‘Qatar is Hamas’: Doha under fire for training Hamas terrorists

US expert urges ‘designation of Qatar as state sponsor of terrorism.’

By BENJAMIN WEINTHAL | JPOST | FEBRUARY 23, 2024

Officer Nasrallah salutes the Undersecretary of Hamas’ Interior Ministry, General Nasser Maslah (ruc.edu.ps, March 13, 2023) (photo credit: MEMRI)

A shocking new report by the Middle East Media Research Institute revealed that Qatar’s authoritarian state trained Hamas operatives at the country’s police college as recently as 2023.

According to the early February MEMRI report, “Qatar – which is known for supporting Hamas, financing its military activity and sheltering its leaders, and for extending media support to Hamas by means of its Al-Jazeera channel – also trained, in its Police College in Al-Rayyan, officers from Hamas’ Interior and National Security Ministry, which is part of Hamas’ governing authorities in the Gaza Strip.”

An IDF spokesperson told the Post that “The IDF does not comment about issues with Qatar and other foreign states. It is a very sensitive issue.” The IDF referred the Post to the foreign ministry.

A foreign ministry spokesman told the Post “We won’t comment regarding the MEMRI report.”

Qatar is currently functioning as a mediator in an effort to secure the release of the over 130 hostages held by Hamas in Qatar. Israeli officials and MKs have been largely reluctant to comment on the Qatari regime’s role in funneling over $2 billion into Hamas’ coffers over the last ten years due to the hostage release talks.
Officer Nasrallah receives a certificate of appreciation from the Undersecretary of Hamas’ Interior Ministry General Nasser Maslah (ruc.edu.ps, March 13, 2023) (credit: MEMRI)Enlrage image

The training of Hamas operatives in Qatar took place long after Hamas was designated a foreign terrorist organization by the US and the European Union.

MEMRI wrote “Hamas officers were routinely sent to train at this college, which recently produced its sixth class of graduates, and were received with great honor upon their return to the Gaza Strip”

Rich Goldberg, a member of the National Security Council during the Trump administration, told the Jerusalem Post ”This is certainly further evidence to support a designation of Qatar as a state sponsor of terrorism.” Goldberg testified in Congress in late October about Qatar’s alleged role in sponsoring Islamist terrorism.

Yigal Carmon, the president and founder of MEMRI, told the Post that “Qatar is Hamas and Hamas is Qatar.”

Hamas Political Bureau head Isma’il Haniya, who celebrated the October 7 massacre of 1,200 people in southern Israel and lives in Qatar, frequently met with the Hamas officers and praised them with certificates of appreciation.

Haniya said that the Qatar police college played a “significant role” in strengthening the police of the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. He thanked Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Aal Thani for his work on behalf of Palestine.

A Hamas Interior Ministry spokesman thanked Qatar for helping the ministry “to develop its personnel and give them unique skills and expertise.”

MEMRI disclosed that “Cadet Ahmad Jamil Nasrallah from the Gaza Strip, who was sent to the Qatar Police College by the Interior and National Security Ministry, received the highest grade among the cadets sent to the college by Arab countries. This morning [February 2, 2023].” Qatar’s Emir congratulated Nasrallah.

Hamas’ Interior Ministry sent “several students of the Ribat University College (which trains members of Hamas’ security apparatuses) every year to acquire such a degree at the Qatar Police College,” noted MEMRI.

Jerusalem Deputy Mayor, Fleur Hassan-Nahoum, told the Post that “Qatar hosts Hamas leaders and facilitates its financing. We know Hamas was trained by the Islamic republic of Iran and so this new revelation about Qatar is hardly surprising. The free world should show zero tolerance for terrorist funders and sympathizers. Today its Hamas and tomorrow it will be home grown Jihadi terrorism in the West.”

MEMRI first located and translated the jaw-dropping reports about the Qatar-Hamas alliance in training Hamas operatives. According to the Hamas website, on February 7, 2023:”Today… brother Isma’il Haniya, the head of Hamas’ political bureau, honored Officer Ahmad Nasrallah from the Gaza Strip, who had been sent by the Interior and National Security Ministry to [attend] the Qatar Police College.”

MEMRI posted a photograph of Undersecretary of Hamas’ Interior Ministry,General Nasser Maslah, presenting a certificate of appreciation to officer Nasrallah from March, 2023.

Hamas’ Interior Ministry also sent Muhammad Abu Rizq to the Qatar Police College. He graduated in 2022.Accofrding to the Hamas website, “The Honorable Emir Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa Aal Thani honored cadet Abu Rizq at the graduation ceremony of the Qatar Police College’s fourth graduating class.”

MEMRI wrote Hamas Interior Ministry spokesman Iyad Al-Buzom tweeted that day: “We congratulate the cadet Muhammad Ahmad Abu Rizq, of the Gaza Interior Ministry, for achieving the highest grade among the cadets sent to the Qatar Police College by the Arab countries, and for being honored by the Qatari Emir… We thank the Qatari Interior Ministry for giving our cadets the opportunity to attend the Qatar Police College, which helps the Gaza Interior Ministry develop its personnel and give them unique skills and expertise.”

Hamas’ website reported on January 15, 2022 that “Hamas Political Bureau Head Isma’il Haniya honored Officer Muhammad Ahmad Muhammad Abu Rizq, from the Gaza Strip.” MEMRI showed a photograph of Haniya presenting Abu Rizq with a certificate of appreciation.

In 2021, Haniya met with a group of Gazan cadets attending the Qatar Police College. Hamas’ outlet Al-Risalah reported that Haniya praised the cadets’ “excellent performance” and “warmly thanked His Excellency, the Honorable Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Aal Thani, the Emir of the sister-country Qatar, as well as his government and the honorable and generous Qatari people, for [the efforts they] invest in serving our [Palestinian] homeland, our people and the Palestinian cause in international forums.”

Haniya also congratulated Officer Husam Abu Shamala, a graduate of the Qatari program.

MEMRI also revealed that, in February, 2021, Husam Fathi Abu Shamala returned to Khan Younis as a graduate of the police college after spending five years in Qatar.

It is unclear how many Hamas operatives Qatar trained. Multiple Post press queries to Qatar’s embassies in Washington and London went unanswered.

Qatar is facing intense anger from a growing number of US lawmakers for its financial aid to Hamas and its reported espionage operation targeting opponents of Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.

The AP and Fox News Digital reported that Qatar’s regime hired former CIA officer, Kevin Chalker, and his company, Global Risk Advisors, to spy on Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) ,and Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla), as well as former California Republican Congressman Ed Royce.,

In January, Qatar denied on its X account, formerly known as Twitter, the allegation that it hired Chalker’s firm to discredit US elected officials as part of a vast surveillance operation titled “Project ENDGAME.”

Chalker’s lawyer, Kevin Carroll, told Fox News “Mr. Chalker has a long-standing record of service to the United States and any allegations of wrongdoing—much less defamatory allegations of criminal wrongdoing—by him or GRA are just false.”

When the Post asked Carroll and Chalker if GRA or Chalker played a role in training Hamas operatives in Qatar, Carroll and Chalker refused to comment. Numerous Post press queries were sent to GRA, Carroll and Qrypt, Chalker’s new company.

The Post also asked Chalker if he and GRA view Hamas as a terrorist organization. Chalker declined to comment.

Protests have unfolded against Qatar’s embassy in Washington and its hotel in Beverly Hills, the Maybourne, due to the Gulf Country’s financial support for Hamas and its failure to secure the freedom of the remaining hostages.

Rabbi Pini Dunner, from The Beverly Hills Synagogue, along with the organization, Rabbis United, are slated to protest on Monday against “Qatar-funded Hamas terrorism” in front of Qatar’s consulate in Beverly Hills.. The organizers are also demanding “the release of the hostages.” Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, is slated to speak at the 12:45 PM rally.

Qatar has lashed out at American Jews and Congressional representatives who demonstrated in front of their Washington embassy calling for Doha to pressure Hamas to release the hostages.

February 26, 2024 | 1 Comment »

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  1. MEMRI wrote “Hamas officers were routinely sent to train at this college, which recently produced its sixth class of graduates, and were received with great honor upon their return to the Gaza Strip”

    I wonder how they got in and out of the Gaza strip without Egypt noticing…
    So much for our peace partners.

    Chalker’s lawyer, Kevin Carroll, told Fox News “Mr. Chalker has a long-standing record of service to the United States and any allegations of wrongdoing—much less defamatory allegations of criminal wrongdoing—by him or GRA are just false.”

    Uhuh!!

    Qatar has lashed out at American Jews and Congressional representatives who demonstrated in front of their Washington embassy calling for Doha to pressure Hamas to release the hostages.

    Nice to know that there is some initiative in USA.