Who is Abdullah al-Athbah, “The Emir of Qatar’s Close Friend”?

Abdullah al-Athbah taking a selfie while making the Rabia Sign, a symbol of the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist organization.
Abdullah al-Athbah taking a selfie while making the Rabia Sign, a symbol of the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist organization.

When we look at world leaders, we often don’t ask who is running their offices or accompanying them at events. Such information is vital, because understanding the circle surrounding a leader reveals a lot about the leader him or herself.

Out of all the rulers throughout the Middle East, the Emir of Qatar, Tamim Bin Hamad, has the most questionable group of men surrounding him both in private and public. One of these personalities is known as Abdullah al-Athbah who is the director of Al-Arab newspaper and advisor to the Emir of Qatar.

Abdullah al-Athbah enjoys a close relationship with Tamim Bin Hamad, the Emir of Qatar.
Abdullah Al-Athbah’s pinned tweet on Twitter (@a_alathbah) shows him and the Emir of Qatar performing a Nose-Kiss.

Affiliation with Extremists

Yaser AbuHilalah is Al-Jazeera’s former managing director who was fired under suspicious circumstances.

Abdullah al-Athbah has been seen in public and in pictures with Yaser AbuHilalah, Al-Jazeera’s former managing director who was fired under suspicious circumstances. AbuHilalah is famous for “threatening to burn half of Amman” the capital of Jordan, and brandishing military grade weapons while associating himself with members of the Muslim Brotherhood.

A picture circulated on Arabic news websites shows Abuhilalah behind bars.
Abdullah Al-Athbah with Yaser Abuhilalah
Abdullah Al-Athbah with Yaser Abuhilalah

Al-Athbah, has a friendly relationship with Abuhilalah and had appeared on Al-Jazeera numerous times when AbuHilalah served as its director.

Promotion of “Terrorist Groups”

On his social media accounts, Al-Athbah promotes the activities of Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood on a weekly if not daily basis. The following are pictures he has shared on the internet while raising the Rabia Sign a symbol widely used by promoters of the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood that is considered a terrorist organization by the governments of Bahrain, Egypt, Russia, Syria, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Abdullah al-Athbah taking a selfie while making the Rabia Sign, a symbol of the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist organization.
Abdullah al-Athbah is known for making the ‘Rabia Sign’ of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Abdullah al-Athbah making the ‘Rabia Sign’ of the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood movement.

Mullah Krekar, a notorious Islamist Militant known for spreading extremism in Europe is also known to be amongst the figures that publicly and brandish the Rabia Sign.

Norway-based fundamentalist preacher Mullah Krekar makes the Muslim Brotherhood “rabia” sign in the Oslo District Court while brandishing the ISIS index finger salute with his right hand. (Photo: POPPE, CORNELIUS / AFP / Getty Images)

Series of Disturbing Tweets

Alongside the disturbing images comes the series of disturbing tweets. The Middle East Media Research Institute has previously shed light on Al-Athbah’s tweets that clearly reveal him as an apologist for Islamist terrorism. In one instance, Al-Athbah went as far as accusing the French government of conducting and staging the Charlie Hebdo shootings.

“Abdallah Al-‘Athbah, editor of the Qatari daily Al-Arab, wrote on his Twitter account (@A_AlAthbah) that the Muslims should not apologize for the shooting at the headquarters of the satirical French weekly Charlie Hebdo in Paris, just as the Christians and Jews do not apologize for the actions of their countries. In a series of tweets following the attack, he called on the Muslims to “be men” and refrain from apologizing for something they did not do, and also added that the shooting may have been staged by France in order to manufacture an excuse to invade Libya.” said the report by MEMRI.

Some of Al-Athbah’s tweets that have been featured in the aforementioned report.

Avoiding a U.S Subpoena in a ‘Order-to-kill’ operation

In July 2019, a US Federal lawsuit was filed against the brother of the Emir of Qatar, Khalid al-Thani, over his attempt to enlist his American security staffer to murder two people and hold another American captive.

The US attorney representing the Qatari Sheikh’s victims, Rebecca Castaneda, filed for subpoenas against The Qatari Ambassador to Washington DC, Qatar’s Chief of Intelligence Mohammad al-Masned and Abdullah Al-Athbah. All three avoided the subpoenas.

A subpoena issued against Abdullah Al-Athbah over his involvement and knowledge regarding a ‘hire to murder’ incident involving the brother of the Emir of Qatar.

The question worth asking here is, are such individuals still allowed to obtain a visa to enter Western countries for travel and tourism? Perhaps their way of avoiding any obstacles is minor changes in the spelling of their names that would allow them to go unnoticed.

About the Author
Imam Mohammad Tawhidi is a third-generation Iranian-born Australian Muslim imam and a publicly ordained Islamic authority who comes from a prominent Islamic lineage. His ancestors were the companions of Prophet Mohammad and played a significant role in the early Islamic conquests. He was born in the Holy City of Qum, Iran, into a spiritual family with a history of decades in the Islamic Seminary, and had memorised half of the Quran by the age of nine. Imam Tawhidi ended his relationship with the Iranian regime and continued his studies in the Holy Cities in Iraq. In 2014, ISIS conquered large parts of Iraq’s territory and murdered members of Tawhidi’s family. In 2015, Imam Tawhidi began to gradually call for reform within Muslim societies. His views have been broadcast on international media and have been met with both criticism and praise. He is seen as one of the main leading voices in the global movement of Islamic reform who has dedicated his life to ideologically tackling the spread of Islamic Extremism. Celebrated as the Imam of Peace, Tawhidi’s international activism against Islamic extremism has earned him a nomination for the 2019 Australian of the Year Awards.