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CEP Reports Highlight Qatar Financing, Harboring of Terrorists

(New York, NY) – Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt, Yemen, and the Maldives took the extraordinary step on Monday, 5 May, 2017, of severing diplomatic and commercial ties with Qatar as a result of that country’s support for extremism and terrorism. Two Counter Extremism Project (CEP) reports, Qatar: Extremism and Counter-Extremism and Qatar, Money and Terror: Doha’s Dangerous Policies, reveal the extent to which Qatar shelters and finances extremists and terrorists, undermining regional and international security.

In an official statement, the Saudi government blamed Qatar for “financing, adopting and sheltering extremists.” Qatar, which also hosts the largest U.S. military base in the Middle East, sends direct financial and material support to internationally-designated terrorist groups such as Hamas and the Nusra Front, and knowingly permits internationally-designated or wanted terrorist leaders and financiers to operate within its borders. The Qatari government has lent support to al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Nusra Front, and the Taliban—through direct money loans, ransom payments, and the transfer of supplies.

Qatar is also currently harboring sanction-designated or wanted individuals, including former Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal, Muslim Brotherhood ideologue Yusuf al-Qaradawi, three U.N.-sanctioned Taliban operatives, and at least seven al-Qaeda financiers. Although these individuals have been publicly sanctioned by the United States or the United Nations, or are wanted by INTERPOL, they live freely—and in some cases, in luxury—within oil-rich Qatar.

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