19 December, 2017

Terrorism in the GCC: 11 - 18 December 2017

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Terrorism and the war against it require functioning collective action which, in itself, requires a flow of information that can help decision makers understand the challenges posed by collective adversaries and the manner in which allies develop their counter-terrorism capabilities. 

The Euro-Gulf Information Centre (EGIC) is proud to announce a weekly bulletin service that presents country briefings on terrorism-related news each week. In this way, we hope to make a contribution to enhancing EU-Gulf relations in the war against terrorism and extremist ideologies.

By: Wouter Jansen 

Kingdom of Bahrain

14 December – An MoU was signed between Bahrain’s National Guard and the Pakistani Armed Forces on the implementation of Bader-2 – a joint counter-terrorism exercise to be held in Bahrain. The exercise is a follow-up of Bader-1, which was held in Pakistan and included military drills and skills to enhance cooperation and coordination between the countries. 

 

State of Qatar

13 December – During a panel held at a think tank in Washington on Tuesday (12/12), US national security adviser HR McMaster said that Qatar and Turkey are taking on the new role of being the prime sponsors and funders of extremist Islamist ideology, which threatens Western interests. He also said that both Qatar and Turkey are major sponsors of the Muslim Brotherhood. 

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

14 December – The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia welcomed a United Nations report and US stand on the Iranian involvement in the missile strike aimed at the King Khaled International Airport in Saudi Arabia on November the fourth by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen. State news agency SPA reported that Saudi Arabia demands immediate action against Tehran. Nikki Haley, US Ambassador to the UN, said that the presented pieces of the missile indicate the use of Iranian weapons, supplied to the Houthis, and thus in violation of UN resolutions. Under the Iranian nuclear deal, Tehran is prohibited from selling, supplying or transferring weapons out of the country without UN Security Council approval. 

14 December – The Conflict Armament Research (CAR) released a 200-page document which states that weapons, used by the Islamic State, were originally provided by the United States and Saudi Arabia to groups in Syria who opposed the al-Assad regime. The weapons ended up in the hands of Islamic State primarily through battlefield capture. 

The United Arab Emirates

11 December – United Arab Emirates Airlines Emirates and FlyDubai have resumed their use of Iraqi airspace for flights to other countries. This comes two days after Iraq declared victory over the Islamic State in the country. 

13 December – The United Arab Emirates have pledged to give $30 million to the G5-Sahel in their fight against jihadists in West Africa’s region. Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger – being some of the poorest countries in the world – need the money to start their counter-terrorism operations. Saudi Arabia previously pledged to give $100 million, and now the total amount, given by the two Middle Eastern countries is $130 million.   

Special note on the church attack in Quetta, Pakistan:

The United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar and Saudi Arabia have condemned the terrorist attack on a church in Quetta, Pakistan. Nine people were killed and at least another 35 wounded when two suicide bombers attack the church on Sunday (17/12) which was filled with worshippers. Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack but gave no further details. 

Special note on the New York terror attack: 

The United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar and Saudi Arabia have condemned the terrorist attack in New York on 11 December. A Bangladeshi native used a pipe bomb, attached to his chest, to attack people at New York City's Port Authority subway terminal. No casualties were reported but four people were injured.