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Message Subject Watch as it Develops - The Staged War Against Islamists in Northern Mali
Poster Handle Anonymous Coward
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Is it still a conspiracy theory if Royal Institute Researcher Writes About it?

What is Qatar doing in Mali?

...The official story is that Qatar has been sending money to rebel-held areas for humanitarian aid purposes through charity organizations. But the French say that Qatar by extension is sponsoring rebels with links to Al Qaeda and radical Islamist beliefs who seek to topple Mali and use it as a launch pad for global jihad.

The truth is that no one knows just how deep Qatar’s links to these militias run. What is certain is that there are Islamic charities on the ground, alongside the Islamic Red Crescent, and Qatari money is supporting the work of these groups. We don’t know how much, and how long this has been going on.

But what could Qatar possibly be doing? As with all Qatari foreign adventures, the motivation behind the donations is not simple altruism, though the Qataris may well be moved to help Mali’s impoverished and food-insecure society. Bottom line: Like all countries, Qatar wants a return on its investments.

Qatar likes to back winners, and it views the Islamist movements in Mali as worthy of support because they are on the ascendancy and may play a significant future role in the governance of the nation.

The larger strategic question here is to what extent Qatar seeks to engineer a de facto division of the country into North and South Mali, of which the Northern half of the country (the desert region consisting of Timbuktu, Gao, and Kidal) would be ruled by a rebel/Islamist government deeply indebted to Qatar for its financial support and backing. Meanwhile, the ruling Western-backed government continues to hold the south.

This fits into Qatar’s long-term goal of increasing bilateral ties with Mali, allowing further expansion into the Sahel, with its numerous untapped hydrocarbon reserves and potential for ore deposits of various precious metals. All in all a good potential deal for a tiny Emirate lacking in anything other than natural gas....

Qatar’s primary motivations for supporting Islamists are to secure its own long-term business interests and increase its influence over rapidly changing events in the Muslim and Arab world. For a small country like Qatar, long-term survival is secured outside its borders, and for the considerable future the country has the money to ensure that this can be done.

Read more: [link to dohanews.co]
 
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