Key Role in Combating Terrorism

  • 30 April 2016

Anti-terrorism cooperation is a priority for the Arab states of the Gulf which are all aware of the scale of the danger posed by terrorist groups to its security and stability. This was clearly expressed by the interior ministers of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf at the end of their 17th consultation meeting, held in Riyadh last Wednesday, where they reaffirmed their commitment to combating terrorist groups that jeopardize regional peace and security. They also lauded Saudi Arabia’s initiative to form an Islamic coalition against Da’esh terrorist organization.

Some countries in the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf were stricken by cowardly attacks aiming at undermining the peace, stability and national cohesion. One of these attacks was perpetrated last year by Da’esh against the Sadiq mosque, which is frequented by Shia in the Sawabir area in Kuwait, leaving dozens killed and wounded. The same terrorist organization hit several Shia mosques in eastern Saudi Arabia in an attempt to stir sectarian strife and tensions in the region. Bahrain endured several terrorist attacks during the last two years targeting the police. Bahraini authorities also busted several dormant terrorist cells possessing large amounts of explosives that were intended to be detonated in terrorist acts in several areas in the Kingdom. Investigations showed that these cells are acting upon a foreign agenda.

Therefore the GCC are set to combat terrorism whatever the group that perpetrates it. The GCC countries have engaged in efforts to counter this threat, the latest of which is the campaign against AlQaida in Yemen last week which was launched by government forces backed by the Arab Coalition. The UAE special forces took part in the operation along with those of Saudi Arabia. This operation is the largest campaign to crackdown on Al-Qaida since the launch of the Decisive storm operation in March 2015. So far, Al-Qaida was ousted of Al Mukalla which used to be a stronghold for the terrorist organization in south eastern Yemen. This operation also dealt a heavy blow not only to Al-Qaida, but also to other terrorist organization that were using the chaos prevailing in some southern Yemeni cities to fester.

The GCC countries also take part in international efforts to combat Da’esh in Iraq and Syria as well as in the Islamic Coalition set up by Saudi Arabia last December to counter all forms of terrorism whatever its motives through intellectual, media, financial and military initiatives.

The GCC countries took a series of initiatives to counter extremism and terrorism at the financial, security, military and cultural levels. In this regards, the experience of the UAE has become a model to follow because it was based by a comprehensive approach to counter the plague of terrorism by involving social, political, economic, religious and intellectual components. The UAE spares no effort to spread the values of moderation, coexistence and openness as well as other values that bar the road to advocates of extremism and excommunication. Thanks to this farsighted approach, the UAE efforts gained credibility and appreciation enabling the country to stand as an active and influential player in the fight against terrorism and extremism.