Michael Ward, Managing Director Harrods Ltd.
87–135 Brompton Road
London, SW1X 7XL
Dear Mr. Ward:
This letter is being sent to you on behalf of the Qatar Awareness Campaign Coalition. The purpose is to inform you and the public of the activities of Qatar, the country who currently owns Harrods and its various holdings. In fact, Qatar owns vast dealings and large businesses throughout the UK. Qatar is directly funding terrorist groups and turning a blind eye to their other financiers operating within their borders.
Harrods was sold by Mohamed Al Fayed, its previous owner, to Qatar Holdings, part of the Qatar Investment Authority, the state’s sovereign wealth fund, in May of 2010 for a reported £1.5 billion. The sale was concluded by Qatar’s then prime minister Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al Thani, who was also chief executive of the wealth fund. Under his rule and guidance as the QIA’s boss, Qatar also owns or co-owns a number of other landmarks including the Shard, Europe’s tallest skyscraper, as well as large stakes in some major UK businesses. Now Harrods is facing a boycott due to Qatar’s support of Islamic terrorist organizations across three continents.
On June 17th, a meeting of the Henry Jackson Society, held in the House of Commons, discussed how a tribal elder in northern Cameroon, who runs a car import business in Qatar, has become one of the main intermediaries between kidnappers from Boko Haram and its offshoot Ansaru and those seeking to free hostages. It was alleged that embezzlement of funds going to Qatar via car imports might be disguising ransom payments. It was also alleged that Qatar was involved in financing Islamist militant groups in West Africa, helping with weapons and ideological training, and funding the building of mosques in Mali and Nigeria that preach terrorism and murder in the name of religion. London has become a veritable HQ for the Muslim Brotherhood, who are directly sheltered and supported by, financed by, and tied to Qatar.
In light of these clear and present security risks, we urge you to read the information below, which includes evidence that Qatar is arguably the preeminent sponsor of terror in the world today. It is a benefactor of the genocidal armies of ISIS, al Qaeda, and Boko Haram; it is involved in Taliban narcotics trafficking through a relationship with the Pakistani National Logistics Cell; and profits from operating a virtual slave state. Qatar has leveraged its relationships with violent Jihadi groups to its own benefit and to the detriment of the United States and her allies.
So the public has a fuller context of Harrods’ owner’s role in supporting and financing terrorist activities worldwide and their connection to Britain:
- While on a trip to Qatar in March, 2013, Prince Charles announced that he had been taking private Arabic lessons so he could read the Quran. On the trip to Doha, where Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla hobnobbed with the terrorist-backing Al Thanis, the Prince revealed he is an enthusiastic student of the Quran.
- After the overthrow of President Morsi of Egypt, Qatar became a place of refuge for Muslim Brotherhood agitators fleeing Egypt. On September 12th of this year, it asked several leading Brotherhood figures to leave. They did, but not in outrage or indignation; on the contrary, they apologized for causing embarrassment to Qatar. Clearly, they felt a debt to the Qatari government (and a senior Brotherhood spokesman, Amr Darrag, confirmed this).
- Qatar asked them to leave because of pressure applied by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Some went to London, where there is already a group of Brotherhood members in Cricklewood, under scrutiny from the authorities. Qatar remains home to an array of exiled Islamists and thus is a focus of suspicion for its activities financially and ideologically. Bahrain joined Saudi Arabia and the UAE in withdrawing its ambassador from Doha this past spring, demanding, among other things, that the Qataris shut down Al Jazeera and expel the Brookings Institution from Doha. It has been widely reported that Qatari money funds extremists in Libya and the Qatari military has trained militants there in the art of warfare.
- The Emir of Qatar’s personal fortune and the country’s sovereign wealth fund are rumored to exceed £50 billion. Qataris own substantial amounts of real estate in Britain — such as the Shard, the Olympic Village, One Hyde Park, a part of Canary Wharf, the United States Embassy building in Grosvenor Square, the Chelsea Barracks development and Harrods. They have large stakes in the stock exchange, Sainsburys and Barclays bank. Almost all of Britain’s liquefied natural gas comes from Qatar, accounting for a quarter of Britain’s gas needs. Qatar has also bought, through bribery, the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
- Qatar has funded extremists not merely in Syria and Libya, but also in Tunisia, Mali and Iraq. Another Wikileaks cable revealed Meir Degan, a former head of Mossad, telling the US that ‘Qatar is trying to cozy up to everyone,’ and warning America to close its bases there. They are actively funding ISIS, as well.
The QAC Coalition and petitioners ask that you consider the attached sourced report on Qatar’s activities. The links cited are vetted and credible sources. We hope you take the time to verify the truth of the statements for yourself.
After doing so, the Coalition of the Qatar Awareness Campaign calls on you to exert due influence on the Qatari government to cease any type of involvement in all forms of Islamic terrorism, slavery and drug trafficking!
|Lt. Col. Allen B. West (US Army, Ret)
|Frank J. Gaffney, Jr
Center for Security Policy
|Paul E Vallely, US Army (Ret)
Chairman, Stand Up America
** Select signatures as of 9/27. The Qatar Awareness Campaign Coalition is comprised of more than 25 journalists, national security experts, publishers, and independent researchers. To view all Coalition participants, please visit the Campaign’s website.
CC: Sarah Brown, Non-Executive Director