Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 8 December 2019

Qatar asked to explain how Al Qaeda financier was able to withdraw $10,000 a month

Khalifa Al Subaiy circumvented UN sanctions while in Doha

A photo posted by Khalifa al-Subaiy on his @khalifa_alsubaey Instagram account.
A photo posted by Khalifa al-Subaiy on his @khalifa_alsubaey Instagram account.

A French senator has called on Qatar to explain why an Al Qaeda financier had access to his bank account despite an asset freeze.

Nathalie Goulet said that Khalifa Al Subaiy circumventing UN sanctions and having access to his funds at Qatar National Bank was a “collective failure” and a global security risk.

“Qatar needs to explain to the world why it has allowed such a dangerous person to continue having banking services,” she wrote in an opinion piece in The Hill.

Ms Goulet urged the international community to wake up to the dangers posed by weak legislation.

Al Subaiy has been accused by the US of giving financial support to Al Qaeda leaders, including the architect of the September 11 attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

Al Subaiy, who used to work at Qatar’s Central Bank and was designated for sanctions by the UN in 2008, has been withdrawing up to $10,000 (Dh36,733) a month for “basic necessities” despite his frozen accounts, The Wall Street Journal reported last week.

The case was part of a wider problem where ISIS and Al Qaeda-linked people were able to use loopholes to withdraw money.

Countries are able to apply for exemptions so sanctioned people can afford food and rent, but some member states were criticised for failing to monitor terrorist supporters.

Ms Goulet said associates of 9/11 plotters such as Al Subaiy did not deserve leniency.

She said the bank Al Subaiy used had branches across Europe and around the world.

"It can only be assumed that Al Subaiy had, through this extensive global banking network, access to those countries in which banks he uses operate," Ms Goulet said.

"This not only makes a mockery of the United Nations, it also endangers global security,” she wrote.

Updated: July 2, 2019 09:05 AM