Qatar accused of funding Al-Qaeda linked terrorists fighting in Syria

Qatar allegedly facilitated a multi-million-pound money laundering operation thereby funding Al-Qaeda-linked terrorists who are fighting in Syria says a Daily Mail report.

As per reports, hundreds of millions of dollars were funneled to Al-Qaeda affiliate Nusra Front using two banks and a private office belonging to Qatar’s emir. Top Qatari politicians, civil servants, charities, and businessmen are supposedly involved in the scheme.

The allegations came to light when nine Syrians filed papers in this regard at London’s High Court claiming damages for financial losses, torture, arbitrary detention, and execution threats suffered by them as a result of the scheme or at the hands of the Nusra Front. The accused, on the other hand, have categorically denied all the allegations.

The court papers state that the Qatari state along with the Muslim Brotherhood concocted a conspiracy to actively support Nusra Front terrorists fighting the Syrian civil war. It has further been alleged that over-priced construction contracts, over-payments to Syrian workers, and over-priced property purchases were used to channel the money.

The court papers also claim that funds were either sent directly or routed through Turkey’s banks from which money was withdrawn and taken across the border to the terror outfit. Both Doha Bank and Qatar National Bank have been accused of facilitating money laundering activity. While both banks have vehemently refuted the allegations, the lawsuit has stated that the banks should have known what the money would be used for.

The defendants are entitled to lodge defense documents or even assert that English courts have no jurisdiction to conduct the cases. The report further says that the claim will proceed only if there is sufficient evidence on record supporting the allegations.

As per the Daily Mail article:

Nusra Front was founded in Syria by disciples of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who would later become the leader of ISIS but was then leading Al Qaeda in Iraq, who were sent from Iraq to establish a presence in Syria.

The group was founded in 2011 as Jabhat al-Nusra under the leadership of a jihadist using the nom de guerre Abu Muhammad al Golani, with the stated aim of overthrowing the regime of Bashar al-Assad and establishing an Islamist state.

In 2013, a major split occurred when Baghdadi attempted to merge al-Nusra with al-Qaeda in Iraq to create ISIS. While some al-Nusra fighters joined with ISIS, Golani insisted that no such merger had occurred and rallied other jihadists around him.

The following year the two groups took up arms against one another, with al-Nusra fighting against ISIS around Raqqa. They have remained hostile ever since.

Today, it largely controls territory in Syria’s Idlib province – the last of the country’s provinces not recaptured by the Syrian army.

Nusra has been declared a terrorist organization by the US since 2012, and America has never directly funded or supported the group. However, it is widely thought that weapons provided to other ‘moderate’ groups have found their way into the hands of al-Nusra and that fighters trained by the CIA joined the group after entering Syria.

This was one of the main reasons given by President Trump for pulling the plug on the CIA’s training operation back in 2017, the New York Times reported.

It is significant to mention that Al-Jazeera which runs anti-Bharat and anti-Hindu propaganda is a Qatar state-funded news outlet. Not surprisingly, several anti-national Bharatiya journalists are associated with this Qatar state propaganda machinery. Elizabeth Puranam, Bilal Kuchay, and Uday Chandra among others are some of the journalists associated with the Qatar state channel.

(Featured Image Source: East Coast Daily)


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