January 25, 2015 | Quote
Exclusive: Freed Al Qaeda Agent Was Part of Proposed Swap for Jailed Americans
Back in Qatar, where Al-Marri has been reunited with his family, he’s being given a hero’s welcome. Members of the public have been invited to a celebration in Al-Marri’s honor held just down the street from a football stadium that will host the 2022 World Cup, said David Weinberg, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.
“Several prominent Qatari personalities welcomed Al-Marri home with open arms. That trend has continued, with a longtime board member of Al Jazeera declaring on her personal Twitter page that ‘We congratulate the family of Ali bin Kahlah Al-Marri on his return,’” Weinberg told The Daily Beast.
Al-Marri may have other powerful friends in Qatar, in addition to the attorney general. Weinberg noted that in U.S. court documents, Al-Marri is said to have spent nearly a decade working as a “key person” in the audit department of Qatar Islamic Bank, and then as a senior auditor for the government of Qatar. Sending a known moneyman to a country widely seen as a major financial hub for terrorist groups, instead of to Saudi Arabia, where he also has citizenship, “was a big missed opportunity for U.S. policy,” Weinberg said.
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