US national security adviser: Qatar and Turkey are new sponsors of radical ideology

General HR McMaster attributed the rise of the Justice and Development party in Ankara to Turkey's growing problems with the West
Susan Walsh/ AP Photo
Wednesday, 13 December 2017 21:15

U.S. national security adviser HR McMaster condemned Qatar and Turkey for taking on a "new role" as the main sponsors and sources of funding for extremist Islamist ideology that targets western interests, The National reported.

Gen McMaster said "We didn’t pay enough attention to how it’s [radical Islamist ideology] being advanced through charities, madrassas and other social organisations." While McMaster made reference to Saudi Arabia's support for some of these organisations, he singled out Qatar and Turkey as main supporters at present. "[It] is now done more by Qatar, and by Turkey," he said.

He claimed Turkey's growing problems with the West were largely a result of the rise of Turkey's Justice and Development Party (AKP), to which president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan belongs, The National reported.

He added that the Trump administration is committed to countering extremist ideologies and funding and referred to the centre established during the U.S. president’s visit to Saudi Arabia, the report said. It is a "big problem when Islamist radical ideology bridges into political Islam," he said.

According to the report, while stressing that not all the Muslim Brotherhood branches were alike, he urged to build opposition groups that respect individual freedoms, and in order to avoid another "Morsi model" in reference to former Egyptian president overthrown in 2013. Gen McMaster said that the Brotherhood operated clandestinely and monopolised opposition after the street upheavals and fall of Hosni Mubarak in 2011, it added.

The other model that Gen McMaster identified with the Brotherhood is Turkey's AKP. "By operating through civil society, they consolidate power through one party, sadly it is a problem contributing to Turkey’s drift from the West," he said.