If Qatar doesn’t do better on terrorist financing, it risks joining Pakistan on the gray list


oi-Vicky Nanjappa


Updated: Tuesday, June 7, 2022, 9:28 AM [IST]

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There are several past and present cases where Qatar has been accused of financing terrorism

New Delhi, 07 June: Qatar has come under scrutiny several times in the past over its alleged financial links to terrorism. The family of slain US journalist Steven Sotloff alleged in a May lawsuit that prominent Qatari institutions wired $800,000 to an Islamic State judge who ordered the killings of Sotloff and another journalist American James Foley. It can be recalled that the two men were beheaded in Syria in 2014. The murder was filmed and published in propaganda videos.

If Qatar doesn't do better on terrorist financing, it risks joining Pakistan on the gray list

The role of alleged terrorist financing by Qatar is not limited to the West alone. There are many instances of individuals from Qatar and terrorist factories being fueled in India as well.

In this context, consideration should be given to the role of the Qatar-based charity Sheikh Eid Bin Mohammad Al Thani, also known as Eid Charity. In 2013, Eid Charity came under global scrutiny when one of its founders, And Al-Rahman-al-Nu’aymi, was named a Specially Designated Global Terrorist. United States. The sanctions came after the United States learned that he had provided financial support to al-Qaeda and its associates in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Somalia.

The Usanas Foundation, a leading think tank, has conducted a detailed investigation into the role played by individuals from Qatar in financing terrorism in India. The report says more than 1,200 transactions were made in India, either directly or on behalf of Eid Charity. He said a total of 28,492,855 QRs were transferred to eight Salafist Islamist organizations in India. The money was distributed for projects ranging from direct financial support within the Muslim community.

The article further added that the Kerala-based Salafi Philanthropic Society, registered as Salafi Charitable Trust Narikkuni, secured the bulk of the funds involving $4.9 million between 2009 and 2017. This charity is run by a Qatar-based charity group, the Sheikh Thani Ibn Abdullah Foundation for Humanitarian Services (RAF). The RAF, which is led by a member of Qatar’s royal family, was blacklisted in 2017 by Arab countries for allegedly funding al-Qaeda-affiliated group Al-Nusra in Syria while arming fighters based there. to the Muslim Brotherhood in Sudan.

Usanas Foundation CEO and co-founder Abhinav Pandya, who also co-authored the article with Akshay Kumar, told OneIndia that there are many cases where Qatari individuals have funded Al-Qaeda.

Pandya, who also graduated from Cornell University in public affairs and has written for the Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF), a leading Indian national security think tank, said an organization called Eid Charity is funding 8 radical Islamic organizations. All this was happening in secret. The money was laundered secretly, he also added.

Some of these groups that received funds were linked to organizations such as the People’s Front of India (PFI). This money was also used to fuel radicalization in Uttar Pradesh, Pandya also said.

A senior official whom OneIndia spoke to said the plague of Qatari money in India’s radicalization camps was a long-standing headache. Take for example a state like Kerala, this money has helped set up ideological camps that have radicalized people. The spread of Wahhabism in Kerala and Jammu and Kashmir was like wildfire and much of it was because the money was in Qatar and other nations were pumped in.

An intelligence assessment in 2015 revealed that between 2011 and 2013 nearly 25,000 Wahhabi scholars came to India. They have held seminars aimed at radicalization in various places and with them brought in funds in the range of nearly Rs 1,700 crore in installments.

Pandya further adds that Qatar’s credentials have always been in doubt. They have undertaken similar activities in the United States with the help of certain Islamic organizations. On closer inspection, many of these secret money-sending groups are also linked to Hamas and the Hizbul Mujahideen.

Pandya says Qatar is close to Turkey which is the new world champion of Islam. Those countries that openly supported radical Islamist preacher Zakir Naik have no right to question India.

The official quoted above also added that Qatar has been under investigation for a long time. Some of the country’s organizations that have generously contributed to terrorism have also posed a problem for countries like the United States and India. I see no reason why once these investigations are completed, Qatar could be transferred to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) gray list as happened in Pakistan, the officer also notes.