Qatari ambassador: 'Stories about Qatar financing terrorism are fabricated'
Posted June 6
Qatar's ambassador to the United States on Monday shut down reports that his nation supports Islamist extremist groups.
"All these stories about Qatar financing terrorism are fabricated," Ambassador Sheikh Meshal Bin Hamad Al-Thani told CNN on "Erin Burnett OutFront" on Tuesday. "They are not true."
His comments come amid one of the biggest political crises to hit the Middle East in years.
The United Arab Emirates accused Qatar of "funding and hosting" the Muslim Brotherhood, a nearly 100-year-old Islamist group, considered a terrorist organization by Saudi Arabia and the UAE. As a result, a number of Middle Eastern countries -- including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen and the Maldives -- have said they are indefinitely severing ties with Qatar.
But the Qatari ambassador said there is no proof in the allegations.
"This issue is not subject only to Qatar," he added. "Terror financing is across the whole globe. We as a government of Qatar are doing our utmost in combating terrorism, along with our allies. There are laws that prevent terror financing in our country."
Analysts say the rift between Qatar and other Middle Eastern countries is also driven by the belief that Qatar is too closely aligned with Iran, a country with which it shares the largest underwater natural gas field in the world.
CNN reported Tuesday that US investigators believe Russian hackers breached Qatar's state news agency and planted a fake news report that contributed to the crisis among the United States' closest Gulf allies. The FBI recently sent a team of investigators to Doha, Qatar's capital, to help the Qatari government investigate the alleged hacking incident, Qatari and US government officials said.
President Donald Trump on Tuesday tweeted that his foreign trip last month was "already paying off," seemingly taking credit for some Gulf nations' decisions to cut diplomatic relations with Qatar.
"During my recent trip to the Middle East I stated that there can no longer be funding of Radical Ideology," he wrote. "Leaders pointed to Qatar - look!"
"They said they would take a hard line on funding extremism and all reference was pointing to Qatar," he said in a followup tweet. "Perhaps this will be the beginning of the end to the horror of terrorism!"