Terrorism in the GCC
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
19 February – The US Ambassador to Bahrain, Justin Siberell, reinforced the US cooperation with Bahrain to face security related challenges, such as countering terrorism and its financing, as well as fighting Daesh in the region. This includes assisting Bahrain deal with Iran-backed terrorism.
State of Kuwait
14 February – During a Security Council session in New York, Ambassador Mansour al-Otaibi, Kuwait’s Permanent Representative to the UN, stressed the importance and need to protect critical infrastructure from terrorist attacks. The Ambassador pointed out that several laws in Kuwait have already been amended and enacted to better prevent critical infrastructure against this kind of attacks. The Ambassador also expressed Kuwait’s support of the Counter- Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED), that urges member states to cooperate in technical assistance and raise awareness on how to protect critical infrastructure.
Sultanate of Oman
February 12 – India and Oman have been working together to counter the misuse of religion by different groups and states to isolate the sponsors of terrorism. The two governments came together in Muscat where they acknowledged the common threat of terrorism to peace and security and agreed on future cooperation to enhance bilateral, regional and global cooperation to counter terrorism.
State of Qatar
16 February – Qatar’s Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, spoke at the security conference in Munich and said that it was time for a security pact for the Middle East, based on that of Europe, in order to ‘pull the region back from the brink.’ He said that it was time for all nations in the Middle East to ‘forget the past’ and agree on basic security principles and rules of governance. This may be a signal that Qatar is ready to end its financing of nefarious groups around the Middle East.
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
16 February – Saudi Arabia’s King Salman expressed his support for Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, in his fight against terrorism and for his work for enhancing stability and security in Egypt. The two also discussed ways of enhancing their relation to better coordinate in the future.
17 February – Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Culture and Information, Awwad Alawwad, points towards Iran for its role in supporting terrorism and the chaos in Iraq. He tweeted during the donor conference in Kuwait for Iraq reconstruction, that many countries participated in the conference and presented donations except Iran, this reveals the difference between who supports peace, development, stability and the Iranian regime which supports chaos, terrorism and destruction.
The United Arab Emirates
13 February – In a concrete step, the United Arab Emirates and India signed an MoU to counter the financing of terrorist organisations through money laundering.
13 February – India’s Prime Minister Modi met Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed al Nahyan, to enhance their bilateral cooperation for the promotion of regional stability, security and peace. Together they released a statement saying that extremism and terrorism could not be defeated by force, but that they should focus on social media, internet and the promotion of extremism in certain religious centres and violent ideologies to counter terrorism. These efforts are being closely watched by leading counter-terrorism experts worldwide.