Presumed guilt: A closer look at Saudi Arabia and UAE's bizarre 'terror list'

Presumed guilt: A closer look at Saudi Arabia and UAE's bizarre 'terror list'
2 min read
13 June, 2017
Some of the proscribed 'terrorists' don't even live in Doha - they live in Riyadh...
Qatar Charity, which partners with Unicef, was accused of promoting terrorism by Saudi Arabia [AFP]


Last week, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain published a list of "designated terrorist organisations and individuals" in relation to the ongoing Gulf dispute.

The of 59 people and 12 groups went as far as disclosing confidential personal details including passport numbers, email addresses and telephone numbers of some of the proscribed individuals. 

While it was stated that the list was drawn up to "address the long-term and continuing threat of terrorist financing emanating from Qatar", a closer look at the list reveals quite a different story.

The inclusion of Yemeni citizen Abd al-Wahhab Muhammad al-Humayqani, for instance, is of particular interest, given that the alleged al-Qaeda affiliate lives not in Doha, but in Riyadh - and has received funding from the Saudi government.

Al-Humayqani is described in the joint statement as "close to AQAP [al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula] leaders".

Other notable inclusions on the list include Hamid bin Abdullah Ahmed al-Ali, an alleged Nusra Front supporter sanctioned by the UN, and Hakem Obaysan al-Hamidi al-Mutairi, who is said to be linked to al-Qaeda. 

While the accusations levelled against the pair may well be true, their supposed links to Qatar are overshadowed by the fact that both currently live in Kuwait.

This calls into question as to exactly why Doha is being pursued with such ferocity by its fellow GCC members, when some of the individuals proscribed by the new list are living and under the jurisdiction of other GCC states - inculding Saudi Arabia itself.

Underscoring the bizarre thinking behind the list is the inclusion of the UN-registered Qatar Charity.

The UN responded to the joint statement by saying that it was only bound by the "terrorist designations" of its own agencies.

Stephane Dujarric, spokesperson for the UN's secretary-general, said that the international body had strong ties with Qatar Charity, including in Yemen, Syria and Iraq.