AlJazeera: Al-Qaeda`s Members Recruited by Bahrain; Iran and U.S. Weapons in the Gulf

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Al Jazeera: Bahrain recruited Al-Qaeda terrorist to assassinate dissidents

Senior members of the Al-Qaeda terrorist group were recruited by Bahrain in a secret plot to assassinate heads of opposition groups, prominent dissidents and activists, according to a sensational documentary aired by Al Jazeera’s Arabic-language news channel, MEMO reported.

Titled “Playing with fire”, the 52-minute documentary exposed recordings and communications between Bahraini intelligence and Al-Qaeda members to form a secret cell on the authorisation of the King of Bahrain, Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa.

The documentary claimed that King Hamad had personally intervened to ensure the plots success by having one of the Al-Qaeda commanders, Mohammed Saleh, released when he was imprisoned in Saudi Arabia.

Iran was amongst the targets. The documentary found that officers from Bahraini intelligence met with Al-Qaeda linked terrorist groups based in Iran’s south-eastern province of Baluchistan, to co-ordinate operations within the Islamic Republic.

Saleh, head of Al-Qaeda in Bahrain is seen confessing that he met officials in the National Security Agency who asked him to lead a cell to assassinate Shia dissidents in 2003. Saleh said he made calls with leaders in the organisation in Saudi Arabia to provide arms to execute the plan.

Bahrain, which has strongly backed the Gulf coalition boycotting Qatar claiming, amongst other things, that Doha supports terrorists organisations, has denied the allegations made in the documentary.

Iran hits back at US demands on ballistic missiles

Iran hit back at US President Donald Trump’s call for new nuclear negotiations that encompass its ballistic missiles programme, accusing Washington of bringing the Middle East to the brink of “explosion” by selling arms to allies in the Gulf, AlJazeera reported.

Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister, made the comments in a wide-ranging interview that aired on NBC News on Monday.

He said Iran would only sit down with the United States if it lifted punishing economic sanctions it has imposed on Tehran and rejoined the 2015 nuclear deal it abandoned last year.

Trump pulled the US out of the landmark multilateral accord saying he wanted to negotiate a new deal that also addressed Iran’s ballistic missiles programme and support for armed groups in the region.

Zarif, who is in New York City on a visit to the United Nations, told NBC it was the US and its allies – Saudia Arabia and the United Arab Emirates – who were to blame for turmoil in the Middle East.

“If you want to discuss ballistic missiles, then we need to discuss the amount of weapons sold to our region,” he said.

“Last year, Iran spent $16bn altogether on its military, we have a 82 million population. UAE with a million population spent $22bn. Saudi Arabia – with less than half of [Iran’s] population – spent $67bn, most of them are American [arms].

“These are American weaponry that is going into our region, making our region ready to explode. So if they want to talk about our missiles, they need first to stop selling all these weapons including missiles to our region.”

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Source: MEMO, AlJazeera