Qatar’s regime had advance knowledge of an Iranian attack on four ships in the Gulf of Oman last spring and failed to warn the US, France and the United Kingdom, according to a Western intelligence report.
Fox News first reported that Qatar knew of Iran’s plans prior to the May 12 attack of two Saudi tankers, a Norwegian tanker and a UAE bunkering ship near the port of Fujairah. The vital trade waterway connects the Strait of Hormuz to the Indian Ocean.
“Credible intelligence reports indicate that the IRGC-Quds Forces Naval unit is responsible for the Fujairah Port attacks, and the elements of civilian government of Iran, as well as the State of Qatar, were aware of the IRGC’s activities,” the report said.
Last Spring, the United States designated Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a foreign terrorist organization and declined to reissue waivers allowing eight select countries to continue importing Iranian oil as part of its “maximum pressure” campaign against Tehran.
The Islamic Republic reportedly responded to its growing isolation by “dramatically ramping up its malign activities, imperiling regional stability, nuclear non-proliferation, freedom of navigation, and the global energy supply.”
European lawmakers told Fox News that they would demand answers to the disturbing report from their respective governments.
Nathalie Goulet, a member of the French senate representing Normandy told Fox News via email that she was “very concerned” after seeing the intelligence report.
“I intend to raise questions with colleagues in other countries with strong connections in the Middle East such as Britain and with our government,” she said. “I will send the report to the head of the security department and also the minister of defense.”
Goulet, who spearheaded a commission investigating jihadist networks in Europe and authored a report for NATO on terror finance, confirmed to Fox News that the intelligence report was submitted to French authorities and its contents would be investigated.
The French government has a naval air station in Abu Dhabi, while British armed forces and the U.S. have a military presence in UAE. The Al Udeid military base in Qatar is home to the largest U.S. military facility in the Middle East.
Qatar, however, has forged an alliance with the Islamic Republic of Iran, whose already tense relationship with the U.S. deteriorated further after President Trump pulled out of the nuclear deal.
Ian Paisley Jr., a politician from Northern Ireland, told Fox News in an email that the report is “very alarming and requires serious and immediate investigation by my own government.”
“I will be asking my government to immediately investigate the claims made in this report,” he said. “If proven correct, this poses serious questions for our alliances in this region. The Islamic threat must be taken seriously and I await the government’s response.”
The allegation that Qatar knew of the attacks on US-allied ships appears to conflict with the open anti-terrorism cooperation between the US and Qatar.
“Just last week the US Department of State hosted the third US-Qatar Counterterrorism Dialogue led by top experts in the field from Qatar,” the Jerusalem Post reported.
Moreover, the United States’ largest military facility in the Middle East – the Al Udeid military base – is located in Qatar.
Qatar has been accused for years of allowing terror financiers to operate within its borders—so much so, Israeli diplomat Ron Prosor has taken to calling the country “Club Med for Terrorists.”
The accusations come from many sources, including intelligence reports, government officials, and journalists.
In 2014, Gerd Müller, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet, accused the country of financing Islamic State terrorists.
“You have to ask who is arming, who is financing ISIS troops. The keyword there is Qatar and how do we deal with these people and states politically?” Müller said.