The Frightened King Plays with “Al-Qaeda” Fire

2019-07-17 - 2:20 am

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): Ruling family representatives in Bahrain and people close to the family always say that the Bahraini opposition wants to copy the Iraqi example, in reference to the Shiite progress on one hand and security chaos on the other hand, after the ousting of Saddam Hussein's regime.

It's more like a declaration of their stance that rejects the political reforms that demand putting an end to the Al Khalifa family's monopoly over power. What they've always meant is the continuation of the regime of interests along with the ruling family's unilateral decision-making.

The opposition only could make repeated assurances to prove it was more concerned with civil peace than the ruling family, until "What is Hidden is Worse" program, aired recently, came to confirm that the King of Bahrain, Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, was the one who wanted to copy the Iraqi experience.

The testimony of Mohammad Saleh (Al-Qaeda member) revealed that the king was monitoring the Iraqi scene and the rise of Al-Qaeda amid the early months of the collapse of Saddam Hussein's regime, and wanted to take advantage of that rise to send political messages inside and outside the kingdom.

According to Mohammad Saleh, the National Security Agency, in coordination with the king, asked him to lead a cell of Bahraini Al-Qaeda members to carry out assassinations against opposition leaders, mainly Mr. Abudlwahab Hussein.

What were the messages the King wanted from establishing this terrorist cell?

Due to its announcement rejecting to turn against the agreements reached before the vote on the National Action Charter, and its insistence on having genuine participation in governing the country, the king wanted to give the opposition a heavy blow on the leadership level that could end the opposition's political aspirations.

At the time, opposition figures were unanimous in rejecting the given Constitution as well as all the decrees issued by the king in February 2002 (i.e. more than a year before the recruitment of Mohammad Saleh).

The king found in the rise of Al-Qaeda a great opportunity to strike the dreams of the opposition without getting his security agencies involved. Thereafter, this would make the opposition think well and see that "shaking the current form of system may lead to outcomes similar to that happening in Iraq."

Seventeen days after Mohammad Saleh was arrested in Saudi Arabia, Al-Qaeda succeeded in assassinating prominent political leader Mohammed Baqir Al-Hakim in a car bomb attack in Najaf (August 8, 2013).

It is worth to note that the invasion of Iraq was launched in the context of a war led by George W. Bush, under the pretext of spreading democracy and combating extremism after the events of September 11, 2001. The invasion culminated with the announcement of the so-called "New Middle East Plan", which intended to promote political and economic reform.

Amid this atmosphere, the king was feeling a great danger, which could be explained by officer Adnan Al-Zaen's statement to Mohammad Saleh that "Bahrain is in a dangerous situation and our affairs are strained. You, as members of Al-Qaeda, can stop the Shiite advance."

The king believed that hinting at a sectarian war in Bahrain was the only option to block any internal and external notions of democratic transition, and that this option could push the Shiite-majority opposition to accept security in return for dictatorship.

He clearly says what Arab leaders everywhere are mastering: the alternative to dictatorial regimes is always chaos, and the price of democratic transition will be costly for both the seekers of democracy and the American presence in the region.

The king was playing with "Al-Qaeda" fire. Mohammad Saleh's testimony proves that the king won't hesitate to play with the fire of terrorist organizations when needed, and will not hesitate, as well, to build security apparatuses with an extremist combat doctrine even if it yields dozens ISIS and Al-Qaeda militants.


Arabic Version