The Long Arm of Qatar

by Randall Stevens

TCS News

 

Why Israel? Why now?

Though few Americans paid any attention at the time, in November of last year, Secretary of State John Kerry announced to the world that this summer would be defined by violence against the Jewish state. Warning Israel to make a deal with the likes of Hamas and Fatah, Palestinian parties who do not acknowledge Israel’s right to exist, Kerry said, “Does Israel want a third intifada? … “I believe that if we do not resolve the issues between Palestinians and Israelis; if we do not find a way to find peace, there will be an increasing isolation of Israel. There will be an increasing campaign of delegitimization of Israel that’s taking place on an international basis.” Kerry’s November comments were followed up in May by other, albeit anonymous, officials… one who stated, “I guess we need another intifada to create the circumstances that would allow progress.”

These were thuggish words, even for an administration that has aided, abetted, encouraged, and armed the anti-Semitic, genocidal Muslim Brotherhood and al Qaeda rebels in Syria. Yet the Obama administration spoke with more than words. In June, the administration had the State Department approve $500 million of funding to a unity government between Hamas and Fatah. This, despite the fact that according to U.S. law, it is illegal to fund any Palestinian entity in which Hamas is a member. Repetitively calling the Palestinian government “technocratic,” as (opposed to what, “terrorist?”), State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki brazenly lied to the press, stating, “[There is] no evidence that Hamas plays any role in the interim technocratic government.” One month later, that “no evidence” is technocraticly launching rockets into Israel.

Ostensibly, the aerial assault and now ground invasion of Gaza was the direct result of the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers in June. This triggered what appears to be a revenge crime by three Jewish Israelis, who kidnapped and murdered a 16 year old Palestinian boy. This escalation was soon followed by rockets aimed into Israeli territory from Gaza, and now both sides are at war.

One cannot consider these events in a vacuum. The Middle East at the present time is in chaos, and there are good reasons why. Although never known for political stability, the Middle East today is in the midst of anarchy due to the Arab Spring. From the beginning, the Obama administration embraced this movement, and the United States remains an important source of support for transnational, Islamic, revolutionary groups. Understanding broadly who the United States has chosen to back in this struggle is especially relevant now that two countries in particular, Egypt and Qatar, have stepped forward to negotiate a peace settlement between Israel and the Palestinians in Gaza.

The Arab Spring, which seemingly begun popular as uprisings against secular strongmen, soon devolved into a free-for-all for Islamists of every stripe, from the Muslim Brotherhood to al Qaeda, to local groups affiliated with these two, related (the Muslim Brotherhood gave birth to al Qaeda) stateless terror umbrella groups. These Islamists, who at times did and continue to war with each other, share two important characteristics. The first is a common ideological and religious goal: to recreate the Islamic Caliphate, the last incarnation which was abolished in 1924 when Kemal Ataturk and his party ended the Ottoman Empire. The second is their reliance on organized crime, including both narcotics and (sex and labor) slave trafficking, to fund their operations.

The first, the reestablishment of a Caliphate, keeps the Islamists militated against the west. It is a unifying battle cry that appeals to the devout Muslim in all jihadis. While groups as distant as Boko Haram in Nigeria and the Taliban in Afghanistan have few cultural commonalities, they can certainly agree that western influence is decadent and haram, and that Islam is the answer to their societies’ earthly problems of poverty and corruption. Jihad in this sense panders to individual Muslims independent of race, nationality, and language.

The second, their integration into transnational organized crime, gives the disparate movement dynamism, provides them with access to funding and weapons, and allows them to form alliances with powerful cartels in other regions of the world. Terrorist organizations accept violence as a legitimate political tool. What’s drug running? What’s human trafficking? The violence inherent in these activities are normal and natural to terrorists. What is genocide but mass murder? And what is mass murder when you’ve made peace with killing entire families and villages in the name of Allah? Criminal activities, coordinated (especially) with groups in South America, give the Islamist movement all the money and connections they need.

The coordination of these two characteristics, Islamism and organized crime, has traditionally been the domain of the Pakistani ISI. Over the last three decades there are several notable examples of this convergence through Pakistan. In the early 1990s, the financial world was rocked to learn the true activities of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI). Run by a Pakistani Banker, one Agha Hasan Abedi, BCCI was the “primary conduit” used by the CIA to fund the mujahedeen in Afghanistan.   BCCI’s branches were also discovered to be doing payroll for the CIA, laundering money for Noriega in Panama (read: cocaine), and funding the development of the Pakistani nuclear program and A.Q. Khan. Even today, more than two decades after its closure, the full extent and reach of BCCI’s activities remain unclear.

Today, it isn’t Abedi who symbolizes Pakistan’s dual approach to Islamism but Dawood Ibrahim. Ibrahim, the son of a Mumbai police constable and boss of the Indian underworld, is practically a Director at, perhaps master of, the ISI. His vast criminal empire ranges from opium/heroin sourced from the Taliban, Bollywood, money laundering (hawala), to human trafficking. With the ISI, Ibrahim was behind two of the deadliest terror attacks in modern Indian history – the 1993 Mumbai bombings and 2008 Mumbai attacks, which left hundreds of Indians dead. So (in)vested in terror is Ibrahim, that he reportedly contributes 30% of his revenues to support Islamic terror.

Shelter in Qatar

Although Pakistan has long been a nominal ally of United States, nobody would ever accuse the United States of colonizing Pakistan. Matter of fact, it is quite unsafe for Americans to even travel in Pakistan. But there is one Islamist country where the United States is more than welcome, where American contractors are making billions of dollars; and it happens to be the same country who is “negotiating” the ceasefire between Israel and Gaza: Qatar.

Qatar is home to two of the largest American military bases in the world, Al Udeid and As Sayliyah. Al Udeid is the hub for CENTCOM in the Middle East region, while As Sayliyah is a huge pre-positioning base. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were directed out of the American bases in Doha, Qatar. It’s in Qatar that the United States executes its military policies and pursues its objectives in the Middle East.

With all the protection provided by a massive American military presence, you’d think that the tiny Gulf state, which only has 278,000 citizens (and a non-citizen population of 1.8 million), would have a relatively small defense budget. Why arm yourselves when the greatest military in the world is located right outside your capital city? Yet Qatar, per capita, is far and away the greatest purchasers of military grade weaponry in the world.   Huge arms contractors like The Boeing Company, Lockheed Martin, and Raytheon have sold tens of billions of dollars in 2014 alone to the ruling al-Thani family. In April, Qatar announced a $24 billion arms purchase from a variety of manufacturers, Boeing included. In July, another $11 billion contract was approved by the Pentagon, which included the manufacturers Raytheon, Boeing, and Lockheed Martin. These 2014 deals give Qataris such toys as Patriot missiles and Apache helicopters, and many more sophisticated weapons. People talk about how armed America and Americans are, but, per capita, Qatar makes us all look like denizens of gun-free zones like New York City.

A quick search for Qatari arms purchases in 2013 yields additional results, and not only with American contractors; the German tank manufacturer Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) sold them more than 50 tanks and 20 self-propelled howitzers. According to a March 2013 article in Defense News, “‘Everyone is going to Qatar. Every day there’s a presentation,’ a French executive said, adding that Qatari authorities have offers from America, China, France, Germany, South Korea and Turkey to equip an army brigade… Qatari officials have compiled an equipment list worth ‘at least 20 billion euros,’ a French defense expert said.”

Commercially, the Qataris depend on two sources of income, energy extraction and commercial airline flights, both largely dependent on American companies to provide capital goods. ExxonMobil is partnered with the al-Thanis to capitalize on Qatar’s vast reserves of natural gas, the third largest in the world behind Russia and Iran.   ExxonMobil has been in Qatar since the 1990s, and is intimately tied into the local community. The company has sponsored the Qatar ExxonMobil Open since 1993, and runs a program at Qatar University called ExxonMobil Teachers Academy. Boeing, in addition to selling Apache helicopters and other military technology, is in a kind of “marriage” with Qatar Airways. In July, Boeing announced $18.9 billion deal with Qatar Airways for 50 777-9X jets, with an option to purchase an additional $37.7 billion worth of planes at a later date.

Qatar’s reach extends beyond military and commercial dealings. In a feel-good marketing push worthy of a state sponsor of terror, Qatar has made it known to the world (and investors) that they are transitioning to a knowledge-based economy. Many American universities have satellite campuses in Doha, including Carnegie Mellon, Texas A&M, Georgetown University, Northwestern University, and Weill Cornell Medical College. Note in the case of Georgetown, Northwestern, and Weill Cornell, the U.S.-based schools are located in Washington, D.C., Chicago, and New York City. Carnegie Mellon has had a longstanding relationship with the Department of Defense going back to early DARPA cooperation, and in April was awarded a $7.5 mil grant with the DoD to “reshape mathematics,” part of an Air Force project. Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service in Doha focuses, of course, on international relations and diplomacy. The focus on education is more self-serving than idealistic.

Beyond the universities in Doha, Qatar operates many international education-directed initiatives and organizations. These include the Qatar Foundation, which brought a Harvard Law School program to Hamad bin Khalifa Univeristy; and WISE, sponsored in part by ExxonMobil, which funds global educational programs and activities. In one case in July 2013, the Qatar Foundation funded a program to teach Arabic in the Tucson Unified School District, a district known for implementing a La Raza-developed curriculum, focusing on racial grievances for Mexicans. Oddly enough, Lockheed Martin, which just signed a massive multi-billion arms contract this month with Qatar, is a corporate backer of La Raza.

All of this may seem harmless enough, but for the clear links between Qatar, Islamic terror, and transnational organized crime, including narcotics and human trafficking. Furthermore, as will be presented below, Qatar, and evidently the United States under the Obama administration, are the patrons of IS[IS] and the new genocidal Islamic Caliphate.

A Gangster’s Paradise

Qatar over the last ten years has made a name for itself as the richest country, per capita, in the entire world. Mean income in the Kingdom was $93,352 in 2013, and the peninsula is renowned for its booming real estate market. The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) is one of the largest sovereign wealth funds in the world, with more than (at least) USD $170 billion assets under management.

But scratch the glitzy surface, or dig into its history, and a distinctly different picture emerges. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the September 11 attacks, was on payroll of the Qatari Ministry of Electric and Water for a period of years. It was Qatar who eventually handed him over to George Tenet’s CIA, suggesting that they knew where he was all along. According to leaked State Department cables, Qatar has the worst record of cooperation for counterterrorism – worse than even Iran. Qatar Charity was named in court proceedings as one of the organizations who funded al Qaeda’s activities overseas, and named by Osama bin Laden as a favorite funder of terror.

Qatar’s Al Jazeera television network is the widest-viewed, consistent proponent of Sharia (i.e., Islamic) law in the world today. The star of the network, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, is an Egyptian Muslim Brother who fled Egypt for Qatar in 1961 following several imprisonments by the nationalist Nasser regime. Arguably the most vociferous proponent of the Arab Spring, in 2011 Qaradawi issued a fatwa that called for the murder of Gaddafi of Libya, something the Islamists would later satisfy. In 2013, Qaradawi urged all Sunnis to join the Syrian “rebels,” (i.e., al Qaeda and the like) to defeat Bashar al-Assad. He additionally accused Hezbollah, a Shiite dominated militia, of wanting to exterminate Sunnis.

In doing so, as serving as the mouthpiece for the Arab Spring’s genocidal “revolutionaries,” Qaradawi was only serving parroting official Qatari policy. For Qatar was on the ground and in the air, supporting the Libyan rebels with force as well as strategic counsel. In Syria, Qatar once again was at the head of the pack, along with Turkey, supporting the Islamists. It was revealed on PBS this May that the United States was training Syrian rebels in Qatar.

What has happened to Libya post-Gaddafi is a tragedy and a travesty. While Gaddafi was certainly not a benevolent dictator, (indeed he will be remembered by many as the “the mad dog of the Middle East,” a title given to him by Ronald Reagan), since September 11, 2001 he had been cooperating with the United States on the war on terror, and had welcomed in American contractors and government development envoys.

Today, Libya is much like Afghanistan – fractured, anarchic, explicitly tribal, and a haven for every smuggler, human and narcotics, from North Africa to Mexico to Paris. In fact, the comparison to Afghanistan, where Dawood Ibrahim’s poppy fields are cultivated by the Islamist Taliban, is apropos.

Qatar, too, is in business with Dawood – or at the very least, the ISI and the Taliban heroin smugglers he does business with. The Qataris are in a “joint venture agreement” with the ISI’s National Logistics Cell. The NLC, a logistics arm of the Pakistani military, are also well-known heroin smugglers for the Taliban. Do the Qataris mind? Not at all – the NLC boasts of its good relations with the Qataris, whom they call “brotherly.” In fact, we can rightfully assume that the NLC and Qataris both profit off the heroin, refined from opium grown by the Taliban. Qatar, after all, did accept (and then pamper) the five Taliban leaders in an exchange for one deserting American soldier. Oh right, that swap came after the former Emir of Qatar proposed the swap to Obama, at West Point, no less. According to Ollie North, presumably it was the Qataris who paid a $5 or $6 million ransom to get those Talibs repatriated to Qatar.

Then again, apparently NATO doesn’t mind about the NLC either. They are NATO contractors who move supplies into Afghanistan for coalition forces at $235 per container. Really, NATO employs Taliban heroin smugglers – see here.

The Emir’s Slaves

The World Cup may be over, but that doesn’t mean FIFA is out of the news. Scheduled to host the 2022 World Cup is none other than Qatar, who was exposed bribing FIFA officials to ensure that in 2022, the world’s most watched sports event would be held in Doha.

As is their usual modus operandi, the Qataris have planned to make the event gaudy and over-the-top. Proposing to build nine stadiums, which will allegedly be air conditioned due to the extreme temperatures, they have hired the same architect who build the famous Bird’s Nest stadium for the 2008 Beijing Olympics – Albert Speer Jr. Mr. Speer, you may know, is the son of Albert Speer Sr., the German architect, friend and confidant of Adolf Hitler, and architect of the German war machine. Speer Sr. was fond of the cheap labor provided by Slavic and Jewish slaves, and it’s not different for Speer Jr.’s projects in Qatar.

Before the bribery scandal was exposed, Qatar’s legitimacy to host the World Cup was called into question due to their egregious abuses of imported labor. In a less politically correct times, these would be called slaves. Matter of fact, the UK’s Guardian ran an article entitled, “Qatar’s World Cup ‘Slaves.'” The Guardian investigation enumerated several abuses, including:

  • Evidence of forced labour on a huge World Cup infrastructure project.
  • Some Nepalese men have alleged that they have not been paid for months and have had their salaries retained to stop them running away.
  • Some workers on other sites say employers routinely confiscate passports and refuse to issue ID cards, in effect reducing them to the status of illegal aliens.
  • Some labourers say they have been denied access to free drinking water in the desert heat.
  • About 30 Nepalese sought refuge at their embassy in Doha to escape the brutal conditions of their employment

The involvement of Dawood Ibrahim’s D-Company syndicate in human trafficking is well-established. The business connections between Pakistan and Qatar are no secret, as discussed above. Qatar, it is nearly plain to see, is using Ibrahim’s slave labor for construction, under the watchful eye of the son of an infamous Nazi slave driver.

Is this really the kind of close ally the United States wants? If the American people understood who the al Thanis were, and how close the President and his administration is to Qatar, there would be a severe public backlash.

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