September 16, 2014 | Quote
Qatar’s terror funding makes it more foe than friend to U.S., critics say
Lebanon’s Daily Star recently reported that the Qataris sent a delegation to meet face-to-face with both the Al Nusra Front and Islamic State to discuss Lebanese hostages held by those groups, indicating stunning direct contacts with two of the world’s worst terror organizations.
“In this era of a global coalition against terrorism, the idea that a country that hosts a U.S. base is having face-to-face meetings with the Al Nusra Front and the Islamic State and relaying their demands is simply mind-boggling,” David Weinberg, an expert on Arabian Gulf affairs at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, told FoxNews.com.
The Qataris, under pressure from the U.S. and others, had decreased their overt bankrolling of Al Nusra, one of the groups seeking to oust Syrian dictator Bashar Assad in that nation's spiraling civil war. But in addition to the UN hostages, Qatar also played a role in the release of U.S. journalist Peter Theo Curtis from the terror group's clutches in August, and in 2013 helped broker the release of an Austrian, a Swiss and two Finnish nationals with a reported eight-figure payment. And perhaps most prominently, Qatar helped broker the swap of five Guantanamo Bay detainees for U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in June, granting safe haven to the released Taliban members.