London: A top US official has accused Qatar of sheltering two financiers of the global terror network, al Qaeda, media reported Sunday.
David Cohen, the US Treasury under-secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said that the two alleged paymasters of global terrorism were “living freely” in the Gulf state, the Daily Mail reported.
Cohen confirmed the presence of Khalifa Muhammad Turki al-Subaiy and Abd al-Rahman bin Umayr al Nuaymi in Doha in a speech in Washington, the transcript of which was obtained by the Sunday Telegraph.
“There are US and UN-designated terrorist financiers in Qatar (who) have not been acted against under Qatari law,” Cohen said.
He accused Qatar and its neighbour Kuwait of being “permissive jurisdictions for terrorist financing”.
However, the US Treasury said that it could not disclose further classified information on the two alleged terror financiers, the report said, citing the Sunday Telegraph.
Al-Nuaymi was added to a list of suspects targeted with financial sanctions in Britain in October after the country's government confirmed that he was banned from doing business in Britain.
It comes 10 months after the US authorities imposed sanctions on him, saying that al-Nuaymi was a “terrorist financier and facilitator who has provided money and material support and conveyed communications to the al Qaeda and its affiliates in Syria, Iraq, Somalia and Yemen for more than a decade”.
The US Treasury said he was “considered among the most prominent Qatar-based supporters of Iraqi Sunni extremists” and “reportedly oversaw the transfer of over $2 million a month to (the) al Qaeda in Iraq (over) a period of time”.
Al-Nuayami, on his part, has denied breaking the law and maintained that he was being persecuted over criticism of his US policy in the region.
On the other hand, Al Subaiy, a former employee at the Qatari Central Bank, “provided financial support to al Qaeda” on behalf of the group's senior leaders, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, according to the US.
It is held that he lived freely in the Gulf state for a number of years in the '90s while he was wanted for terrorist offences in the US.
The pair is accused of raising millions of dollars for al Qaeda and other jihadi groups and sending it to the terror group in Syria and Iraq.
It is alleged that both men have been kept out of jail owing to their links with figures of authority in Qatar.
Qatar, however, insists that it did not support jihadis fighting in Syria and Iraq and operating out of the Gulf.
Ironically, the country introduced a designated terrorist list, but not one person has been added to it so far.