Why Qatar is the focus of terrorism claims

The dispute that has seen Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies isolate Qatar stems from allegations that the tiny gas-rich nation is sponsoring extremist groups which are destabilising the Middle East.

This is not the first time Qatar’s neighbours have expressed their displeasure over its individualist foreign policy – diplomatic relations were severed for nine months in 2014.

Tensions have arisen from Qatar’s support for the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood; its close relationship with groups such as the Taliban and certain al-Qaeda affiliates; and its relationship with Iran, which has most recently led to allegations from Saudi Arabia that the state-funded broadcaster Al Jazeera is supporting Houthi rebels in Yemen fighting government forces backed by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

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