Report reveals extent of Qatari infiltration in Germany

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Qatar’s ruler Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani attend a news conference after talks at the Chancellery in Berlin, September 17, 2014. (Reuters)
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Updated 27 July 2020

Report reveals extent of Qatari infiltration in Germany

  • Journalists Chesnot and Malbrunot said in exchange for German support, Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani promised billions of euros of investment
  • Central to Doha’s strategy is the Qatar Charity – one of the largest charities in the world, it has been plagued by allegations of funding extremism and anti-Semitism for years

LONDON: A new report in German media has exposed how Qatar uses its vast wealth and charities to fund and infiltrate mosques, activate Muslim Brotherhood networks and buy influence across Germany.

The newly released information is part of a horde of confidential documents delivered to a French journalist in 2016.

Central to Doha’s strategy is the Qatar Charity. One of the largest charities in the world, it has been plagued by allegations of funding extremism and anti-Semitism for years.

The leaked documents reveal that Qatar Charity has used its deep pockets to fund at least 140 mosques and Islamic centers across Germany since it began its campaign — costing an estimated €72 million ($84.69 million).

In 2016 alone, the charity spent roughly €5 million on various construction projects in major German cities, including Berlin and Munich.

The relationship between these mosques and the Qatar Charity has become so intertwined, the investigation revealed, that at various times German mosque executives wrote directly to the charity’s president to request cash payments for proposed projects.

One such example is the Arab-German Association of Ulm, which experts suspect to be Brotherhood-aligned.

The head of the association wrote directly to Qatar Charity, opening with “who builds a mosque, Allah builds a house in paradise,” before requesting funding to buy a property and build a mosque, followed by the association’s bank details.

Christian Chesnot and Georges Malbrunot, the French journalists who revealed the extent of Qatari infiltration into Germany, are clear that it is part of a wider foreign policy strategy by Doha that mobilizes Brotherhood networks at a grassroots level while using Qatar’s huge cash reserves to buy leverage at a governmental level.

They said as Qatar has found itself increasingly isolated in the Gulf — due to its terrorist financing and extremism — it is now looking further afield to spread its influence.

Viewing the European country as a potential powerful ally, Chesnot and Malbrunot said in exchange for German support, Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani promised billions of euros of investment.

This, they said, is part of a dual strategy that has already played out in France: “Religious infiltration from Qatar, coupled with an intensification of economic and political relationships.”


Canada launches a Lebanon relief fund after Beirut blast

Updated 1 min 13 sec ago

Canada launches a Lebanon relief fund after Beirut blast

  • The money will go to the Humanitarian Coalition, which brings together a dozen Canadian humanitarian organizations on the ground in Lebanon
  • The assistance is part of the Can$5 million aid package announced earlier this week by Ottawa

MONTREAL: The Canadian government announced on Saturday the launch of a Lebanon relief fund, calling on citizens to give generously to victims of the massive explosion that killed more than 150 people and injured 6,000 in Beirut.
“Every dollar donated by individual Canadians between August fourth and 24th will be matched by the government of Canada... up to a maximum of Can$2 million,” or $1.5 million, said International Development Minister Karina Gould at a news conference.
The money will go to the Humanitarian Coalition, which brings together a dozen Canadian humanitarian organizations on the ground in Lebanon, she said.
It will use its expertise to distribute the aid in areas such as water supply, sanitation, food and shelter.
“I encourage Canadians to donate to the Lebanon Matching Fund to help save lives and meet the urgent needs of the affected population,” said the minister, adding it was the best way for citizens to help.
The assistance is part of the Can$5 million aid package announced earlier this week by Ottawa.
A group of Lebanese-Canadian businessmen has announced plans to raise at least $2.5 million to help the disaster-stricken population.
Tuesday’s massive explosion leveled Beirut port and killed at least 158 people.
A fire at the port had ignited a large stock of ammonium nitrate, triggering an explosion that was felt as far away as Cyprus and destroyed entire neighborhoods.
It was widely perceived as a direct consequence of corruption and incompetence, an egregious case of callousness on the part of an already reviled ruling elite.