London’s Heathrow Airport is the busiest airport in the European Union with 70 million passengers passing through its corridors. It is busier than France’s Charles de Gaulle Airport and Spain’s Madrid-Barajas Airport. It has more than three times the traffic of New York’s JFK Airport and receives flights from around the world. Heathrow’s operator, BAA Limited operates multiple airports in the UK, including two in London and two in Scotland. And the Qatari monarchy has just bought a fifth of BAA.
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of September 11, was a former employee of the Qatari government. Mohammed had coordinated a mass air bombing plot with his nephew, Ramzi Yousef, who had been behind the original World Trade Center attack, and had wired him money from Qatar for the World Trade Center bombing.
The 9⁄11 Commission Report states that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was able to evade capture after the World Trade Center bombing due to the intervention of a prominent Qatari official, widely believed to be Sheikh Abdullah bin Khalid Al Thani, a member of the Qatari royal family, and the Minister for Islamic Affairs at the time. Presently Sheikh Abdullah bin Khalid Al Thani is Qatar’s Minister of the Interior.
By aiding Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Sheikh Al-Thani allowed him to continue plotting attacks against the United States and that led directly to September 11. It was Sheikh Al-Thani who had encouraged Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to move from Pakistan to Qatar. And from Qatar, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was able to engage in terrorist plots while officially working for the Qatari government.
Qatari links to Al-Qaeda have been one of the worst kept secrets in the region. Members of the Al-Thani royal family have aided Al-Qaeda and there are reports that Jihadists even had their own training camp in Qatar. A report by a former intelligence officer stated that Bin Laden was hosted by Sheikh Abdullah bin Khalid Al Thani before the Khobar Towers bombing that killed 19 Americans.
The Qatari government has reportedly been sending millions of dollars to Al-Qaeda every year and Wikileaks cables from the US embassy in Doha, the Qatari capital, revealed that US officials knew of a Qatari link to September 11 and described Qatar as the “worst” on regional counterterrorism—which is a truly horrible assessment when you consider that Qatar was being compared to the likes of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
Al-Jazeera, the Al-Thani clan’s pet propaganda network, has been the destination of choice for Bin Laden videos. Bin Laden’s first statement, five days after September 11, was broadcast by Al-Jazeera, indicating a fairly quick turnaround time. The Bin Laden tapes gave Al-Jazeera a great deal of prominence even as the network was overseen by Sheikh Hamad bin Thamer Al Thani, Qatar’s Minister of Information.
In light of all that, Qatar’s buy of a fifth of BAA which controls six airports and which formerly managed four American airports, including Baltimore-Washington International Airport and Logan International Airport, which was the departure point of choice for two of the 9⁄11 planes, giving it extensive inside knowledge of their operations, is extremely troubling. Qatar does not yet have a majority stake, but it has bought a sizable portion of the majority shareholder’s stake in BAA, which, if previous patterns hold, it will likely expand on.
Glasgow International Airport, another of the BAA managed airports, was targeted by Muslim terrorists, who failed to carry off the attack. Heathrow has long been a potential target for terrorists and the same Qatari government which helped Khalid Sheikh Mohammed avoid arrest will now have extensive insider access to both airports.
Heathrow is only the latest piece of London that the Qatari royals have gotten their teeth into. From Harrods to Barclays to the London Stock Exchange to Canary Wharf to the Shard, the new pyramidal glass skyscraper rising into the sky over London, it almost seems at times as if the Al-Thani clan has replaced the House of Windsor as the new monarchy.
But the Qataris aren’t the only Muslim monarchy sniffing around London airports. The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority has taken a stake in London’s Gatwick Airport, London’s second-largest international airport and the UK’s second busiest. The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority has also attempted to buy 50 percent of the Manchester Airports Group, the UK’s largest remaining native airport operator.
Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways, owned by the UAE royals, already has chunks of Western airlines, including 30 percent of Air Berlin. And demonstrating the far-flung ambitions of the Gulf monarchies, the Emirates Group even owns 20 percent of China’s second busiest international airport, Guangzhou Baiyun.
The BAA buy has some similarities to the Dubai Ports World scandal when Muslim royals attempted to take control of major American seaports in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Maryland. Like the BAA buy, a Muslim monarchy linked to terrorism was buying up management of key transportation facilities owned by a foreign, but Western company. However the UK has become habituated to the sight of Muslim monarchies buying up its transportation facilities.
Much of the UK’s infrastructure is now foreign-owned and the last British-owned port was sold last year. The oil monarchies have been expanding their colonization of Western transportation hubs to build a global empire that stretches from the Middle East down to Africa, east to Asia and north to Europe.
In 1938, Winston Churchill delivered one of his most famous speeches in the House of Commons. At its conclusion he said, “Historians a thousand years hence will still be baffled by the mystery of our affairs. They will never understand how it was that a victorious nation, with everything in hand, suffered themselves to be brought low, and to cast away all that they had gained by measureless sacrifice and absolute victory.”
That speech was published as part of a collection under the title, “While England Slept.” Now England still sleeps. It slumbers as Qatar, Kuwait and the Saudis creep in, loot its treasures and seize its strategic assets. It snores while they knot a rope around its neck. And the United States is not in a much better position.
While Al-Qaeda terrorists hijack airplanes, their financial backers hijack airports. While suicide bombers kill dozens, the Islamist states of the Middle East plot to kill millions. The cries of Syrian Christians being murdered in Qatar’s latest war can’t be heard in the comfortable quarters of Canary Wharf. No more so than the cries of Sudeten Czechs were heard in 1938. And yet it might surprise those cheerfully selling out their native lands to consider that the fate of Egyptian Christians and Syrian Christians might one day be their fate.
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