Qatar's Hezbollah funding exposed by whistle-blower contractor

Consultant claims he was involved in months of negotiations with Qatar over hundreds of thousands of euros to suppress devastating dossier

epa08534258 A supporter of Hezbollah carries his party flag during a protest against the visit of Commander of the US Army Central Command, Kenneth Franklin McKenzie to Lebanon at the highway of Rafic Hariri international airport in Beirut, Lebanon, 08 July 2020.  EPA/WAEL HAMZEH
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A whistle-blower has claimed that he earned tens of thousands of euros from Qatar for hiding a dossier that documented the country's support for Hezbollah.

German press have reported that the security consultant was offered a total payment of €750,000 (Dh3.1 million) to suppress the information he had gathered about Qatar's illicit support for terrorism.

The man, identified only as Jason, said he spent several months in negotiations in 2019 with a Qatari emissary in Europe.

A German business executive who was reported to have witnessed some of the meetings said information had been passed to the Qataris that provided "transparency" in the "fight against certain critical, anti-Israeli networks".

Six meetings took place between the consultant and the Qataris before the talks broke down. Jason reportedly believed that he could receive a payment of €10m from Qatar to buy the evidence he had compiled.

He said the information offered Qatar an opportunity to purge "shady people in their own ranks", including a top-ranked general in Doha.

In a familiar pattern tracked to Qatar's funding for the Muslim Brotherhood, the money to Hezbollah was funnelled through the country's charity sector. Outfits like Qatar Charity have bankrolled a variety of groups politically active throughout Europe.

As a political and military entity, Hezbollah has been proscribed around Europe with Germany and Britain becoming the latest countries to add the group to their banned list.

Under an outline deal considered by both the consultant and the Qatari representative, the man would have taken monthly payments to maintain a line of communication with the Qatari general, by whom he was also being paid, to build up more information on his activities.

Jason also reportedly had first-hand information on arms deals by Qatar with Eastern European armament factories that would have caused the country further embarrassment.

"[Jason] came across some embarrassing information while based in Doha," he said. "There was an alleged arms deal with war material from Eastern Europe that was supposed to be handled by a company in Qatar. And there were alleged money flows from several rich Qataris to exiled Lebanese people that involved money flows from Doha to Hezbollah."

In the first half of 2019 the leak of the dossier in the German press would have been highly embarrassing for Qatar as it pressed forward with its construction programme for hosting the 2022 World Cup.

With Hezbollah on official terror lists in the US and Europe, the country's diplomatic standing would have been compromised, according to Jason's account of his conversations with the Qatari envoys.

Qatar spends tens of millions of euros in Europe to support institutes and organisations that have drawn concerns over the risk of radicalisation.

Doha maintains friendly ties with Hezbollah's patron Iran, which in turn has suffered a blow after European security agencies exposed Tehran's intelligence network run by its embassies in Germany, Belgium and France.