"Qatar is working very closely now with the pertinent parties including Italy to unveil the facts and it is very concerned as to how a missile sold 25 years ago ended up in the hands of a third non-state party,"
The Qatari government released a statement Tuesday in which they say the air to air missile, found in the possession of an Italian fascist group, was sold by them to “a friendly nation that wishes not to be named” in 1994, adding that they will cooperate with Italian authorities but will not reveal who they sent the weapon to.
"Qatar is working very closely now with the pertinent parties including Italy to unveil the facts and it is very concerned as to how a missile sold 25 years ago ended up in the hands of a third non-state party," said Qatar’s foreign ministry spokeswoman Lolwah Alkhater
The Italian neo-fascist group Forza Nuova were caught by police Monday in possession of an operational Matra Super530 military-grade missile. Along with Nazi symbols and a number of firearms. Italian police say the missile originally belonged to Qatar’s armed forces, and was discovered after Forza Nuova had attempted to sell it via the Whatsapp messaging app.
Qatar will face serious questions about whom they have had dealings with after such a lethal weapon was found in the hands of a far-right group with links to terrorism.
Another controversy has been whether or not the missile came from the conflict in Ukraine, and if so, from which side. Italian police stated Monday, that they had been investigating groups that had fought alongside Ukrainian militias against Pro-Russian separatists, and that they suspected that the missile may have come from there.
Forza Nuova itself has long had an alliance with the anti-Russian far-right Svoboda party but then split over which side to support during the conflict in Donbass.
However, a number of media outlets such as CNN and the BBC reported that the group was unequivocally allied to Russia, despite Italian police reports to the contrary.
Italian police have since amended their statement to say simply that they are investigating links to "the armed conflict in Donbass" without indicating which side. Nevertheless, numerous outlets have not edited reports that claim the group has concrete links to Russia.