Tag Archives: United Arab Emirates

How Abu Dhabi Police Took Down American Teacher’s Accused Killer

United Arab Emirates police released a remarkable video that shows how a suspect in an American woman’s stabbing death arrived at the mall where the crime took place, and later planted a bomb at the home of an American doctor, before fleeing in a white SUV. The video also follows police as they raid the suspect’s home and arrest her. The suspect, covered from head to toe in a black abayah, was caught on multiple surveillance tapes. The clip was posted on the Abu Dhabi police department’s YouTube page. Here’s how it all happened: The suspect, whose face is covered, enters the Abu Dhabi shopping mall and takes the elevator.

After allegedly stabbing Ibolya Ryan, a kindergarten teacher from Colorado, the suspect flees the building. The tape shows blood splattered on the floor at the scene of the stabbing, and a large, bloodied kitchen knife.

The culprit, still in her abayah, arrives at an apartment building with a rolling suitcase.

The suspect planted a makeshift bomb at the home of another victim, an American doctor, police said.

The accused killer then got into a white SUV whose plates are covered by a United Arab Emirates flag.

Police later dismantled the explosive device:

The clip shows police ambushing a mansion, where they arrest a woman they say is the suspect.

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Erdogan in no position to give lessons on democracy: Egypt

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Egypt has responded to Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s latest swipe at the Egyptian government, saying that the Turkish president has continued a “series of exaggeration and lies” about Egypt.

In his keynote address to the World Economic Forum in Istanbul on Sunday evening, Erdogan once again questioned the legitimacy of the Egyptian government. The recently elected Turkish president said: “We see that in one country where the will of the people manifested itself, those who are elected with a vote of 52% are toppled by one of the ministers in the cabinet,” in reference to the ouster of former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi. He added: “That coup is legitimised by the international community.”

The Egyptian foreign ministry responded to Erdogan’s comments on Monday saying that he is “not in a position to give lessons to others about democracy and respect for human rights and appoint himself the guardian of them”.

Erdogan has been highly critical of events in Egypt since the military-backed ouster of Morsi in July 2013, publically labelling it a coup on several occasions and raising his concerns with United States President Barack Obama. Then defence minister Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi announced Morsi’s removal following mass protests calling for the Islamist president to call for early elections. Al-Sisi won a landslide victory to become president of Egypt in June.

The ministry statement discusses “the reality of things in Turkey”, pointing out that Erdogan “did not hesitate to change the political system… and change the Turkish constitution in order to continue in power for ten years to come”. The ministry said that this “cannot be described as the behaviour of democrats”.

The statement continued to describe “restrictions of freedom of opinion of expression and assembly and the use of force in dealing with political activists and peaceful demonstrators”. The ministry emphasised Erdogan’s decision to block access to social media website Twitter in Turkey last year during anti-government protests, describing it as “blatant defiance of the most elementary rules of respect for freedom of opinion”.

The Egyptian ministry also pointed out restrictions on media in Turkey, “discrimination against Kurds, frequent intervention in the work of the judiciary” and the detention of “citizens without charge for long periods of time”.

Erdogan’s comments “reflects the perspective of Mr Erdogan’s narrow ideological orientations, which is linked to intellectual and personal ambitions and illusions of the restoration of the Ottoman Empire”, according to the Egyptian ministry.

This is the second time in less than a week that Erdogan has commented on Egypt, prompting a reaction from the foreign ministry. The first incident occurred at the United Nations General Assembly, where he also questioned the legitimacy of the Egyptian government. On Sunday evening Erdogan asked the World Economic forum: “Is the UN the place where people who plot coups speak?”

Erdogan’s comments at the UN last Thursday have been condemned as interference in Egypt’s internal affairs by the United Arab Emirates and the Secretary General of the Arab League.

Egypt and Turkey downgraded diplomatic ties last November with both countries, expelling the other’s ambassador labelling them “persona non-grata” following another outburst of criticism from Erdogan.

Chinese firm to reward 16,000 with UAE vacation

The company has booked 39,514 rooms in 40 hotels and 409 tourist guides

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Dubai: In what is considered to be one of the biggest vacations organised by a company for its staff in history, a Chinese company will transport more than 16,000 of its employees on a 10-day trip to the UAE, CNN Arabic news channel reported.

The company will begin transferring its staff in seven batches, starting from Sunday until April 17. The company’s offices represented in the trip are from China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, the news channel reported.

Each batch will include at least 2,000 people. They will be brought in on 77 flights, including two chartered trips organised by Emirates. The cost according to UAE and Chinese media will be “hundreds of millions of dollars,” CNN Arabic said.

The company has booked 39,514 rooms in 40 hotels and 409 tourist guides. According to officials the company also booked the “Ferrari World” nightclub for three days, and dinner parties on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi for 8,000 people.

 The company Nu Skin, specialising in beauty products, said it wants to reward its employees, especially sales staff for their performance by sponsoring their visit to Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah.

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Arab Analysts: Egypt at Top of Agenda for Obama Saudi Arabia Trip

Middle East Institute Scholar Mohamed Elmenshawy on Tuesday published an extensive analysis of the psychological and geopolitical role played by the Egyptian army in the Arab world, amid increasing coverage and analysis in the Arab world regarding President Barack Obama’s potentially pivotal upcoming visit to Saudi Arabia.

Obama will soon go to meet Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah in Riyadh at a time when bilateral relations are very tense because of nuclear talks with Iran that could lead to improved relations between Tehran and the West. They also differ on the Syrian crisis especially after Washington refused to use force despite reports of the Syrian regime iusing chemical weapons against its opponents. But the real cleft between the two began earlier because of their opposing positions on the January 25 Revolution and this has not been addressed until today. Accordingly, Egypt will be high on the agenda of summit talks between Obama and King Abdullah.

The visit comes at a time of unprecedented public strain between Washington and its traditional Gulf allies, and earlier this week the Daily Beast revealed that relations between the United States and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) were in an unprecedented crisis. Gulf nations are known to be livid with the administration over its handling of Egyptian political turmoil, which they believe the White House has irresponsibly stoked without regard for the risks presented by populist Islamist movements.

Elmenshawy’s analysis – published in Ahram Online under the headline “Egypt, the wound in US-Saudi relations” – quoted one Gulf diplomat as explaining that Cairo is looked to as the source of “tens of thousands of soldiers if needed” to help repulse threats to Arab countries.

“If we ever face such a terrible day as Kuwait did at the hands of Saddam Hussein’s Iraq in 1990, we all know there are only two armies that can truly help us, including sending tens of thousands of soldiers if needed. They are the US and the Egyptian armies.”

via Arab Analysts: Egypt at Top of Agenda for Obama Saudi Arabia Trip – The Tower – The Tower.

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Egypt’s army chief Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi lands in UAE for joint military exercises

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Egypt’s army chief Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan review the honor guard upon Sisi’s arrival to Abu Dhabi March 11, 2014. (Reuters)

Egypt’s army chief Field Marsha Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi arrived in the UAE capital Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.

Sisi is scheduled to attend the conclusion of a joint military exercise (Zayed-1) held by the UAE and Egyptian Armed Forces. After his arrival in Abu Dhabi Sisi was met by UAE deputy army chief Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan.

The two men noted the “fraternal and solid relations linking the two countries and their peoples,” and their wish to “consolidate bilateral cooperation,” the WAM news agency reported, without giving details on Sisi’s plans or the length of his stay.

The Emirates have given Egypt $4.9 billion in financial aid since Mursi’s ouster, as well as deposited $2 billion in the Egyptian central bank, interest free.

Last week, the UAE joined Saudi Arabia and Bahrain in recalling their ambassadors from fellow Gulf Cooperation Council member Qatar over its support for Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood.

As a sign of support for the military-installed government in Cairo, the UAE’s Arabtec contractor signed a memorandum of understanding Sunday to develop a $40 billion project to build one million housing units in Egypt.

The signing came ahead of an expected announcement by Sisi that he will run in elections to replace Mursi, a vote he is widely expected to win.

Sisi has emerged as the most popular political figure in Egypt following Mursi’s troubled year-long rule, with many viewing him as a strong leader who can restore stability after three years of unrest unleashed by the 2011 revolt that toppled Hosni Mubarak.

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UAE labeled Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization

EGYPT-POLITICS-UNREST-TRIAL

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has labeled Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization– following the example of neighboring Saudi Arabia.

The United Arab Emirates has thrown its support behind neighboring Saudi Arabia’s decision to label the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization, increasing Gulf Arab pressure on the Islamist group.

Saudi Arabia  on Friday listed the 86-year-old Brotherhood along with several other groups, including Al Qaeda affiliates, as terrorist organizations on Friday. Those who join or support the groups could face five to 30 years in prison under the new Saudi policy.

The Gulf moves against the Brotherhood follow an Egyptian decision to label it a terrorist organization in December.

Cairo based its accusation mainly on a series of deadly bomb attacks that it says the Brotherhood orchestrated. The Brotherhood denies the accusations. Egyptian authorities have produced little evidence showing a direct Brotherhood link that is open to public scrutiny, and most of the attacks have been claimed by a Sinai-based militant group.

The Western-allied UAE, a seven-state federation that includes the cosmopolitan business hub of Dubai, said it will cooperate with Saudi Arabia to tackle “those terrorist groups through liquidating all forms of material and moral support.”

“The significant step taken by (Saudi Arabia) in this critical moment requires concerted efforts and joint collective work to address the security and stability challenges that threaten the destiny of the Arab and Muslim nation,” the UAE said in a statement carried by official news agency WAM late Saturday.

The Saudi terrorist designation also blacklisted Al Qaeda’s branch in Yemen and its former affiliate in Iraq, the Syrian al-Nusra Front, Hezbollah within the kingdom and Yemen’s Shiite Hawthis.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE, the two largest Arab economies, have increasingly clamped down on the Brotherhood in the wake of the Arab Spring uprisings.

They along with the tiny kingdom of Bahrain last week withdrew their ambassadors from nearby Qatar to protest what they saw as its failure to uphold a deal to stop interfering in other nations’ politics and supporting organizations that threaten the Gulf’s stability. Analysts say the move in large part reflects Qatar’s support for the Brotherhood and its supporters.

The Emirates has jailed dozens of people allegedly linked to Brotherhood-affiliated groups on state security charges over the past year. It accuses Islamist groups of trying to topple its Western-backed ruling system.

The nation’s top court last week sentenced a Qatari doctor to seven years and two Emiratis to five years in prison for collaborating with an illegal Islamist group. The same court in January convicted 30 men, most of them Egyptian, of setting up an illegal Brotherhood branch in the UAE. They received prison terms ranging from three months to five years.

Another 69 people were last year sentenced to up to 15 years behind bars after being convicted of links to Al-Islah, an Islamist group suspected of ideological ties to the Brotherhood.

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Saudi Arabia declares Muslim Brotherhood ‘terrorist group’

King Abdullah

King Abdullah

Saudi Arabia has formally designated the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organisation.

An interior ministry statement also classified two jihadist groups fighting with the Syrian rebels – the Nusra Front and the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant – as terrorist groups.

The statement gave Saudis fighting in Syria 15 days to return.

A royal decree issued last month said any citizen found guilty of fighting in conflicts abroad faced a jail sentence.

Hundreds of Saudis are believed to be fighting in Syria, and correspondents say Riyadh fears they could pose a security risk when they return home.

Although the kingdom has supported the Sunni-led rebels fighting to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, it has long feared a backlash from radical jihadist groups.

Last month, King Abdullah decreed jail terms of up to 20 years for anyone belonging to “terrorist groups” or fighting abroad. The new law also promised tough sanctions for anyone backing the incriminated organisations.

However, rights group Amnesty International has criticised the legislation, saying it could be used to suppress peaceful political dissent.

Earlier this week, Saudi Arabia joined the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain in withdrawing its ambassadors from Qatar, which it sees as an important supporter of the Brotherhood.

The Muslim Brotherhood is already banned in Saudi Arabia, which has long viewed its ideology of populist Islam as a threat.

Analysts say the Brotherhood’s conservative Sunni doctrines are seen as a challenge to the Saudi principle of dynastic rule.

In Egypt, the Brotherhood has been driven underground since the army deposed President Mohammed Morsi, a longtime member of the group.

The military-backed government in Cairo designated the Brotherhood a terrorist group in December.

via BBC News – Saudi Arabia declares Muslim Brotherhood ‘terrorist group’.

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Breaking News – UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain recall their ambassadors from Qatar

Saudi, Bahrain, UAE recall envoys to Qatar.

Saudi, Bahrain, UAE recall envoys to Qatar.

In a shock move, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates on Wednesday recalled their envoys to Qatar.

The three countries said the move was taken to “to protect their security and stability,” a Saudi Press Agency statement said.

The trio also said that Qatar had not “committed to the principles” of the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), and said “Qatar has to take the appropriate steps to ensure the security of the GCC states.”

They made the decision following what Gulf media described as a “stormy” late Tuesday meeting of foreign ministers from the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council in Riyadh, according to Agence France-Presse.

Security and stability ‘threat’

GCC countries “have exerted massive efforts to contact Qatar on all levels to agree on a unified policy… to ensure non-interference, directly or indirectly, in the internal affairs of any member state,” the statement said.

The nations have also asked Qatar, a backer of the Muslim Brotherhood movement that is banned in most Gulf states, “not to support any party aiming to threaten security and stability of any GCC member,” it added, citing media campaigns against them in particular.

The statement stressed that despite the commitment of Qatar’s emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani to these principles during a mini-summit held in Riyadh in November with Kuwait’s emir and the Saudi monarch, his country has failed to comply.

A security agreement signed last year by the GCC focused on cooperation in the exchange of information and tracking down of criminals and those who violate the law.

Frayed ties

Earlier on Wednesday, a Qatar rights body said it will pursue the release of a citizen who was jailed seven years over links to an Islamist group in an “unfair” UAE ruling, local media reported.

The move came a month after Abu Dhabi summoned the Qatari ambassador to the UAE, Faris al-Nuaimi on Sunday, and gave him a memorandum protesting statements made by the Doha-based religious cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi against the Gulf state.

In recent months, the UAE also jailed a group of 30 Emiratis and Egyptians to terms ranging from three months to five years for forming a Muslim Brotherhood cell.

The Brotherhood is banned in much of the region, and the UAE, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia pledged billions of dollars in aid to Egypt after the overthrow of Islamist Egyptian President Mohammad Mursi, who hails from the Islamist organization.

New Year’s celebrations from Burj Khalifa – Dubai

DUBAI (AFP) – Dubai kicked off New Year with a dazzling bid for a new world record to cap those the Gulf city state already holds for its mammoth property developments.

The glittering fireworks display spanned over 100 kilometres of the Dubai coast, which boasts an archipelago of man-made islands and Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest tower.

Emitari officials were hoping the pyrotechnics would land them the Guinness World Record, beating nearby Kuwait which currently hold the mark, set in 2011, with an epic hour-long show of 77,282 fireworks.

The main displays were based at the luxurious Atlantis hotel and at Palm Jumeirah, one of three palm-shaped islands.

Egypt & Russia: Cold War Alliances Revived

2russia-biggest-deal-egypt.siEgyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy (R) and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov give a press conference on November 14, 2013 in the Egyptian capital, Cairo.U.S. support for the Muslim Brotherhood and the nuclear deal with Iran is propelling the Arab world into the arms of Russia. The Egyptian government, formerly a U.S. ally, will buy $2 billion in arms from Russia, signaling a strategic realignment in the Middle East that leaves Putin in control.

Egypt’s open embrace of Russia started immediately after the Obama Administration suspended some military aid to the Egyptian government in response to the overthrow of President Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood. While American aid continued unabated after the Islamists took over, it was cut after they were overthrown.

Support for America and President Obama in particular collapsed in Egypt in response. Only a single percent of Egyptians have confidence in the U.S. and three percent have confidence in Obama. The U.S. support for the Brotherhood has made it a casualty of the regional backlash against the Muslim Brotherhood.

Saudi Arabia is embarking on a similar course. Saudi officials now openly talk to reporters about how their country will be more independent in reaction to U.S. policy. Reports about the acquisition of Pakistani nuclear weapons are met with non-denials. The Saudis offered Russia a strategic alliance and major oil partnership if Putin abandons the Assad regime.

“We’ve seen several red lines put forward by the president [Obama], which went along and became pinkish as time grew, and eventually ended up completely white,” said Prince Turki al-Faisal, the former director of Saudi intelligence.

The Royal Family of Bahrain, a foe of Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood, feels the same way. Crown Prince al-Khalifa recently said, “America seems to suffer from schizophrenia when it deals with the Arab world.”

He compared the U.S. unfavorably to Russia; a shocking assessment considering Bahrain’s hostility to Putin.

“The Russians have proved that they are reliable friends,” he explained.

This trend didn’t start after the Arab Spring brought the Muslim Brotherhood to the forefront. It started shortly after President Obama took the oath of office. By June 2010, Egyptian and Jordanian officials were privately fretting about American diplomacy, specifically how the administration was reaching out to Syria.

“Only if you’re tough with America and adopt an anti-U.S. stance will the U.S. have a more flexible attitude and pay you,” an Egyptian official anonymously stated.

Similarly, a Jordanian official said the U.S. “sold out the Christians and Druze in Lebanon, sold out the Kurds in Iraq and abandoned the Hariri probe,” referring to the investigation into the assassination of Lebanon’s former Prime Minister. Syria, Iran and Hezbollah are widely thought to be the perpetrators.

It is mostly forgotten that the Iraqi government was confronting the Syrian regime (and therefore, Iran) back in 2009. The Iraqis were threatening retaliation for Syrian support of terrorism, releasing incriminating intelligence proving Syria’s complicity and trying to rally international support for a U.N. tribunal to prosecute terrorism-supporting Syrian officials.

When the Iraqi government asked for U.S. backing, the administration declared it would not get involved and that Iraq and Syria should solve their differences diplomatically. An Iraqi official claimed that the U.S. privately fought Iraq’s plans for a tribunal. Iraq is now in Iran’s orbit and is an ally of Bashar Assad.

This is great news for Vladimir Putin, who said in 2005 that “The collapse of the Soviet Union was the biggest geopolitical catastrophe of the century.”

“Today, Russia is returning to a number of regions lost during the 1990s,” Mikhail Margelov, chairman of Russia’s Foreign Affairs Committee, proudly stated when talking about the arms deal with Egypt.

Similar statements are coming from the Egyptian side.

“We want to give a new impetus to our relations and return them to the same high level that used to exist with the Soviet Union,” Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy said.

The Middle East is now divided into three alliances.

The first alliance is Turkey, the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, Qatar and Tunisia. The Obama Administration is most favorable to this one, going so far as to use taxpayer money to spread Turkish and Qatari Islamism.

The second alliance is Iran, Hezbollah and Iraq. The administration is trying to build a better relationship with this bloc.

The third alliance is Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Kuwait. The Gulf country of Oman is trying to stay out of the confrontation with Iran. This bloc is the one most favorable to Israel and the one most vocally disappointed with U.S. policy.

The first two alliances are coming together against the third. Turkey and Iran want to achieve a ceasefire in Syria and their senior officials say they want to “join hands” to become the “backbone of regional stability.” Earlier this month, Hamas announced it resumed relations with Iran.

Russia is now in an ideal position where its friendship is craved by both sides in the Middle Eastern power struggle. Putin is the one with the options.  He can pick the Iranian/Turkish side, pick the Saudi/Egyptian side, or play them against each other to his benefit.

It’s an embarrassing moment in history when the Middle East would rather bring back the Soviet Union than rely on today’s United States.

Egypt & Russia: Cold War Alliances Revived | FrontPage Magazine.

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