11 January, 2018

Terrorism in the GCC 4-1-2018 / 12-1-2018

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Kingdom of Bahrain

4 January – A Bahraini Criminal Court has sentenced four people to lengthy jail sentences on charges of joining ISIS and plotting terror acts in Kuwait. The sentences ranged from 3 to 15 years in prison. 

9 January – Bahrain’s Shura Council amended a new article that stipulates jail sentences between 10 years and life imprisonment for money laundering and the financing of a terrorist organisation. 

Sultanate of Oman

 9 January – Oman, often seen as a bridge builder between conflicting states, is under pressure by the US, Saudi Arabia and the UAE to cut the flow of Iranian weapons through the country to Houthi rebels in Yemen. 

State of Kuwait

7 January – Kuwait’s Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister, Sheikh Khaled al-Jarrah al-Sabah, discussed the increasing bilateral cooperation with his Saudi counterpart, Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Nayef bin Abdulaziz al-Saud. The Kuwaiti Minister stressed the exceptional relations between the countries, and expressed their common desire to take their relations to a new level. Current security issues in the region and the fight against terrorism were discussed. 

State of Qatar

8 January – Retired British Army Commander, Colonel Tim Collins, strongly criticised Qatar for its funding of the Muslim Brotherhood in the UK and called the group a terrorist organisation. Speaking at Westminster, he urged the UK government to act tougher on this issue. Collins cited that around 125 million euros have been payed by Qatar to numerous institutions around Europe with relations to the Muslim Brotherhood, including a 18 million euro payment to departments at Oxford University, of which one body is led by Tariq Ramadan, grandson of Hassan al-Banna, the Muslim Brotherhood’s founder. 

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

5 January – The League of Human Rights (LDH) and the Coordination Nationale d’Action pour la Paix et la Démocratie (CNAPD), with support of the Belgian francophone section of Amnesty International, lodged an appeal on 18 December to stop the license for export of arms to Saudi Arabia. A European-level arms embargo on Saudi Arabia, according to the organisations, would help in the fight against terrorism, for these weapons often end up with terrorist organisations. 

8 January – The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has asked a US federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit, filed by families of victims of the 9/11 attacks, that would hold the Kingdom accountable for the attacks. Riyadh’s lawyers told the Manhattan Federal Court that there is no evidence of Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the attacks, and that therefore no more accusations can be made against Saudi Arabia. Though that link is spurious and no evidence backing the claim has been found.

The United Arab Emirates

10 January – The Dubai Police Academy, which held its graduation ceremony, staged a mock large-scale terrorist attack as part of the counter-terrorism training. Numerous units, such as helicopters units and SWAT teams were involved. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, Dubai’s Crown Prince, was present to watch the drill.