by Zainab Fattah
Qatar’s ambassador to the U.S. accused the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia of committing the same sins they’re boycotting his country for, as the worst crisis between Gulf Arab monarchies enters its third week.
“Emiratis, not Qataris, were among the hijackers who flew planes into the Twin Towers,’’ Sheikh Meshal bin Hamad Al Thani wrote in an Op-Ed in the Wall Street Journal on Sunday, responding to a similar piece penned by his U.A.E. counterpart last week. “The U.A.E. was singled out in the 9/11 Commission’s report for its role in laundering money to terrorists.’’
Saudi Arabia, U.A.E. and Bahrain severed diplomatic and transport links with Qatar on June 5, accusing their fellow Gulf Cooperation Council member of supporting terrorism. Yousef Al Otaiba, the U.A.E.’s ambassador to the U.S., on June 12 wrote that Qatar shouldn’t be allowed to own landmarks and businesses globally while using the proceeds to finance extremist groups.
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson canceled a trip to Mexico to try to resolve the crisis.
Two of the 19 hijackers who flew planes into the World Trade Center towers in 2001 came from the U.A.E. while 15 others were Saudi. They also included a Lebanese and an Egyptian national.
“The United Nations and the U.S. Treasury Department list 10 times as many suspected terrorists and terrorist financiers from the boycotting countries as from Qatar,’’ Al Thani wrote.