The only Middle Eastern country with a U.S. military base is also weak on terrorism:
But U.S. officials may have reason to be suspicious of Qatar. Members of the royal family reportedly hosted Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the 9/11 mastermind, in the late ’90s and may have helped him evade U.S. capture. In 2005, officials discovered another link between Qatar and al Qaeda: Qatar paid al Qaeda (and some speculate it may still be paying) millions of dollars each year so al Qaeda wouldn’t attack it. Qatar struck the deal before the 2003 Iraq invasion and renewed it in March of 2005, when an Egyptian suicide bomber attacked a theater in Doha. Many believed the bomber was part of al Qaeda. “We’re not sure that the attack was carried out by al Qaeda, but we ratified our agreement just to be on the safe side,” a Qatari official said at the time. “We are a soft target and prefer to pay to secure our national and economical interests. We are not the only ones doing so.”
And, oh.. wasn’t this supposed to have been fixed a long time ago?
Beyond Qatar’s alleged funding of al Qaeda and its ties to Hamas and Iran, it has also tried to bolster its reputation by allowing money to flow freely through the country, no questions asked. Implementing more scrutiny would likely anger terrorist groups and put Qatar at greater risk.