Qatar – the backdoor to terror weaponization

Qatar – the backdoor to terror weaponization

It is no secret that Qatar is currently the third largest importer of weapons and ammunition world-wide. Qatar has endless resources and can afford to buy as many weapons as she wants. The thing is, that there are three major reasons, why this should not happen, at least not is this volume. First and foremost, Qatar is a very small country, with only 2.5-3 million population, Qatar should not be found amongst the top ten weapons importers. Surely, the fact that Qatari forces are mainly African mercenaries should be a contributing fact. Secondly, Qatar’s security is fully covered by the US, who keeps her regional air base in this little Emirate just to make sure it will survive, so why do they need to invest billions in weaponry. Third, and quite interesting, Qatar has been viewed as a hub of terror organizations, funding them and providing them with shelter and top-level connections. This includes El-Qaida, al-Nusra Front, Hamas and ISIS, and strong ideological ties with the Taliban. With all that in mind, it is more than intriguing, that many weapons suppliers stand in line to sell to Al-Thani and his armed forces, whatever they wish for.

The trick is in discreet funding. Qatar uses offshore companies, foreign branches and buys into local businesses, as a means to provide funding to universities, research institutes and government entities in Western countries, to become part of the local economy. With Barzan Aeronautical in the US, they even took part in the development of drones. In parallel we see that Qatar is recruiting mainly former members of congress, in other cases past members of parliament or even, as in the case of Sigmar Gabriel, former German ministers, which then become Qatari lobbyists, no less. These people not only have the right local connection, they also push aside any doubts and restraints, as they have a good reputation, often stand for the government and are connected to security services. To make sure that this apparatus works perfectly in tune with their needs, Qatar is providing funding for charity and research projects, education and schooling which are not in any relevancy to the purchase efforts at hand. In a further step, Qatar appoints these lobbyists as members of the board of directors or even managers in some of the local companies they bought into.

With that in mind, the only question remains is, why does Qatar buy so much weapons. The answer to that is not a simple one and has several layers. It is quite simple to see that Qatar needs to show strength. That is why Qatar buys aircraft fighters and naval vessels. These are needed to show off. Qatar is also buying missiles and ammunition, which seems proportional to the many weapon systems she keeps. Thus, Qatar is able to provide its real allies, many different terror organizations, all the ammunition needed. Furthermore, Qatar takes part, even if only financially, in the development of first echelon western weapon systems, as the beforementioned drones. She can than provide third part countries, like Iran and China, with the needed know-how to either produce similar systems or cope with the new threats on the theatre.

Although western institutes point directly at China and Iran as the main provider of weapons and ammunition to Qatar, the volume and specifics of these transactions have not been made public. They might take into account the transfer of technological know-how mentioned before and they even be an active backdoor to arm terror organizations directly.

Be it as it may, it is time to review with scrutiny the weapon deals that western countries are conducting with Qatar, and frankly, we demand full transparency about the whereabouts of these weapons and ammunition.