Arab nations add names to terror list amid Qatar dispute

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Arab countries put 12 organizations and 59 people on a terror sanctions list early today they described as being associated with Qatar, the latest in a growing diplomatic dispute that’s seen the energy rich nation isolated by Saudi Arabia and others.

Qatar dismissed the terror listing as part of “baseless allegations that hold no foundation in fact,” standing by earlier defiant statements by its top diplomat to The Associated Press that Arab nations had no “right to blockade my country.”

The sanctions list further tightens the screws on Qatar, home to a major U.S. military base and the host of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, and shows the crisis only escalating despite Kuwaiti efforts to mediate an end to the rift.

Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates said they sanctioned the groups and individuals because of “the continuous and ongoing violations of the authorities in Doha of Qatar’s commitments and obligations.”

Six of the organizations are already considered militant groups in Bahrain, a Sunni-ruled, predominantly Shiite island home to the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet and an under-construction British naval base. Bahrain has been gripped by a government crackdown on dissent for over a year now.

Among the individuals named is Youssef al-Qaradawi, an Egyptian-born cleric considered a spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, a Sunni Islamist group. Al-Qaradawi has been tried and sentenced to death.