Tuesday, May 1, 2018

American ex-Nusra Front hostage: Qatar’s ransom payouts are tactic to fund terror

to fund Nusra Front
An American journalist who was abducted in Syria by al-Qaeda-linked militants in 2012 has spoken of how Qatar’s efforts to secure his release in 2014 left him with concerns over the Gulf state’s funding of terrorism.

Theo Padnos entered Syria hoping to write freelance news stories but was kidnapped by the Nusra Front militant group over allegations he was a spy.

In an interview with Al Arabiya News Channel, to broadcast on current affairs program “Death Making” on May 11, Padnos said that Qatar had paid a ransom for his release.

He said he was left with the impression that the process of hostage-taking and paying ransom money was a way in which Qatar was able to fund Nusra Front.

During his imprisonment in locations in Aleppo and Deir el-Zour, he said he was tortured and heard other prisoners being tortured too, some for “stealing money coming from Qatar.”

He said the sharing of funds coming from Qatar was at the heart of a bloody conflict between members of the Nusra Front.

“During my imprisonment, I learned that there were negotiations between members of Nusra Front and a Qatari ambassador.

“I came out with the impression that hostage-taking and paying ransom to release the hostages is a way for Qatar to fund Nusra Front,” he added.

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