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WASHINGTON – Qatar, the Arab country that was instrumental in the overthrow of the government of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and has the United States as a major backer, now is working hard behind the scenes to turn the Arab Spring into the Islamic Awakening throughout the Middle East, informed sources say in a new report in Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin.
Attached to Sunni Saudi Arabia and not far from Bahrain, which is led by the Sunni al-Khalifia family and once ruled over it, Qatar is a close supporter of U.S. military operations and hosts the forward headquarters of the U.S. Central Command.
But Qatar, the main location of what was regarded as al-Qaida's broadcast station, al-Jazeera, also happens to be the home of Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who not only is one of the most influential clerics in Sunni Islam but is the main spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood movement.
As an unindicted conspirator in the 2007 U.S. case, Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, al-Qaradawi in 2004 issued a fatwa, or declaration, to kill Americans.
"All of the Americans in Iraq are combatants, there is no difference between civilians and soldiers, and one should fight them, since the American civilians came to Iraq in order to serve the occupation," al-Qaradawi said. "The abduction and killing of Americans in Iraq is a religious obligation so as to cause them to leave Iraq immediately."
There's also mounting evidence that some members of Qatar's large ruling family are supporters of al-Qaida. There are various reports that the royal family of Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani not only shielded 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed before he was captured by the U.S. in Pakistan, but allegedly has paid al-Qaida millions of dollars a year not to attack the country.
In addition, Qatar supports Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas as part of its mediation and outreach initiatives. A State Department description of Qatar called the Obama administration's position on Qatar as "not (having) voiced public concern about Qatar's multi-directional foreign policy and has sought to preserve and expand military and counter-terrorism cooperation with the ambitious leaders of this wealthy, strategically located country."
A 2009 leaked classified State Department cable described Qatar as the "worst" in counter-terrorism in the Middle East.
"Officials should make known USG concerns about the financial support to Hamas by Qatari charitable organizations and our concerns about the moral support Hamas receives from Yousef al-Qaradawi," the leaked cable said.
Sources say that Qatar has backed the al-Qaida-affiliated Al-Shabaab group in Somalia, with at least two members of al-Qaida in Qatar managing the terrorist group's money and personnel pipeline through Iran.
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