22 November, 2017

Terrorism in the GCC: 13 – 20 November 2017

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Kingdom of Bahrain

19 November – Taking part in the Arab League’s emergency session in Cairo, Bahrain’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, discussed ways in which Iranian interference in the internal affairs of Arab states can be addressed, giving the missile attack on Saudi Arabia and the oil pipeline bombing in Bahrain as examples of the threat that Iran poses. The Foreign Minister also said that Lebanon is under total control of the Iranian backed terrorist group Hezbollah, calling it Iran’s biggest asset in the region at the moment. 

State of Kuwait

19 November – Iraq’s President, Fuad Masum, will commence an official visit to Kuwait on Monday (20/11) to discuss the Kuwait-hosted conference on the reconstruction of the liberated areas of Iraq from ISIS. Kuwait’s Emir, Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah, said that Kuwait has always supported Iraq in its fight against ISIS, with the aim of bringing back stability and security in the region. 

Sultanate of Oman

16 November – Based on data from the Global Terrorism Database, provided by the University of Maryland in the US, Oman has scored zero points in the global terrorism index. Zero points is the highest security ranking against terrorism threats and ensures the 130th spot on the ranking for Oman. In other words, Oman’s terrorism prevention strategy is working. 

State of Qatar

16 November – A Republican-led House panel has backed legislation that would impose sanctions on any country or person that supports Hamas. The bill specifically points at Qatar for their support of Hamas by hosting multiple members of the terrorist group, citing a report from 2014 that states that Qatar openly gave financial support to Hamas for many years. 

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

15 November – A Cabinet meeting in Riyadh on Tuesday (14/11) followed up on the Arab counterterrorism meeting in Tunisia, where female terrorism was discussed. The Cabinet highlighted the threat of female terrorism in schools and universities and stressed the importance to prevent women from being involved in terrorism and extremist acts. 

16 November – Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Adel al-Jubeir, called Hezbollah a ‘first-class terrorist organisation.’ This, due to Hezbollah’s ‘kidnapping’ of the Lebanese political system and destabilising efforts in the region.  

The United Arab Emirates

14 November – the United Arab Emirate’s Minister for Tolerance, Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak al-Nahyan, told the German news agency DPA, that the lack of surveillance in mosques in Europe is one of the causes for the rapid rise in extremism. He stated that in the UAE, Imams need special licences in order to preach and that all houses of prayer are controlled by state authorities to battle radicalisation. 

By: Wouter Jansen