Qatar Funds Terrorism, Controls the Narrative

The country uses its oil revenues to support terror and increase influence around the globe.

Written by Anthony Constantini

What’s happening: Qatar hasn’t received a lot of the attention surrounding Hamas's recent violence against Israelis. But while the oil-rich emirate is incredibly small, it is also very wealthy — and it uses that money to support terrorists and propagandize the Middle East and the world.

Funding terror: Qatar has supported Hamas with monthly stipends equivalent to about $30 million for the past five years. Plus, the emirate houses Hamas’s leadership: Ismail Haniyeh, Gaza’s de facto leader and the leader of Hamas, has lived there for some time.

Funding information warfare: One way that Qatar punches above its weight is via Al Jazeera. The state-sponsored network is one of the most-watched in the world for its Middle East coverage. It refers to Hamas terrorists as mere “fighters” and parrots Palestinian propaganda, most recently the debunked claim that Israel bombed a hospital.

  • It’s powerful: Middle Eastern states have blamed Al Jazeera for generating sympathy for insurgent movements in their regions. Some states cut ties with Qatar and blockaded it, and the shutdown of Al Jazeera was one of their chief demands for restoring relations.

Funding in America: Qatar also heavily lobbies in Washington, more than any Arab country, which has helped it avoid scrutiny amid the recent Israel-Hamas war, despite being a large sponsor of Hamas. It also heavily funds American universities, where students and academics have drawn scrutiny for failing to condemn Hamas terrorism.

The bottom line: Qatar has found itself in a powerful position, funding terrorism, controlling the narrative through its global propaganda project Al Jazeera, and shaping America’s response through lobbying.