Saleh al-Qaraawi - Press photo
CAIRO – 9 June 2017: Imprisoned al-Qaeda militant Saleh al-Qaraawi stated that the Qatari government previously financed the organization’s terrorist activities, reported Saudi newspaper Okaz on Thursday.
The Saudi-born prisoner confirmed that during his time as a leader of the terrorist organization al-Qaeda he received funds from Qatari political figures on multiple occasions.
Okaz revealed that al-Qaraawi’s confessions result from an investigation conducted by Saudi authorities five years ago following his arrest and subsequent imprisonment in the country.
Listed as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist by the U.S. State Department in 2011, al-Qaraawi is considered one of the most dangerous elements of al-Qaeda and the founder of the Abdullah Azzam Brigades militant Islamist group, according to Okaz.
The newspaper also noted that Doha had previously given safe refugee to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the September 11 attacks, informing the United States that he had disappeared after U.S. security agencies learnt of his presence there.
On Monday, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Yemen and the Maldives announced they were severing diplomatic relations with Qatar over allegations that Qatar funds terrorist groups across the region.
Qatar has long faced accusations of supporting terrorist organizations, particularly after expressing solidarity to the Muslim Brotherhood organization that was outlawed by Egypt as a terrorist group in 2013.