Dubai: A member of France’s Senate, who led a commission investigating extremist networks in Europe and wrote a report for Nato on the financing of terrorism, has criticised Qatar for enabling terror financiers to use its banking system to carry out their transactions.
Writing in The Hill, Nathalie Goulet took as example the case of Khalifa Al Subaiy, a Qatari financier who the US says long provided financial support to senior Al Qaida leadership, including 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammad.
She pointed to a report in the Wall Street Journal that claimed Al Subaiy had an account with Qatar National Bank. The WSJ attributed this to what it called “loopholes” in United Nations sanctions procedures.
“Affording Al Subaiy banking facilities is a collective failure of all those involved. The United Nations’ ability to enforce its own sanctions list is very much under the spot light. In addition, Qatar needs to explain to the world why it has allowed such a dangerous person to continue having banking services,” Goulet noted.
She demanded that the United Nations investigate why loopholes in its own procedures allowed this breach.
She also said Qatar needs to conduct its own investigations and report to the international community why it has allowed an individual on the UN sanctions list to have banking facilities through its most global bank, and give reassurances that he — and other terrorists — are not afforded banking facilities.
She demanded that the bank in question — Qatar National Bank — conduct its own investigation on the matter and offer to law enforcement authorities around the world, particularly where the bank operates, details of transactions carried out by the individual named in the WSJ investigation, and give reassurances that others who may also be on the list are not being provided banking facilities.
The bank Al Subaiy used has branches across Europe and around the world.
“It can only be assumed that Al Subaiy had through this extensive global banking network, access to those countries in which banks he uses operate."
"This not only makes a mockery of the United Nations, it also endangers global security. Banks should no longer be allowed to hide behind loopholes, particularly when it comes to terrorism financing,” Goulet said.