London based Financial Times reported that Qatar has paid $1 billion to two terrorist groups that have bases in Iraq and Syria to release its royal family members. The deal according to the newspaper took place in April when 26 members of a Qatari falconry party in southern Iraq were made hostages. The ransom payment to was made to two blacklisted entities in the Middle East – an al-Qaeda affiliate and Iranian security officials.
The big money paid to the Iranians and the al Qaeda militants has irked Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries who always had suspicion about the way in which Qatar played its politics, having connection with various militant groups.
Ransom payment is the biggest source of money to the terrorist groups and the amount involved in the present incident is one of the biggest.
Qatar’s payment to Iranian supported Shia militants was the intolerable one for Riyadh. According to the newspaper the Shia militants received $700 million as ransom money. It has solidified the balance sheets of the cash starved Jihadis.
Qatar as the world’s largest exporter of natural gas is playing too much politics using its wealth according to the regional partners. Some of its actions are well beyond the interest of the GCC and irked Gulf leader Saudi Arabia.