4 Gulf Daily News Friday, 4th July 2014 Email: [email protected] Why are we spectators as terrorists threaten our homes? F IRST they came for the Palestinians and I did not act – because I was not a Palestinian. Then they came for the Lebanese – and I did not act – because I was not a Lebanese. Then they came for the Syrians and the Iraqis – and I did not act because I was not Syrian or Iraqi. Then they came for me – and there was no one left to defend me. ISIL, ISIS, IS, who cares what this group of a few thousand sick killers calls itself! Today, this depraved following are celebrating their ‘Caliphate’, stretching from eastern Iraq to Aleppo and led by Iraqi national Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi who’s demanding that all Muslims pledge their allegiance to him. This is nothing but sacrilege smearing the four RightlyGuided Caliphs – Abu Bakr, Umar bin Al Khattab, Uthman and Ali bin Abi Taleb Talib – whose wisdom created Islam’s Golden Age. Al Baghdadi is nothing but a criminal who is ruthlessly using the romanticism associated with a Caliphate to attract new recruits from a global swamp of weak-minded losers out to translate violent video games into real life. ISIS is the black sheep of the Al Qaeda franchise and so are all the other terrorist gangs in Syria, Libya, Yemen, Egypt and Lebanon desecrating Islam to grab power, wealth and territory. They may be small in numbers, but together they present the biggest threat to the stability and security of our region. I’ve been raising this issue with Arab leaderships for years in the fervent hope that they would act to stem this disease before it took root. And now when those bloodstained fanatics are knocking on our doors and infiltrating our shores, they are finally opening their eyes to the danger. It’s a tragedy that with all the Arab world’s combined military might, air power, intelligence capabilities and influence, we’ve stood back allowing those infidels hiding under the banner of Islam to proliferate and organise sleeper cells in our own countries. as the Free Syrian It’s beyond belief that Army is doing in Syria mere thousands of by taking on ISIS and By KHALAF AHMAD AL HABTOOR sword-touting primitives, another of Al Qaeda’s who think decapitating, spawn Jabhat Al crucifying and torturing Nusra there. ISIS is entertainment, can may be bloodthirsty terrorise 500 million Arabs but it’s not nearly or scare the Maliki Army into running away like as powerful as its effective propaganda rabbits. If someone had predicted this state of machine would have us believe. affairs a few years ago, I would have laughed Predictably, the Iraq crisis has triggered calls to in his face. divide the country into three, which was the Some perspective is needed. I believe there’s plan of neoconservatives advising George more to this than meets the eye. As regards W Bush in 2003, a plan to defang this once Iraq, there’s more than enough blame to powerful Arab country to reshape Israel’s go round beginning of course with the US environment that was set-out in a white invasion in 2003 that led to one mistake after paper titled “Clean Break: a New Strategy the other on the part of the US occupier, for Securing the Realm”. Echoing that was such as the disbanding of the army, the Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent support for ousting of Baathists from government an independent Kurdish State – and, by the positions and the Lebanisation of the political way, the Kurds are already selling oil that sphere which placed the country in the belongs to all Iraqis to Israel. When will the hands of an Iranian puppet. Arab World devise a strategy for securing Prime Minister Al Maliki had free rein to our realm? With ISIS announcing they’ll soon implement sectarian policies as soon as he be expanding into Saudi Arabia, Jordan and waved goodbye to the last of the coalition Kuwait, what are we waiting for? forces, leaving the Sunni population Time for some plain speaking! How was it oppressed, marginalised, deprived of rights that the War on Terror became a terrorist and opportunities – and humiliated. Out of incubator, not only in Iraq but elsewhere? concern for his seat – and no doubt with Is there a plot to destabilise Arab States the blessing of his masters in Tehran – he to prevent the rise of Arab nationalism, to deliberately weakened the army and air ensure the longevity of US bases in the area, force, which were stuffed with inexperienced to keep Israelis sleeping peacefully while Shi’ites and starved of airplanes, helicopters all the time keeping control over regional and equipment. resources? Are we to imagine that the What’s occurring now is in reaction to this mighty superpower and its western allies tyrant’s small-minded selfishness. This is a are impotent? Should we believe that the US Sunni uprising involving tribes and former and Nato are too feeble to quash ISIS and its Baathists, who not so long ago assisted cohorts underfoot like ants if they so willed? the government in ousting Al Qaeda, but Satellites pinpoint their exact locations; now sick of broken promises and Iranian drones can send them to hell without risk interference, they are taking advantage of to pilots. Some are happy to oblige TV the firepower wielded by ISIS to take down reporters with interviews, so I really have their enemy in Baghdad. Once ISIS, operating to wonder whether they’re being left alive as a mercenary force in Iraq, has served its for the express purpose of threatening our purpose, Iraq’s Sunnis will send the terrorists existence. packing, just as they did with Al Qaeda and I have no concrete answers but I do know this. We in the GCC must take responsibility for our neighbourhood, beginning with a clear definition of who constitutes an enemy and who’s a friend. We should erase the words ‘diplomacy’ and ‘diplomatic courtesy’ from our dictionary when dealing with foreign nations because beneath all their sweet talk are only interests; their interests. The Arabian Gulf States, faced with the same threats, must remain united and produce a joint agenda on ways of protecting their respective states without having to rely on Western allies that have proved to be unreliable. I would further ask our leaders not to only rely on advisers on foreign policy, but also to consult with prominent citizens who’ve proved successful in building their country’s future. We must put our heads together to find ways of stopping GCC States from becoming corridors through which terrorists and militias move between Arab countries and places where they hide their funds. We must bolster our respective militaries, improve intelligence sharing, and fund our own research centres specialising in political science and military strategic planning staffed by proven experts in their field; individuals capable of thinking out of the box on how to overcome the challenges before us. We must be empowered by solid information and analyses to make effective decisions serving our interests, instead of being blown around like straws in the wind by gusts from outside. Lastly, I would strongly urge all Gulf Co-operation Council member states and their Arab allies, such as Egypt and Jordan, to refuse absolutely the division of Iraq into three. And in the event this plan is put into effect, then we must take all necessary political, economic and military measures to halt its implementation. Be ready and alert! Flex your muscles and show your power with military parades and the issuance of real red lines not easily erasable meaningless smudges before it’s too late. Embassy plot two arrested TWO men have been arrested for allegedly planting a booby-trapped car outside the British Embassy. The Bahrainis, in their 20s, allegedly stole a Nissan Sunny from Zinj, placed a gas cylinder inside it and parked it outside the mission in Ras Ruman last December. Prosecutors say the men then poured petrol on the car in an attempt to blow it up. However, police stopped the explosion from happening when they spotted By NOOR ZAHRA the vehicle outside the embassy after the owner reported it stolen. Both suspects appeared before a remand judge yesterday where they pleaded not guilty to theft and attempting to cause an explosion. However, they earlier confessed to the charges during questioning by prosecutors. They have been remanded in custody for 45 days pending an investigation. It was the second reported explosive that has been planted outside the embassy since unrest broke out in February 2011. The GDN earlier reported that a blast blew up the front portion of a minibus outside the British Embassy on December 4, 2011 in what police described as an “obvious” attack on the mission. A “highly explosive” device placed above the vehicle’s left wheel exploded shortly after midnight, damaging five cars and showering debris up to 32 Independence vote – Pages 16-17 metres away. The embassy was located 50m from the minibus and suffered no damage. However, an embassy official earlier confirmed security had been stepped up as a result. The blast left a hole measuring 30cm in diameter on the floor of the minibus under the driver’s seat, while the front left wheel and bumper were blown clean off. However, no casualties were reported. [email protected] Convict’s jail term extended for escaping from custody n GDN subscribers won several prizes in the latest raffle draw at the Al Hilal Group yesterday. Above, at the presentation are, from left, Al Hilal Group general manager Geoff Milne, Mahmood Kamal receiving a Dell laptop, Tim Richards receiving a Samsung Galaxy smartphone and GDN home delivery manager Samuel Jacob. Other winners included Sunil John who won a return air ticket to Dubai and June Chamberlain and Sevi Mathunni, who won dinner vouchers. A NOTORIOUS criminal has been jailed for an additional 12 months for escaping from custody. Redha Al Ghasra, 34, escaped from custody in May 2011 when he managed to skirt authorities at the Dry Dock Detention Centre by dressing as a woman. It has been claimed that his relatives from Bani Jamra gave him an abaya, which he used to disguise himself as a visitor in order to get out. However, family members later claimed they did not help him escape and that he was alone with his friends for several seconds in another visitation room at the detention centre. The Lower Criminal Court convicted him of fleeing from custody and sentenced him to 12 months behind bars yesterday. Mr Al Ghasra has escaped from prison twice and attempted to give police the slip a third time. Group rules out division AN opposition group has denied rumours of a split after its vice-president resigned. Maryam Al Khawaja announced her resignation as vice-president of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR) on Monday. Reports have emerged of differences with BCHR president Nabeel Rajab, but the latter has denied a rift. “There are no differences between us and the reason for her resignation is to concentrate more on the other centres that she is part of,” he claimed. Mr Rajab was released from prison on May 25 after completing a two-year sentence for taking part in three different illegal rallies in Manama, subverting security and inciting others to take part in unauthorised gatherings. New complaints system unveiled A GRIEVANCES and violations monitoring system has been launched by the Southern Governorate. ‘Take a Photo and Tell’ was developed last year following the directives of Southern Governor Shaikh Abdulla bin Rashid Al Khalifa. It was launched as an e-application and highlights the missions and responsibilities of the governorate and its future activities. The application encourages citizens and residents to report security, civil and social issues that they think the governorate should look into by taking pictures and sending them through the governorate’s email. The issues are referred to the departments concerned. The application also allows users to post their activities. It also has a list of majlises and their telephone numbers and locations.
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