ISIS Threatens Bahrain while Government Remains Silent

2016-12-16 - 1:24 am

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): Only a week ago, a video was posted by the terrorist ISIS organization (Islamic State in Iraq and greater Syria), in which the group threatened to kill the Shia of Bahrain, considering that they and the US base in Juffair are among its targets.

The video, which is almost a half an hour long, shows four Bahraini terrorists who had joined the extremist group. One of the terrorist who is calls himself Abu Abdulrahim Al-Bahraini made a lengthy statement "justifying" why the Shia of Bahrain, whom he described in the derogatory term Al-Rafida, are targets of their operations.

Abu Abdulrahim Al-Bahraini said that the Shia in Bahrain were given authority by the ruling Al Khalifa family to take over the education and health systems as well as the electricity and water services, also claiming that patients named Aisha and Omar died mysteriously.

It is not that difficult to realize that this is the same rhetoric that was used against the opposition when the government and its supporters launched its brutal crackdown against anti-regime Bahrainis in March 2011, which led to the dismissal of over 4,000 employees.

It is the same attitude adopted by royal court journalists of Al-Watan newspaper or other yellow press outlets affiliated to the regime one way or another.

Perhaps there is nothing new about this video; we all know what the Bahrain ISIS branch is. But what about the government? Why didn't the Interior Minister who is responsible for the security of this country and its people deliver any statement to reassure the majority of the Bahraini population? Why didn't the head of Public Security at least post a tweet on his account or is his Twitter account only dedicated to responding to human rights groups and threatening dissent?

We delved into the issue and found that the Al-Ayam newspaper, owned by the King's Advisor Nabeel Al-Hamar, asked the Bahraini Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmad Al Khalifa a question in this regard, during a press conference held on the sidelines of the closing session of the Gulf Cooperation Council on Wednesday (December 7, 2016).

The paper asked the FM about the strategy used by Gulf states to deal with "terrorism amid threats made by what is known as ISIS against Bahrain, as well as terrorist activities backed by Iran." It is not surprising at all that a yellow press newspaper would ask a misleading question, equating ISIS with local opposition groups, which the authorities often accuse of terrorism.

"There is a military defense effort exerted by the GCC states along with our allies to fight ISIS in Iraq, and also in the Arabian sea and Gulf of Aden region. We are working on mutual efforts to support legitimacy in Yemen through the Arab alliance and this is also considered a counter-terrorism effort. The GCC states also made joint lists for blacklisting terrorist groups as well as agreements that organize and determine how to deal with terrorism. Big efforts and many measures were also made for the purpose of fighting terrorist ideologies, by centers located in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia," said the FM in his response.

When analyzing this statement, one cannot find but a redundant sensationalized language expressed by a minister that does not have the audacity to respond to blatant ISIS threats against his country and Shia citizens, whom he and his ruling family deem as second-hand citizens. Instead of responding to this extremist group's threats, the FM remained silent and rather dedicated most of his press conference to attack the Islamic Republic of Iran.

We crossed the point of this government silence to reach a swarm of condemnations made by pro-regime Bahrainis. Instead of attacking ISIS and denouncing its threats; however, they slammed Bahrain Mirror and accused the online paper of inciting sectarianism! Was Bahraini Mirror responsible for ISIS becoming Among Us?! Did Bahraini Mirror provoke ISIS to post this video? Was it the one who provided this terrorist group with a incubating environment, funding and promotion?

These questions don't need to be answered. As it was forbidden to denounce or even speak of the Peninsula Shield Force, the national security and military corpses and the authorities in Bahrain in general during the state of emergency, they intend now to make the condemnation of ISIS forbidden as well. Why is attacking ISIS and responding to its threats such a sensitive issue to some? Why do they want silence to prevail every time ISIS makes a threat against Bahrain, despite all the images and videos flooding the internet that reveal its brutality, which not long ago targeted civilians in neighboring countries of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

Since the publication of ISIS Are Among Us*, Bahrain Mirror has been monitoring the rise of Jihadist Islam amid the complete silence of the Bahraini government. The authorities remain silent about ISIS threats and want others to remain silent as well, although the threats of this organization trouble the whole world and it has an actual presence in Bahrain, which a part of described as the ISIS Cell was apprehended, and whose trial is being held behind closed doors.

*"ISIS Are Among Us...The Bahraini Government and the Rise of Jihadi Islam." is a dispassionate study of the rise of Salafi jihadism in Bahrain since the start of the "Arab Spring" published by Bahraini Mirror in 2015.

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