July 25, 2024
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Qatar Terror Support Triggers Backlash

TIP–The New York Times over the weekend published a front page expose on the regional cascade effects being generated by Qatari support for a range of Middle East Islamist groups, cataloging measures that Doha has taken to boost among others the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, Al Qaeda, and the Islamic State.

[As reported in JLBC#46 two weeks ago] Doha has long been aligned with an identifiable extremist Sunni axis spanning the region Turkey, the Muslim Brotherhood, and various jihadist elements are traditionally also grouped into that de facto alliance that has triangulated opposite both an Iranian-anchored Shiite bloc and a camp composed of the U.S.’s traditional Israeli and Arab allies. Efforts by Gulf nations to bring Qatar back into the Western-oriented fold have, despite occasional declarations of success, failed to move Doha off a set of policies alleged to variously empower Sunni Islamists and Iranian hardliners.

The Times outlined the situation under the headline “Qatar’s Support of Islamists Alienates Allies Near and Far,” describing it as one in which “Qatar is finding itself under withering attack by an unlikely alignment of interests, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Israel, which have all sought to portray it as a godfather to terrorists everywhere.”

The outlet more specifically noted that “some in Washington have accused it of directly supporting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.” Doha was widely blamed over the summer for backing intransigent elements inside Hamas and thereby deliberately extending this conflict between the Palestinian terror group and Israel. The end of the war then saw reports that Doha would take the lead in rebuilding the territory, including via a flotilla that would seek to break Israel’s legal naval blockade of Gaza. The Times simply noted that Qatar “provides a base for leaders of the Palestinian militant group Hamas.”

Qatar has also been accused of undermining efforts by the U.S.’s regional allies to isolate Iran, and this summer went so far as to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Islamic republic aimed at boosting bilateral trade. [ed. note: Recently the U.S. concluded an $11 billion arms sale to Qatar, which hosts America’s largest military bases in the Middle East–these munitions have found their way into the hands of Sunni terrorists throughout the region.]

 

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