A new report from the Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy has revealed that Texas A&M University may have received illicit funding and fostered a national security risk through its partnership with the Middle Eastern country of Qatar.
Texas A&M has worked with the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science, and Community Development to help set up a university branch in Qatar since 2003, according to The Texas Scorecard. The Qatar branch apparently has full ownership of more than 500 research projects at Texas A&M through the partnership.
The report from the Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy (ISGAP) cites a 2012 study entitled “Follow the Money,” which “examines illicit funding of United States universities by foreign governments, foundations and corporations that adhere to and promote anti-democratic and antisemitic ideologies, with connections to terrorism and terror financing.”
Research during the study found alleged violations of law due to billions of dollars in funding from the Middle East that were not reported to the Department of Education.
According to the ISGAP report, this funding resulted in the creation of the Texas A&M University in Qatar (TAMUQ), which “involves more than one billion USD of funding and more than 500 research projects.”
The report points out that the partnership between the two sides could grant Qatar “significant access to and ownership of intellectual property on many research projects, including nuclear energy research, raises safety and security concerns.”
“Allowing Qatar, with its links to terrorist organizations, to have complete control of this research through IP ownership creates unacceptable risks of technology transfer and appropriation of breakthroughs with military applications,” it reads.
Dr. Charles Asher Small, director of ISGAP, has presented concerns and claimed that the partnership “poses a clear and present national security risk to the United States, prompting our proactive approach in sharing this critical information with several agencies.”
“These findings pose a potential national security risk to the United States. Qatar’s control over sensitive research and its access to nuclear information are alarming, with possible consequences reaching beyond the region and impacting the world,” he added, per The Texas Scorecard.
Kelly Brown, a spokeswoman for Texas A&M, denied these allegations, claiming that TAMUQ “does not have any agreements, contracts, or relationships related to nuclear research.”
“Not now, or previously. Further, Texas A&M Qatar faculty never taught nuclear engineering courses, nor did it do any research involving nuclear engineering,” Brown added while speaking to The Free Press.
Additionally, Texas A&M President Mark Welsh released a statement to say that the allegations are “false and irresponsible.”
“As part of The Texas A&M University System, Texas A&M complies with all U.S. laws and agency regulations that govern how we manage and report international engagements. All research and its funding at the Qatar campus is reviewed and managed through the same A&M research compliance offices as the main campus,” Welsh stated.
“All A&M campuses, including Qatar, follow the same policies related to research and funding, which means each abide by state and federal research and export control regulations.”