The Wall Street Journal's report that unveils finance loopholes exploited by blacklisted terror suspects represents an evidence that when it comes to taking tough actions to combat extremism, Qatar’s cash is not where its mouth is. The links between Doha and blacklisted terrorists have been exposed once more, in revelations that are shocking but not at all surprising.
The tiny Gulf emirate has long been under fire for allowing terror financing to flourish within its borders, as well as for aiding terrorist groups abroad. Beyond al Qaeda, Qatari citizens have been flagged for suspicious financing of ISIS, Hamas, and Al Nusrat Front– all globally designated as terrorist organisations.
One individual singled out in the WSJ report is Doha resident Khalifa al-Subaiy – a Qatari financier who has been linked with the most senior-level al Qaeda leaders, including 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
Al Subaiy was added to the United Nations terror blacklist back in 2008 after having repeatedly provided financial support to leading al Qaeda figures. Despite his proven status as a terrorist sponsor, al-Subaiy was able to acquire up to $10,000 per month from his frozen accounts for “basic necessities”.
On paper, the Qatari government assured his activities would be monitored closely, yet al-Subaiy quickly continued with his activities where he left off, ensuring funds flowed to his terrorist connections. This one case perfectly encapsulates Doha’s lax approach to enforcing anti-terror measures.
Doha has continuously made exemptions for blacklisted individuals and thus directly allowed them to finance their lethal activities on a global scale.
Stemming the flow of funding is critical to hampering terrorists’ ability to bring death and destruction to the streets in the West, as well as elsewhere. In this respect, Qatar’s actions are not only reckless, but dangerous.