Addressing the threat posed by IEDs

National C-IED initiatives: Middle East – Qatar


In recent years, Qatar has faced very little threat from IEDs. However, Qatar is located in a region that has grown prone to such attacks and borders Saudi Arabia, where bombings have become more frequent.


The State Security agency and the Ministry of Interior (MoI) hold primary responsibility for C-IED and counterterrorism initiatives in the country. The MoI security forces respond to incidents of insecurity in the country, such as terrorist threats. The security agency is responsible for monitoring the terrorist threat and cooperating with the MoI to share such information. The National Anti-Terrorism Committee, under the operation of the MoI, constructs the country’s counterterrorism policy and coordinates the various limbs of the government engaged in counterterrorism efforts.

Though the state security forces may lack resources and training to improve effectiveness, they do have state of the art surveillance allowing the state to easily detect and monitor terrorist suspects.

Similarly, border security at the main points of entry employs biometric screening and monitoring for those coming in and out of the country.

Bilateral assistance

Qatar are involved in information sharing initiatives with the US to aid counterterrorism efforts in the region, and in 201, Qatar began participating in the US’s Antiterrorism Assistance program.

India and Qatar have also recently agreed to further engage in information sharing efforts to combat terrorism financing.

Regional initiatives

Qatar is a member of MENAFATF. The financial intelligence unit is also a member of the Egmont Group. The country has increasingly been looking to improve its compliance with international laws and standards to combat terrorism financing. This has seen greater efforts to investigate and prosecute those suspected of financing terrorism. However, this may be in response to allegations that Qatar has been involved in funding terrorist groups such as al-Nusra Front – even those associated with Qatari royalty and those in the financial sector have been accused of financing terror groups.

International initiatives

As a member of the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL, Qatar has aided the coalition’s military operations. Qatar hosts two US military installations, and have been involved training efforts, operational and logistical support.

Qatar is also part of the 34-state Islamic Counterterrorism Coalition/Military Alliance and the GCTF.

During the13th United Nations Crime Congress, the “Doha Declaration” was adopted. Qatar announced a new educational initiative to counter violent extremism, targeting displaced youth. This saw the US agree to $49million funding alongside the UNODC for programs such as prisoner rehabilitation and youth education.

Alongside Switzerland, Qatar co-hosted an event to highlight the role of the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF) in preventing violent extremism. Qatar and Switzerland are also the fund’s largest donors.

Private company support

Airbus Defence and Space was contracted to provide the national Security Shield to Qatar, to cover Qatar’s 600km of borders. The technology addresses the threat of smuggling and terrorist crossing. The system is now operational in Qatar and the security forces have received the appropriate training.

To see the areas of the published report, see here. To see a list of all the C-IED actors examined as part of the project, please go here. To read the full report, ‘Addressing the threat posed by IEDs: National, Regional and Global Initiatives’, see here. To see those engaged in the Middle East, the Sahel, North Africa or other highly impacted countries please see here, here, here, and here respectively. This research was made possible by funding from the NATO Counter Improvised Explosive Devices Centre of Excellence (C-IED COE) and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.