Abdullah bin Khalid Al Thani

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Abdullah bin Khalid (عبد الله بن خالد آل ثاني) was the former minister of interior of Qatar. He is a member of the House of Al Thani. He is the brother of Sheik Hamad bin Khalid Al Thani. Abdullah bin Khalid is also the former Qatari Minister of Islamic Affairs and Endowments.[1]

Career[edit]

Al Thani was Qatar’s minister of religious affairs in 1996. He served as interior minister until 26 June 2013 and was replaced by Abdullah bin Nasser Al Thani in the post.[2] Al Thani also served on Qatar’s Family Council responsible for authorizing the decision for Tamim to become emir after Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani announced he would hand power to his son.[1]

Ties to terrorism[edit]

Earlier in his career, Al Thani served as Qatar’s Minister of Islamic Affairs and Endowments.[1] During this time, al-Qaeda operative Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, named “the principal architect of the 9/11 attacks,” moved to Qatar “at the suggestion of the former minister of Islamic affairs of Qatar, Shaykh Abdallah Bin Khalid Bin Hamad al-Thani,” according to the U.S. Department of Defense.[3] In 1995, Abdullah bin Khalid al Thani is believed to have provided funding to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to support him in combat in the Bosnian war.[1] While the U.S. pushed for Sheikh Mohammed’s arrest, Abdullah bin Khalid Al Thani allegedly told Khalid Sheikh Mohammed about the growing pressure for his arrest, leading to him reportedly leaving the country with a Qatar-provided passport on a ‘government executive jet.’[4] After this, Al Thani was "briefly confined to house arrest."[1]

In a 2003 article by The New York Times, Sheik Abdullah bin Khalid al-Thani is mentioned as "the same official who had repeatedly allowed Arab extremists who had fought in Afghanistan to live on his farm." The article also describes a Qatari government minister who housed “as many as 100 Arab extremists” on his Qatari farm in the mid-1990s.[5]  

Former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs Richard Clarke has also commented on Al Thani’s ties to terrorism. While serving as Qatar’s Interior Minister, Clarke said that Al Thani held sympathies for Osama bin Laden and terrorist groups and "was using his personal money and ministry money to transfer to Al Qaeda front groups that were allegedly charities."[6]

U.S. officials have also reportedly suggested that Al Thani provided shelter, fake documents, and other assistance as they traveled through Qatar.[1]

U.S. officials also said that Abdallah was visited by Osama bin Laden himself between the years of 1996 and 2000.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Al Thani has more than 25 sons by several wives.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Weinberg, David Andrew. "Qatar and Terror Finance: Part I: Negligence" (PDF). Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Retrieved 2017-04-10. 
  2. ^ "Qatar's new PM Shaikh Abdullah bin Nasser Al Thani". Khaleej Times. AFP. 27 June 2013. Retrieved 18 August 2013. 
  3. ^ "Khalid Shaikh Mohammed - The Guantánamo Docket". www.nytimes.com. Retrieved 2017-04-10. 
  4. ^ a b "Qatari Royal Family Linked to Al Qaeda". ABC News. 2006-01-07. Retrieved 2017-04-10. 
  5. ^ Risen, James; Johnston, David (2003-03-08). "THREATS AND RESPONSES: COUNTERTERRORISM; Qaeda Aide Slipped Away Long Before Sept. 11 Attack". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-04-10. 
  6. ^ Meyer, Josh; Goetz, John (2003-03-28). "Qatar's Security Chief Suspected of Having Ties to Al Qaeda". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2017-04-10.