September 11 Attacks, New York (Source: Reuters)
CAIRO - 10 July 2017: Qatar provided sanctuary to one of the most dangerous terrorists who was behind a number of terrorist attacks, including the 9/11 attacks, according to former U.S. National Coordinator for Security and Counterterrorism, Richard Clarke.
According to an article published on NY Daily News, Richard Clarke, the former U.S. National Coordinator for Security and Counterterrorism in the George W. Bush and Bill Clinton administrations, stressed that Qatar “has always provided sanctuary to leaders of terrorist groups,” describing the situation as “not new, as Qatar has been doing this for at least 20 years.”
One of the most significant people whom Qatar helped preventing the U.S. from reaching was Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM), the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks. He was also linked to the truck bomb attack on the World Trade Center in 1993.
KSM was Pakistani. He got his undergraduate degree in 1986 from the North Carolina A&T University, Mechanical Engineering. And according to Al-Arabiya, Abdullah bin Khalid Al-Thani, who is a member of the Qatari royal family, is accused of “harboring” KSM in Qatar, giving him a job at the Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation.
Clarke stated that the U.S. was searching for KSM and located him in Qatar, but could not trust the Qatari government to hand him over, due to “a history of terrorist sympathies”.
He then pointed out that the U.S. Security agencies thought of trying to “snatch” KSM from Qatar by a U.S. team, but chose to take the approach of communicating with the Qataris instead. The U.S. ambassador to Qatar was asked to hold a meeting with the Emir of Qatar, asking him to hold KSM down, however, within hours of that meeting, KSM vanished.
Later, KSM went on to organize the 9/11 attacks, the Bali nightclub bombing in Indonesia, the murder of U.S. journalist Daniel Pearl, and other terrorist attacks.
In 2003, KSM was captured in Pakistan by U.S. officials accompanied by Pakistani officers, and was transferred to Guantanamo Bay in Cuba until this day.
On June 5, a number of Arab countries, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, cut all diplomatic ties with Qatar and imposed economic sanctions on it, accusing it of funding and supporting terrorist groups.
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