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Mon, 20 Jan 2020 23:28 GMT

Mastermind Behind Somalia Bombings in Favor of Qatari Regime

Counterterrorism & Security

Lamis ElSharqawy

Sat, 27 Jul 2019 18:13 GMT

The relationship between money, power and politics may bring about benefits for people but at other times may result in dangerous acts. This is exactly what happened when the US New York Times (NYT) revealed a Qatari plot to carry out a bombing in a Somali port. The crime was proven by a recorded call between the Qatari ambassador to Somalia and a businessman who is very close to the Doha regime.

Last week the NYT exposed Qatar’s role in the Bosaso port bombing that took place last May and revealed that the operation targeted the undermining of the business of a major UAE company which manages the port of Somalia’s southern city, Bosaso. The crime was reported through a leaked phone call recording obtained by the newspaper.

This latest plot to support a local terrorist group raises the question about the identity of who is using the Qatari regime to carry out its cross-border crimes. Two names emerged during the phone conversation. The Ambassador of Qatar to Somalia, Hassan bin Hamza Bin Hashem and Qatari businessman, Khalifa Kayed al-Muhannadi were the two parties involved in the call that revealed Qatar’s intentions to “kick out the UAE businesses from the African country.”

According to a report by Al-Arabia news portal, al-Muhannadi is an intelligence officer working under the guise of a businessman. The NYT described the businessman as a “close” associate of Qatar’s ruler, Tameem Bin Hamad al Thani. It also reported that neither al-Muhannadi nor the government of Qatar “disputed the authenticity of the recording.”

“Al-Muhannadi is known to be close to the emir, Qatar’s ruler, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani. There are photographs of the two of them together and it is known that al-Muhannadi frequently travels with the emir according to news reports and text messages provided by the foreign intelligence agency opposed to Qatar’s foreign policies,” NYT reported.

There is very little information provided on al-Muhannadi and an absence of any official accounts or websites for him in the international media or in any news published in the Qatari media. This reflects his ambiguous position and may explain his notorious role in the region and his apparent dirty tricks in helping Qatar’s manipulations in the region.

Al-Muhannadi was a member of the entourage accompanying Tameem on his latest visit to Indonesia last June, according to Voice of Indonesia radio station.

Identified as the “Qatari intelligence man” by the Tunisie Telegraph newspaper in 2017, al-Muhannadi was accused in the report of using Tunisia as his centre of operations for supporting terrorist militias in Libya, under the cover of being a businessman.

The newspaper added that Libyan National Army spokesman Ahmad al-Mesmari was reported as saying that Muhannadi's role was to finance terrorists in Libya by transferring money from his bank account in Tunis to a bank in the state of southern Tataouine in Tunisia. Al-Muhannadi worked in the country under the guise of participating in tourist projects in the south western Tunisian city of Tozeur, the Tunisian paper added.

Middle East Africa