Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Americans ponder the reality that Al Qaeda terrorists received something they wanted in exchange for the release of Peter Theo Curtis, if not money then something else they wanted badly-NY Daily News Editorial

8/26/14, "Dealing with devils," NY Daily News Editorial

"Qatar’s dirty doings"

"Someone paid the ransom that released Peter Theo Curtis from the clutches of Al Qaeda's Syrian affiliate if not in cash, then, likely, in benefits for the al-Nusra Front’s battle to topple Bashar Assad.

The prime suspect — the only suspect — is the government of Qatar, a country whose emir has carved out an odious dual role as both a Western helpmate and friend to Islamist radicals.

Overflowing with oil money, Qatar plays host to both the U.S. military Central Command’s forward headquarters and to Khaled Meshal, the top man of the Hamas terror group. It has funneled more than $30 million in ransoms from European countries to Al Qaeda while also playing middleman in President Obama’s swap of Taliban commanders for Sgt. Bowe Berghdal.

On Monday, the Israeli ambassador to the United Nations labeled Qatar “Club Med for terrorists” in a remarkable essay in The New York Times. Most devastatingly, Ron Prosor wrote:

“In recent years, the sheikhs of Doha, Qatar’s capital, have funneled hundreds of millions of dollars to Gaza. Every one of Hamas’ tunnels and rockets might as well have had a sign that read ‘Made possible through a kind donation from the emir of Qatar.’ ”

Prosor also noted that Qatar reportedly threatened to expel Hamas boss Meshal if Hamas agreed to an Egyptian proposal for a long-term ceasefire in Gaza — rather than a deal that would enable Qatar to play the hero.

That’s exactly what Qatar is now doing with Curtis’ release. It says authorities there “exerted relentless efforts . . . out of Qatar’s belief in the principles of humanity, and its keenness on the lives of individuals and their right to freedom and dignity.”

More likely, Qatar had a pipeline into Nusra because it is arming Syrian rebels and put the connection to use in hope of burnishing its image in the West.

Only last week, a German official accused Qatar of funding ISIS, the genocidal band that beheaded American James Foley. While Germany withdrew the charge amid vehement denials by Qatar, its very utterance testifies to the distrust generated by the emir’s double game.

For its part, the White House said that President Obama stayed abreast of the negotiations between Qatar and the Nusra Front, ruled out paying ransom and does not “support any third party paying ransom, and did not do so in this case.”

Secretary of State Kerry said that for two years, “the United States reached out to more than two dozen countries asking for urgent help from anyone who might have tools, influence or leverage to help secure Theo’s release and the release of any Americans held hostage in Syria.”

Which returns the focus to the secret of why Nusra agreed to release Curtis after holding the freelance writer captive for almost two years.

Whatever the answer, the Curtis family is justifiably thrilled. And all Americans can share in hoping that he returns to loved ones in good health — while also pondering the inescapable conclusion that Al Qaeda got something in return." via Lucianne


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