A newly-released phone recording has revealed that Qatar was apparently behind the explosion of a car bomb that injured at least eight people in Bosaso in northern Somalia in May.
The port of Bosaso is operated by the Dubai-based company DP World.
A local affiliate of the Islamic State (Daesh) had claimed responsibility for the terrorist attack, however, the New York Times, which broke news about the recordings reported that “a foreign intelligence agency opposed to Qatar’s foreign policies” captured and intercepted a phone call between Khalifa Al Muhanadi, a Qatari businessman who is close to Qatar’s Emir, and the Qatari Ambassador to Somalia Hasan Bin Hamza Asad Mohammed, proving that the car bombing was an attempt to advance the Gulf nation’s interests to drive the UAE out of Somalia.
Al Muhannadi has reportedly been photographed traveling with the Emir of Qatar.
“The bombings and killings, we know who is behind them,” Al Muhannadi, reportedly said on the May 18 call, approximately one week after the bombing took place.
The violence was “intended to make Dubai people run away from there,” he said. “Let them kick out the Emiratis, so they don’t renew the contracts with them, and I will bring the contract here to Doha,” Qatar’s capital.
Qatar released a public statement in response to the New York Times article in which the Gulf nation claimed they “do not interfere” in Somalia’s internal affairs and said Qatar’s “foreign policy has always been one of creating stability and prosperity” and that “we do not meddle in the internal affairs of sovereign countries.”
Qatar’s state-run Al Jazeera news network also released a report titled, “Qatar and Somalia deny NYT’s bombing news report.”
Furthermore, Qatar claimed Muhannadi has never advised their government. “He does not represent the State of Qatar and he had no right to comment on behalf of the government,” the statement said. “We will be investigating this individual and he will be held responsible for his comments, which we reiterated do not represent our principles.”
However, the Qatari government did not dispute the authenticity of the call between Muhannadi and their ambassador and according to the New York Times report, the ambassador did not condemn the notion that the Qataris had played a role in the bombings.
“So that’s why they are having attacks there, to make them run away,” Ambassador Hassan bin Hamza Hashem reportedly replied to Muhanandi in the recording.
Hashem also reportedly initially denied knowing Al Muhannadi in a brief phone call with the New York Times and quickly hung up. The Times noted that “In a separate telephone interview, Mr. al-Muhanadi said that he was only a “school friend” of the ambassador’s and added, “I am a retired man and a trader. I do not represent any government.”
Meanwhile, on Twitter, Saifa al Thani the Chairman of Qatar’s Government Communications Office reiterated the public statement and mentioned the New York Times and the two journalists who broke the piece – Ronen Bergman and David Kirkpatrick – writing, “The individual mentioned does not represent the government in any capacity and will be held accountable for his comments.”
To that, Al Thani added that he is “looking forward to our next meeting.” Then he mentioned that he will be seeing the New York Times “as usual during UNGA where we’ll have more important matters to discuss and address.”
On Monday, a separate terrorist attack car bombing left at least 17 people dead and 28 others injured in the Somali capital city Mogadishu. The al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab terrorist group claimed responsibility, saying that it was a suicide bombing. “The martyrdom operation was carried out using a vehicle loaded with explosives which targeted a checkpoint along the airport road,” the group reportedly said in a brief statement. It is unclear whether any Gulf nations had a hand in this as well.
President Donald Trump has accused Qatar of financing terror in the past. However, during Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani’s visit to the White House this month, the commander in chief said the emir was a friend, and United States Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin thanked Qatar for combating terrorist financing.
In an interview with Arab News, Salman Al-Ansari, founder of the Saudi American Public Relation Affairs Committee (SARPAC), said, “Qatar will do whatever it can do to unleash and support the terror ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood and all the other groups that stem from it.”
Young Republican Group Comes to Armenia’s Defense
NYYRC stands with Armenia in the conflict.
The New York Young Republican Club came to the defense of the state of Armenia on September 29, 2020 and condemned the government of Azerbaijan for its attack on the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh over the last weekend. The group called on the U.S. government and all sovereign bodies to recognize the independence of the Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) and take necessary steps to prevent further attacks by the Azerbaijani government and its Islamist allies.
The Republican youth group fully supports the Armenian people and cited their long history as one of the many reasons they merit support from the West. It brought forward some historical points:
The Armenian people have a long history in the South Caucasus and the Armenian Highlands. The Republic of Artsakh contains sites of great historical significance to them, including the fourth-century Amaras Monastery. In the twentieth century, geopolitical events in Turkey and the Soviet Union dispossessed Armenians of much of their historic territory. The Armenian Genocide conducted by Turks destroyed untold lives and stole Mount Ararat from the Armenians. Further incursions into territory integral to the history and fundamental identity of the Armenian people cannot be tolerated.
In the statement, the Republican group called out the “Fake News Media” for “inadequately” relaying “the truth of the events unfolding in the Republic of Artsakh.” It called attention to how Turkey has fostered chaos by using its Islamist proxies in Syria and sending them to Armenia to terrorize Armenians. The group expanded on the over-arching trend of growing Islamic radicalism directed towards Christian nations:
This continues a trend from decades ago whereby Armenia’s neighbors enlisted Afghan Mujahideen and Chechen mercenaries to attack. Allowing Turkey and Azerbaijan to use Radical Islamic Terrorists to attack Armenian Christians represents a dereliction of the United States’s fundamental values.
The Young Republican Club concluded its statement with the following:
The New York Young Republican Club stands with the Armenian people and residents of the Republic of Artsakh, who overwhelmingly reject Azerbaijani claims of authority. We urge the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Artsakh to cooperate efficaciously in the interest of the Armenian people, and we implore the global Armenian diaspora advocate in the shared interests of all Armenians. In addition, we request that President Donald J Trump enact economic and trade sanctions against Turkey and Azerbaijan.
BLP was able to get in touch with Gavin Wax, the president of the New York Young Republican Club, and get his thoughts on this matter.
Wax stated, “Armenia is on the frontlines fighting back against Islamist aggression. The disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh between Armenia and Azerbaijan is almost 99% Armenian. It is rightful Armenian territory. The oldest Christian state in the world should be defended by the West not abandoned.”
This current conflict demonstrates the naivete of American foreign policy with regards to how it has coddled Turkey for so long and allowed it to run around and cause geopolitical havoc.
Additionally, this demonstrates the uselessness of alliances such as NATO, which has already become outdated and compromised thanks to the inclusion of Turkey in it.
As the U.S.’s very own oil boom continues in motion, it should withdraw from the Middle East and focus more on its domestic and Western Hemisphere affairs.
Nevertheless, it should offer moral support and give Armenia diplomatic cover against predatory states such as Azerbaijan and Turkey. The latter is trying to re-enact Neo-Ottoman fantasies that will likely leave many Christian nations devastated.
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