Qatar has been accused of facilitating a multimillion-pound money laundering operation to fund terrorists in Syria.
Qatari top politicians, businessmen, charities and officials are said to have used a private office of the country’s emir and two banks to funnel hundreds of millions of dollars into Nusra Front, an al-Qaeda affiliate.
The allegations are contained in documents filed this week with the London High Court on behalf of nine Syrians, seeking damages for financial losses, torture, arbitrary detention and threats of execution they claim suffered as a result of the settlement, or against the hands. from Nusra Front.
All the accused have vehemently and categorically denied the charges. Qatar will host the next World Cup, which will take place next year.
Qatari state has been accused of collaborating with the Muslim Brotherhood to funnel hundreds of millions of dollars to Nusra Front terrorists in Syria (file image)
According to court documents, seen by The times, the Qatari state – in conjunction with the Muslim Brotherhood – has concocted a conspiracy to “actively support and facilitate” the terrorists of the Nusra Front as they fought during the Syrian civil war.
The money was moved using overpriced construction contracts, overpriced real estate purchases and overpayments to Syrian workers, it is alleged.
The money was either sent directly to Syria or to banks in Turkey, where it was withdrawn and taken across the border to the terror group, court papers say.
Qatar National Bank, the Middle East’s largest financial institution, and Doha Bank are both accused of facilitating the transactions.
The banks “knew or should have known” what the money was actually used for, the lawsuit said. Both have categorically denied the allegations.
The papers make no specific allegations about the roles each defendant would have played, which are expected to be included in a future filing.
Court documents allege prominent businessmen and politicians used overpriced construction contracts and real estate sales to move the money through two banks, including the Qatar National Bank, which has denied knowledge of the alleged plan (file image)
All defendants will have the right to file defense documents or argue that the case should not be heard in the English courts. The claim will only be considered if there is sufficient evidence to support it.
Nusra Front was founded in Syria by disciples of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who would later become the leader of ISIS but then led Al Qaeda in Iraq, who were sent from Iraq to settle in Syria.
The group was founded in 2011 as Jabhat al-Nusra led by a jihadist who used the nom de guerre Abu Muhammad al Golani, with the stated aim of overthrowing the regime of Bashar al-Assad and establishing an Islamic state.
In 2013, a major split occurred when Baghdadi attempted to merge al-Nusra with al-Qaeda in Iraq to create ISIS.
While some al-Nusra fighters joined ISIS, Golani insisted that no such merger had taken place and gathered other jihadists around him.
The following year, the two groups took up arms, with al-Nusra fighting ISIS near Raqqa. They have remained hostile ever since.
Qatar will hold the next World Cup, which will take place in 2022 (file image)
Since then, further splits have occurred within al-Nusra and the group has gone under various names, including Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham and Jabhat Fatah al-Sham.
Today, it largely controls the territory in the Syrian province of Idlib – the last of the country’s provinces not recaptured by the Syrian army.
Nusra has been declared a terrorist organization by the US since 2012, and America has never directly funded or supported the group.
However, it is widely believed that weapons supplied to other “moderate” groups came into the hands of al-Nusra and that CIA-trained fighters joined the group after entering Syria.
This was one of the main reasons President Trump gave for pulling the plug on the CIA’s 2017 training operation, the New York Times reported.