CATF Reports May 10, 2016, 1:14pm

The Washington Free Beacon broke the news few hours ago that Sen. Mark Kirk (R., Ill.) petitioned the Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew with a letter expressing serious concern about “Qatar’s permissive environment for terrorist financing.” Sen. Kirk argues that Qatar’s enduring non-compliance with the 2014 Jeddah Communiqué, under which Qatar committed to join the fight to terrorist financing, will “further fuel terrorism both regionally and worldwide.”

Kirk’s letter reiterates that UN and U.S. terrorist-designated Khalifa Muhammad Turki al-Subaiy and Abd al-Rahan bin ‘Umayr al-Nu’aymi continue to live in impunity in Qatar, a distressing example of Qatar’s systematic disregard of international sanctions even for a country with such a long track record of financial and political support for terrorist organizations and individuals. Kirk urges the Obama administration to enforce credible measures to have Qatar cut ties with the terrorist groups it supports, and asks for a report detailing the specific initiatives that the administration will pursue towards that end.

Countless congressional testimonies over the past few years have shed light on Qatar’s nefarious support for terrorism and extremism to the attention of the Obama administration but have born no fruit so far, as Qatar continues to enjoy its status as a key U.S. military partner and the host of six U.S. prominent universities’ foreign branches. Sen. Kirk’s call, however, may bring in the necessary gravitas to launch a higher level discussion. As the chairman of the Senate Banking Subcommittee on National Security and International Trade and Finance and a member of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, his question will at least prompt an official answer from the U.S. Treasury.

From Sen. Kirk’s letter to the Secretary of the U.S. Treasury:

“It was encouraging to see Qatar join other countries in signing the Jeddah Communiqué of September 11, 2014, and thereby commit itself to “stand united against the threat posed by all terrorism.” Yet, as Qatar’s continuing permissiveness towards key financiers as ISIS, AQI and other terrorist groups shows, the Qatari government should do much more to match Jeddah Communiqué’ words with deeds. Unless the United States convinces all of our coalition partners, including Qatar, to do all they can to eliminate sources of terrorist financing, our collective efforts will continue to address the symptoms of international terrorism without effectively dealing with one of its root causes. I therefore request you to report on immediate and specific actions to persuade Qatar to crack down decisively on known supports and financiers of terrorism.”

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