Saudi-Qatar clash

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Qatari support of terrorists

See also: Wikipedia - Qatar and state-sponsored terrorism
  • Qatar was a double agent in war on terror - Ilan Berman, USA Today, June 6, 2017
    Simultaneously, however, the Qatari crown has emerged as a major backer of a bevvy of radical groups. The list includes the Muslim Brotherhood and its Palestinian offshoot, Hamas, as well as Afghanistan’s Taliban and the al-Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front, all of which are known to have received support from the emirate.
  • U.S.-Approved Arms for Libya Rebels Fell Into Jihadis’ Hands - The New York Times, December 5, 2012
    The Obama administration secretly gave its blessing to arms shipments to Libyan rebels from Qatar last year, but American officials later grew alarmed as evidence grew that Qatar was turning some of the weapons over to Islamic militants, according to United States officials and foreign diplomats.
    No evidence has emerged linking the weapons provided by the Qataris during the uprising against Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi to the attack that killed four Americans at the United States diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, in September. But in the months before, the Obama administration clearly was worried about the consequences of its hidden hand in helping arm Libyan militants, concerns that have not previously been reported. The weapons and money from Qatar strengthened militant groups in Libya, allowing them to become a destabilizing force since the fall of the Qaddafi government.
    The experience in Libya has taken on new urgency as the administration considers whether to play a direct role in arming rebels in Syria, where weapons are flowing in from Qatar and other countries. The Obama administration did not initially raise objections when Qatar began shipping arms to opposition groups in Syria, even if it did not offer encouragement, according to current and former administration officials. But they said the United States has growing concerns that, just as in Libya, the Qataris are equipping some of the wrong militants.

Support for Libyan rebels

  • Tillerson and Mattis Cleaning Up Kushner’s Middle East Mess - Mark Perry, The American Conservative, June 27, 2017
    Qatari operations were more than symbolic. The Qatari military trained rebel units, shipped them weapons, accompanied their fighting units into battle, served as a link between rebel commanders and NATO, tutored their military commanders, integrated disparate rebel units into a unified force and led them in the final assault on Qaddafi’s compound in Tripoli.“We never had to hold their hand,” a retired senior U.S. military officer says. “They knew what they were doing.” Put simply, while the U.S. was leading from behind in Libya, the Qataris were walking point.

Support for Syrian rebels

See also: US covert war on Syria
More sources
His Eminence the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia (left) with Sheikh Dr. Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, chairman of the International Union of Muslim Scholars. Qardawi is the recipient of the Faisal Award from Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Personality of the Year from the UAE. He is now on the list of designated individuals considered terrorists by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain.
  • Russian warplanes in Syria destroy U.S.-trained rebels' weapons depots: commander - Reuters, October 7, 2015
    The Liwa Suqour al-Jabal, whose fighters have attended military training organized by the Central Intelligence Agency in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, was also hit last week by Russian raids as Moscow began its air campaign in support of Damascus.
  • The Manchester Bombing: Blowback from British state collusion with jihadists abroad - Mark Curtis and Nafeez Ahmed, Insurge Intelligence, June 3, 2017
    4. UK covert action in Libya in 2011 included approval of and support to Qatar’s arming and backing of opposition forces, which included support to hardline Islamist groups; this fuelled jihadism in Libya.
    5. One of the groups armed/supported by Qatar in 2011 was the February 17th Martyrs Brigade which, some reports suggest, was the organisation which Ramadan Abedi joined in 2011 to fight Qadafi.
    6. Qatar’s arms supplies to Libya in 2011 also found their way to Islamist fighters in Syria, including groups affiliated with al-Qaeda and ISIS.
  • We finally know what Hillary Clinton knew all along – US allies Saudi Arabia and Qatar are funding Isis - Patrick Cockburn, The Independent, October 14, 2016
    The memo says: “We need to use our diplomatic and more traditional intelligence assets to bring pressure on the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to Isis and other radical groups in the region.” This was evidently received wisdom in the upper ranks of the US government, but never openly admitted because to it was held that to antagonise Saudi Arabia, the Gulf monarchies, Turkey and Pakistan would fatally undermine US power in the Middle East and South Asia.
  • Say Goodbye to Regime Change in Syria - Scott Ritter, The American Conservative, July 24, 2017
    Another problem confronted by the United States was the growing divergence between its objectives in supporting so-called “moderate” Syrian rebels, which were shared by Jordan, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, and the willingness on the part of Turkey and Qatar to train and equip more radical anti-Assad fighters, including al-Nusra (Al Qaeda) and ISIS. The position taken by Turkey and Qatar are rooted in their mutual support for the Muslim Brotherhood, which had morphed into various radical Islamist units operating inside Syria under the guise of the FSA, but in reality fighting in support of both al-Nusra and ISIS. Qatari support for the Muslim Brotherhood became unsustainable for Egypt, Jordan and the Gulf Arab nations, which subsequently outlawed the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization. The demise of Timber Sycamore is directly linked to the ongoing crisis between Qatar and its Gulf Arab neighbors over support for the Muslim Brotherhood; Turkey’s position in support of Qatar has, given Ankara’s status as a NATO member, likewise created diplomatic problems for the U.S. that are simplified through the termination of the CIA’s train-and-equip efforts in Syria.

Support for the Muslim Brotherhood

  • Qatar's Brotherhood Ties Alienate Fellow Gulf States - Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi, Al-Monitor, January 23, 2013
    Qatar has dedicated Al Jazeera, the country’s most prized non-financial asset, to the service of the Muslim Brotherhood and turned it into what prominent Middle East scholar Alain Gresh calls a “mouthpiece for the Brotherhood.”
  • Inside Doha, at the heart of a GCC dispute - Lauren Williams, The National (UAE), March 19, 2014
  • UAE lists Muslim Brotherhood as terrorist group - REUTERS, November 15, 2014
    Saturday's move echoes a similar move by Saudi Arabia in March and could increase pressure on Qatar whose backing for the group has sparked a row with fellow Gulf monarchies.
    In an unprecedented public move, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates recalled their ambassadors to Qatar in March, accusing Doha of failing to abide by an agreement not to interfere in one another's internal affairs.
  • Muslim Brotherhood in Qatar - GlobalSecurity.org, July 1, 2015

Alleged support for Hezbollah

Relations with Saudi Arabia

  • How Saudi Arabia and Qatar Became Friends Again - Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi, Foreign Policy, July 21, 2011
    During its decade of cold relations with Saudi Arabia, Qatar warmed up to Syria, the leader of the so-called resistance axis in Arab politics. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani were frequent visitors to each other’s countries, and Qatari investors poured billions of dollars into the struggling Syrian economy. Both states, along with Iran, Hezbollah, and Hamas, were seen as a regional counterbalance to the pro-Western axis of Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

Relations with Iran

Before crisis

  • Qatar-Gulf rift: The Iran factor - Ted Regencia, Al Jazeera, June 6, 2017
    Deep in the Gulf waters between Qatar and Iran lies the world's largest gas field, a 9,700-sq-km expanse that holds at least 43 trillion cubic metres of gas reserves.
    Qatar's southern portion is known as North Field, while Iran's slice to the north is called South Pars. The two countries share exploration rights in the area, and its one of many ties that bind them.

Post crisis

  • Houthi militia leaders, Iran come to Qatar’s defense after severance of ties - Al Arabiya English, June 6, 2017
    It has also been estimated that Qatar stands to lose 82 percent of its Gulf imports due to closing of the borders and economic sanctions. Qatar relies heavily on the Gulf countries in its trade and imports, especially with Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
    However, the Association of Iranian Agricultural Exporters announced that it would be ready to supply Qatar with food products and other needs.
  • Qatar's foreign minister to RT: GCC sought positive ties with Iran Why are we being criminalized? -RT Arabic, 10 June, 2017 (robo-translated)
    Qatar's Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani expressed his surprise at Doha's criminalization of ties with Tehran and stressed that his country would not be destabilizing the Gulf through foreign alliances. Al-Thani reveals the details of his visit to Iraq and the "famous" meeting with Soleimani! "Qatar wants positive relations with Iran, but the other Gulf states are seeking similar relations with Tehran too, so why criminalize us?"
  • Foreign Minister of Qatar called positive relations with Iran - RIA.ru, 10 June, 2017

Alleged hacking incident

Russia planted fake news!
  • Qatari Emir: Doha has ‘tensions’ with the Donald Trump administration - Al Arabiya, May 24, 2017
    It was also reported on Tuesday that the Qatari Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, had said that Doha has “tensions” with the Trump administration, and acknowledged that Iran is an “Islamic power.” “There is no wisdom in harboring hostility toward Iran,” he said, adding that President Donald Trump is facing legal issues in his home country as claims over his Russia links continue.
  • Hack, fake story expose real tensions between Qatar, Gulf - Jon Gambrell, AP via Washinton Post, May 24, 2017
    Online footage of Qatari state television’s nightly newscast from Tuesday showed clips of Sheikh Tamim at the ceremony with the anchor not mentioning the comments, though a scrolling ticker at the bottom of the screen had the alleged fake remarks. They included calling Hamas “the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people,” as well as saying Qatar had “strong relations” with Iran and the United States.
  • 'Fake news' sparks real crisis in the Gulf - Giorgio Cafiero. Al-Monitor, May 25, 2017
    Qatari officials quickly denied these statements attributed to their monarch. They accused an "unknown entity" of hacking Qatar News Agency and publishing false statements. Officials vowed to investigate the matter and prosecute those held responsible. Nonetheless, Saudi and Emirati media broadcast this "fake news" throughout the night of May 23, leading many Qataris to believe that a foreign-orchestrated coup was underway in Doha.
  • Qatar hacking row fuels Gulf tensions BBC, May 25, 2017
    The disputed statement touched on many sensitive regional issues, but above all, praised Saudi Arabia's arch-rival Iran and carried thinly-veiled criticism of the kingdom. In the report, Sheikh Tamim was quoted as saying: "There is no reason behind Arabs' hostility to Iran and our [Doha's] relationship with Israel is good." The statement also had favourable words about the Lebanese Shia militant movement Hezbollah, a close ally of Iran.
    Saudi media continued to report the comments even after Qatar said they had been "fabricated".
  • Qatar to 'prosecute perpetrators' of QNA hacking - Al Jazeera, May 25, 2017
    The government said the state TV footage posted online were "fake videos". The fake report said Sheikh Tamim, in a speech at a military graduation ceremony, was critical of renewed tensions with Iran, expressed the need for contextualising Hezbollah and Hamas as resistance movements, and suggested that Trump might not last long in power.
  • Three potential motives behind the spat between Qatar and its Gulf neighbours - David Hearst, Middle East Eye, June 5, 2017
    The hacking of Qatar News Agency on 24 May was just the starting pistol. Within minutes of the hack at 12:14 am, Al Arabiya TV and Sky News Arabia quoted the text of the fake material. Within 20 minutes, the networks ran analyses, implications, quotes and tweets. According to the Qatari authorities, between 12:51 am and 3:28 am, the networks managed to find 11 politicians and analysts to interview on-air. Fast work for a duty editor “reacting” to a story in the middle of the night. He deserves a raise.
    Another strange coincidence: all of this was preceded by 14 different op-ed pieces in the US press about the danger to regional stability that Qatar represented. This, again, is puzzling because it has been years since anyone bothered to write opinion pieces about Qatar in the US media.
    it's clear what happened. This was a premeditated assault. What is less clear is why, and why now?
  • Four Arab States Cut Diplomatic Ties With Qatar - Sputnik, June 5, 2017
    The conflict between Qatar and its neighbors occurred one week after the Arab Islamic American Summit in Riyadh, when the Qatari news agency posted a speech on behalf of the country's emir in support of building relations with Iran. At the summit, Saudi Arabia on behalf of all the guests condemned Iran for its hostile policies and threatened with an adequate response. Later, the official representative of the Qatari Foreign Ministry said that the agency's site was hacked, and the speech on behalf of the emir was published by hackers and has nothing to do with the Qatari leader.
    However, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain considered this refutation to be unconvincing and continued to insist that the words about the normalization of relations with Iran really belong to the emir.
  • CONFIRMED: Arab countries break ties with Qatar - Adam Garrie, The Duran, June 5, 2017
    In spite of what Saudi says, the real reason for isolating Qatar is its attempted rapprochement with Iran.
    It has emerged that since the infamous deleted Tweets from the Qatar News Agency, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani held a positive phone conversation with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, something which infuriated the leaders of Saudi and the UAE.
  • CNN Exclusive: US suspects Russian hackers planted fake news behind Qatar crisis - Evan Perez and Shimon Prokupecz, CNN, June 6, 2017
    Intelligence gathered by the US security agencies indicates that Russian hackers were behind the intrusion first reported by the Qatari government two weeks ago, US officials say. Qatar hosts one of the largest US military bases in the region. The alleged involvement of Russian hackers intensifies concerns by US intelligence and law enforcement agencies that Russia continues to try some of the same cyber-hacking measures on US allies that intelligence agencies believe it used to meddle in the 2016 elections.
  • "To hack Qatar" - Cassad, 7 June, 2017 (with graphics proof on top, and a poem at the bottom).
    User comment (Shedrov): Тут получается, что клинтоновские начинают Катар отмазывать - типа это не он, это русские хакеры... So, turns out, the Clintonites start to justify Qatar - like it's not it, it's the Russian hackers...
    User comment (ma-han): Какой там взломать. Озабоченные лохи только подружиться с Катаром попытались,часть Роснефти им продали,но и здесь облажались и поставили не на тех What hacking, concerned suckers just tried to make friends with Qatar, they sold part of Rosneft, but they screwed it up and put on the wrong ones
  • Hacking, bots and information wars in the Qatar spat - Marc Jones, Washington Post, June 7, 2017 (archive)
    U.S. investigators claim Russians might be behind some the hacking of the Qatar News Agency that prompted a diplomatic crisis in the Gulf, but that seems unlikely given current GCC tensions and the homegrown nature of the cyber battle leading up to the spat.
  • Qatar Points to ‘Fake News’ Amid Diplomatic Crisis - Snopes, June 6, 2017
  • Qatar reveals preliminary results of QNA hacking probe -
    The investigation team confirmed that the hacking operation used high technology and innovative methods by exploiting a cyber-bug in the website of Qatar News Agency. The investigation team was able to identify the sources through which the cyber-attack was carried out. The team confirmed that the hacking file was installed in month of April, which was later exploited to disseminate the fabricated news on 24 May 2017 at 12:13am."
  • Qatar crisis: Coup attempts, the politics of revenge and the dream of becoming king - Jamal Elshayyal, Middle East Eye, June 9, 2017
    That didn’t stop Emirati-based news channels like Al Arabiya and Sky News Arabia from broadcasting rolling coverage of these false statements. They claimed the statements were genuine, and rolled out analyst after analyst to criticise the Qatari leadership and call on the people to rise up against their leader.
    Simultaneously, Twitter accounts traced to Emirati and Egyptian IP addresses were set up claiming to belong to Qatari opposition figures and even defecting soldiers. By now, the alarm bell was ringing loud and clear in Doha – the inter-GCC rift was taking a whole new dimension.
  • UAE orchestrated hacking of Qatari government sites, sparking regional upheaval, according to U.S. intelligence officials - Washington Post, July 17, 2017
    Officials became aware last week that newly analyzed information gathered by U.S. intelligence agencies confirmed that on May 23, senior members of the UAE government discussed the plan and its implementation. The officials said it remains unclear whether the UAE carried out the hacks itself or contracted to have them done. The false reports said that the emir, among other things, had called Iran an “Islamic power” and praised Hamas.

Breakup of diplomatic ties with GCC

U.S. role?

  • Blackwater founder held secret Seychelles meeting to establish Trump-Putin back channel - Adam Entous, Washington Post, April 3, 2017
    The United Arab Emirates arranged a secret meeting in January between Blackwater founder Erik Prince and a Russian close to President Vladi­mir Putin as part of an apparent effort to establish a back-channel line of communication between Moscow and President-elect Donald Trump, according to U.S., European and Arab officials.
    The meeting took place around Jan. 11 — nine days before Trump’s inauguration — in the Seychelles islands in the Indian Ocean, officials said. Though the full agenda remains unclear, the UAE agreed to broker the meeting in part to explore whether Russia could be persuaded to curtail its relationship with Iran, including in Syria, a Trump administration objective that would be likely to require major concessions to Moscow on U.S. sanctions.
  • Saudi deputy crown prince, Trump meeting a 'turning point': Saudi adviser - REUTERS, March 14, 2017
    Saudi Arabia hailed a "historical turning point" in U.S.-Saudi relations after a meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman highlighted the two leaders' shared view that Iran posed a regional security threat. The meeting on Tuesday appeared to signal a meeting of the minds on many issues between Trump and Prince Mohammed, in a marked difference from Riyadh's often fraught relationship with the Obama administration, especially in the wake of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
  • Trump meets with Saudi prince seeking stronger alliance on terrorism, Iran, economy - Guy Taylor, The Washington Times, March 14, 2017
  • Trump Takes Credit for Saudi Move Against Qatar, a U.S. Military Partner - The New York Times, June 6, 2017 (archive)
  • Trump's Sword Dance Sets Off the War of the Wahhabis - Pepe Escobar, Sputnik, June 7, 2017
  • The Qatar Crisis and the Trump Administration’s Foreign Policy Dysfunction - Daniel Larison, The American Conservative, June 27, 2017
    This is consistent with other reports, and it matches up with my view of the split between the State Department and the White House during this crisis. The rift between Tillerson and Trump on this issue has been impossible to miss, and it has been the latest in a series of episodes in which Trump publicly undermines or contradicts his own Cabinet officials about what the U.S. position on a given issue is. That dysfunction has been on display for months, but it finally seems to be exhausting the patience of Trump’s top Cabinet members. Under these circumstances, it is hard to see how Tillerson can effectively do his job when he is being repeatedly sabotaged and overridden and everyone in foreign governments knows that he has little or no clout with the president. The role of Kushner in all this helps explain why Trump has so credulously accepted the Saudi-Emirati line, since Kushner has close ties with both Mohammed bin Salman and the UAE’s crown prince.

Embargo and blockade

Qatar under siege? Not exactly. The Persian Gulf is international waters, as is the airspace above it. The map shows the borders of the air traffic control zones of each country. Qatari planes flying through Bahrain controlled airspace without ATC guidance may pose a risk to aviation safety.

Military action?

Analysis

The current diplomatic war on Qatar was caused by the leaked reports about the Emirati role in inaugurating Mohammad bin Salman (MBS) as KSA’s king and the possibility that more scandalous reports would be leaked, according to the famous Saudi social media activist Mujtahid.

Qatar fights back !

External links