Taliban paid millions to provide equipment for Qatar World Cup: report

World

(NewsNation) — The Taliban was paid millions to provide construction equipment for World Cup stadiums in Qatar over the past decade, according to an article from The Telegraph.

A large contingent of the Taliban leadership lived in Doha, which is Qatar’s capital, the news outlet reported, as they were engaged in peace talks with the United States and the United Nations in 2013.

During this time, senior Taliban officials used their lucrative allowances to buy heavy machinery and then subcontract it for tournament infrastructure over the past decade, according to a source who spoke to the Telegraph.

FILE – Workers walk to the Lusail Stadium, one of the 2022 World Cup stadiums, in Lusail, Qatar, Friday, Dec. 20, 2019. The eight stadiums for the World Cup, all within a 30-mile radius of Doha, are now largely complete. Migrant laborers who built Qatar’s World Cup stadiums often worked long hours under harsh conditions and were subjected to discrimination, wage theft and other abuses as their employers evaded accountability, a rights group said in a report. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File)

“I think this was set up to be a scheme to enrich the Taliban, and the side effect of it was the Taliban helped them with (construction),” Bill Roggio, a senior fellow for the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said. “So the Qataris, instead of just dumping money down a pit, they gave the money to the Taliban, which just reinvested some of that money back into Qatar.”

The terrorist group reportedly made millions in the deal.

The Taliban’s alleged links to the construction of the World Cup were not necessarily illegal, and Qatar denies them. But they do shine a light on the controversy surrounding the tournament, including labor abuse allegations.

According to The Guardian, more than 6,500 migrant workers from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have died while working on the infrastructure for the World Cup.

To the Telegraph, a Qatari government official said that any measures taken or arrangements made were in compliance with international, U.S. and Qatari regulations.

“The Taliban’s political office in Doha was established at the specific request of the US government in 2013, and in coordination with the former Afghan government, with the aim of fostering dialogue toward peace,” the official said. “The political office and its activities were monitored and engaged with on terms agreed and coordinated with the United States. Accordingly, the United States had full visibility on all arrangements and matters with regard to hosting the Taliban political office in Qatar.”

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