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The Orton Report
November 30, 2017

Qatar and the Gulf Crisis

by
Henry Jackson Society

A new report by the Henry Jackson Society – Qatar and the Gulf Crisis – examines the charges made against the Qatari government by other Gulf states and questions whether the small nation is engaged in power politics and bolstering groups and individuals, many of whom are dangerous radicals, that undermine its neighbours and regional stability.

The report makes the following findings:

  • Up to $200 million has been paid to jihadist militant groups Al-Nusra and Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham in the form of ransom payments, either facilitated or made directly by the Qatari government, giving credence to the accusation that the country funds terror by stealth.
  • Though Qatar has for some time positioned itself as a mediator and safe-haven for dissidents, it also host of terrorist organisations such as Hamas and the Taliban.
  • While Britain should avoid publicly taking sides in the broader dispute between the Gulf states, the Government should use its influence in the region to press for changes in Qatar’s ransom payments policy, the appearance of extremists on state-run media and make major improvements in human rights.

Commenting on the report, Kyle Orton, author and research fellow at the Henry Jackson Society, summarised:

The report raises some troubling questions about Qatar’s regional policies. Despite finding that in a number of areas Qatar has made significant improvements over time, it shows that the effects of prior policies—notably in Syria and Libya—will be lasting and deleterious. There is still progress to be made in terms of cracking down on terror finance from Qatar and the use of its state-run media as a platform for incitement and the dissemination of extremism.

Read the full report here.