Time for the US to stop Qatar’s support for terror

Donald Trump poses with retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis
Getty Images

New York Post, by Jonathan Schanzer, April 20, 2017:

Secretary of Defense James Mattis is on a Mideast tour to “continue efforts to strengthen regional security architectures.” While his meetings in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Israel are likely to attract most of the press coverage, his discussions in Qatar Saturday could be the most consequential.

Since August 2014, US-backed coalition aircraft have flown tens of thousands of sorties to bomb ISIS. Almost all of them are commanded out of the sprawling, high-tech al-Udeid air base in Qatar. In other words, the base is crucial to our war efforts.

But it comes with serious baggage. The Treasury Department’s top terrorism-finance official, Adam Szubin, stated last year that Qatar has demonstrated “a lack of political will . . . to effectively enforce their combating terrorist financing laws.” In February, Daniel Glaser, who had only recently stepped down as assistant secretary of the Treasury, stated that “designated terrorist financiers” are “operating openly and notoriously” in the country.

A report by my colleague David Andrew Weinberg at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies confirms this. After scouring available records, Weinberg found it “impossible to identify even a single specific instance of Qatar charging, convicting, and jailing a US- or UN-designated individual.” He further found that terror financiers, primarily those backing al Qaeda’s branch in Syria (now called Hayat Tahrir al-Sham), “enjoy legal impunity” in Qatar.

In December 2013, for instance, Treasury added Qatar-based ‘Abd al-Rahman bin ‘Umayr al-Nu’aymi to its terrorist sanctions list, noting he “ordered the transfer of nearly $600,000 to al Qaeda,” with the intent to send more. Meanwhile, multiple reports suggest Qatar pays ransom to al Qaeda and other groups when they kidnap Westerners. Such payments amount to terrorism finance, and also encourage continued abductions.

And it’s not just financing. Qatar harbors the bad guys, too.

In 2015, two senior Taliban officials traveled in and out of Qatar to meet members of the notorious Taliban Five — high-level prisoners from Guantanamo Bay who were traded to Qatari custody by the Obama administration for American prisoner Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. The Qataris facilitated the swap through the Taliban embassy they helped stand up in Doha. Leaked cables show US officials have long worried about how the Taliban and others may “exploit Qatar as a fundraising locale.”

There is also the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, which enjoys safe haven in Qatar and also raises plenty of cash. Outgoing leader Khaled Meshal has long operated out of Doha. Hamas military official Saleh Arouri — suspected of masterminding the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens, sparking the 2014 war between Hamas and Israel — is now reportedly in Qatar after being booted from Turkey.

The Qataris don’t even bother to hide this. When I visited Qatar a few years ago, an expat told me that he attended the opening of an Ikea store in Doha and watched dumbfounded as Taliban members tested out the same couch as US servicemen. Another expat told me that locals boast of spotting Khaled Meshal around town the way that New Yorkers compare Woody Allen sightings.

Despite all this, officials in Washington often turn a blind eye. Maybe it’s the value of the al-Udeid air base. Maybe it’s Qatar’s massive foreign-investment portfolio. Or perhaps it’s some other reason.

When the George W. Bush administration launched the war on terror, it overlooked Qatar’s track record, including that 9/11 mastermind Khaled Sheikh Mohammed had found shelter on Qatari soil.

Neither Bush nor Obama punished the Qataris for terrorism finance. Indeed, Qatar should have been designated as a state sponsor of terrorism by the State Department. It never was.

When Qatar’s new emir, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, took the helm three years ago, the Obama administration was optimistic the country would change. That never happened.

When he arrives in Doha on Saturday, Mattis should certainly ensure that he has the support of the Qataris for his war plans. But he shouldn’t miss an opportunity to hold Qatar to account. He should invoke President Trump’s campaign promise: Allies must pull their weight if they wish to remain allies.

That previous administrations have tolerated Qatar’s behavior is not an excuse. Qatar must cease supporting terrorists.

Jonathan Schanzer, a former Treasury Department terrorism-finance analyst, is senior vice president at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Qatar behind state-sponsorship of terrorism: Fahmy

Gaza’s Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, center right, and Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, center left, walk together during a welcoming ceremony in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, in 2012. The emir of Qatar became the first head of state to visit the Palestinian territory since Islamist Hamas militants seized control there in 2007. (UNCREDITED / ASSOCIATED PRESS)

The Star, by Mohamed Fahmy, April 11, 2017:

Earlier this year U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis called Iran the world’s “biggest state sponsor of terrorism.” It may be time to include the little oil-rich Arab state of Qatar on the top of the list since it continues to house and protect wanted financiers of Al Qaeda, Daesh, Al Nusra Front, Taliban, Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood and other groups designated as terrorists by many countries and the United Nations.

In 2013, the U.S. Treasury Department named Qatari citizen Abdul Rahman Bin Umair Al Nuaimi as a “Special Designated Terrorist.”

Based on vetted and declassified information released by the U.S., Al Nuaimi, who once headed the Qatari Soccer Federation, transferred millions of dollars over a decade to Al Qaeda affiliates in Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Yemen and Lebanon. Al Nuaimi at one point ran a charity owned by a member of the Qatari royal family and donated $2 million a month to Al Qaeda in Iraq.

Khalifa Al Subaey, an Al Qaeda Qatari financier jailed for only six months in 2008 on terrorism charges and known for funding the mastermind behind 9-11, is once again raising money for terrorists in Syria and Iraq, according to a more recent designation by the U.S.

Those two dangerous men, Al Nuaimi and Al Subaey, are strolling freely in Qatar’s malls and posting photographs of their expensive cars flanked by rare falcons and tigers.

Twitter also has a responsibility in flushing them out as they continue to post from ‎handles @binomeir ‎and@khalifasubaey.

It is not negligence or turning a blind eye. It is blatant state-sponsorship of terrorism.

At one point in 2013 Qatar opened an office for Taliban who had recently rebranded their identity to the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.

Right then and there the Al Thani ruling family of Qatar gave legitimacy to murderers who committed horrific massacres in Afghanistan for decades, staged targeted killings and kidnappings of diplomats and civilians.

In 2012, AdelAziz Bin Khalifa Al Atya, the cousin of Qatar’s former foreign minister and brother of the current political adviser to the Emir of Qatar, was arrested in Lebanon and charged with funding Al Nusra Front. The group is an Al Qaeda’s affiliate operating mostly in Syria and designated as terrorists by Canada, the U.S. and the U.K.

Qatar immediately pressured the Lebanese government and reportedly threatened to expel 30,000 Lebanese citizens working in Qatar if he was not deported before the trial commenced. Two years later he was sentenced to seven years in absentia — time he will never serve.

Meanwhile, the Qatari leadership maintains policies of duplicity, using an unprecedented flaunting of cash to keep the international community from taking a tougher stance against it.

You will not see the United Kingdom, for example, taking a punitive position against Qatar. Why?

The Telegraph newspaper summed it up recently: “Qatari investors own more property in the capital than the Mayor of London’s office and three times more than the Queen.”

“You have to ask, who is arming, who is financing ISIS troops?,” German Development minister Gerd Muller ‎asked during an interview with the German public broadcaster. “The keyword there is Qatar — and how ‎do we deal with these people and states politically?”

‎Indeed, how do you deal with the Al Thani rulers who donate $100 million to the victims of Hurricane Katrina one day, then turn around and donate $31 million to pay the salaries of Hamas, a Palestinian militant group designated as terrorists by Canada, U.S., and the United Kingdom.

How do they justify housing senior leaders of Hamas and the military wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist group designated as terrorists by Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Syria, United Arab Emirates, and Russia?

The world remains idle even after Hillary Clinton’s recently leaked Podesta emails, where she states Qatar finances Daesh. Qatar also donated $1 million to The Clinton Foundation.

In January, the U.S. designated Hamza Bin Laden, the youngest son of Osama bin Laden, as a terrorist.

Months earlier I had interviewed for my book Zaina Bin Laden, the wife of Omar Bin Laden, Osama’s eldest son. The peace-promoting couple resides in Qatar. She told me Hamza had been detained in Iran until 2010 before he was allowed to go to Pakistan with his mother.

Three exiled prominent Qataris with close ties to the Qatari royal family’s inner circle, who I interviewed recently, including Mona Al Sulaiti, the sister of the current Qatari communication and transportation minister, believe Hamza is safe and sound in Qatar.

If the U.S. is serious about combating terrorism and arresting Hamza, who has released a number of audio recordings from unknown locations calling on his disciples to stage terrorist attacks on Western nations, then maybe they should be looking for him in Qatar — the first Arab country slated to host the FIFA Soccer World Cup in 2022.

Mohamed Fahmy is an award winning journalist and war correspondent. He is the author of The Marriott Cell: An Epic Journey from Cairo’s Scorpion Prison to Freedom.

Saudi Arabia and Qatar Funding The Islamic State

Understanding the Threat, by John Guandolo, October 10, 2016:

Why wouldn’t Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and all other wealthy Muslim countries fund ISIS, ISIL, or whatever we are calling the leading army of Mohammad this week?

In the latest Wikileaks download, a series of emails between then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and John Podesta, former Chief of Staff to President Bill Clinton and Counselor to President Obama, dated August and September 2014 reveal Saudi Arabia and Qatar are funding and providing support to ISIS.

In the email Mrs. Clinton states:  “We need to use our diplomatic and more traditional intelligence assets to bring pressure on the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIL and other radical Sunni groups in the region.”

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We know from the recently released portions of the 9/11 Report a large volume of evidence exists revealing Saudi Arabia funds jihadi training materials and Islamic Centers/Mosques in the United States, among other direct support to fund the global jihad against the U.S. and the West.

Pakistan provided direct support via their intelligence agency (ISI) to Al Qaeda fighters after the attacks on the United States on 9/11/2001, and, provided safe haven for Osama bin Laden.

Turkey’s policies and open hostility towards the United States make clear they cannot be trusted at all.

Saudi Arabia and Qatar are giving financial and logistical support to ISIS.

The questions that remain:

*Why are key facilities in Saudi Arabia and Qatar not on our target list?

*Which Muslim country in the world is not hostile to the United States and supporting the armies of Mohammad (ISIS, Al Qaeda, Hamas, etc)?

Israel Approves $30 Million From Qatar To Hamas Employees In Gaza; Action Undercuts Years Of Work Against Global Muslim Brotherhood Charities

hamas2By on July 28, 2016

In a deal approved by Israel, Reuters has reported that Qatar will be providing $30 million to help pay the salaries of thousands of Hamas public servants in the Gaza Strip. According to the report:

Jul 23, 2016 –  DOHA — Qatar said on Thursday it would give $30 million to help pay the salaries of thousands of Gaza Strip public sector workers left without a full wage package since 2013.

The donation was welcomed by Hamas, the Islamist group that dominates the enclave who said it would help ease the wage shortages — that have tested already strained relations with the US-backed Palestinian Authority, based in the West Bank.

There was no immediate comment from Palestinian Authority or Israel, who have long been suspicious of Qatar’s regular donations to Hamas and other Islamist groups across the region.

The emir of the wealthy Gulf state, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, said the payment of 113 million riyals was meant to ‘alleviate suffering and financial distress’, according to Qatar’s state news agency, QNA.

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The Hamas-hired public servants have grown restive and in 2014 protested over their lack of payment which is partly due to a continued blockade imposed on Gaza by both Israel and Egypt.

‘The July payment will be made in full immediately once the Qatari financial fund is received,’ Youssef Al Kayyali,  Hamas’ deputy finance minister said.

Qatar, which hosts the largest US air base in the Middle East, has for years preserved influence with Islamist forces across the region it believes are the long-term future.

The breadth and resilience of Qatar’s links to Islamist groups including Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, which has suffered a crackdown in the aftermath of the Arab Spring, fuels suspicions in other Gulf states.”

Israeli media has further reported that the Qatar/Hamas deal was approved by Israel as well as the Palestinian Authority. According to a Jerusalem Post report:

July 24, 2016 Qatar coordinated its decision to pay the July salaries of Hamas public sector employees with both the Palestinian Authority and Israel, according to a source speaking to the Palestinian daily newspaper Al-Quds.

“The Qatari emir and foreign minister discussed this issue with President Mahmoud Abbas in their meeting in Doha during Ramadan and President Abbas did not express any opposition, especially since the transfer will take place in an official manner via the Palestinian Authority,” the source said.

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The source added that Doha coordinated the decision with the Coordinator of Activities in the Territories Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai.

“Qatar informed Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordecai and after Israel studied the proposal, it offered its approval,” the source revealed.

As for how the transfer of funds will take place, the source said that a European party will assume responsibility for their delivery from Qatar to Gaza.

The Times of Israel adds that the Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, widely viewed as among the most “hawkish of Israeli politicians, personally “waved through” the Qatari cash infusion:

July 25, 2016…Haniyeh forgot to thank another important apparent benefactor: the Israeli government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, which has reportedly waved through the Qatari cash infusion. Liberman, who once threatened to have Haniyeh assassinated within 48 hours of becoming defense minister, is understood to have agreed to the transfer of some 113 Saudi riyal ($31 million) to Hamas. Incongruous as it may seem, after less than two months in Tel Aviv’s Kirya military headquarters, Liberman appears to be a changed man, apparently tolerating an initiative that he opposed vehemently only a few years ago, during his stint as foreign minister.

Since at least 2003, criticism of groups that were funding Hamas, even if ostensibly for charitable purposes, was based on the notion of “fungibility”, that money received by Hamas for charitable purposes essentially freed up the same amount of money for terrorist purposes. As a former FBI analyst has written:

In 2003, then  Secretary of State E. Anthony Wayne told a congressional committee “if you are funding the organization [Hamas] even if there are many charitable activities going on, there is some fungibility between funds. You are strengthening the organization.” It is precisely this ease and readiness with which which Hamas transfers money from putatively charitable or political funds to military ones that belies any moral separation between the organizations various branches. Hamas’ ability to shift funds across its various ways is critical to its mission, because it facilitates the organization’s most effective means of raising funds for terrorist purposes; through humanitarian channels. The mixing of funds across different Hamas wings also shields the groups terrorist activities under a veil of political and humanitarian legitimacy

By allowing Qatar to transfer a large sum of money to Hamas, the Israel government has pulled the rug out from under those, including this publication, who for many years have criticized Global Muslim Brotherhood charities such as the Union of Good (UOG) and INTERPAL for their funding of Hamas. It is not clear to the GMBDW on what basis such entities or indeed even the Gaza flotilla movement can be now be criticized if they are essentially doing exactly what the Israel government has approved in the deal with Qatar.

The Qatari/Hamas deal comes on top of the “reconciliation” between Turkey and Israel in which Israel once again apologized for the deaths of passengers involved in a violent altercation with Israeli naval forces during the June 2010 Gaza Flotilla incident. Despite the substantial evidence of Turkish government involvement in the planning and preparation for the flotilla, no responsibility appears to have been accepted by Turkey. As we wrote in our post on the Israeli/Turkish agreement, this evidence is fully known by Dore Gold, essentially the Israel Foreign Minister, who headed the organization that commissioned the report on the subject:

As the president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA) at that time, Dr. Gold was responsible for the 2011 JCPA report authored by the GMBDW editor titled “Turkey, the Global Muslim Brotherhood, and the Gaza Flotilla” which demonstrated that the Global Muslim Brotherhood, including at that time its Turkish components as well as the Turkish government and AKP ruling party, was deeply involved in the planning and preparation leading up to the first Gaza flotilla that was involved in the violent altercation with Israeli naval forces. (In 2011, JCPA also published an article on the role of the Global Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas in the unsuccessful second Gaza Flotilla.) Therefore Dr. Gold is aware not only of the Turkish government’s own culpability in the 2010 flotilla but also that since 2006, Turkey has become a new center not only for Hamas but also for the Global Muslim Brotherhood which is implacably opposed to the existence of the Jewish State. Furthermore, the JCPA report detailed Erdogan’s own ideological ties to the Global Muslim Brotherhood network, ties which date back to Erdogan’s affiliation with WAMY in the 1970s making it unlikely that he will ever accept the existence of the Israeli state.

As we also wrote in that post:

The GMBDW fails to understand why the Israel government would choose at this time to bolster the Erdogan government as that very same government systematically continues to persecute and imprison more and more journalists and moves ever closer towards one-person rule. There have been suggestions that a potential natural gas pipeline through Turkey to Europe may be one of the motivations but that would simply would allow Turkey under Erdogan to hold Israel economic hostage whenever it chose, further compounding the strategic perils for Israel. Erdogan’s lifelong involvement with Hamas and the Global Muslim Brotherhood strongly suggest that any short-gains arising from a deal with Turkey are highly unlikely to endure and would only serve to bolster both Mr. Erdogan and Hamas. If Turkey under Erdogan  is willing to make a deal with Israel, it is a likely a sign of Turkish desperation and an opportunity to hasten Erdogan’s downfall instead of prolonging his rule.

Only two years ago it was being reported:

Israel, the Palestinian Authority (PA), and Egypt are angry with US Secretary of State John Kerry for pushing a cease-fire plan they believe was influenced by Turkey and Qatar. This reaction shows again Ankara and Doha’s unwelcome position in the region because of their unqualified support for Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.

The latest Qatari/Israel deal only adds adds to our confusion as it appears to further strengthen not only Hamas but the Hamas/Turkish/Qatari axis as well and therefore the entire Global Muslim Brotherhood. Turkey has already been involved in a recent aid shipment to Gaza  and the Qatari action only enhances the prestige of Qatar, deeply involved in the funding of Global Muslim Brotherhood projects around the world. Perhaps worst of all, and as already noted, the deal strikingly undercuts the efforts of many years to criticize and ultimately halt the flow of funds to Hamas, an effort largely involving the Global Muslim Brotherhood which aims at the destruction of the Israeli state as well as eventually the West itself. The apparent rationale for the Israeli action is the long argued position that engaging with groups such as Hamas is preferable to what are seen as the alternative, namely Al Qaeda and now ISIS despite that Hamas itself shares the same view that the West is the enemy of Islam and despite the political cooperation between Hamas leaders/supporters and designated terrorists, the subject of a forthcoming GMBDR report. In this sense, Israel joins the Obama Administration, the European Union, and a wide variety of other actors severely hampering the efforts to combat the Global Muslim Brotherhood. That Israel should join these ranks is perhaps the greatest surprise to the GMBDW since we started this publication.

Obama’s Favorite Muslim Dictatorships

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Frontpage, by Daniel Greenfield, Nov. 5, 2015:

Michelle Obama is heading to Qatar, a state sponsor of just about every Islamic terrorist group you can name, on a mission of “gender parity” accompanied by late night comedian Conan O’Brien.

That makes sense since the idea of equal rights for women in Qatar is a joke.

Qatar charges rape victims with adultery, has no law against domestic violence and women need permission from their male guardian to get an education, a driver’s license, a job or to leave the country.

Women aren’t equal in Qatar. They’re property.

But Qatar is one of Obama’s favorite Muslim dictatorships. Secretary of State John Kerry recently launched an economic dialogue with Qatar. Qatar got a free pass to smuggle weapons past the NATO blockade of Libya even though the administration knew the weapons were going to terrorists.

While Qatar was buying weapons from Sudan, a country whose leader is wanted for crimes against humanity, to pass along to Islamic terrorists in Syria, the State Department was clearing Qatar to buy American weapons. Qatar was, of course, a Clinton Foundation donor.

The Reagan administration had cracked down on Qatar for illegally getting its hands on Stinger missiles. The first Bush administration had forced Qatar to destroy them. But these days we are the arms dealer for a nasty tyranny that has ties to terrorists. Or as the State Department report politely stated, “U.S officials are aware of the presence of Hamas leaders, Taliban members, and designated Al Qaeda and Islamic State financiers in Qatar.” These nice folks share a country with U.S. Central Command.

Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the Al Qaeda bigwig who planned 9/11, was tipped off by a member of the Qatari royal family and the former Minister of the Interior which allowed him to escape.

That made it the perfect place to host the “moderate” Taliban for negotiations that went nowhere. It was also where Obama sent the 5 Taliban commanders after their release.

When meeting with the Emir, Obama claimed that “Qatar is a strong partner in our coalition to degrade and ultimately defeat ISIL.” But Qatar has allegedly funded and armed ISIS and other Al Qaeda groups. Islamic State financiers and supporters comfortably move around Qatar flying their ISIS freak flag.

Vice President Biden and Germany’s Development Aid Minister Gerd Mueller were forced to apologize for accusing Qatar of financing terrorists because some truths about our “ally” simply could not be spoken. Meanwhile an Egyptian intelligence document reportedly claimed that Qatar had provided anti-aircraft missiles to ISIS.

But Qatar is only Obama’s second favorite Muslim dictatorship and state sponsor of terror. Topping the list is Turkey, which just underwent another ugly Islamist election defined by accusations of fraud.

Obama had spoken of building a “model partnership” with Turkey between “a predominantly Christian nation and a predominantly Muslim nation”.  The United States, Obama said, is not “a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation”. He suggested that “modern Turkey was founded with a similar set of principles.” But the Turkish Republic has long since been ground under the wheels of Erdogan’s Islamist Turkey whose model is the Ottoman Empire and whose ruler lives in a billion dollar palace.

A little insight into Erdogan’s view of Islam can be gained from the fact that Turkey’s tyrant was once sent to prison for reciting an Islamic poem with the infamous lines, “The mosques are our barracks, the minarets our bayonets, the domes our helmets and the believers our soldiers.” It’s not surprising that Erdogan’s Turkey supports most of the same Islamic terrorist groups as Qatar including Hamas.

While Turkey still has elections, it is increasingly an Islamist one-party state where the political opposition, journalists, prosecutors and even police can be locked up by the forces of the regime.

And much of that controversy stems from a criminal investigation into arms smuggling to terrorists.

Having helped create the mess in Syria, Turkey has become a waypoint for Syrian Muslims invading Europe. Once shunned by Germany, whose Turkish Muslim settlers are his strongest base of support, the refugee crisis sent Merkel and the Europeans with hat in hand to beg Erdogan to stop the invasion.

But Obama has always been Erdogan’s faithful friend. When the Islamist wanted to build mosques in this part of the world, Communist Cuba turned him down, but he got his $100 million mega mosque in Maryland.  Millions calls Erdogan another Hitler, but Obama calls him “my friend.”

Another friend of Obama is the Sultan of Brunei. Obama called the Sultan, “My good friend” and rolled out a $6 billion green energy financing scheme for Brunei and Indonesia; two Muslim countries that violate human rights like it’s a spectator sport.

While Obama was palling around with the Sultan of Brunei, his “good friend” was bringing back Sharia law complete with stoning gays. The Sultan also banned Christmas and the Chinese New Year while urging “all races” to unite under Islamic law.

African Christian countries that outlawed homosexuality had faced pressure and criticism from the White House, but Obama had no lectures on human rights to offer his good Islamist friend.

Neither did Hillary Clinton whose Clinton Foundation had received millions of dollars from the regime.

But the most explosive allegations about Brunei, like those about Qatar and Turkey, involve Al Qaeda. In one of the more controversial uses of the “super-injunction” in UK law, the ex-wife of the Sultan had filed a gag order against a British businessman involving allegations that the Sultan of Brunei had met with a senior member of Al Qaeda, funded the terror group and even that “the claimant knew or suspected from conversations with her ex–husband that there would be major terrorist attacks on the UK (7/7) and Israel.” There is of course no way to verify the truth of these allegations. But the Islamization of Brunei parallels the goals of groups such as Al Qaeda and ISIS.

Obama has many “good friends” among the tyrants and terrorists of the Muslim world. But one of them is both a tyrant and a terrorist whose illegal regime is heavily subsidized by American taxpayers.

Muslim terrorists in Israel stabbed an 80-year-old woman and a 71-year-old man just this week. They did it because the PLO’s media operation, under President Abbas, told them it was their way to paradise.

Or as Abbas, the dictator whom Obama described as “someone who has consistently renounced violence”, said, “We bless every drop of blood, that has been spilled for Jerusalem…blood spilled for Allah…Every Martyr will reach Paradise.”

The blood includes the blood of elderly women and children, and the blood of families murdered together. Every murder is funded by US foreign aid because every terrorist knows that he can count on a lifetime salary from the PLO. The PLO paid out $144 million to terrorists last year alone.

Some terrorists have even confessed that they tried to kill Israelis to be able to pay off their debts.

Hillary Clinton and the State Department were sued by terror victims for funding terrorism in Israel. But nothing has changed. And when American terror victims won a lawsuit against the PLO in America, Obama’s people stepped in to protect the interests of the PLO against its victims.

The PLO is funded by hundreds of millions in American foreign aid. Over the years, $4.5 billion was spent on promoting “Palestinian democracy”. There is now less democracy than ever because Obama’s PLO pal doesn’t bother with elections. He just takes the money and runs a totalitarian terror state.

Obama’s favorite Muslim dictatorships are the opposite of everything that America stands for. They are places where human rights are a myth and terrorism a virtue. They are everything that we should reject. But instead their tyrants and terrorists are the good friends of their man in the White House.

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Also see:

Russia’s endgame in Syria: Follow the Money

3300795117Center for Security Policy, by John Cordero, Oct. 6, 2015:

As Vladimir Putin orders airstrikes against rebels of all stripes fighting Bashar al-Assad’s regime, there are important strategic economic goals behind Russia’s actions in Syria.  The short term goal is easy to discern: prevent Assad’s collapse as no alternative suitable to Russian interests exists, preserve Russia’s only naval base in the Middle East at Tartus, and promote Russia both at home and abroad as a world power that counterbalances American hegemony.

Much of the media has focused on Putin as a personal driver of Russian behavior.  While forays into Georgia and Ukraine have accomplished the tactical goals of preventing increased European Union presence in Russia’s sphere of influence, these have come at a high cost both politically and economically in the form of isolation and sanctions. Putin seems to have concluded that intervening in Syria in the name of fighting terrorism can only help repair Russia’s battered image.

It is important to at least try to understand Putin’s motivation without delving too much into psychoanalysis.  He is on record as lamenting the collapse of the Soviet Union as “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century.”  In power since 2000, the former KGB officer is an ardent Russian nationalist, a promoter of a personality cult concerned with his country’s standing and perception in the world.  With his career spent in the service of the state, he is not one to take a background role in world affairs. Putin has effectively used Russia’s alliance with Iran as an effective tool to undermine the US, both regionally in the Gulf and globally with the nuclear deal.

The current buildup at Tartus and Latakia is nothing new: since Hafez al-Assad’s rise to power in 1970, the Former Soviet Union and then Russia was and is a stalwart ally, long attempting to position Syria as a counterbalance to American and Israeli military superiority in the Middle East.

Russia’s actions are also a message to the world: unlike the US, which abandoned long-time ally Hosni Mubarak during his time of need in Egypt, Russia is prepared to intervene, militarily if necessary, to preserve a friendly regime in danger.  Therefore, it pays for autocrats to court Moscow, especially if they possess valuable resources or are in prime strategic locations.

While Vladimir Putin ostensibly espouses the acceptable goal of a global alliance against IS, the strategic context is that he has entered into a sectarian alliance with Shia Iran, Iraq, Syria, and the proxy army Hezbollah (The P4+1) against the American-backed Sunni alliance of Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, and the UAE, all of whom insist that Assad has no future in Syria.

Through its airstrikes, Russia continues to advance the prior Syrian strategy of focusing efforts against pro-Western rebels, with the recognition that, while dangerous, the Islamic State is the one party in the conflict the West will never support.

The Islamic State will take advantage of both the respite, and the propaganda value of being the recognized number one enemy of the infidel coalition, which it uses to rally supporters simply by pointing out that its enemies are gathering to destroy the renewed Caliphate.

The one strategic motivation for Russia that has been widely ignored is the economic one.  Qatar, the richest country in the world per capita and also owner of the world’s largest natural gas field, proposed in 2009 to jointly construct a gas pipeline running through Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Turkey, and into Europe.  Assad, not wanting to provoke Moscow, refused to sign on.  Instead, he floated an alternative: an Iran-Iraq-Syria and possibly Lebanon pipeline, to then follow under the Mediterranean to Europe. The Qatar-Turkey pipeline would run through majority Sunni countries with the exception of Syria’s Alawite regime. Assad’s counter proposal follows the Shia crescent.

Russia, not wanting to lose its primary market in Europe, is adamantly opposed to a prospective Qatari project.  A military presence in Syria will guarantee that even if Assad is removed from power, the pipeline will not be built.  It will look on favorably to the Iranian proposal, provided Gazprom and other state-owned companies get their share of the pie.

Pipeline politics in the region have a long and varied history of Russian involvement.  TheBaku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline was built only after Moscow’s demand for an alternative pipeline for Azeri oil to Russia was met.  During the 2008 Russia-Georgia war, US intelligence officials determined that an explosion on the pipeline near the Turkish-Georgian border was carried out via Russian government cyber warfare.  Days after the explosion, Russian fighter jets bombed positions in Georgia close to the pipeline. Although the BTC pipeline was built precisely to avoid Russian interference, the Kremlin has never let that stop them.

Turkey and Azerbaijan have also begun construction on a joint natural gas pipeline, theTANAP. This project’s stated goal is to reduce the EU’s dependence on Russian natural gas, a prospect that cannot please Moscow.   Both the BTC and TANAP bypass Armenia, a Russian ally and wary of its neighbors in the Caucasus.

As the endpoint for the Qatari project, Turkey is adamant in calling for Assad to step down or be removed, which dovetails with the proposed Sunni pipeline.  By clearing the way through Syria, Qatar and Saudi Arabia can receive a handsome return on their investment in backing jihadis fighting Assad.  On the other hand, Iran will not sit idly by and leave potential billions of dollars in the hands of its ideological and regional enemies.

Russian intervention in Syria is just beginning. There is every possibility that it will expand as more targets are found, perhaps those that are in the way of the proposed Iranian pipeline, directly threatening Damascus and by extension, the Russian monopoly of gas exports to Europe.  For the time being, Putin has the world’s attention.

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EXCLUSIVE: Russian jets ‘intercept’ US predator drones over Syria, officials say

Also see:

Hamas Chief Holds Press Conference At Four Seasons Hotel

Four Seasons Doha / YouTube

Four Seasons Doha / YouTube

Washington Free Beacon, by Adam Kredo, Sep. 10, 2015:

The Four Seasons hotel chain has come under fire for hosting a press conference this week in Doha, Qatar, by a top Hamas official who called for armed resistance “in all its forms” against Israel, according to a copy of the invitation for the event and video of the press conference.

Khaled Meshaal, a senior Hamas leader who is designated by the United States as a terrorist, rallied against Israel during remarks at the Four Seasons in Doha, raising questions about whether the prominent hotel chain could be in violation of U.S. laws barring material support to terrorist groups.

Izat Arashaq, a Senior Hamas official, publicized the event earlier this week on Twitter, sending out an invitation to the event in Arabic.

The tweet included “an invitation to attend and to cover the press conference of the brother Khaled Meshaal , vice president of the politburo for the Islamic Resistance movement (Hamas),” according to an independent translation.

The notice touts the event as being held in a ballroom at “the Four Seasons Hotel, Doha.”

The Four Seasons hotel chain is jointly owned by Kingdom Holding Company, which is headed by Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal of the Saudi royal family, and the Cascade Investment Firm, which is owned by Bill Gates.

Meshaal—who spoke in front of the image of a gunman during the event—urged the Palestinians to take up  “resistance in all its forms” without “limits or restriction,” according to a video recording.

Meshaal, who resides in Qatar, has been reported to frequent the Four Seasons in Doha. He also has been provided shelter by the Qatari government, which is one of Hamas’s top backers.

Meshaal’s public appearance at the Four Seasons has led to questions about whether the hotel chain is in violation of laws prohibiting material support to any U.S.-designated terrorist group.

“First of all it is remarkable to me that the U.S. continues to consider Qatar an ally when Hamas operates openly on Qatari soil,” said Jonathan Schanzer, a former terrorism finance analyst at the Department of the Treasury.

“The announcement of this press conference was brazen. The spokesman of Hamas seemed to have really no qualms about sharing the location of this press conference of a terrorist organization on social media,” said Schanzer, the vice president of research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

“He was blasting it far and wide,” Schanzer said. “We’re talking about a major hotel chain that is now providing material support to a terrorist organization, according to the letter of American law.”

When asked via email to comment on Meshaal’s appearance at the hotel, a spokesperson for the Four Seasons in Doha said that “we are unable to respond to any enquiries about people who may or may not be staying at the hotel.”

The spokesperson did not respond when asked whether the hotel endorsed the public Hamas press conference.

An email requesting comment from the Kingdom Holding Company also was not returned. The Cascade Investment Firm did not respond to a request for comment on Meshaal’s use of the hotel by press time.

Qatar has repeatedly come under fire from U.S. lawmakers and others for its longtime backing of Hamas.

Qatar has pledged at least $400 million to support Hamas in recent years and continues to shelter top officials such as Meshaal.

At the same time, Qatar enjoys close ties with the United States and has benefited from billions of dollars in arms deals.

“Qatar plays host to leaders of a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization, but under current U.S. law it is not a designated State Sponsor of Terrorism,” said David Weinberg, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies who researches Gulf State monarchs. “Given that Israeli security forces have identified three separate Hamas officials based out of Qatar by name as directing terror cells in the West Bank, U.S. policy needs to keep pace with worrying realities overseas.”

“Perhaps the SST architecture needs to be updated by Congress so that U.S. allies hosting operatives of terrorist groups are subject to new penalties,” he said.