Qatar National Bank involved into terror financing
Qatar National Bank (QNB), headed by the Qatari royal family, is being accused of terror financing by the family members of American victims of terrorist attacks in Israel. According to information, a filling in the US District Court of Brooklyn alleged that Qatar Charity, Masraf Al Rayan Bank, and Qatar National Bank have knowing facilitated financial activities of Palestinian Islamic Jihad and mega-terror outfit Hamas between 2015-2016.
The plaintiffs specifically accused Qatar Charity of funneling at least US$28 million to the two terror groups, which includes payments to the families of the so-called martyrs. The lawsuit also accuses Masraf Al Rayan Bank and Qatar National Bank of managing bank accounts for known terrorists, including notorious terrorist Ahlam Aref Ahmad al-Tamimi, who is now living in Jordan on asylum after actively participating in the murder of 15 innocent people in the 2001 suicide bombing at Sbarro Pizzeria in Jerusalem, Israel. Ahlam Tamimi is a Most Wanted terrorist by US law enforcement agencies. Despite repeated requests from the US authorities, Jordanian rulers, which is heavily inclined towards the Palestinian terrorists have rejected to extradite Tamimi.
It may be mentioned here that in June 2020, another lawsuit was filed with the US Federal Court by 51 plaintiffs against Qatari financial institutions, including QNB for the murder of an American citizen in Israel, including a 28-year-old former US Army captain in a 2016 stabbing attack in Jaffa.
Both the cases were being filed under the US Anti Terrorism Act, which though allows the citizen to seek triple restitution from private institutions, but does not allow to sue government officials. Nonetheless, Qatar Charity is chaired by royal family member Hamad bin Nasser al-Thani. Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, which is overseen by the royal family has 50 percent shares in Qatar National Bank. On the other hand, Masrat Al Rayan Bank’s board is staffed by royal family members.
Middle East neighbors of Qatar, for years, have accused the Qatari royals of supporting radical Islamic terrorist groups, including Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. In 2017, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Egypt snapped diplomatic ties, travel, and trade with Doha for its notorious policy of supporting and funding terrorism.
Qatari officials have been regularly denying charges of patronizing terrorism and have claimed its support towards Palestinian terrorists as “Gaza charity”. Terror broadcast network Al Jazeera, which is run by the Qatari royal family has been actively involved in running false propaganda against Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Israel, and other Gulf countries.
Surprisingly, despite its direct patronization of radical Islamic terrorism, Qatar remains a “valuable strategic partner” of the US and has even drawn praise from the American Presidents. The Gulf country hosts al-Udeid, the largest US military base in the Middle East and forward headquarters of the US Central Command. Despite Qatar’s role in favor of Islamic jihadists and anti-US elements, the Trump administration reportedly has been pushing Gulf countries and Egypt to resolve its dispute with Doha. Due to such persuasions of the US administration, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Egypt have signaled progress in ending their dispute with Qatar, which may become public within the next few weeks.