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Qatar’s ‘Far from Satisfying’ Approach to Returned Gitmo Prisoners


The Qatari government has been tasked with watching over five high-ranking Taliban officials released from Guantanamo Bay detention center in the exchange for American Bowe Bergdahl, but failed to hold up its end of the deal under a similar agreement in 2008.

Time reports that the country’s government made “explicit assurances” in 2008 to not allow Qatari citizen Jarallah al Marri, who had been held in Guantanamo, to travel outside the country after he was released by the United States, according to State Department documents obtained by Wikileaks. Less than a year later, in early 2009, al Marri was arrested trying to enter the United Kingdom.

The Wikileaks documents show that meetings between the U.S. ambassador to Qatar and the country’s attorney general about al Marri’s near-violation were “far from satisfying.”

Even though an Obama-administration official told Time that they have “strong assurances” in the Bergdahl deal, including a personal guarantee to President Obama from the country’s emir, some reports leave reason to maintain skepticism.

The New York Post finds that a report from Congressional Research Service raises concerns about Qatar’s efforts to monitor potential terrorists, including “support provided by some Qataris to extremist and terrorist groups abroad.” As recently as 2011, the report notes, the government “did not adequately enforce its laws and international standards to track funds transfers to individuals and organizations. . . associated with extremists and terrorists facilitators outside of Qatar.”

This comes on the heels of an NBC News report that found Noorullah Noori, one of the five prisoners released and in Qatar, has, according to a relative, “kept insisting he would go to Afghanistan and fight American forces there.”


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