In an unprecedented move, a lawsuit has been filed by American terror attack victims on Wednesday against multiple Qatari financial institutions alleging that they have secretly funded several terror attacks in Israel. These victims have faced terrorist attacks perpetrated by Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) organizations in Israel.
According to the lawsuit, Qatari banks – MasrafAl Rayan and Qatar National Bank – have been secretly laundering money to Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), which are US-designated terrorist organizations. Along with these banks, Qatar Charity – a Doha-based NGO banned in Israel – has also been accused of illegally funding Hamas terror organization.
The Qatari institutions allegedly used the US banking system to float money to these groups orchestrating terror attacks against Americans across several locations in Israel. Notedly, Masraf al Rayan and Qatar National Bank have also been providing banking services to Hamas leadership based in Qatar.
Both banks “were essential to provide access to the US financial system to obtain the US Dollars needed to sustain Hamas’s and PIJ’s terrorist activities,” the lawsuit alleges. Reportedly, Masraf Al Rayan bank is also being probed in the UK for assisting Qatar Charity to send money to PIJ and Hamas. The banks and charity groups are dominantly controlled by members of Qatar’s royal family.
This lawsuit details about unlawful illegal misuse of the US financial system to facilitating terror attacks against Americans, including Taylor Force. In 2018, the Taylor Force Act legislation, signed by US President Donald Trump, was introduced seeking to curb funding to the Palestinian Authority unless it cuts its aid to terror groups.”Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad used the financial support of these Qatari institutions to kill and maim Americans living in and visiting Israel, including Taylor Force,” a copy of the lawsuit reads.
Earlier in January 2020, American photojournalist Matthew Schrier, who was kidnapped and tortured by Al-Nusra Front in 2012 in Syria, sued Qatar Islamic Bank for allegedly funnelling money to the terrorist group. In his federal lawsuit, Schrier had claimed that terror organizations Al-Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham “used an international network of donors and charities” to fund their operations, which he alleged was provided by QIB. He had identified Qatari citizen Sa’d Al-Ka’bi, who opened an account in the bank under the name of his minor son to facilitate financial services to Al-Nusra. In 2015, the US State Department had also targeted Al-Kabi for setting up a donation campaign in Qatar to fund Al-Nusra and the Qatari branch of Al-Qaeda.
According to the lawsuit, deceased terror leader Osama bin Laden had also allegedly used the Qatar Charity to fund Al-Qaeda activities in 1993. The Qatar Charity was founded in 1992 as Qatar Charitable Trust.
Significantly, in 2017, Qatar and the USA signed an agreement to combat terror financing. As per reports, UK-based Qatari-owned Musraf Al Rayan Bank has also provided banking services to organizations linked to terrorism in the UK.
The lawsuit has come as a major clampdown against Doha’s ongoing support to a number of terrorist groups across the world. Amid the recent developments, the civil society has been demanding the Trump administration to pressure Qatar’s Emir Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani to take action against illicit terror financing.In similar cases in the past, American victims have raised voice against terror attacks and won. Earlier this year, victims of 1983 US Embassy attacks in Lebanon were rewarded with $1.5 billion in their lawsuit against the Iran government.
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