Overview: Terrorist activity historically has been low in Qatar; restrictive immigration policies and security services capable of monitoring and disrupting nascent violent extremist activity have helped to maintain that status quo. However, Qatar's monitoring of private individuals' and charitable associations' contributions to foreign entities remained inconsistent. Qatari-based terrorist fundraisers, whether acting as individuals or as representatives of other groups, were a significant terrorist financing risk and may have supported terrorist groups in countries such as Syria. The ascension of the new Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani did not result in any political changes that would affect the Government of Qatar's ability to counter terrorism.

Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: Qatar passed its Combatting Terrorism Law in 2004 and the Combating Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Law in 2010. The Law on Combating Terrorism set forth broad provisions for defining and prosecuting terrorist-related activities in Qatar.

The State Security Bureau maintains an aggressive posture toward monitoring internal violent extremist or terrorism-related activities and the Ministry of Interior is well-positioned to respond to incidents with rapid reaction forces and trained internal security forces that routinely pursue and engage in structured counterterrorism training and exercises. Qatar also maintains an interagency National Antiterrorism Committee (NATC) within the Ministry of Interior composed of representatives from more than 10 government ministries and official institutions. The NATC is tasked by law with formulating Qatar's counterterrorism policy, ensuring thorough and transparent interagency coordination within the government, fulfilling Qatar's obligations to combat terrorism under international conventions, and participating in international or UN conferences on terrorism. Qatar's Office of the Public Prosecutor is tasked with prosecuting all crimes, including any related to terrorism.

Qatar maintains a watchlist of suspected terrorists that it uses to screen passengers on international flights. Qatar also conducts extensive vetting and background checks on all applicants for work visas. The Qatari Government uses biometric scans for arrivals at Doha International Airport. Qatari officials have indicated an interest in adding fingerprinting to the tracking measures they use at entry points.

Countering the Financing of Terrorism: Qatar is a member of the Middle East North Africa Financial Action Task Force, a Financial Action Task Force (FATF)-style regional body. The Government of Qatar routinely engages with international interlocutors on terrorist financing and has taken some steps to improve oversight of foreign charities that receive contributions from Qatari institutions and to work with the banking sector to identify suspicious transactions.

Qatar's Combating Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Law of 2010 requires Qatar's Public Prosecutor to freeze the funds of terrorist organizations designated by the UN Security Council, and the government distributes lists of UN-designated terrorist entities and individuals to financial institutions. Qatar did not pass or implement any new legislation in 2013 although a law on charities oversight based on FATF standards was in development throughout the year, but remained in draft status as of December 31. Formally, Qatar's Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs monitors and licenses nongovernmental charitable organizations and requires that Qatari organizations' foreign partners submit to a vetting and licensing process before receiving Qatari funds. The Qatari government in the past has ordered Qatari institutions to cut ties with certain foreign charities over concerns about their activities.

Despite a strong legal framework, judicial enforcement and effective implementation of Qatar's anti-money laundering/counterterrorist the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) law are lacking. Qatar's lack of outreach and enforcement activities to ensure terrorist financing-related transactions are not occurring and the lack of referrals by the financial intelligence unit of cases are significant gaps.

The NATC is authorized to designate by resolution those who finance terrorism, terrorists, and terrorist organizations, independently of lists forwarded to the Government of Qatar by the UNSC 1267/1989 (al-Qa'ida) Sanctions Committee. No designations were made in 2013. Qatar does require financial institutions to file suspicious transactions reports. The Financial Intelligence Unit referred one suspicious transaction report case to the Public Prosecutor for investigation as of November 2013, with no judgment issued as of year's end.

For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, see the 2014 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: http://www.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/index.htm.

Regional and International Cooperation: Qatar participates in the UN, the Global Counterterrorism Forum, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the OIC, and the Arab League. Qatari military and security services participated in several bilateral and multilateral exercises aimed at responding to terrorist attacks. Qatar also supported and participated in GCC efforts this year to develop sanctions targeting Hizballah terrorist activities region-wide, although these efforts were not finalized as of December 31.


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