CHICAGO: Playboy race-car driver — and accused killer and bully — Sheikh Khaled bin Hamad bin Abdullah Al-Thani has been told to keep a low profile and is restricted to the royal family’s beach house in Qatar, sources say.
Several witnesses in a lawsuit filed last year accuse Sheikh Khaled, the brother of Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, of personally killing an Indian employee assigned to help his wife, and ordering the killing of other individuals, including motor-racing industry rivals and employees the Sheikh believes betrayed his trust. That lawsuit is being expanded to include five witnesses who will testify to the Sheikh’s violent and abusive behavior.
The order for Sheikh Khaled to maintain a low profile follows another major lawsuit filed in New York June 10 on behalf of 10 American victims of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorism. This lawsuit names the Al-Thani royal family’s Qatar Charity, which is funded by the Qatar Foundation and gave more than $1.5 billion in grants to US journalism schools and think tanks.
Also named are two banks controlled by the Al-Thani family, Masraf Al-Rayan and Qatar National Bank, which are accused of funding terrorism. Sheikh Khaled is a board member of Qatar National Bank but sources say he was recently removed.
Although the two lawsuits involve allegations of unrelated acts of violence, they are linked by the alleged involvement of the Al-Thani family. Sources associated with the first lawsuit said the publicity over the past year has fueled a dispute between the emir and his unruly, violent brother.
“Sheikh Khaled has been kept out of sight at the royal family beach house due to the new news. They want him away from Doha and out of sight,” said a source familiar with the royal family.
“I have been told that Sheikh Khaled has told his family, ‘If you turn on me I will rat you all out.’ This, I believe, has to do with the family’s other activities.”
The lawsuit alleging Qatar’s royal family was the source of funding for much of the violence perpetrated by Hamas and PIJ, which has resulted in the deaths or maiming of at least 10 American citizens, raises questions about Qatar’s investment activities in US journalism schools, universities and think tanks through the Qatar Foundation, while also allegedly funding terrorism through Qatar Charity. Both the Qatar Foundation and Qatar Charity are owned by the Al-Thani family.
The royal family has fought to prevent disclosures about its funding; for example, it has given more than $225 million to Texas A&M University since 2011. Critics have also raised concerns about Georgetown University’s Qatar campus and its head, Ahmad Dallal, who US think tank the Middle East Forum describes as a long-time and enthusiastic supporter of “US State Department-designated terrorist group, Hezbollah.”
The Qatar Foundation also funded the creation in 1997 of “Education City” in Al-Rayyan, Qatar. Hundreds of millions of dollars have gone to a number of international universities with campuses there, including Texas A&M, Virginia Commonwealth University, Weill Cornell Medicine, Carnegie Mellon University, Georgetown University, Northwestern University, HEC Paris and Hamid Bin Khalifa University.