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The ‘open secret:’ how the Taliban made millions building the World Cup stadiums in Qatar

REPORT: Construction firms allegedly paid ‘millions’ to buy and lease machinery from the Taliban

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The Taliban made millions from building the very stadiums being used for the World Cup in Qatar. How did this terrorist organization achieve this? During “peace talks” Senior Taliban officials were able to secure incredibly lucrative salaries.

With the large sums of money, the Telegraph reports that the Taliban purchased heavy machinery. They then subcontracted out that machinery for tournament infrastructure “over the past decade, a source from the Taliban’s Doha office revealed.”

The Taliban were able to achieve the business deal because “a large contingent of the Taliban leadership lived in Doha, the capital of Qatar, from 2013 onward where they were engaged in long-running peace talks with the US and UN” reports The Telegraph.

“The Taliban invested heavily in the World Cup construction and the tournament was a golden duck. They were paid millions,” the source, who lived in Doha in the decade running up to the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in 2021 told The Telegraph.

“Some Taliban members had between six and ten pieces of heavy machinery each in Doha and would earn up to £10,000 per machine per month” the source added. “Two separate senior Taliban sources described how officials were given lucrative allowances to live in the country during the peace negotiations, which was then invested in heavy construction machinery.”

The Telegraph also reported on the alleged involvement of the United States:

It is understood that the Qatari authorities – with the approval of the US and UN – paid members of the Taliban’s political office in Doha a monthly stipend worth thousands of pounds as part of efforts to help facilitate peace talks with the West. The visiting officials were also provided with luxury SUVs, free health care and regular food deliveries.

The Telegraph has been told that the money was initially paid in cash and later transferred directly into the Taliban officials’ bank accounts, making it difficult for US and Qatari authorities to track spending…

 The Qataris claim the monthly payments were “monitored in coordination” with the US, “including the total amounts and how and where it was spent”.

Qatari authorities say no wrongdoing occurred, but “Multiple sources allege that a Taliban middle-man living in Doha, Haji Ahmad Jan, the former minister of petroleum and mines in Afghanistan between 1996 and 2001, oversaw the leasing of machines to construction companies responsible for building the World Cup stadiums and infrastructure” adds The Telegraph.

“It was an open secret in the Afghan Embassy in Doha that the Taliban negotiations team and political office were being paid well by the Qatari regime and they invested these salaries in construction equipment for the World Cup,” says one former senior Afghan diplomat in Doha.

“The Taliban’s Haqqani network even used to collect money and donations from Afghans based in other Arab states and promise them the money would be invested in the Qatar World Cup projects.”

The Telegraph adds, “The Taliban’s alleged links to the construction of the World Cup, while not improper or illegal, raises further questions of a tournament embroiled by controversy and labour abuse allegations.”

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