CAIRO – 9 July 2018: Prominent Qatari opposition figure Mona al-Sulaiti, said that the Arab quartet boycott may have reduced the Qatari regime’s support of terrorism. However, it did not fully stop it.
In an interview with Egypt Today, Sulaiti said that Qatar is still harboring Muslim Brotherhood figures and terrorists coming from Turkey and Syria.
The Muslim Brotherhood has been designated by the Egyptian state as a terrorist organization following a political turmoil in 2013 that led to the ousting of the MB affiliated President Mohamed Morsi.
Qatar still harbors Egyptian Yusuf al-Qaradawi, head of the International Union for Muslim Scholars (IUMS), which is also designated as a terrorist group by the Egyptian authorities.
On June 5, 2017, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain decided to cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, after years of unstable relations. Qatar was accused by the quartet of funding and promoting terrorism and intervening in the domestic affairs of the quartet.
Qatar resorts to Iran, Turkey
The isolation of Qatar [by the Arab quartet] has led its Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani to resort to Tehran which works on exploiting the Qatari resources, Sulaiti said.
She added that Tamim’s resort to Iran and Turkey is not less dangerous than his support to terrorism, as these two countries issue plans to destroy the region.
U.S. National Security Advisor General H.R. McMaster underlined at a conference in Washington, D.C., in December 2017, that Turkey and Qatar are playing a key role in advancing the radical Islamist ideology in the Muslim community.
McMaster explained that these two countries are carrying out their hostile policies to fund and support terrorism and extremism through charities, madrassas and other social organizations, according to U.S. newspaper, The Algemeiner.
Concerning Iran, Sulaiti said that Iran is in too deep in the Qatari economy in order to dominate it. She also said that there are Iranian elements inside the peninsula protecting Tamim.
According to political experts, Qatar allowed Iranian military troops to deploy across the country. Units of Iran’s most powerful security force, Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), were reportedly sent to protect Sheikh Tamim inside his palace. News circulated in October that U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to designate the IRGC as a terrorist organization.
Relations with Israel
Around Qatari regime’s relations with Israel, which is the enemy of Iran, Sulaiti said that the relations between the two countries are very good, asserting that some figures of the regime visit Israel secretly and have houses there.
She added that Israel also secures Tamim’s regime and exploits the peninsula for Israel’s benefit. Sulaiti also claimed that Qatar has established secret projects with Israeli businessmen.
Retired Egyptian General Mahmoud Mansour, reportedly one of the founders of the Qatari intelligence bureau, previously said: "the relation between Qatar and Israel has to be exposed."
In an interview with Tamer Amin on Al-Hayat channel, Mansour said that what was said about Qatar’s regime having Zionist or Israeli or Jewish roots was confirmed over the last 20 years.
Mansour also charged Qatar of funding Israeli combatants with about $2 million. "Today, we are facing a new branch of Israel in the Arab World," Mansour added.
In an interview with Al-Arabiya in November, former Al-Qaeda organization member, Ayman Dein, described the Qatari policy as full of contradictions; supporting Islamist groups while establishing relations with Israel, and supporting Sunni groups while establishing relations with Iran.
Al-Jazeera used by the Qatari regime
Sulaiti said that Al-Jazeera (JSC), the state-funded broadcaster in Doha, ignores the Israeli violation of Palestinian people’s rights. Moreover, it does not discuss the Iranian regime’s oppression to the protests that took place in Iran in order to preserve relations with Iran.
She also accused the JSC of showing Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as the rescuer of the region and as a democratic symbol, which totally contradicts the reality that Turkish citizens live under his rule.
Sulaiti also underscored the presence of Turkish soldiers in Qatar, saying that these soldiers exist among the Qatari soldiers as Tamim fears a probable coup against him.
Turkish troops arrive at their military base in Doha on June 23, 2017. REUTERS
Al-Jazeera is accused by the Arab quartet of disseminating false news and promoting terrorism. It is one of many websites Egypt has banned for the same reasons.
Costly, mysterious military deals
The Qatari regime thinks money buys everything, Sulaiti said, underscoring the numerous weapons deals signed by Qatar with European countries during the boycott.
She added that these countries know about Qatar’s support of terrorism, and that is why the regime tries to satisfy them, stressing that these countries will not take it easy and will exert pressure on the Qatari regime to stop backing terrorism.
Qatar has signed several multi-billion dollar deals for purchasing fighter jets and other military equipment since the Qatari crisis started.
Qatar signed a €6 billion (about $7 billion) deal to purchase 24 Typhoon fighters from Britain. According to the British Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson, the order of Typhoons is the biggest in a decade.
Williamson and his Qatari counterpart Khalid bin Mohammed al-Attiyah also signed an agreement for establishing a Joint Operational Squadron between both countries’ air forces, according to a statement by Qatar’s armed forces.
During his visit to Doha on December 7, French President Emmanuel Macron said he agreed on some $14.13 billion deals with Qatar. The deals included the purchase of 12 French-made Rafale fighter jets.
Qatar also agreed to purchase 490 VBCI armored vehicles from French Nexter.
Qatar’s Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman Al-Thani said in August that Qatar sealed a deal worth about $5.9 billion with Italy to purchase seven navy vessels.
Only few days after the Arab quartet boycotted Qatar, Qatar signed a $12billion deal in June to purchase 36 (F-15) jets from the U.S.
A pentagon agency said in November that the U.S. approved a possible $1.1 billion to service Qatar’s F-15QA fighter aircraft program.
Sulaiti underscored it is probable that the Qatari regime buys these weapons for the benefit of other countries that back it in order to maintain relations with these states.
Concerning dealing with the opposition, Sulaiti said that the Qatari regime freezes their assets, adding that the regime has already did that with her. She said that some opposition figures have fled the country and will not return until the Qatari people rebel against the Qatari regime, adding that all opposition figures are targeted by the regime.
Over the past 12 months, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, Emir of Qatar, has stripped the nationality of some Qatari tribal leaders and frozen the assets of others over their opposition to the Qatari regime. They included Sheikh Talib bin Mohamed Bin Lahoum bin Sherim, leader of Al-Murra tribe; and Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali Al-Thani, a member of the Qatari royal family.
Regime change expected
Sulaiti finally said that the Qatari regime may be forced to leave if the Qatari people unite against it and if the international community supports the ousting of Tamim’s regime.
In an interview with CNN last November, Adel al-Jubeir, the Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia, which is believed to be the boycott’s leader, said that the policy Saudi Arabia is adopting, in the case of Qatar, is not regime change but behavior change.
Referring to the Qatari regime, Jubeir said, “they still have a way to go, but they cannot fix their problems unless they acknowledge that they have a problem.”
Commenting on hopes for compromise, Jubeir said, “when it comes to terrorism, extremism and harboring fugitives there can be no compromise.”
“I believe the steps the four countries have taken are now forcing Qatar to begin acting,” Jubeir stated.