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Qatar Fact Sheet


  • On March 10, 2022, President Joe Biden designated Qatar as a major non-NATO ally, fulfilling a promise he had made to Sheik Tamim bin Hamid al Thani the previous January, in the Oval Office.


  • Qatar is home to Al Udeid Air Force Base, which the US built at the cost of approximately $1 billion. This developed as a result of Operation Desert Storm in 1991.


  • Qatar is the richest country in the world, because of its large petroleum supply—manufacturing mostly gas. Qatar citizens, those born in Qatar, do not have to pay taxes and are guaranteed an income. Local experts estimate that the average salary in Qatar in 2023 is about 13 thousand riyals per month (3.6 thousand dollars). This is a median figure. In general, an average Qatari worker earns about 4.5 thousand dollars per month—but immigrants to the country bring this median income down.


  • The U.S. government estimates the total population at 2.5 million (midyear 2022). Citizens make up approximately 11 percent of the population, while noncitizens account for approximately 89 percent. Most citizens are Sunni Muslims, and almost all others are Shia Muslims.


  • Iran and Qatar are close allies. Iran has an embassy in Doha, and Qatar has an embassy in Tehran. Both are members of the Non-Aligned Movement and the Islamic Conference of the UN. Unlike fellow GCC member states Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Qatar generally refrains from criticizing Iran’s domestic and foreign activities.


  • Qatar has long supported extremist Islamist groups, such as The Taliban Hamas,  Al Qaeda the al-Nusra Front, which is now Hizbut al Tahrir, “the Party of Liberation”, which aims to establish a Sunni Islamic caliphate.


  • Qatar had offered refuge to Khalid Sheik Mohammad, who according to our own government’s 9/11 commission was considered “the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks”


  • Many people argue that Qatar has shifted to a more “moderate” tone and that its work with the Taliban has made it more moderate. If anything, the Taliban has become more extreme since the US forces withdrew, absolutely denying the rights of women to even leave their homes unaccompanied by a male relative, denying them educational opportunities, using the Koranic law to chop off the hands of people they accused of stealing, etc.—since the US left and the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan on August 31, 2021


  • On February 5, 2023, a Qatari diplomat, Dr. Mutlaq al Qahtani met with several high-ranking Taliban officials in Kabul. According to Qatari officials, Qatar would “continue to support and facilitate efforts to reach a comprehensive political consensus that achieves security and stability with the Taliban”. (Source: Doha News, Reuters).


  • Qatar had provided well over 1 and a half billion dollars to Hamas in Gaza since 2018. The Qatari Emir Sheik Hamid Bin Khalafi al Thani was the first leader to visit the Hamas lead government in Gaza in 2012.


  • Doha provides Hamas to the tune of $360 million to $480 million a year. With one-third of that money, Qatar buys Egyptian fuel that Cairo then ships into Gaza, where Hamas sells it and pockets its revenue. Another third goes to impoverished Gazan families, while the last third pays the salaries of the Hamas bureaucracy. (FDD)


  • Qatari spending in Gaza might look humanitarian, but in reality, Doha is funding Hamas’s coffers through oil sales. Doha is also bankrolling Hamas’s social services, the main vehicle of the organization’s rentier network that helps Hamas maintain support among Palestinians, in the Strip as well as across the West Bank and Jerusalem. Without Qatari money, Hamas’s governorship of Gaza would have become untenable and its popularity among Palestinians would have (FDD)


  • Qatar Charity supplied aid directly to a local Yemeni council led by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in the town of Mukalla. Coordinator for Syrian Relief, Mohammed Jassim al-Sulait, engaged in providing aid to al-Qaeda in Syria through his association with U.S. and U.N. designated terrorists. The Washington Institute reported that in 1993, Osama bin Laden named Qatar Charity as one of the charities that had funded al-Qaeda’s overseas operations. (CSP)


  • Eid Charity, founded in Doha, Qatar, in 1995, is the second largest charity organization in Qatar. Ali bin Abdullah al-Suwaidi, managing director, is one of the 59 designated individuals recently linked to terrorism finance—accused of working with Nuaimi to transfer funds to al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist cells in Syria. Eid Charity is a member of the U.S. Treasury Department designated terrorist entity the Union of Goods. Led by Muslim Brotherhood cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the Union of Good has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and acts as an umbrella organization to transfer funds to Hamas via charity organizations. Worked closely with Muslim Brotherhood-linked cleric Wagdy Ghoneim who was designated by the Arab coalition for his alleged ties to designated terrorist groups including al-Qaeda and Gamaa Islamiyya. (CSP)


  • Ismail Haniya, the former elected head of Hamas has been offered safe refuge in Doha. He was warmly greeted by Emir Thani who pledged continuous support for the Palestinian people.


  • Qatar claims to be a moderating influence, but this has not yielded any results. They ignite the flames in Al Jazeera Arabic—which is very different from Al Jazeera English- which Doha controls. constantly stirring up the flames, about Jerusalem, Al Quds, saying that “Al Aksa is in danger. The Jews are defiling the Holy Sanctuary with their filthy feet.” (Al Jazeera, Arabic)


  • According to the New York Times, in addition to providing safe haven and diplomatic mediation to Hamas leaders in Doha, (such as Hamas leader, Khaled Meshaal) and funding the Hamas government in the Gaza Strip, Qatar is accused of hosting members of  Al Qaeda, the Taliban, the Al Nura Front, or Husbut al-Tahrir,  and the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.


  • In July 2021, the US Department of State opened an investigation into Qatari alleged financial support of the IRGC. (Qatar: Extremism and Terrorism)


  • In February of 2022, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani signed 14 bilateral agreements in Doha with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, having to do with economics, trade, and tourism.


  • In October of 2022, Argentina’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs requested that Qatar detain Mohsen Rezaie, Iran’s Vice President of Economic Affairs who Argentine officials believe was involved in the bombing of the AMIA Jewish Center in 1995, which killed 85 people, and wounded hundreds more. This was at the hands of Iranian-backed Hezbollah.


  • In short, Qatar plays a duplicitous game, revealing one face to the West, projecting a desire to moderate and fight Islamist extremism, while simultaneously financing, covering up for, and offering safe haven to Islamic extremists.

About the Author

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