The Free Syrian Army, Washington’s best hope for a Syrian alternative to Bashar al-Assad and Al Qaeda, suffered a major defeat last week at the hands of Jabhat al-Nusra—Al Qaeda’s formal affiliate in Syria. The FSA was recently forced to leave their Western-provided arms behind them as they retreated from advancing Nusra forces.
In case you’ve forgotten who funds al-Nusra, it’s Qatar. And their foreign minister’s cousin. It’s not just private donors working outside the Qatari ruling class—the money and support for al-Nusra comes from within their very own ranks. From The Telegraph (h/t Sal):
Minister’s family ties to terror
Cousin of Qatari foreign minister was arrested for terrorist funding but freed after intense lobbying
The cousin of Qatar’s foreign minister has been convicted of funding international terrorism and is believed to be linked to an alleged terrorist known as the “Wolf of al-Qaeda”.
Abdulaziz bin Khalifa al-Attiyah was found guilty in absentia by a Lebanese court of channelling financial support to al-Qaeda.
He was detained in Lebanon – apparently following a tip-off by British and American intelligence – but was allowed to leave the country before his trial after intense pressure by Qatar on the Lebanese government.
On social media, al-Attiyah appears to have energetically supported Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda’s Syria franchise, the al-Nusra Front.
He also appears to have tweeted support for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil.)
The al-Nusra Front last year instructed donors to channel money to it through an organisation closely linked to al-Attiyah.
Al-Attiyah is also associated with Umar al-Qatari, known as the “Wolf of al-Qaeda”. Al-Qatari was named last month by the United States government as a designated terrorist.
In a brief statement, lawyers for al-Attiyah insisted that he had not funded terrorism.
However, they repeatedly refused to deny that he had been arrested and convicted for doing so in Lebanon or that he had written pro-terrorist messages on social media.
The lawyers declined to respond to any further questions about him, despite repeated requests over several days.
Al-Attiyah’s conviction, in June, brings the funding of terrorism closer to the heart of the Qatari government and will increase the growing pressure on the country to end its role as a centre for the funding of global jihad…
Still think that Qatar is a good intermediary for prisoner swap deals in Afghanistan, or for peace negotiations between Israel and its neighbors? Now we see clearly that Qatar holds the bloody dagger that stabbed Pres. Obama, the State Department, and the CIA in the back in Syria. Will Qatar’s victims learn for this treachery or sit down at the bargaining table to be betrayed one more time?