The Asian and the Arab Media still circulating and posting more information after the Washington Post published last month an Article about the Leaked messages revealed Qatar links with groups accused of terrorism in Iraq after a ransom was paid to them by Qatar to free members of the royal family.
Any state cooperating with entities charged with terrorism loses legitimacy in the neighboring region in the first place, facing the danger of being globally derecognized. That’s the dilemma Qatar faced lately. This is linked to what was widespread by international media, quoting the Washington Post that highlighted leaked messages on what it had called “bargain” concluded by Qatar with groups accused of terrorism to free Qatari hostages including members of the Royal family kidnapped in Iraq in April 2017 in exchange for payments.
Zayed bin Saeed Al-Khayareen:
The reports showed a Qatari diplomat named Zayed bin Saeed Al-Khayareen who played a role in a shady deal with terror suspects. International diplomatic leaks confirm he will be appointed Ambassador to Doha in the capital Baku, in a move that much closer to money laundering.
Being removed from the scene was anticipated, especially after reports confirming that he played a big role in negotiations with terror suspects in the hostages releasing case. He was apparently honored by the Qatari government in recognition of his communication with terrorists from several countries, paying large sums to them in the “deal of the century”, possibly reaching 1 billion Dollars.
Big doubts are raised about him as the mysterious man who was moved from Baghdad to Azerbaijan, his relations with terrorists and armed groups and Iranian militia and Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.
According to the US newspaper, on the morning of April 16 a top Qatari diplomat sent a message to his to his government to complain about a brazen robbery against his own country, confirming that had Qatar entered secret talks to free 25 of its citizens from kidnappers in Iraq.
Yet the bargaining had turned into a kind of blackmail, with six armed groups jostling Qatar to get more cash.
“The Syrians, Hezbollah-Lebanon, Kata’ib Hezbollah, Iraq — all want money, and this is their chance,” “All of them are thieves.” Zayed bin Saeed al-Khayareen, Qatar’s ambassador to Iraq and chief negotiator in the hostage affair, wrote in the message. And yet, documents confirmed that the Qataris were willing to pay.
Qatari officials consented to pay $275 million to free nine members of the royal family and 16 other Qatari nationals kidnapped during a hunting trip in southern Iraq, according to The Washington Post.
The secret messages reveal that the payment plan allocated an additional $150 million in cash for individuals and groups acting as intermediaries. These include Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps and Kata’ib Hezbollah, an Iraqi paramilitary group linked to lethal attacks on American troops during the Iraq War.
The payments were part of a larger deal that would involve the Iranian, Iraqi and Turkish governments as well as Lebanon’s Hezbollah militia and at least two Syrian opposition groups, including al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front. The total sum demanded for the return of the hostages climbed as high as $1 billion, although it is not clear from the documents exactly how much money was agreed upon at last.
To Qassem Soleimani
The Post confirmed that senior Qatari diplomats signed off on a series of side payments ranging from $5 million to $50 million to Iranian and Iraqi officials and paramilitary leaders, with $25 million earmarked for Hezbollah and $50 million for Qassem Soleimani, the leader of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and a key participant in the hostage deal.
In a text message to a top official of Hezbollah, Al-Khayareen wrote: “You will get your money after we take our people” the Post reported.
Al-Khayareen is highly praised by the Qatari media, dubbing him as “the cunning and experienced diplomat”. Doha media refers to him “Ambassador Zayed Al-Khayareen represented the state of Qatar in the highest turmoil and tension zones, as he represented Qatar in Syria in the early Arabic revolutions, and managed to maintain his country interests and investments. He was the last Gulf ambassador to leave Syria after he accomplished his mission wisely and capably, even representing other Gulf States that withdrawn their ambassadors from Syria, and did not come out until the last Gulf and Qatari national left Syria”.