How Qatar used private companies to raise funds for terror groups

Source: Al arabiya

Qatar’s terror list comprising 19 individuals and eight entities – 11 of whom are Qatari nationals and six companies – has raised questions about how serious Doha is in dealing with funders of terrorist groups residing inside their country.

According to precedent, state-sponsor lists usually identify absconders who have fled their countries of origin or others whose whearabouts were unknown. Apart from that policy, countries who usually release such lists then pursue those identified and investigate further, both of which Qatar’s current government has not done so since issuing their list on Thursday.

Al Arabiya has noted that that some entities on Qatar’s terror list were companies not officially accused by the Qatari government for funding terrorism. For the first time, the list included entities that were unrelated to Qatari aid and charity institutions only, who have in the past been the preferred method to transfer funds to terrorist organizations. Thursday’s list included companies specialized in home decoration, home furnishings, building umbrellas and tents, telephone and car rental companies.

Admitting those companies on their list reveals how Qatar had willingly known of companies used by citizens to serve terrorism-related projects and financed extremist groups such as al-Qaeda and ISIS.

Those entities included Al Ansar for Mobiles, Car Rental and Real Estate, Tiftinaz for Trade and Contracting, Jebel Omar for Trade and Contracting, Khebraat for Trade and Contracting, Al Dhahaibya for Umbrellas and Tents, and Al Ihitida for Furniture and Décor.

A quick search online has shown that Qatar has not blocked or banned any of the companies’ websites and phone numbers listed as contacts still worked at the time of this article’s publication.

Using small companies to fund terrorism

According to Qatar’s list, Al Dhahaibya for Umbrellas and Tents works primarily in real estate protperties for Qatari citizens’ houses. It was established as a business in 2011 and has worked in building tents and car park umbrellas for a number of well-known clients, the biggest of which is the Al Jazeera Media Network. Other clients listed on Dhahaibya’s included Qatar Insurance Company, Qatar Museums Authority, Q Jet, Al Fardan and Danat Qatar.

As for Khebraat Trading & Contracting Co was also establish in 2011 and specializes and consults in home building and construction works as well as interior design and decoration. On its website, Khebraat lists a number of Qatari citizens for whom it has built and designed homes for.

Other clients it has worked for included Qatari government intuitions like Qatar’s Supreme Education Council, Urbacon for Trading & Contracting, the Qatari Emiri Land Forces, the Qatari Ministry of the Environment, and Q Jet.

The companies’ websites, however, have not listed the names of their owners. However, Qatar’s terror list identified several Qataris whom observers have said have direct links with the entities identified. Some of those identified have already been identified in international terror lists, included that which the Anti-Terror Quartet of Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt released last year, revealing how the depth of which Qatari money has long been used in terror financing across the region.

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