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Saudi Crown Prince greets released Qatar coup plotters 2, June 2010

Posted by thegulfblog.com in Qatar, Saudi Arabia.
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In case there was any lingering doubt that Saudi Arabia was behind the coup in 1996 to unseat the Qatari Emir Hamad Bin Jassem Al Thani, it is now gone. The Saudi Crown Prince, the man nominally in line to the Saudi throne, received the coup plotters who were released from Qatari jail last week at the request of the Saudi King.

Arab news reports that the convicted plotters were received at the Crown Prince’s palace in Jeddah. The coup plotters, members of the Al Ghafran branch of the Al Murrah tribe, spent 15 years in Doha’s central jail.

Nearly a decade after their failed coup in 2005 between 5 to 6 thousand members of the Al Ghafran tribe were stripped of their Qatari nationality and forced to rely on Saudi Arabia for help. Reports vary, with some suggesting that the removal of an Al Thani who had granted them some kind of ‘special dispensation’ was the reason whilst others cite lingering anger of the 1996 coup or even a mooted 2002 coup as the trigger for their deportation. I believe that they were, however, re-issued their Qatari ID at a later date.

Qatari Emir pardons coup plotters 26, May 2010

Posted by thegulfblog.com in Qatar, Saudi Arabia.
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Hamad bin Khalifah Al Thani, the Qatari Emir, has pardoned a number people involved in plotting a counter-coup against him in 1996. More than 30 were imprisoned for seeking to overthrow the Emir, though exactly how many have been released is unknown.

The coup was instigated by Hamad’s father who been evicted from his Emiri office by coup when he was on an ‘extended’ holiday in Switzerland in 1995. It was believed that his father – Khalifah Al Thani – had help from Bahrain and Saudi Arabia who wanted to see him restored to the throne. Saudi Arabia’s complicity in the 1996 coup would seem to be confirmed as the Emir released the coup plotters at the request of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and they also left, Gulf News reports, with the deputy commander of the Saudi National Guard.

There were rumors last summer of another coup. However, the balance of evidence seems to suggest that this was little more than scurrilous rumor-spreading by Saudi and Jordanian newspaper. (If anyone wants a report on this attempt, let me know).