InterContinental Hotels Group cancels Hamas conference after Lawfare Project sends letter warning of legal risk; Sheraton (Marriott) hosts instead

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May 2, 2017

On Sunday, The Lawfare Project sent a cautionary letter to InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), advising that the company would risk criminal and civil liability under federal law if it did not cancel a Hamas event, scheduled to take place yesterday at an IHG hotel in Doha, Qatar. IHG subsequently canceled the conference, a decision that Associated Press reporter Fares Akram attributed to fear of U.S. Treasury sanctions.

The Lawfare Project commends IHG on its decision not to host the designated terrorist group, and to comply with U.S. law prohibiting “material support” for terrorism. We are also grateful to the Foundation for Defense of Democracies for bringing this matter to our attention, and we remain committed to ensuring that our laws are vigorously enforced.

Shortly after the cancelation, we received reports that the conference was being moved to the Sheraton Grand Doha Resort & Convention Hotel. We immediately sent a nearly identical letter to the executive leadership of Marriott International, Sheraton’s parent company. However, unlike IHG (and the Hotel City Centre Rotana beforehand), Sheraton/Marriott allowed the conference to take place.

The Lawfare Project calls upon Marriott International, which is based in Bethesda, Maryland and therefore subject to U.S. law, to publicly explain its decision to host the terrorist group.