Qatar knew in advance of Iranian attack in Gulf but did not warn US or UK: Fox News

“If proven correct, this poses serious questions for our alliances in this region,” said British lawmaker Ian Paisley Jr.
Saturday 16/11/2019
A picture taken on May 13, 2019 off the coast of the Gulf emirate of Fujairah shows Saudi oil tanker Al-Marzoqah, one of the four tankers damaged in alleged "sabotage attacks" in the Gulf the previous day. (AFP)
A picture taken on May 13, 2019 off the coast of the Gulf emirate of Fujairah shows Saudi oil tanker Al-Marzoqah, one of the four tankers damaged in alleged "sabotage attacks" in the Gulf the previous day. (AFP)

WASHINGTON - Qatar had prior knowledge of an Iranian attack on four commercial ships in the Gulf last May but “may have failed to warn its US, French and British allies,” US TV network Fox News revealed Saturday, citing a Western intelligence report.

The May 12 attack targeted two Saudi tankers, a Norwegian tanker and a UAE bunkering ship off-the port of Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates. 

“Credible intelligence reports indicate that the IRGC-Quds Forces Naval unit is responsible for the Fujairah Port attacks, and the elements of civilian government of Iran, as well as the State of Qatar, were aware of the IRGC’s activities,” said the report, obtained exclusively by Fox News.

Key legislators from two NATO countries, France and the UK, expressed alarm at the accusations levelled at Qatar by the intelligence report. Nathalie Goulet, a member of the French senate and an influential figure in European counterterrorism circles, told Fox News that French authorities will be investigating the report. She said she was herself “very concerned” about the allegations of Qatari complicity with Iran and intends “to raise questions with colleagues in other countries with strong connections in the Middle East."

Ian Paisley Jr., a British lawmaker, described the report’s content as “very alarming and requires serious and immediate investigation by my own government.”

“If proven correct, this poses serious questions for our alliances in this region,” he added

“The allegations against Qatar come at a sensitive time for US-Qatar relations, amid other accusations that it has financed Islamic terrorism in the past,” said Fox News, noting that Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and Egypt have boycotted Doha since June 2017 over its alleged ties to Iran and extremist organisations.

Qatari officials contacted by Fox News offered no comment.