The CEO and Chairman Qatar’s largest dairy firm, Baladna, and Doha Bank are being sued by eight Syrian citizens in Britain’s High Court of Justice for allegedly helping fund an Islamic jihadist organization and causing financial, physical and psychological damage to them.
The court has reportedly granted anonymity to all eight Syrian claimants, who live in Europe, likely out of an abundance of caution for their security and well-being.
According to the court filings, Moutaz Al Khayyat and Rames Al Khayyat, billionaire tycoon brothers who are the heads of Power International Holding which owns and operates Baladna, allegedly funded the al Qaeda affiliated al Nusra front – a known Syrian Jihadist organization – by passing funds through their Doha Bank into accounts located in Turkey and/or Lebanon.
Wiretaps and witness testimony recently exposed Turkey’s overt support for Islamic State terrorists entering and fighting in Syria. The report by The Investigative Journal (TIJ) revealed how Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan enabled and even personally facilitated both the movement of foreign and Turkish militants across the Turkish border into Syria and armed them so could fight alongside IS jihadists against Assad.
“The Khayyat brothers financed and/or assisted in financing Al-Nusra Front, including through accounts held by them and/or entities associated with them at Doha Bank,” the lawsuit alleges. “The Defendants knew (or ought to have known) that the funds passed from them and/or through their accounts were intended for the al-Nusra Front and, in any event, [have] breached international and national laws and committed wrongful acts under Syrian law.”
The Qatar Investment Authority is reportedly Doha Bank’s largest shareholder and it is chaired by Sheikh Fahad bin Mohammad bin Jabor Al-Thani, a member of the Gulf nation’s ruling family.
According to the Asia-based foodnavigator.com, the Chief Representative for Doha Bank’s London branch, Richard Whiting told the Times that “Doha Bank Limited is taking legal advice. However, it considers the allegations asserted against it are groundless and without merit.”
Qatar has recently gained a lot of attention in international headlines for its involvement in several controversial ventures.
Last month, Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, 32, the younger brother of Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, 39, was sued for allegedly ordering for the murder of two people and for holding an American citizen hostage.
Also last month, the New York Times broke the news that Qatar was the mastermind behind a car bombing in Somalia which was revealed as an attempt to advance the Gulf nation’s interests to drive the UAE out of the country.
Qatar has come under scrutiny over its support for radical Islamic groups, such as Hamas. It is also home to the Muslim Brotherhood’s de facto leader Sheikh Yusuf al Qaradawi. The United States has recently renewed an age-old push to designate the Muslim Brotherhood a foreign terrorist organization (FTO).
The Brotherhood (Ikhwan in Arabic) is already designated in its country of origin (Egypt), and in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Syria and in Russia.
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