

In 2008, the channel hosted a birthday party for the Lebanese terrorist Samir Al-Quntar, complete with a big cake, a band, and fireworks. Al-Quntar had been convicted and imprisoned in Israel for his 1979 terror attack, in which he killed a four-year-old girl by bashing her head against a rock after shooting her father at close range.

Al-Jazeera was ordered by the U.S. Department of Justice to register as a foreign agent, but disregarded that order. And when it comes to Qatar, the U.S. administration could not care less about violations of its own authority.

Honest broker, hah!

APPENDIX – On Qatar As Enabler Of Terrorism

About the Future, October 18, 2023

Presenters, Reporters From Qatar's Al-Jazeera Praise Hamas Attack, Celebrate Israel's Disaster, October 17, 2023

Qatar Is Enabling Hamas' War Against Israel, October 15, 2023

Netanyahu And Qatar Would Share Responsibility For An Imminent Regional War, October 12, 2023

The Hamas Einsatzgruppen Attack – October 7, 2023, October 10, 2023

A Terror Enabler In Beverly Hills And Bel Air – Part I, August 2, 2023

Israel's Collaboration With Qatar – Morally Disgraceful And Strategically Damaging, May 17, 2022

Qatar: The 'Stealth' Pro-Islamist Subverter, July 15, 2021

Qatar's 'Democracy' Charade, October 25, 2021

United Nations Press Release, March 23, 2021: "Security Council ISIL (Da'esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee Amends Eight Entries On Its Sanctions List"

*Yigal Carmon is Founder and President of MEMRI.

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