The Middle East Forum

11/29/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/29/2021 11:50

Exclusive: Middle East Forum Reveals Qatari Funding for Jihadists Across the Globe

Philadelphia - November 29, 2021 - Confidential documents discovered by the Middle East Forum (MEF) reveal the Qatari government's extensive use of "humanitarian" aid to distribute close to $1 billion to Islamist and jihadi organizations around the world.

The dataset consists of over 45,000 grants distributed by the Sheikh Eid Bin Mohammad Al Thani Charitable Association, also known as the Eid Charity. The funds went to 288 Islamic organizations between 2004 and 2019 and totaled over US$770 million.

The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace has described Eid Charity as "probably the biggest and most influential activist Salafi-controlled relief organization in the world." Its founder, Abdulrahman al-Nuaimi, was named as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) by the U.S. Department of the Treasury on December 18, 2013, because of his close ties to Al-Qaeda.

Despite its radical nature, Eid Charity has enjoyed a positive reputation, especially among international agencies and NGOs. The dataset uncovered by MEF now instead reveals that Eid Charity has long served as a means for Doha to funnel money to terror-tied Islamist organizations. Three examples of Muslim-majority countries:

1. In Yemen, it donated almost $20 million to Al Qaeda-connected charities such as Al Ihsan Charitable Society, Rahma Charity and Al Hikma Yemeni Charitable Society. Al Ihsan is led by Abdullah Mohammed al-Yazidi, who served as a council member of the Hadhrami Domestic Council of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). The Rahma Charitable Foundation, meanwhile, is U.S.-designated terror organization described by the government as an "AQAP front organization."

2. In the Palestinian territories, it handed out $3 million to the Qatar Committee for the Reconstruction of Gaza which publicly supports the U.S.-designated Palestinian Islamic Jihad. It gave $5 million to the Islamic Charitable Society of Hebron, despite it being described as "directly linked to Hamas" by German intelligence.

3. In Pakistan, it made 830 grants totaling almost $11 million to an organization that appears to match the name and locations of the Al-Furqan Foundation Welfare Trust, which the U.S. Treasury calls "a major conduit of financial and material support for terrorist groups and their activities in Pakistan and Afghanistan, in some cases under the guise of humanitarian work." The Treasury also states that Al-Furqan "provided funding and other support to terrorist organizations such as al-Qaida, the Taliban, and Lashkar-e-Tayyiba."

Western Islamists have also benefited from Qatar's largesse, as Eid Charity handed out huge amounts to radical organizations previously identified as terror-tied. Four examples:

1. In the United Kingdom, it handed out $2 million to the Al Muntada Al Islami Trust, a Salafi aid charity tied to ISIS financier Nabil al-Awadi.

2. In France, it gave enormous amounts to leading Muslim Brotherhood institutions (corroborating claims in the Qatar Papers, an investigative study by French journalists Christian Chesnot and Georges Malbrunot in 2019).

3. In Sweden, the Eid Charity gave almost $1 million to the Al Rashideen Mosque, also known as Gävle mosque. In 2014, the mosque's imam Abu Raad applauded ISIS for taking over the Iraqi city of Mosul, and even encouraged his followers to finance the terrorist organization.

4. In the United States, it routed just under $100,000 through Canada to the Colorado Muslim Community Center, an institution controlled by the Salafi cleric Karim Abu Zaid, an unabashed apologist for the Taliban.

Sam Westrop, director of the Middle East Forum's Islamist Watch program, notes: "These examples of funding Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations are just a small part of the enormous dataset. We will soon be releasing details of additional grants worth millions given by the Eid Charity to other violent Islamist groups and their partners in Lebanon, Turkey, North Africa, Pakistan, East Asia, and elsewhere. In addition, we will be soon publishing a full copy of the original raw data, comprising over 45,000 grants and hundreds of thousands of sub-records, allowing other organizations and individuals to investigate Qatari regime funding themselves. The great number of Eid Charity recipients in Africa and the far-East deserves particularly close attention."

Westrop adds: "For some time it is clear that Saudi Arabia is no longer the major supporter of Islamism around the world. This is especially so in the West, where Saudi patronage has nearly disappeared since 2014. Many have always suspected Qatar of taking its place; with this dataset, we can prove it. Three quarters of a billion dollars may just be a tiny portion of Qatari total spending on Islamists across the globe, but it is provides hard evidence of Doha's radical agenda."

The Middle East Forum promotes American interests in the region and protects Western civilization from Islamism. It does so through a combination of original ideas, focused activism, and the funding of allies.

For immediate release
For more information, contact:

Sam Westrop
[email protected]
+1 (215) 546 5406

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