Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

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Search results for "qatar" ...

  • Qatar: The Price of Glory 2015

    The Price of Glory is an HBO Real Sports investigation into Qatar’s plan to achieve international recognition through sport and the price it has exacted in fair play, human rights, and even human lives. Our investigation found that the Qatari sports plan is one of unprecedented ambition and ruthlessness, based on the exploitation of foreign labor on and off the field. To build world-class athletic teams, Qatar has crisscrossed the world, paying athletes from the poorest countries on earth to become naturalized Qatari citizens. Real Sports heard it first hand from an entire team of Bulgarian weightlifters paid by Qatar to assume Arabic identities and represent the Gulf state in international competition. Our story detailed the systemic bribery that allowed this stiflingly hot desert sheikhdom without a soccer tradition to improbably win the right to host the 2022 World Cup. Ten months before a series of arrests of FIFA officials suspected of taking bribes, Real Sports spoke with a former FIFA insider about the corrupt bidding process, and detailed how Qatari officials bought their way to the very top of world soccer by plying FIFA officials on five continents. Off the field, Real Sports documented how Qatar’s sports glory is built on the backs of hundreds of thousands of the poorest people in Asia, imported and indentured to create a lavish World Cup city in the desert. Our team watched workers toil in 117-degree heat and followed them into the decrepit labor camps few outsiders have seen in order to expose the brutal conditions in which they are bonded into effective slavery. Viewers will see why thousands of these migrant workers are projected to die on the job by the time the 2022 World Cup games begin. When we first aired the piece the Qatari government told us changes were coming and that we should stand by. We took them up on their offer and revisited the situation a year later, only to find that none of the changes to the bonded labor system—known as Kafala—had taken place. In fact Nepali migrant workers were even prohibited from returning home after a massive earthquake ravaged their country. Worse still—our follow-up investigation found that some of the top people in Qatari sport weren’t just using their money to buy athletes, they were using it to fund terrorist organizations and invite radical jihadi clerics to speak at their elite sports academy. Our project spanned four years of research, four continents, and scores of interviews with athletes, activists, migrant workers, FIFA insiders, and US government officials.
  • ABC News Brian Ross Investigates: Taliban Living Large in Qatar?

    When Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was released from Taliban captivity this year, five Taliban senior Taliban leaders were released from Guantanamo and received a hero’s welcome in Qatar, an oil-rich desert oasis country with a spotty record for dealing with terrorism. Amid outrage over the release of these five Taliban members, once considered a high risk to the U.S., ABC News Chief Investigative Correspondent Brian Ross and Chief Investigative Producer Rhonda Schwartz travelled to the country’s capital of Doha to find out how the Taliban Five were really living.
  • The Price of Glory

    Days after the completion of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” looked ahead and across the world to Qatar — the tiny desert sheikhdom that had improbably won the right to host the 2022 World Cup. The “Real Sports” report told the story of how this largely obscure but wildly-rich nation – the wealthiest per capita on earth – had embarked on a plan to put itself on the map through sports. But they would make that march to glory at seemingly any cost – be it fair play, human rights, or even human lives. Blessed with the largest deposits of liquefied natural gas in the world, Qatar has developed a national sports plan like the world has never seen.
  • Alex Quade's Taliban-5/Spec Ops Capture & Release

    In her exclusive, war reporter Alex Quade, reveals the original story behind the Special Operations Forces’ capture of one of the Taliban-5. Alex Quade persuaded the elite Operators to go on the record, assess the “high risk” detainee’s exchange for POW, Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl; and whether the released Taliban leader will attack U.S. interests again. One highly decorated Green Beret who originally helped capture him, is now a National Security Council counterterrorism head, who worked behind the scenes on the recent exchange. The senior Special Forces officer tells Alex of detainee Mullah Muhammad Fazl’s release from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; and assesses the government of Qatar’s ability to hold Fazl under the one year travel ban. Former Special Operations “Horse Soldiers” share details with Alex, you’ve never heard before. In Alex Quade’s exclusive, you’ll discover Mullah Fazl’s connection to: convicted “American Taliban” Johnny Walker Lindh; and CIA Agent Mike Spann, the first American killed in action in the war in Afghanistan. You’ll also learn of the released Taliban leader’s ties to former warlord, Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum – now the Vice President of Afghanistan.
  • Wayne Barrett on Rudy Giuliani

    Reporter Wayne Barrett rocked the Rudy Giuliani presidential campaign by showing that the "9/11 Candidate" was actually tied politically to the terrorist Khalid Sheik Muhammad (KSM), the mastermind of the Sept. 11 attack. Giuliani was obtaining security contracts through the Minister of Interior in Qatar, a man named Abdallah bin Khalid, who is known to have harbored KSM and even tipped him about an FBI raid so he could escape.
  • Family Values

    "Los Angeles Times reporters over the last year and a half have documented a particularly insidious new gambit that special interests have devised to gain or increase influence with lawmakers: hiring their relatives and paying them lucrative lobbying or consulting fees. The practice has been used not just by U.S. interests but also by foreign citizens and governments."