An American held by Al-Nusra is suing a Qatari bank for financing the kidnappers

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Source: Dubai – Arabic.net

American photojournalist Matthew Shearer filed a lawsuit against Qatar Islamic Bank for financing the Al-Nusra Front, which is loyal to Al Qaeda, and kidnapped him in Syria in 2012, while trying to cross the border to Turkey.

Matthew, who was held for approximately 211 days before he could escape, said that Qatar Islamic Bank had raised funds for his kidnappers. In an interview with Fox News, he described the financiers as “performing Hitler and Yusuf al-Qaradawi,” as he put it.

In detailing the 60-page lawsuit, Qatar Islamic Bank allowed individuals and a charity to transfer funds to terrorist groups fighting in Syria.

In addition, in the lawsuit filed in Florida, the photographer presented the details of his arrest and the torture he was subjected to.

Denial of water and food

According to the lawsuit, “Matthew was often beaten and tortured by terrorists, and was repeatedly threatened with death and forced to watch and hear the torture of other prisoners.” The complaint added that the kidnapped photographer “was deprived of water and food, and was held in rooms where the heat was made freezing cold or too hot, without lighting or ventilation, and he was also forbidden to use the bathroom for several days.”

To this, Matthew was transferred several times between different prisons until the Al-Nusra Front handed him over to Ahrar al-Sham, according to the lawsuit.

Matthew Shearer
Matthew Shearer

As for the reason for his kidnapping, Matthew, who is described as the first westerner to escape escape such detention in 2013, explained that terrorist groups were insisting that he was a CIA agent, revealing that the kidnappers obtained his bank accounts through his debit and credit cards.

He also confirmed that Qatar Islamic Bank contributed directly to the Qatar Charity Foundation, an organization that funds al-Qaeda and Ahrar al-Sham. He said that the bank allowed the Qatari citizen, Saad Al-Kaabi, to use his accounts to obtain funds for the “Victory of the People of the Levant”, a fundraising campaign, and the US State Department said it had transferred the funds to extremist groups in Syria, including Jabhat al-Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham.

Matthew seeks compensation under the counterterrorism law, which gives any American citizen harmed by terrorism the right to do so.



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