May 24, 2019

INDIA: Narendra Modi Secures Landslide Victory! He Was Re-Elected As Prime Minister Of India In General Election 2019 Held On Thursday May 23rd. Yay! 🎉😊👍

BBC News, UK
written by Staff
Thursday May 23, 2019

Indian PM Narendra Modi has secured another five-year term after winning a landslide general election victory.

His Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) looks set to win about 300 of the 543 seats in parliament, in what Mr Modi hailed as "a historic mandate".

The main opposition alliance, which is headed by Rahul Gandhi's Congress party, has admitted defeat.

The vote had been widely viewed as a referendum on the prime minister's Hindu nationalist politics.

"We all want a new India. I want to bow down my head and say thank you," Mr Modi said in a victory address to BJP supporters on Thursday evening.

More than 600 million people voted in a marathon six-week process.

Mr Modi has not just exceeded exit poll predictions but has also won a larger share of the vote than the 2014 elections, partial results show.

At a press conference in Delhi, Mr Gandhi conceded the general election as well as his Amethi seat in Uttar Pradesh, which he had held since 2004 and his family had held for decades.

What are the numbers?

Partial and declared results show Mr Modi's BJP is projected to win 300 seats on its own, and combined with the party's allies, this number reaches nearly 350.

The main opposition Congress party is expected to win fewer than 60.

A party or coalition needs at least 272 seats to secure a majority in the 543-member lower house of parliament, or Lok Sabha.

In 2014, the BJP won 282 seats - the biggest victory by any party in 30 years - and with its allies it secured 336 seats in that parliament.

The Congress, which won just 44, suffered its worst defeat in 2014 and with its allies took up just 60 seats in the lower house.

This year 900 million voters were eligible to take part in seven rounds of voting, making it the largest election the world has ever seen.

The final result may not be known for several hours or longer.

What challenges does Modi face?

In his victory speech, Mr Modi said there were only two castes in India now. "The poor and those who want to work to bring them out of poverty. We need to empower both."

Growing unemployment and fears of a recession will see Mr Modi face demands to provide jobs for the millions of young people entering the labour market in coming months.

Under his first term, India's economy - the world's sixth largest - lost some of its momentum. A leaked government report this year put the unemployment rate at the highest it's been since the 1970s.

Farmers in India will also be hoping he will prioritise the agricultural industry, after a crop glut and declining commodity prices saw their incomes stagnate.

Many saw this election as a battle for India's identity and the protection of minorities. A strident - and at times violent - Hindu nationalism has become mainstream in the past five years, with increased attacks against minorities, including the lynching of dozens of Muslims accused of smuggling cows.

And national security was put into the spotlight after a suicide attack by a Pakistan-based militant group killed at least 40 paramilitary police in Indian-administered Kashmir in February. India then launched unprecedented air strikes in Pakistan, prompting it to respond in kind and bringing the two countries to the brink of war.

CNN-News18 published on May 24, 2019: Modi celebrates his historic win in Lok Sabha Elections, addressing the public who brought him back to power with one of the biggest mandate ever. #LokSabhaElections2019

The intro: Our top story. The united oppositions attempt to halt the BJP's juggernaut was completely in vain as we saw it yesterday. Prime Minister came back with a thumping mandate, even larger than what he received by ?. The BJP has registered an absolute majority in Lok Sabha by winning 303 seats. As India's tally is now at 353. Narendra Modi of course is the first Prime Minister to have returned to office with such a huge mandate after 1971. The union cabinet is about to meet this evening where a resolution will be passed to dissolve the 16th Lok Sabha. BJP sources have said to News18 that the Prime Minister's swearing in is likely to take place on the 30th of May.
The Indian Express
written by Kavita Upadhyay
Sunday May 19, 2019

Modi reached Jolly Grant Airport near Dehradun on Saturday morning, where he was received by Chief Minister Trivendra Rawat. He then proceeded to Kedarnath, reaching amidst tight security at 9.30 am, for what Uttarakhand BJP president Ajay Bhatt called a “spiritual and absolutely personal” visit.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi spent the night before Election 2019 comes to an end in a cave 11,700 feet up in the Himalayas. While the newly constructed space near the Kedarnath shrine is designated a ‘meditation cave’, it was not clear whether the PM was to spend his entire time inside, starting 2 pm Saturday, meditating.

Rudraprayag District Magistrate Mangesh Ghildiyal said dinner would be sent for the PM to the cave which, he added, has electricity, a heater, a simple bed, mattress, a small bathing area, an attached toilet, and an electric geyser for hot water. “There’s a telephone too in the cave. And two tents have been erected at 30 m and 100 m from the cave for security reasons,” Ghildiyal said.

With intermittent rain exacerbating the cold, the temperature in Kedarnath, which is covered in snow, is expected to drop to minus 3 degrees Celsius at night.

The Sunday Express has learnt that the PMO had sought permission for the visit from the Election Commission, and it was approved on the condition that no Model Code of Conduct provisions are violated.

Modi reached Jolly Grant Airport near Dehradun on Saturday morning, where he was received by Chief Minister Trivendra Rawat. He then proceeded to Kedarnath, reaching amidst tight security at 9.30 am, for what Uttarakhand BJP president Ajay Bhatt called a “spiritual and absolutely personal” visit.

Ghildiyal said the PM did darshan at the shrine, followed by a puja. “After the puja, the Prime Minister reviewed the reconstruction works at Kedarnath.

This was followed by a review meeting with the agencies undertaking the construction works.” Modi tweeted a video where he was seen discussing reconstruction-related issues with Uttarakhand Chief Secretary Utpal Kumar Singh, as well as photos of himself at Kedarnath.

After lunch, at around 2 pm, Modi headed to the ‘meditation cave’. Located along the banks of the Mandakini river, the 10 ft-by-6 ft cave was built last year to accommodate a maximum of two persons seeking to meditate on Kedarnath premises. Modi is the first person to use it, Ghildiyal said.

In photos released by ANI, the PM was seen siting inside the cave wrapped in a saffron shawl, with only his face showing and his eyes closed.

B D Singh, the CEO of the Badrinath-Kedarnath Temple Committee, who is present in Kedarnath, said, “The Prime Minister will be spending the night in the cave. However, it is not clear whether he would be meditating the whole night.”

Ghildiyal too said there was no clarity on Modi’s meditation schedule. “He has been meditating throughout the afternoon, but all we know is that he will be leaving Kedarnath for the Badrinath shrine at 8:30 tomorrow (Sunday) morning, before which there’s a darshan scheduled at the Kedarnath shrine.”

BJP president Bhatt said, “He (Modi) is in Kedarnath for shaanti (peace). It is a spiritual and an absolutely personal visit. He is meditating in a cave. It is the Prime Minister’s right to practise his religion. There’s nothing political about it.”

Modi had last visited Kedarnath in November, when he had also inspected the reconstruction works, which were started after the 2013 flash floods destroyed much of the valley. His government made Kedarnath reconstruction one of its pet projects, and during a visit in October 2017, the PM had laid the foundation stone for five projects in the Kedarpuri area, which encompasses the Kedarnath shrine.

TAIWAN: On May 17th, Marriage Equality Comes to Taiwan In A Historic First for Asia To Legalize Same-Sex Marriage. This New Law Comes Into Effect On May 24th. 😊👍💖🎉



Time.com
written by Suyin Haynes
Thursday May 23, 2019

Tens of thousands of celebrators gathered outside Taiwan’s parliament on May 17, waving rainbow flags as the island’s government became the first in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage. The move comes at a moment of change for LGBTQ rights in Asia: even as nations like India–whose Supreme Court decriminalized homosexuality in 2018–have expanded rights, others including Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei have cracked down. Advocates in the region now hope Taiwan’s example can help tip the scales toward inclusion.

While strongly supported by President Tsai Ing-wen, marriage equality provoked strong opposition from conservative and religious groups in Taiwan. Conservative lawmakers had tabled two rival bills proposing same-sex unions, but the government’s own legislation–the bill that passed–includes the word marriage and grants same-sex couples many of the same rights as heterosexual couples. About 200 same-sex couples were reportedly planning a mass marriage registration in Taipei on May 24, the day the law comes into effect.

Human-rights group Amnesty International has said the law “falls short of genuine and full marriage equality,” as it does not provide equal adoption rights. The law also does not recognize marriages to foreigners whose countries do not permit same-sex marriage. Despite such limitations, the legislation gained the backing of LGBTQ groups, which saw it as the best option available for equality.

Chinese state media tweeted a congratulatory message in support of the law on May 18, but Taiwan’s lawmakers rebuked the praise, seeing it as an attempt by Beijing to take credit for the new law while diminishing their autonomy. (The mainland views Taiwan, an island of 23 million people that lies 112 miles off the coast, as its sovereign territory.) The social scuffle came amid a wave of censorship of LGBTQ subjects on social media in China, where homosexuality is legal but same-sex marriages are not. Leaders weren’t the only ones talking about the news: posts about Taiwan’s law trended on the Chinese microblogging site Weibo, attracting over 100 million views.

May 23, 2019

USA: The President Of 100% Raw Powerlifting Federation Removed Record Set By Biological Male Transgender From Female Raw Powerlifting Competition, National Women’s Championship.

The Daily Caller
written by Mary Margaret Olohan, Reporter
Monday May 13, 2019

The president of 100% Raw Powerlifting Federation removed the record set by a transgender weight lifter for a national women’s championship because the lifter is a biological man.

Paul Bossi, the president of the 100% Raw Powerlifting Federation, said Wednesday in a statement posted to Twitter that Mary Gregory is a biological man but did not reveal this to the 100% Raw Powerlifting Federation League. The group boasts of their authenticity in weight lifting, saying they are “100% raw” and do not allow any wraps, supports or enhancing drugs.

“The lifter identifies as female, and so entered the contest (with no consultation with the Meet Director or (100% Raw Officials),” Bossi said in a statement. “Our rules, and the basis of separating genders for competition, are based on physiological classification rather than identification. On the basis of all information presented to the Board of Directors for this particular case, the conclusion made, is that the correct physiological classification is male.”

“Since the lifter’s gender classification for the purpose of our rules is not consistent with female, no female records will be broken by these lifts,” the statement continues. Bossi also revealed that the 100% Raw Powerlifting Federation is creating a transgender weight lifting division to which Gregory will be transferred.

Mary Gregory posted an April 9 photo on Instagram that shows the differences in the lifter’s appearance before and after transitioning, saying “One year ago I took my first steps in Public as openly female. Lots of things have changed!” Other posts depict Gregory lifting and discussing the emotional toll from the weight lifting controversy.

USA: NBC4 I-Team Undercover Investigation Has Exposed Rampant Illegal Behavior At Los Angeles Public Libraries. LAPD Cracks Down On Crime At Los Angeles City Libraries. Wow I Had No Idea.


NBC4 News I-team, Los Angeles local
written by Joel Grover and Amy Corral
November 13, 2017

An NBC4 I-Team undercover investigation has exposed rampant illegal behavior at Los Angeles public libraries.

For three months, I-Team hidden cameras captured scenes of drug use, lewd acts and other criminal activity at local branches that the head of the library system described as "shocking" and "disturbing."

At the Downtown Central Library, a man outside the building offered an undercover NBC4 I-Team producer what he said was crystal meth.

On other days, outside Hollywood’s Goldwyn Library, a building designed by famed architect Frank Gehry, NBC4’s hidden cameras captured people injecting what appeared to be heroin, as well as smoking what appeared to be crystal meth, crack cocaine and marijuana. One man our undercover producer met inside the library offered her what he said was the drug Ecstasy. Later that day, I-Team cameras captured the same man trying to steal a bicycle locked on the library fence.

NBC4 also found used syringes and condoms littering the ground in front of the Pio Pico branch in Koreatown.

The I-Team documented lewd behavior as well.

On one afternoon, NBC4 cameras rolled as a man masturbated next to the Goldwyn Libray book return box in broad daylight.

On another another day at Goldwyn, the I-Team documented a man sexually stimulating another man as children passed nearby.

"It’s shocking, it’s disturbing," said city librarian John Szabo when the I-Team showed him video of these incidents.

"It’s wrong," Szabo said, adding that families shouldn’t have to walk by criminal behavior on the way into the library.

"There’s always something going on," said Harriet Zaretsky, who lives in an apartment with a balcony that overlooks Goldwyn Library. "[It’s] either a drug deal, or a hooker..."

Zaretsky told the I-Team she’s complained to the library at least 20 times about illegal activity, but said she’s never seen library staff, police officers or security guards respond.

According to a memorandum of agreement signed by the Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL) and the Los Angeles Police Department, the LAPD is required to provide security "at and directly adjacent to the LAPL facilities."

The Library paid the LAPD $5,420,337 for security in 2017.

The LAPD is currently using the funds to provide the library with 10 police officers (on overtime shifts), 41 city security officers and 26 contract security officers at the Downtown Central Library and 72 branches.

But at the same time the I-Team observed people engaged in criminal activities at the Goldwyn, Durant and Downtown Central library branches, our cameras documented police officers spending much of their time texting on their cell phones or talking, instead of patrolling.

At the Downtown Central branch, at the same time a man was offering what he said was crystal meth to an undercover producer, NBC4 cameras documented one Los Angeles Police Officer who appeared to be sleeping.

When an undercover producer told officers she’d seen drug activity happening outside, an officer behind the Central branch security desk said he’d send an officer to investigate, but the I-Team never saw an officer dispatched.

"Our expectation absolutely is that [police officers] will be on the perimeter of the building, where these incidents occurred," said city librarian Szabo.

Szabo added he’d "absolutely" prefer to see police officers patrolling, instead of reading or texting.

NBC4 asked the LAPD to comment on the behavior documented by the I-Team’s hidden cameras.

"The Los Angeles Police Department is committed to protecting the city’s public spaces, and will work with our partners at the Los Angeles Public Library o ensure the environment in and around our libraries is safe and secure for patrons,” said an email from LAPD public information director Josh Rubenstein.

"Furthermore, any officer who violates department policy is subject to an internal administrative investigation," the email continued.

Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck has agreed to an interview with NBC4 later this week to answer the I-Team’s questions about crime & safety issues at LA Public Libraries.

In 2016, Library staff filed 1077 "incident reports" for crimes on library property including theft, assaults, threats, public nuisance and vandalism.

LAPD Cracks Down on Crime at Los Angeles City Libraries


NBC4 News I-team, Los Angeles local
written by Joel Grover and Amy Corral
November 16, 2017

The Los Angeles Police Chief is adding more officers to patrol Los Angeles public libraries, in response to an NBC4 undercover investigation that exposed illegal activity at local libraries. Those crimes often occurred while LAPD cops were on duty inside the libraries.

"I was personally ashamed of our performance," L.A. Police Chief Charlie Beck told the I-Team's Joel Grover after watching the NBC4 report. "Believe me, I've let the people who work for me know that."

The I-Team spent three months undercover, exposing rampant drug use, dealing and lewd conduct at local branches. Hidden cameras caught people smoking crystal meth, snorting drugs, and shooting up what appeared to be heroin right outside libraries, while LAPD officers texted, read and talked inside. In one case, an LAPD officer at downtown's Central Library appeared to be dozing off with a newspaper on his lap, while a man nearby snorted what he said was crystal meth, and others smoked marijuana.

During hours of surveillance over a twelve week period, the I-Team never observed officers patrolling any areas outside the libraries.

Chief Beck says he's already increased armed police presence at six L.A. public library branches that are considered most "problematic." He said he's also issuing new orders to LAPD unarmed security officers assigned to libraries.

"One of the things we've changed, partially because of [the NBC4] piece, is they are going to be patrolling the adjacent environs to the library," Beck said. "We're going to … direct them to get out and work the neighborhoods, not just stay in the library."

The same day Chief Beck made that assurance, the I-Team observed an increased police presence outside the Goldwyn and Durant library branches in Hollywood, where NBC4 cameras had documented illegal behavior.

"We are going to focus the kind of resources that we have … to make sure people feel secure around the libraries," said Beck.

One woman who lives in an apartment across the street from Goldwyn Library, and asked that her name not be used, told the I-Team she and her neighbors have been "terrified" because of the illegal activity near their homes. She said she's noticed the heightened police presence, but expressed concern that the LAPD's new commitment to library security will be short-lived. "I have seen a difference. I hope it lasts," the woman told NBC4.

"We will do a better job (securing libraries)," Police Chief Beck told NBC4. "Judge me on what I do, not what I say."

USA: California Democrats Face Crisis Of Credibility After Slew Of Lawsuits.

The Hill
written by Reid Wilson
Tuesday May 21, 2019

More than a dozen presidential candidates will descend on San Francisco later this month to woo delegates attending the California Democratic Party's state convention.

But those candidates may be just a sideshow, as delegates battle between themselves over the future of a party shaken to its core by a series of lawsuits alleging harassment and retaliation.

Amid the speeches and glad-handing, delegates will pick a new state party chair to take over for Eric Bauman,who resigned in November, just weeks after California Democrats swept to historic wins in congressional and state legislative races, in the face of multiple allegations of improper behavior.

In the months since Bauman's exit, current and former employees have filed three lawsuits against the party alleging sexual harassment and abuse, misconduct and a hostile work environment in which unwanted advances, drinking and retaliation against whistleblowers were common.

"We were really on a high, on a wave," said Christine Pelosi, chair of the state Democratic Women's Caucus and daughter of Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). "Then, there was a real crash around Thanksgiving when the lawsuit happened."

Now, the largest state Democratic Party in the country is at a crossroads, less than a year before its Super Tuesday presidential primary and about a year and a half before it must defend several new members of Congress and its supermajority in the legislature.

A bitter fight in the chair's race last year - complete with allegations of vote-rigging and challenged ballots - left the party deeply divided, and the lawsuits and recriminations have ripped open those wounds.

"A lot of the healing that had been done, it was like right back to where some people had been at the end of the last chair's race or worse," Christine Pelosi said. "What we don't want is another competitive race spilling over into a summer of acrimony."

Of the seven candidates who have qualified for the ballot this year, three are seen as front-runners: Kimberly Ellis, a San Francisco-area Democratic activist who narrowly lost to Bauman last year; Rusty Hicks, president of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor; and Daraka Larimore-Hall, who heads the Santa Barbara County Democratic Party.

If none of the candidates receive a majority of the vote on Saturday, June 1, the top two vote-getters will face off in a runoff the following day. Most observers say Ellis and Hicks are likely to make the runoff.

All three major contenders have pledged to rebuild the party to rid it of a boy's club culture. But Ellis and Hicks diverge in the way they view the role of the party, and whether it has a role in influencing the legislative agenda in Sacramento and Washington.

Ellis, who last year had support from Our Revolution, the group that grew out of Sen. Bernie Sanders's (I-Vt.) 2016 presidential campaign, wants the party to push Democratic legislators on some issues.

She opposed a bill introduced in the state Assembly this year that would have given legislators wider latitude in raising and spending campaign money, which would have given them a measure of independence from the party.

"This is a time when our party must do more, be more and mean more in people's everyday lives," Ellis said in an interview. "They want this party to be a platform for educating the community, a platform for connecting the dots as to how politics touches our everyday lives, a platform for empowering people."

Hicks is less willing to say the party should exert ideological pressure.

"At this particular moment in the party's history, I think it's important we have a thoughtful, strategic leader who both understands and can build upon the victories of 2018," Hicks told The Hill. "The state party can play an important role in partnering with grassroots leaders to ensure that elected officials on the local level are carrying out the Democratic values that you see at the state level."

The three front-runners say they will remain neutral in a wide-open presidential field, one that includes two Californians, Sen. Kamala Harris (D) and Rep. Eric Swalwell (D).

California Democrats will meet again in six months to decide whether to endorse any candidate, though no candidate is likely to win a majority of the votes necessary to secure the nod.

In interviews with more than a dozen delegates who plan to vote in the race, few were concerned that the turmoil within the party would have lasting electoral consequences - but most said the next chair needs to move quickly to reform the toxic culture.

"Obviously we picked the wrong person to chair last time, and whoever is elected will need to take swift, tangible steps to address issues of sexual harassment and misconduct within the party," said Leslie Austin, who chairs the San Benito County Democratic Party and who backs Larimore-Hall.

"The party has been somewhat disorganized," said Raymond Bishop, who heads the party's business and professional caucus. "It has to be well run, well organized, and the members have to be in the loop."

USA: NBC4 I-Team Reported Los Angeles Most Notorious Trash Pile To The City's 311 Services Hotline, They Were Told It Could Take Up To 90 Days Before It's Cleaned Up. Epicenter For Typhus.

NBC4 News, Los Angeles local
written by Joel Grover and Amy Corral
Monday May 20, 2019

Rat-infested piles of rotting garbage left uncollected by the city of Los Angeles, even after promises to clean it up, are fueling concerns about a new epidemic after last year's record number of flea-borne typhus cases.

Even the city's most notorious trash pile, located between downtown LA's busy Fashion and Produce districts, continues to be a magnet for rats after it was cleaned up months ago. The rodents can carry typhus-infected fleas, which can spread the disease to humans through bacteria rubbed into the eyes or cuts and scrapes on the skin, resulting in severe flu-like symptoms.

Update: Forty-eight hours after this report, sanitation crews removed trash at the Ceres Avenue location.

The NBC4 I-Team first told Mayor Eric Garcetti's office about the piles of filth in the 700 block of Ceres Avenue in October. At the time, he promised to make sure trash doesn't pile up like that.

The garbage was cleaned after the interview, but conditions have worsened over the next seven months.

"I can’t walk down the street without thinking that a flea could jump on me," said Estela Lopez, who represents business owners in the area.

After reporting the pile of waste to the city's 311 services hotline, the I-Team was told it could take up to 90 days before it's cleaned.

Infectious disease specialist Dr. Jeffrey Klausner, of UCLA, said there's no time to waste.

"Trash and food waste attracts rats," said Klausner. "It does pose a public health risk."

An out-of-control rat population can even lead to the spread of dangerous strains of salmonella and bubonic plague, he noted.

Other large U.S. cities, like New York and Washington DC, have teams devoted to aggressive rat control. In the nation's capital, they're experimenting with bait stations laced with a rat contraceptive.

But in Los Angeles, the I-Team learned there is no plan or program to control the growing rat population that feasts at trash piles like the one on Ceres Avenue.

"It's something that we'll look into," said Pepe Garica, of Los Angeles' bureau of sanitation.

Rats carrying typhus-infected fleas were found around LA last fall, according to county health department records obtained by the I-Team. The agency did not provide details about where the fleas were found, saying that information would cause confusion and unnecessary alarm, but the I-Team discovered that typhus-infected fleas were found on animals waiting to be adopted at the North Central Animal Shelter.

Between 2013 and 2017, county residents reported a yearly average of nearly 60 cases. That's twice as many the number reported in the previous five years.

Last year, a record 124 cases were reported in Los Angeles County.

Symptoms of flea-borne typhus, which can start within two weeks after infection, include high fever, headache, chills, and body aches. Rashes can appear on the chest, back, arms and legs. Fatalities occur in less than 1 percent of cases.

The I-Team asked the Department of Public Health what became of the shelter animals carrying fleas that tested positive for typhus. We are still waiting to hear back.

NBC4's Jonathan Lloyd contributed to this report.

USA: Project Veritas WINS Defamation Case – Undercover Journalism Vindicated. A Federal Judge Threw Out Defamation Lawsuit On May 22nd Filed By A Leftist Agitator Against Project Veritas. Yay 👍

The Washington Times
written by Bailey Vogt
Wednesday May 22, 2019

A federal judge dismissed a woman’s libel lawsuit against conservative advocacy group Project Veritas and its founder James O’Keefe Wednesday regarding the depiction of her assault during a 2016 President Trump campaign rally.

“While the internet has broadened the number and the variety of available voices in the marketplace of ideas, it has also served to undermine the public’s confidence in the veracity of those sources,” United States District Judge Martin Reidinger, according to a transcript of Wednesday’s court session in Asheville, North Carolina.

“That fine line has to be walked. And I think that walking that fine line required this court to take a close look at what issues are really for this court and what issues are really for this jury,” he said.

He added: “if citizens and the media are handcuffed by a fear of liability, that’s detrimental to political discourse, it is detrimental to society as a whole, and it is detrimental, really, to our fundamental freedom.”

Judge Reidinger stopped the case and dismissed the jury before making his decision.

The woman, 71-year-old Shirley Teter filed a libel lawsuit after a Project Veritas video featured her being struck in the face during a protest of Mr. Trump. She claimed the video depicted her as part of a plot of Democratic operatives to cause violence.

The Judge ruled on the side of Project Veritas, who argued Teter’s lawyers did not present enough evidence of actual malice in their depiction of her and her speaking with the media about her assault made her a public figure.

Mr. O’Keefe praised the decision, saying: “Let this be a lesson to all those who abuse our legal system to settle petty political disputes. The courts have once again vindicated our undercover methods and journalism. Project Veritas is 6-0 in lawsuits for a reason – the law is on our side.”
Project Veritas
written by Staff
Wednesday May 22, 2019
  • Directed Verdict – Teter v Veritas Thrown Out By Federal Judge
  • No “clear and convincing evidence of actual malice”
  • Teter suit is based on “thinnest of thin reeds”
  • O’Keefe: “Veritas 6 – 0 on lawsuits!”
(Asheville) A federal judge has issued a Directed Verdict in “Teter v. Project Veritas,” ruling that the plaintiff did not have the requisite evidence to support a defamation claim. Plaintiffs must prove deliberate malice on behalf of the defendant in order to prove defamation. The Directed Verdict came on the third day of the trial. Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe, who was in Asheville, North Carolina for the trial, released the following statement.
“Let this be a lesson to all those who abuse our legal system to settle petty political disputes. The courts have once again vindicated our undercover methods and journalism. Project Veritas is 6-0 in lawsuits for a reason – the law is on our side.”
United States District Judge Martin Reidinger excused the jury late in the day on May 21 and invited arguments on why O’Keefe and Project Veritas should not be granted a Directed Verdict. The attorneys for Teter struggled to convince the judge, who would not allow the First Amendment to be trampled upon.

On Wednesday, the judge articulated passionate reasoning in his ruling to protect the First Amendment rights of journalists:
“Therefore, if citizens and the media are handcuffed by a fear of liability, that’s detrimental to political discourse, it is detrimental to society as a whole, and it is detrimental, really, to our fundamental freedom.”
The judge also tactfully dismantled each plank of the plaintiff’s argument and called it the “thinnest of thin reeds.”
“Any one of these points [of the plaintiff’s argument], if they are evidence at all of actual malice, would constitute, really, the thinnest of thin reeds.”
You can read the full transcript of this morning’s proceedings below.

Project Veritas successfully defended itself and the first amendment in this case, which lasted nearly two years. “Teter v. Project Veritas” is a landmark ruling that set legal precedent for the first amendment.

USA: Federal Prosecutors Charged Attorney Michael Avenatti With Identity Theft And Fraud For Allegedly Stealing Stormy Daniels’ $300,000 Book Advance And Using The Money For Himself.

The Daily Beast
written by Kate Briquelet
Wednesday May 22, 2019

Embattled lawyer Michael Avenatti has been charged with fraud and aggravated identity theft for allegedly snatching a total of $300,000 from Stormy Daniels and spending it on personal expenses like airfare, hotels, and restaurant delivery, and to bankroll his law firm.

Federal prosecutors in New York announced the latest charges against the Newport Beach litigator soon after ABC News reported Avenatti was expected to be charged with additional financial crimes. The 48-year-old lawyer faces a slew of charges on both coasts, including wire fraud, bank fraud, and extortion.

On Wednesday, a grand jury also indicted Avenatti for trying to extort the footwear giant Nike to the tune of $25 million, and the Daniels charges are separate from that case.

“Michael Avenatti abused and violated the core duty of an attorney—the duty to his client,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said in a statement. “As alleged, he used his position of trust to steal an advance on the client’s book deal. As alleged, he blatantly lied to and stole from his client to maintain his extravagant lifestyle, including to pay for, among other things, a monthly car payment on a Ferrari. Far from zealously representing his client, Avenatti, as alleged, instead engaged in outright deception and theft, victimizing rather than advocating for his client.”

Avenatti denied the latest allegations.

“No monies relating to Ms. Daniels were ever misappropriated or mishandled,” Avenatti tweeted on Wednesday. “She received millions of dollars worth of legal services and we spent huge sums in expenses. She directly paid only $100.00 for all that she received. I look forward to a jury hearing the evidence.”

“At no time was any money misappropriated or mishandled,” he wrote in a subsequent tweet. “I will be fully exonerated once the relevant emails, contracts, text messages, and documents are presented.”

According to the indictment, Avenatti “stole a significant portion” of Daniels’ advance on her book contract by forging her signature on a letter to her literary agent, asking the agent to send payments to a bank account Avenatti controlled.

Once Avenatti received the money, prosecutors allege, he used it to pay employees of his law firm and his defunct coffee company, Global Baristas. Some of the funds owed to Daniels—who is identified as “Victim-1” in the court filing—also went to a luxury car payment and to Avenatti’s dry cleaning.

“When [Daniels] inquired about the status of [her] advance fees, Avenatti repeatedly lied to [her], including by stating that he was working on getting fees from [her] publisher, when, in truth and in fact, Avenatti had already received the fees and spent them on his own personal and professional expenses,” the indictment states.

Prosecutors say Avenatti stole approximately $300,000 from Daniels and has not repaid her half of that money.

On Tuesday, Avenatti told warned the Twitterverse he expected another indictment.

“I expect an indictment to issue from SDNY in the next 48 hrs charging me in connection with my arrest in March. I intend on fighting these bogus/legally baseless allegations, and will plead not guilty to ALL CHARGES. I look forward to the trial where I can begin to clear my name.”

According to the indictment, Avenatti embezzled Daniels’ money by using a “client-trust fund” that he created without her knowledge.

As The Daily Beast previously reported, Avenatti is accused of misusing such bank accounts to steal funds from clients—including beauty vlogger Michelle Phan and a paraplegic client named Geoffrey Johnson—and to hide money from creditors and the bankruptcy court.

Under the terms of her book deal, Daniels was supposed to receive an $800,000 advance, to be paid by a Manhattan publisher in four installments, court papers state. While Avenatti assisted Daniels in negotiations, he allegedly told her he would not accept payment for any work relating to her book, the indictment notes.

Still, prosecutors say Avenatti “engaged in a scheme to defraud” Daniels by embezzling her second and third payments, which totaled about $350,000 before her agent’s cut.

On July 19, 2018, Daniels opened a new bank account to receive the remaining payments under her contract. Ten days later, the actress asked Avenatti if he knew when her second book payment was coming. He allegedly told Daniels “in the next two weeks” because it “comes on acceptance [of the manuscript].”

Then, on July 31, Avenatti allegedly told Daniels’ agent to wire the second payout to an “Avenatti & Associates — Attorney Client Trust” account. When the agent said the payment would not be redirected without Daniels’ permission, Avenatti allegedly emailed the agent a letter that appeared to contain Daniels’ signature.

Between Aug. 1 and Aug. 3, 2018, Avenatti wired about $148,750 to the client-trust account.

According to the indictment, about $57,000 of that money went to the payroll of his former firm, Eagan Avenatti LLP, and $20,000 was spent on insurance, airfare, hotels, car services, restaurants and meal delivery, and online retailers.

Avenatti is also accused of using Daniels’ money to wire $1,900 to a client he represented in a California lawsuit. (While the client isn’t named in the indictment, it appears to be Geoffrey Johnson, who won a $4 million settlement from Los Angeles County over his injuries in a jail. California prosecutors say Avenatti “drained all of the settlement proceeds” owed to Johnson and used it for his personal expenses, but sent Johnson payments of $1,000 to $1,900.”) Meanwhile, $12,800 of Daniels’ money went to Avenatti’s coffee business.

In late August of 2018, Daniels informed Avenatti that she still hadn’t received her second payment and asked for help, unaware that the lawyer had already pocketed the money, prosecutors say. Daniels emailed Avenatti on Sept 4. with her new bank account information for the publisher, the indictment states.

The next day, Avenatti received approximately $250,000 into another account he controlled called the “Michael Avenatti Esq Trust Account,” which at the time had a balance hovering around zero, prosecutors allege.

Avenatti transferred about $148,750 from this account to Daniels, so she “would not be aware that Avenatti had converted and used the proceeds from the second payment for his own personal and business purposes,” the indictment says.

On Sept. 13, Avenatti contacted Daniels’ agent and suggested the publisher make her third book payment early. The publisher agreed to wire an early payment to Avenatti’s client-trust account on Sept. 17, according to the indictment.

Once Avenatti received the money, the lawyer used it “to pay approximately $11,000 to individuals with whom Avenatti had relationships” and $3,900 for a monthly lease on a Ferrari, court papers allege.

Avenatti also allegedly frittered away $15,000 of Daniels funds on airfare, dry cleaning, hotels, restaurants and car services. And about $56,000 went to Eagan Avenatti’s payroll, $12,000 to insurance for Avenatti’s law firm, and $1,900 to another payment to a California client.

On Oct. 1, the day before Daniels’ book hit shelves, she asked whether she’d be paid. The next day, Daniels messaged Avenatti, “Publisher owes me a payment today,” to which he replied: “On it. We need to make sure we have the publicity requirement met.”

From October 2018 to February 2019, Daniels repeatedly asked Avenatti via phone and through electronic messages, for help in receiving her book money, the indictment alleges.

But as he is accused of doing in other cases, Avenatti passed the blame to the party responsible for payment.

While the weeks wore on, Avenatti allegedly told Daniels that it was the publisher who was withholding her money, in part due to sluggish book sales.

“When is the publisher going to cough up my money?” Daniels asked on Dec. 5.

“As for publisher—working them and threatening litigation. They need to pay you the money as you did your part and then some,” Avenatti replied.

On Dec. 27, Daniels told Avenatti she was sending the publisher a certified letter demanding payment and firing her agent. “Then I may post it online for fun,” Daniels quipped.

Avenatti allegedly called Daniels, however, and dissuaded her from delivering the letter and from firing her agent, saying she might need the agent’s help in a lawsuit against the publisher in order to recover her payments.

Sometime in December, prosecutors say, Daniels’ manager sent an email to her publisher and agent, stating she had not received her third payment. As a result, the agent called Avenatti, who allegedly warned the agent not to respond, as he was dealing with Daniels directly on the matter, the indictment states.

Daniels continued to ask Avenatti about the status of money throughout January and February, and he again blamed “poor sales” on the publisher’s supposed reluctance to pay.

In February, Daniels finally spoke to a representative of the publisher, who said Daniels’ money was sent to her agent. According to the court filing, the agent sent Daniels documentation of the false wire instructions, along with proof of her third payment being wired to the Avenatti client-trust account.

The news follows a Vanity Fair profile on Avenatti’s fall from media darling and self-styled presidential candidate to a disgraced lawyer accused of stealing client funds.

Avenatti told the magazine he saw an “opportunity” in Daniels’ case against Trump.

“When I met with Stormy, I saw an avenue by which I could do collateral damage to Donald Trump and those around him for what appeared to me to be illegal conduct and rigging a presidential election,” Avenatti said in the interview. “I saw that as an opportunity to do something that was just, that was right, and to basically go all in.”

In November, Daniels told The Daily Beast that Avenatti had ignored her requests for a financial accounting of her legal fund—and that he launched a second crowdfunding website without telling her.

It’s unclear whether the new charges are related to the fundraising effort.

“For months I’ve asked Michael Avenatti to give me accounting information about the fund my supporters so generously donated to for my safety and legal defense,” Daniels said in a statement in November. “He has repeatedly ignored those requests. Days ago I demanded again, repeatedly, that he tell me how the money was being spent and how much was left. Instead of answering me, without my permission or even my knowledge Michael launched another crowdfunding campaign to raise money on my behalf. I learned about it on Twitter.”

In response, Avenatti denied keeping the accounting from Daniels.

“I have always been an open book with Stormy as to all aspects of her cases and she knows that,” Avenatti said in a statement of his own. “The retention agreement Stormy signed back in February provided that she would pay me $100.00 and that any and all other monies raised via a legal fund would go toward my legal fees and costs. Instead, the vast majority of the money raised has gone toward her security expenses and similar other expenses. The most recent campaign was simply a refresh of the prior campaign, designed to help defray some of Stormy’s expenses.”
The Washington Free Beacon
written by David Rutz
May 11, 2018

Stormy Daniels attorney Michael Avenatti has earned nearly $175 million in free media during his appearances on cable outlets MSNBC and CNN over the past two months, a Washington Free Beacon analysis shows.

Daniels, a porn actress whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, claims she slept with President Donald Trump in 2006 and received a $130,000 hush payment from Trump's attorney Michael Cohen. She has also said she was physically threatened to keep silent about it. Trump has denied the affair.

The Washington Free Beacon analyzed 108 appearances by Avenatti on MSNBC and CNN over a 64-day period from March 7 to May 10. To calculate his earned media time, the Free Beacon multiplied the length of his appearances on a program by its "National Publicity Value" determination from media monitoring site TVEyes.com.

The total came out to $174,631,598.07 from at least 65 CNN appearances and 43 MSNBC appearances. Avenatti's favorite shows include CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360" (at least 20 interviews), MSNBC's "The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell" (14), CNN's "New Day" (12), CNN's "Tonight with Don Lemon" (eight), and MSNBC's "Deadline White House" (seven).

As previously reported by conservative media watch dog NewsBusters, Avenatti has appeared on CNN an average of more than once per day during the period under analysis.

The combative lawyer has been a thorn in the Trump administration's side, predicting the president will not serve out his first term because of scandal. In his appearances, he often drops news nuggets, such as releasing documents purportedly showing Cohen selling access to Trump and saying his client was physically threatened while simultaneously teasing her "60 Minutes" interview.

Nor do Avenatti's appearances look to be ending any time soon. Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani's recent remark that Trump reimbursed Cohen for the $130,000 payout to Daniels—contradicting Trump's claim to know nothing about the payment—and reports on Cohen setting up shell companies to accept money from various entities continue to make Avenatti a popular booking target for cable news outlets.

Cohen's lawyers accused Avenatti of spreading misleading information about his financial history, and his caginess has also been a subject of criticism among conservatives.

While many of Avenatti's cable appearances have been one-on-one interviews, he has also appeared in several large panels on the programs and appeared on screen for lengths of time without speaking.

For eight of Avenatti's appearances on primetime MSNBC and CNN programs, a publicity value was not available, so no total was added in the Free Beacon calculation for those interviews.

His cable hits have not nearly been the extent of his media blitz. Avenatti has also been featured on CBS comedy show "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert," Showtime's "The Circus," NBC's "Megyn Kelly Today," ABC's "The View," HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher," and network morning shows "Today," "CBS This Morning," and "Good Morning America."

May 21, 2019

USA: Islamic Nation Of Qatar Has Given $1 Billion To American Universities Since 2011, With More Than $830 Million Directed To Three U.S. Universities—Georgetown, Northwestern, And Texas A&M.

Judicial Watch
written by Staff
Monday May 20, 2019

A tiny and vulnerable country that punches well above its weight, Qatar takes a traditional route to security: it spreads money around and cultivates alliances far and wide. Contradictions abound. The Persian Gulf monarchy has strong business ties to Iran, angering its Saudi neighbors and the U.S. But it hosts the Americans at the critical Al Udeid Air Base—the forward operations post for the entire U.S. military effort in the Middle East. Qatar supports terror-aligned groups such Hamas, but sponsors the freewheeling Al Jazeera television network. A Sunni nation, its Shia minority worships freely. But its media is filled with anti-Semitic and anti-Israel propaganda. It’s an inconsistent partner in the American-led war on terror and terror financing. Regional players, led by Saudi Arabia and angered over Qatar’s ties with Iran and support for the Muslim Brotherhood, slapped an economic blockade on it in 2017. But Qatar’s dynamic economy, powered by vast oil and natural gas reserves, shook it off.

Qatar’s influence operations extend into the U.S. In 2017, it quadrupled American lobbying efforts to $16 million spread across 23 firms, including targeting friends of the president, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. Qatar also pours money into American universities. Luke Rosiak of the Daily Caller put the numbers together. Qatar has given $1 billion to American universities since 2011, with more than $830 million directed to three U.S. universities—Georgetown, Northwestern, and Texas A&M. Not coincidentally, all three now operate satellite campuses in Qatar.

Does Qatar’s money come with strings attached? Is it supporting anti-Israel and anti-Semitic activities at American universities? Inquiries have hit stone walls. Universities have “refused to discuss where strings are attached,” Rosiak noted. Qatar hired the powerhouse law firm Squire Patton Boggs to crush a freedom of information request to Texas A&M. At Georgetown, Rosiak wrote, requests for basic information about Qatari funding were “repeatedly ignored.”

In April, Judicial Watch took up the Texas A&M case. We filed a petition to intervene on behalf of our client, the Zachor Legal Institute, which is seeking information about Qatari funding of the university. Qatar and Texas A&M want to prevent the release of that information.

“Judicial Watch and the Zachor Legal Institute are battling in court for the truth about how the foreign government of Qatar lassoed Texas A&M into setting up a campus in a country run by a government known for its promotion of terrorism and extreme anti-Israel and anti-Semitic policies” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.

The case began when Zachor—a think tank and advocacy group investigating anti-Israel and anti-Semitic activities—started asking questions about how state-funded Texas A&M was able to establish a campus in Qatar without the approval of the Texas state legislature. Zachor filed a request to Texas A&M under the Texas Public Information Act seeking summaries of all monies directed to the university. In a later request, Zachor sought all Qatar-connected communications related to the funding.

That’s apparently when Qatari officials grew alarmed. Squire Patton Boggs stepped into the case on behalf of Texas A&M and the Qatar Foundation. The foundation is an arm of the Qatari royal family that directs funding worldwide. In a letter to the Texas attorney general, the law firm argued that Texas law prohibits release of the information because it would give commercial advantage to competitors, disclose trade secrets, and reveal the identity of donors.

Judicial Watch is fighting back. In our court filing, we point out that the Qatari government and its agencies are not protected under Texas public information law.

In addition, the law is specific: it protects only the identity of private donors, not government entities such as the Qatar Foundation. There’s no doubt the Qatar Foundation is a government entity. The Judicial Watch filing notes: “the Qatar Foundation was created by the emir of Qatar, is chaired by his consort, and is sponsored and supported by the government of Qatar, a monarchy.”

Why does any of this matter? Go back to that $1 billion Qatar has been spreading around American universities. “We suspect that Qatar may be using university grants to surreptitiously fund radical individuals and groups on campuses and if this is happening, we expect to find evidence through the financial records,” Zachor president Marc Greendorfer told the Jewish News Service.

If you’re the government of Qatar or Texas A&M, that’s a secret worth hiding.

We’ll keep you updated on the case. For more, read Judicial Watch’s filing and related documents here.
Counter Extremism Project

Overview

Qatar—a longtime U.S. ally and member of the Global Coalition to Counter ISIS—has supported and harbored international terrorist organizations and individuals. The hydrocarbon-rich Gulf country sends direct financial and material support to internationally-designated terrorist groups such as Hamas and the Nusra Front,* and knowingly permits internationally-designated or wanted terrorist leaders and financiers to operate within its borders.* On June 5, 2017, seven countries—Bahrain, Egypt, Libya, the Maldives, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen—announced that they were severing diplomatic ties with Qatar as a result of the country’s support for terrorist and extremist groups in the region.* In severing ties with Qatar, Saudi Arabia announced that it was working to “protect national security from the dangers of terrorism and extremism.” Bahrain and others similarly cited national security concerns and Qatar’s destabilizing activities in the region as reasons for the split.*

The Qatari government has lent support to al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)*, Hamas*, the Muslim Brotherhood*, the Nusra Front*, and the Taliban*—including through direct money loans, ransom payments, and supplies transfers. Qatar is also currently harboring at least 12 sanction-designated or wanted individuals, including former Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal, Muslim Brotherhood ideologue Yusuf al-Qaradawi, three U.N.-sanctioned Taliban operatives, and at least seven al-Qaeda financiers.* Although these individuals have been publically sanctioned by the United States or United Nations, or are the subject of INTERPOL arrest warrants, they are able to live with impunity—and in some cases, in luxury—within Qatar.

Direct Government Funding and Support

The Qatari government has paid ransom demands, shipped supplies, and funneled billions of dollars of funding—to internationally-designated extremist groups throughout the Middle East and North Africa.* These groups include al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Nusra Front, and the Taliban.*

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Pensinula (AQAP)

Based in Yemen and Saudi Arabia, AQAP is known for its English-language magazine Inspire, as well as its involvement in both the 2009 Christmas Day bomb plot and the 2010 Times Square bomb plot. The group claimed responsibility for the massacre at the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo in 2015. It has seized and controls territory across Yemen’s southern provinces, where it seeks to implement sharia (Islamic law).

Designated by:

Australia, Canada, Israel, United Kingdom, United Nations, United States

Qatari Support:
  • In 2010, an arm of the Qatari government donated funds to help rebuild a Yemeni mosque for Sheikh `Abd al-Wahhab Muhammad `Abd al-Rahman al-Humayqani, an AQAP financier later designated by the U.S. Treasury. Qatari officials also reportedly attended the opening of the mosque.*
  • In 2012 and 2013, Qatar reportedly sent millions of dollars of ransom payments to AQAP. Those payments were believed to have directly enabled AQAP to rebuild its network and seize territory in southern Yemen.*
Hamas

The ruling terror party of the Gaza Strip, Hamas openly seeks the destruction of Israel. The group uses suicide bombings, rocket and mortar attacks, shootings, and kidnappings in pursuit of its stated objectives.

Designated by:

Australia, Canada, Egypt, EU, Israel, Japan, Jordan, New Zealand, United Kingdom, United States

Qatari Support:
  • Qatar’s financial support of Hamas dates back to at least 2008, when Doha reportedly pledged $250 million to Hamas one year after the terror group violently seized control of the Gaza Strip.*
  • In 2012, Qatar’s then-emir Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani pledged more than $400 million to Hamas to fund the construction of housing complexes and roads.*
  • In July 2016, the Qatari government announced that it would give $30 million to Hamas in order to help pay the salaries of Gazan public sector workers. The following month, Hamas’s deputy leader Ismail Haniyeh said that Qatar’s donations would also go toward paying Hamas’s “military personnel”.*
  • Qatar continues to host Khaled Meshaal, who served as Hamas’s leader from 2004 until May 2017. In 2015, Qatar’s Foreign Minister Khalid bin Mohammed Al Attiyah referred to Meshaal—then the leader of Hamas—as a “dear guest of Qatar.”*
  • In early May 2017, Hamas announced updates to its charter at a press conference at the Sheraton Hotel in Doha.*
Muslim Brotherhood

The Muslim Brotherhood—founded in Egypt in 1928—is a transnational Islamist organization with branches worldwide. In the 1950s, Brotherhood theologian Sayyid Qutb legitimized the use of violent jihad—and the killing of secular Muslims—in order to implement sharia. Analysts argue that the Brotherhood’s ideology has spawned groups such as al-Qaeda and ISIS.

Designated by:

Bahrain, Egypt, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Syria, United Arab Emirates

Qatari Support:
  • The Qatari government lent or gave the Muslim Brotherhood a total of $7.5 billion during Mohammed Morsi’s tenure as President of Egypt, between June 2012 and July 2013.*
  • During this time, Qatar’s then-Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani personally transferred as much as $850,000 to the Brotherhood.*
  • The Doha-owned media outlet Al Jazeera has provided the Brotherhood with overwhelmingly positive press attention, particularly during the Arab Spring and Morsi’s rise and fall from power. In July 2013, 22 Egyptian-based Al Jazeera employees quit due to what they perceived as the company’s biased, pro-Brotherhood agenda.*
  • Brotherhood ideologue Yusuf al-Qaradawi continues to live freely in Qatar while preaching extremist messaging. Qaradawi is banned by the United States, United Kingdom, and France, and is the subject of an INTERPOL warrant for his arrest.*
Nusra Front
a.k.a. Jabhat Fateh al-Sham

The Nusra Front, a.k.a. Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, is a territory-controlling jihadist insurgent group operating in Syria. Long known as al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate, the group claimed to have formally renounced ties to its mother group in July 2016. The Nusra Front has carried out military campaigns, kidnappings, suicide bombings, and assassinations, and is reported to receive the highest number of foreign fighters in Syria after ISIS. It currently operates under an Islamist umbrella organization known as Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (Assembly for the Liberation of Sham).

Designated by:

Australia, Canada, France, New Zealand, EU, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Nations, United States

Qatari Support:
  • In 2015, Qatari government officials began meeting with Nusra Front leaders—including leader Abu Muhammad al-Golani—to hint that the group might receive Qatari support if it cut ties with al-Qaeda, according to Nusra and Qatari sources cited by Reuters. The Nusra Front did exactly that in July 2016. Less than two weeks later, the Financial Times quoted Syrian activists and rebels who alleged that Qatar had been sending weapons, supplies, and money to the Nusra Front “for weeks.” The United States retained the designated status of the Nusra Front—adding its new alias “Jabhat Fateh al-Sham”—reaffirming that the group “remains al-Qa’ida’s affiliate in Syria.”*
  • Qatar has allowed Nusra Front commanders to fundraise inside the country, according to U.S. and Arab government officials.*
  • The Qatari government has reportedly negotiated hostage ransom transactions between the Nusra Front and various governments.*
  • Since at least 2013, Doha itself has reportedly made several ransom payments to the Nusra Front. In one instance in October 2013, Doha paid more than $100 million to the terror group, according to Lebanese and Turkish sources.*
  • The Qatari government has funneled guns and money to Ahrar al-Sham, a Nusra Front ally that operates alongside the group under the new umbrella coalition for Islamist Syrian rebels, Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham.*
[Qatar is] promising Nusra more support, i.e. money, supplies etc., 
once they let go of the Qaeda ties.
Unamed Qatari government official, March 2015

Taliban

The Taliban is an Afghanistan- and Pakistan-based jihadist insurgent group that has carried out numerous deadly terrorist attacks in the region, including the shooting of Malala Yousafzai in Pakistan’s Swat Valley in October 2012, the December 2015 assault on Kandahar Air Field which left 50 dead, and the December 2014 massacre at the army-run school in Peshawar that killed 148 people, 132 of whom were schoolchildren. Taliban insurgents and ISIS militants in eastern Afghanistan have cooperated against the Afghan government since mid-2016.

Designated by:

Canada, EU, France, Kazakhstan, New Zealand, Russia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Nations, United States

Qatari Support:
  • Doha hosts the Taliban’s “political office,” which the group opened in June 2013. The Taliban has referred to the office as the only entity where Taliban negotiations are authorized to take place.*
  • In May 2014, Qatar received five Taliban operatives who had been transferred from Guantanamo Bay. Three of the five operatives were—and still are—under U.N. sanctions and several are believed to have reengaged in terrorist activities since arriving in Qatar, according to the U.S. Committee on Armed Services. Qatar reportedly subsidizes housing and provisions of these U.N.-sanctioned militants in one of Doha’s most exclusive neighborhoods.
Harboring Terrorist Leaders and Financiers

Leaders

Qatar harbors internationally-designated and banned terrorist leaders, including former Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal,* Muslim Brotherhood ideologue Yusuf al-Qaradawi,* and three U.N.-sanctioned Taliban operatives.* Many of these individuals are reported to live in extravagance in Doha’s most exclusive neighborhoods

Khaled Meshaal
Leader of Hamas

Designated by:
United States





  • Led Hamas from 2004 to May 2017. Meshaal oversaw Hamas’s transition from a guerilla terrorist organization into a terrorist/political hybrid.
  • Has held press conferences at internationally-owned businesses in Qatar, including the Four Seasons hotel in Doha.*
  • Meshaal resides “in the most luxurious hotel in the most beautiful district [in Qatar],” according to an Egyptian television host.*
  • Reported to own four towers and a commercial center on a seven-acre plot in Qatar, developed by a domestic real estate agency.
Yusuf Al-Qaradawi
Muslim Brotherhood Ideologue

Banned from:
France, United States, United Kingdom.

Subject of an INTERPOL alert calling for his arrest.


  • Qaradawi’s fatwas (legal rulings) have called for the murder of U.S. civilians and troops in Iraq, the execution of homosexuals, and the killing of Jews “down to the very last one.”*
  • Spearheads the Qaradawi Centre for Research and Modern Thought at Qatar’s Education City, a “multiversity” campus started by the Qatari royal family. The University comprises Western universities including Carnegie Mellon, Cornell, Georgetown, Northwestern, Texas A&M, and Virginia Commonwealth.*
Fazl Mohammad Mazloom
Taliban’s former Deputy Minister of Defense

Designated by:
United Nations





Nurullah Nuri
Taliban’s former military commander

Designated by:
United Nations





Abdul-Haq Wassiq
Taliban’s former Deputy Director General of Intelligence

Designated by:
United Nations





Financiers

According to former Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David Cohen, Qatar is a “permissive terrorist financing environment” that enables “private fundraising networks” to operate within its borders.*

Below are some of the designated or wanted members of those networks, all of whom are al-Qaeda financiers:

Abd Al-Rahman Bin ‘Umayr Al-Nu’aymi

Designated by:
European Union, Turkey, United Kingdom, United Nations, United States





  • Has transferred millions of dollars to al-Qaeda affiliates in Iraq, Syria, Somalia, and Yemen.*
  • At one point, provided $2 million per month to ISIS’s forerunner, al-Qaeda in Iraq.*
  • Close associate of Qatar’s ruling Al Thani family. Holds prominent positions in several government-backed organizations.
Khalifa Muhammad Turki Al-Subaiy

Designated by:
United Nations, United States






  • Has funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars to al-Qaeda senior leaders in South Asia, including 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.*
  • Arrested and jailed in Qatar in March 2008. Designated by the U.S. that July. Released by Qatari authorities two months after the U.S. designation with no further charges.*
Abd Al-Aziz Bin Khalifa Al-Attiyah

Wanted by:
Lebanon






  • Has funneled money to al-Qaeda and Nusra Front operatives in Lebanon.*
  • Has solicited donations for the Nusra Front over social media.*
  • Has voiced support for Osama bin Laden and ISIS on Twitter.*
  • In November 2014, a Lebanese court found Attiyah guilty in absentia for providing financial support to terrorist organizations. The Qatari government has dismissed those charges as politically motivated.*
Salim Hasan Khalifa Rashid Al-Kuwari

Designated by:
United States






  • Channeled hundreds of thousands of dollars to al-Qaeda through an Iran-based network.*
  • Facilitated the travel of extremist recruits abroad and secured the release of al-Qaeda detainees in Iran.*
  • Reportedly employed by Qatar’s Ministry of Interior even after his 2011 designation.*
Abdallah Ghanim Mafuz Muslim Al-Khawar

Designated by:
United States





  • Aided Kuwari in channeling hundreds of thousands of dollars to al-Qaeda through an Iran-based network.*Facilitated travel for militants to Afghanistan for jihad.*
  • Detained by Qatar in early 2011. Designated by the U.S. that July. Released by Qatari authorities three months after the U.S. designation—with no further charges.*
Abd Al-Latif Bin Abdllaha Salih Muhammad Al-Kawari

Designated by:
United States, United Nations





  • Transferred funds to al-Qaeda. Responsible for providing Qatari-based financiers with proof that their funds were delivered to the terror group.
Sa’d Bin Sa’d Muhammad Shariyan Al Ka’bi

Designated by:
European Union, Hong Kong, Pakistan, United Kingdom, United Nations, United States




  • Solicited donations for the Nusra Front over social media.*
  • Facilitated a Nusra Front hostage exchange.*
[In America] they look at some movements as terrorist movements.
In our part of the region, we don’t.
Emir Tamim Al Thani, September 2014