Why are we spectators as terrorists threaten our homes? 4

Gulf Daily News
Friday, 4th July 2014
Email: [email protected]
Why are we spectators as terrorists threaten our homes?
IRST they came for the Palestinians
and I did not act – because I was not a
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
However, no casualties were reported.
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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
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
‘Take a Photo and Tell’ was
developed last year following the
directives of Southern Governor
Shaikh Abdulla bin Rashid Al
It was launched as an e-application and highlights the
missions and responsibilities of
the governorate and its future
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