According to hacked messages, Qatar had entered into secret talks so that 25 kidnapped Qatari nationals could be freed. Last year, the group of Qatari nationals, including members of the ruling family, was kidnapped while they were on a trip in Iraq. While they have now finally returned to Qatar, the story doesn’t end there. Leaked messages show that there was a lot of activity between Qatar, Iran and terrorist organizations related to the kidnapping and ransom.
However, as the messages went to show, the talks were less about negotiating their freedom than demanding money from Qatar. In fact, nearly everyone who could do so, managed to get something from Qatar.
This includes nearly half a dozen militia groups along with other foreign governments. Some of the groups named in the messages include Hezbollah-Lebanon, Syria and Iraq. However, Qatar did pay up.
Unfortunately, not all of the groups that demanded and got money from Qatar are legitimate. In fact, some of them are actually terrorist groups or fronts for terrorist outfits. Hezbollah, for example, has been categorized as a terrorist group by the US.
For those in the know, it should not come as a surprise to learn that Iran was also involved in the deal, at least through its militia groups, Hezbollah and Revolutionary Guards. Of course, Iran’s dealings with terrorist organizations and extremist groups should not be surprising. On the other hand, it actually demanded money from Qatar, ostensibly under the pretext of helping it out with the kidnappings. Qatar also happens to be an ally of Iran.
Qatar denies that it helped out terrorist organizations with finance with the ransoms. However, the text messages show that Qatari diplomats made payments amounting to millions each. Some of the messages show that money indeed passed from Qatar to terrorist outfits like Hezbollah and Iran Revolutionary Guards.