Anger, Demands of International Probe on Qatari Support of Terrorism in Somalia

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Calls for an international probe against Qatari regime have mounted among the people of Somalia after The New York Times revealed a phone conversation detailing a Qatari conspiracy to finance a terror attack in the fragile country.

The New York Times (NYT) reported on Monday that businessman Khalifa Kayed al-Muhannadi, who is close to Prince Tamim bin Hamad, told Doha’s ambassador to Somalia, Hassan bin Hamza, that militants had carried out a May bombing in the Somali port of Bosaso to advance Qatar’s interests in the African country.

The Times report is clear evidence of Doha’s involvement in supporting terrorism in Somalia, a country wrought with war and poverty.

On Tuesday, July, 23rd, after the revelation, Somalia’s opposition party Wadjar condemned Qatar for using a radical terrorist and an extremist al-Shabaab to pursue its interests in Somalia. The al-Shabaab movement is an affiliate of Isis and Al Qaeda and considers the Somali government their main enemy. Wadjar’s statement said the information uncovered by NYT “reinforced what many Somalis suspected, that there were ties between Qatar and terrorist groups in Somalia.”

The party proposed demands, including the Somali government’s stance on Qatar, cutting off diplomatic relations with Doha, and taking action against those close to Qatar who hold sensitive positions in the country.

According to Somali news sites, the party also called on the United Nations, the African Union, IGAD, the Arab League and Organisation of Islamic Cooperation to investigate Qatar’s links to terrorist organisations. The party ended its statement by calling upon the Somali people to unite against terrorist supporters.

The New York Times report noted that al-Muhannadi’s conversation with the ambassador is clear and unequivocal evidence of Qatar’s support for terrorism, as well as proof of the implementation of its trans-national criminal scheme.

When contacted, al-Muhannadi did not deny the phone call, saying that he was talking to the Qatari ambassador “as citizens rather than officials.”

However, bin Hamza did not deny the voice recording, did not express his displeasure at the implementation of the bombings in favour of his country, nor did he show dissatisfaction with Qatari supervision.

The US security reports have confirmed earlier that Qatar is involved in financing the al-Shabaab movement in Somalia. Terrorist financiers living freely in Qatar played a pivotal role in the financing of the movement.

The Qatari terrorist conspiracy against Somalia came less than a month after the Wall Street Journal revealed that Khalifa al-Subaiy, a Qatari businessman, had long provided financial support to senior al-Qaeda leadership, including September 11th mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. The US newspaper added that the documents it reviewed showed that al-Subaiy had an account with Qatar National Bank and was able to exploit what it called “loopholes” in United Nations sanctions procedures, as he was on the UN sanction list.