Since June 2017, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have maintained a comprehensive boycott of Qatar, claiming that it supports and finances global terrorism.

Qatar, for its part, rejects these claims. Its senior officials constantly reiterate that they oppose terrorism and are committed to international agreements for fighting it. However, it is evident that despite its declarations condemning terrorism, Qatar continues to maintain ties with top terror operatives.

For example, two weeks ago, it was reported that Qatari Prime Minister Abdullah Bin Nasser Bin Khalifa Al-Thaniattended the wedding of the son of Qatari terrorist Abd Al-Rahman Bin Umayr Al-Jabbar Al-Nu’aymi, who has been sanctioned by the United States, the United Kingdom and the U.N. Security Council as a major financer of Al-Qaeda.

This report reviews Qatar’s anti-terrorism declarations, the Qatari prime minister’s presence at wedding of Al-Nu’aymi’s son, and the sanctioning of Al-Nu’aymi.

Qatar condemns terror; publishes list of wanted terrorists

To counter the claims of the Arab states that boycott it, Qatar makes an effort to project an image of a country that fights terrorism and its financing in every way.

For example, at his April 10 meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House, Qatari Emir and Foreign Minister Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani declared his willingness to cooperate with the United States in this matter, and stressed that “we do not and we will not tolerate with people who fund terrorism. We’ve been cooperating with the United States of America to stop funding terrorism around the region.” President Trump himself said that the countries that are stopping terrorism funding include the “UAE, it includes Saudi Arabia, it includes Qatar and others.”

The previous week, in a telephone conversation with the emir, Trump praised Qatar’s efforts in the struggle to end the financing of terror.

Similarly, Abd Al-Aziz Abdallah Al-Ansari, chairman of Qatar’s National Committee to Combat Terrorism, which is affiliated with the Qatari Interior Ministry, stated on April 1 that “Qatar is most resolutely contending with the terror phenomenon via legislation for combating it and via strengthening security cooperation in this direction.”

He said that the country had always emphasized its opposition to all forms of terrorism and extremism, and has joined many international agreements pertaining to the matter. He also noted that Qatar is cooperating with the committees for fighting terrorism that were established by U.N. Security Council resolutions.

To prove that it is resolute in its attempts to fight terror, Qatar has signed several international agreements. For example, in July 2017, Qatar and the United States signed a Memorandum of Understanding about combating terror. At a joint press conference with then Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani said: “Today, the state of Qatar was the first to sign the executive program with the United States to fight terrorism financing.”

Additionally, the Joint Statement of the Inaugural United States-Qatar Strategic Dialogue on Jan. 20 in Washington, D.C., which highlighted “the strength of their bilateral relationship,” and stated that “the two countries discussed specific areas of partnership, including defense, counterterrorism, combating extremism, and trade and investment.

As those conversations continue, both the United States and Qatar believe their continued mutual cooperation will benefit the interests of both countries, as well as the security and stability of the Gulf region,” and that Qatar and the United States “intend to begin the Anti-Terrorism Assistance training program as soon as possible … ; the program will focus on key areas such as aviation security, terrorism investigations and the protection of soft targets.”

Further, as part of Qatar’s attempts to prove that it opposes terror in both theory and practice, on March 22, its National Committee for Combatting Terrorism published a list of 19 terror operatives and eight terror organizations, with Abd Al-Rahman Bin Umayr Al-Nu’aymi topping the list.

Prime minister, prominent Qataris attend terrorist’s son’s wedding

However, it is evident that despite Qatari officials’ anti-terrorism statements and Qatar’s dialogue with the United States and other Western countries about fighting terrorism, it continues to maintain ties with senior terror operatives.

For example, as noted, about two weeks ago prominent Qataris, headed by Qatari Prime Minister Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani, attended the wedding of the son of top Al-Qaeda financer and terrorist Abd Al-Rahman bin Umayr Al-Nu’aymi. On April 14, the Saudi Alarabiya.net reported that the Qatari prime minister had attended the wedding, and published a photo of him at the event.

Qatari Prime Minister Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani (left), at the wedding of Al-Nu’aymi’s son; Al-Nu’aymi is circled in red. (Source: Alarabiya.net, April 18, 2018)

Qatari journalist Abdallah Al-Sulaiti, formerly editor-in-chief of the official Qatari daily Al-Sharq, who now writes for the official Qatari daily Al-Raya, posted photos of himself at the wedding on his Instagram account.

Photo posted on journalist Abdallah Al-Sulaitis Instagram account, taken at the wedding (Source: Alarabiya.net, April 18, 2018)

The senior Qatari officials’ presence at the wedding, particularly that of the prime minister is proof that official elements in Qatar continue to maintain relations with terror operatives—operatives whom Qatar itself has declared wanted men—and provides them with tacit social backing.

Likewise, on April 11, the official Qatari daily Al-Raya published an announcement stating: “Dr. Abd Al-Rahman bin Umayr Al-Nu’aymi will this evening celebrate the wedding of his son Abdallah … a thousand congratulations.”

The Al-Raya announcement of the wedding, and congratulations (Source: Al-Raya, Qatar, April 11, 2018)

Who Is ‘Abd Al-Rahman Bin ‘Umayr Al-Jabbar Al-Nu’aymi?

As part of the boycott of Qatar by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE, and Bahrain because of its ties to terrorism, these four countries published lists of terrorism-linked individuals and organizations that included Qataris.

No. 11 on the first list, published in early June 2017, is Dr. Abd Al-Rahman Bin ‘Umayr Al-Nu’aymi, a Qatari national and a former advisor to the Qatari government. Earlier, in 2013, Al-Nu’aymi was added to the U.S. Treasury Department list of terror operatives for his financing of Al-Qaeda terrorist activity in Syria, Iraq, Somalia, and Yemen; in 2014, he was placed on the list of the UN Security Council ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee, and also that year he was added to the list of terrorist suspects and groups targeted with financial sanctions in Britain; according to UK media, he had been accused of sending over £1.25 million a month to Al-Qaeda operatives in Iraq.

At a 2013 press conference immediately following his inclusion in the U.S. Treasury Department list, Al-Nu’aymi denied that he had helped finance Al-Qaeda, stating that the only financing he had done outside of Qatar was on behalf of the Geneva-based NGO Al-Karama that he himself headed. According to him, Al-Karama focuses on documenting human rights violations in the Arab world – for example, the Egyptian security forces’ crackdown on the summer 2013 Rabaa Al-Adawiya Square sit-down strike by Muslim Brotherhood members, in which hundreds were killed.

The full report can be viewed at MEMRI here.