Foreign sponsors of terror should be held accountable
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- Taliban The Taliban , alternatively spelled Taleban, is an Islamic fundamentalist political...[+]
- Al-Qaeda Al-Qaeda is a global militant Islamist organization founded by Osama bin...[+]
- Muslim Brotherhood The Muslim Brotherhood is a transnational Islamist organization founded in Egypt...[+]
- Hamas Hamas is a Palestinian Islamic organization, with an associated military wing,...[+]
Much attention has focused on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign, and on foreign manipulation in social media targeting American voters. However, not as much attention is being paid to foreign cyberterrorism that is affecting the lives of individual citizens, or to foreign sponsors of terrorism.
In 2014, for example, North Korea was believed to have been behind a major hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment and its executives. Last year, we learned that Qatar’s news outlet, Al Jazeera, ran a months-long spy operation aimed at US Jews and pro-Israel groups. And the Gulf nation had hacked prominent private citizens in the United States, including Rabbi Shmuley Boteach – known as “America’s Rabbi” – among many others.
That Qatar is involved in cyberattacks shouldn’t be a surprise. It’s also long been a sponsor of terrorism and continues to fund Hamas, a designated terrorist organization by the European Union, the United States and numerous other countries. Hamas regularly praises as “martyrs” those killed while carrying out terrorist attacks against Israel and gives money – often provided by Qatar – to their families. It has fired rockets into Israel, infiltrated the Jewish state to kidnap soldiers and dug underground tunnels so it could smuggle arms into Gaza – all in its effort to destroy Israel, and all with financial backing from Qatar.
Qatar also has supported other terrorist groups, including the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, the Taliban and al-Qaeda affiliates. The BBC reported that in April 2017, Qatar allegedly paid a ransom of as much as $1 billion to “a former al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria and to Iranian security officials as part of a deal that resulted in the release of 26 royal family members reportedly kidnapped by Iranian-backed Iraqi Shia militiamen and of dozens of Shia fighters captured by jihadists in Syria.”
The Anti-Defamation League last month – pointing to abhorrent, hateful antisemitic cartoons that demonize Jews and often appear on editorial pages – called on the Qatari government to follow its own press law that prohibits “the publication of ‘any ridicule of or contempt toward any of the religions or their doctrines, including any motivation of sectarian, racial, or religious trends’ or any content that harms goodwill toward a person through ‘defamation.’”
In recent years, we have seen Qatar become increasingly cozy with Iran. Qatar clearly is a problematic country, but the United States has not taken enough action.
It’s time to change that. All countries must be held accountable for their actions.