According to US officials, Abd al-Rahman al-Nu'aymi is a sort of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: The 59-year-old Qatar-based professor is the onetime president of the Qatar Football Association and, more prominently, well-regarded for his deep experience in raising funds for human rights causes, a role that his seen him work closely with the UN and give advice to Qatari royals. He was also IDed by the Treasury Department on Wednesday as a serious al-Qaeda funder, reports the Washington Post. The department's press release calls him a "terrorist financier who has provided money and material support and conveyed communications to al-Qaeda and its affiliates in Syria, Iraq, Somalia, and Yemen for more than a decade."
In designating Nu’aymi as a "specially designated global terrorist," the US is able to freeze any assets under its jurisdiction and bar any US persons or companies from engaging in business with him. Nu'aymi took to Twitter with his response to the allegations (among them: that he "reportedly oversaw the transfer of over $2 million per month to al-Qaeda in Iraq for a period of time"), claiming they were in retaliation for his outspokenness on US drone and other policies; the Post reports his supporters echo that belief. The other man named with him, Abd al-Wahhab al-Humayqani, similarly runs a Yemen-based charity. This muddies the waters for counterterrorism officials: "Individuals with one foot in the legitimate world and another in the realm of terrorist financing provide al-Qaeda with a cloak of legitimacy,” says a former Treasury Department official. (Read more Abd al-Rahman al-Nu'aymi stories.)