Elements of the ISIL Takfiri group are freely present in Qatar despite the Arab country’s membership in the US-led coalition against the terrorist group, a report says.
According to a Monday report by Reuters, foreign diplomats in Doha have witnessed vehicles carrying the logos of ISIL Takfiri group driving around the West Bay, one of Qatar’s most affluent districts home to the majority of expatriates’ houses and businesses.
“Of course we were alarmed when we saw the logos, but we were told they were being watched closely by authorities and there isn’t much to worry about,” said one of the foreign diplomats who spotted the ISIL logos.
Elsewhere in the town of Umm al-Amad, north of Doha, some members of al-Tawhid Takfiri group, which fights against the Syrian government, reside in a huddle of farms and small mosques, the report added.
Although Qatar has joined the so-called US-led strikes against the extremist groups in Syria and Iraq, the Qatari planes merely flew a reconnaissance mission on the first night of the attacks and reports of the country’s airstrikes in Syria at later stages have not been officially confirmed.
According to a security source close to the Qatari government, Doha’s reluctance to join the US-led strikes in Syria was partly due to the fact that it was seeking to avoid targeting sites of the al-Qaeda affiliated al-Nusra Front inside Syria.
Analyst contend that Qatar has joined the so-called coalition to placate its allies criticizing Doha’s support for extremist groups and at the same time the Arab country assumed a minimal role in the attacks in a cautious bid to preserve its sway over the Takfiri groups as long-term allies.
Takfiri groups “use Doha as an active launch pad for their media campaigns, communications and logistics which directly have an impact on the security of other Arab states,” said an Arab diplomat in Doha.
While Qatar provides a haven to extremist groups such as ISIL and Afghan Taliban, it hosts the largest US air base in the Middle East, owns swathes of Western real estate and is a key customer for Western military products.