Bahrain to ISIS: “I Love You Very Much and Know I Am Very Much involved”
2015-07-25 - 3:50 p
Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): In response to the threats made by the terrorist organization, Islamic State in Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), Bahrain decided to hold a unified prayer between the Sunnis and Shiites, and install dozens of surveillance cameras on Shiite mosques across the country. Yet, how was the situation during the past few years? It was the complete opposite. The Bahraini authorities have allowed the launching of many Gulf support campaigns for extremist Jihad in Syria, let alone the insults and threats against the Shiites.
One of the major campaigns held on the Gulf level was "Equipping Invaders" campaign which was run by a society licensed by the Bahraini authorities, which is the Salafist Al-Asala Society. It received support from government officials including security officers and officials who visited its headquarters regularly, such as Bahraini military officer Nasser Bin Khalid Al Khalifa and the Interior Ministry's Anti-narcotics Director Colonel Mubarak Bin Huwail.
Extremist preachers continued to visit Bahrain regularly until mid-2014 for the purpose of raising funds and supporting Jihad, such as Sheikh Othman Khamees, Sheikh Hajaj Al-Ajami, Sheikh Mohammed Al-Arifi, Sheikh Adnan Al-Aroor, Sheikh Saleh Al-Fayez and others.Many of these Sheikhs were arrested in Gulf states on charges of extremism or had their Bank accounts frozen after it was proved that they were involved in supporting extremist activities. One of them, Hajaj Al-Ajami, was even added to the US blacklist.
The authorities have shown a great deal of tolerance towards the two pillars of the Jihadi movement, Sheikh Adel Hassan Al-Hamad and Turki Al-Binali. According to a statement by the Bahraini Justice Ministry, Al-Hamad committed to delivering sermons on a weekly basis at Al-Nosof Mosque in Al-Riffa, south of the Bahraini capital, Manama, until August 2014. His sermons were usually fueled with hate speech and Takfiri statements against the Shiites, Nusairis, Jews, the West and the United States. He also called on the Bahraini youths to seize the opportunity to perform Jihad in Syria. He stated in one of his sermons: "Urge people to head to Jihad, and fight the Magi of this nation, the Rafidis (Shiites) and Nusairis everywhere."
Son of Royal Court Minister, Nasser bin Khalid Al Khalifa (on the left) during his participation in one of the Jihad support campaigns (Dec, 28, 2015)
It was obvious that the ruling Bahraini family used the Sunni extremist ideology as a sectarian tool against the Shiite majority in the country demanding to have a share in governing the kingdom. At first, the possibility of having it (Sunni extremism) pose a serious threat locally was ruled out as the authorities claimed to use their capabilities to control and contain it. It wasn't long; however, before matters took another course, especially after ISIS made advances in Syria and Iraq. As for Turki Al-Binali, he enjoyed absolute freedom in working and traveling until the onset of 2014. He travelled to Libya after the downfall of the Qaddafi regime. He also travelled to Morocco to preach there and to Abyan in Yemen where he was present when the Al-Qaeda militants took over the area. He visited Syria twice as least since the eruption of the conflict there. He, then, returned to Bahrain before announcing his final travel to the "State of Caliphate" in February 2014. Although he was banned from travelling to some Arab states in the past few years, such as Tunisia, Egypt, Kuwait, UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, he still freely traveling to and from Bahrain until the onset of 2014.
Bahrain Mirror lists a number of videos and recordings about the rise of Jihadi Islam in Bahrain over the past six years, which the authorities have done nothing about until this day:
February 2009: Abdullah Al-Nafisi Brigades calls on Al-Qaeda during an address at the Al-Islah Society in Al-Muharraq to use Anthrax to kill 330 American citizens in one hour.
February 2012: Bahraini preacher Hassan Al-Hussaini delivers video-recorded speech in the name of Bahraini clerics addressing the Sunnis youths, saying: "Whoever is able to fight in Sham (Syria), should do so."
August 2012: Leader of Salafist Suqour al-Sham Brigade, Abu Issa Al-Shiekh, announces that members of Al-Asala society in Bahrain made donations to equipp 85 invaders in the "Al-Zawiya Mount" area.
August 2012: Former Salafist Member of Bahraini Parliament and member of Al-Asala Society, Sheikh Adel Al-Moawada, talks in a gathering in Hamad city about how he snuck into Syria and met with Jihadists.
September 2012: Turki Al-Binali makes a statement amongst demonstrators holding Al-Qaeda flags outside the US Embassy in Manama, saying: "Claiming to criticize what the Americans are doing to insult the Prophet and then not adhering to his (Prophet's) rule of law (Sharia), isn't right," and then demonstrators chanted: Obama, Obama...We are all Osama."
April 2013: Salafist Saif Al-Bahr militant group fighting in Syria's Daraya announces that it received financial support from Sheikh Kamal Al-Dsouki, Bader Saud and Issa Fares from Al-Zalaq area in Bahrain.
April 2013: Salafist Al-Zubair Bin Al-Awwam Brigade fighting in Al-Mojawada area says that it received 600 thousand Syrian Pounds (about 6,000 USD) from a former Salafist Bahraini MP, Sheikh Jasem Al-Saidi.
May 2013: Preacher of Al-Nosof Mosque in Al-Riffa, Sheikh Adel Hassan Al-Hamad states that his son Abdulrahman Al-Hamad who was killed during a battle in Syria "built arms warehouses and received some training in Bahrain."
June 2013: Salafist "Sayeda Aisha" Brigade in the Damascus countryside announces that it received 8,000 USD from a former Salafist Bahraini MP, Sheikh Jasem Al-Saidi.
August 2012: Al-Asala Society member, Faisal Al-Gharir says in a sermon he delivered in Shaikhan Farisi Mosque in Al-Riffa that he equipped 1640 militants and that the money he raised "made great victories in Sham like downing jets and many other things that cannot be disclosed."
August 2012: Salafist preacher, Sheikh Salah Al-Fayez states during a support rally in Hamad city that "the Americans are frightened of bearded men but we will fight and establish an Islamic state in Syria whether the pigs and infidels of the US, EU and Iran like it or not (...) There are neither shrines here nor Shiites anymore. Either we or they die. Syria will be cleansed from the Bataninans and we will not live with them."
January 2013: Turki Al-Binali welcomes preacher Hajaj Al-Ajami in his house in Al-Busaiteen as part of a fundraiser for foreign militants in Syria.
March 2013: Turki Al-Binali sings song in a gathering in Al-Busaiteen in Al-Muharraq: "I send my greetings to Al-Nusra who shall defeat the infidels. Its leader is Julani, I offer him my melody. O my front carry on, you have all my respect."
May 2013: Sheikh Adel Al-Hamad calls on the youth in a speech of his delivered at Al-Nosof Mosque in Al-Riffa "to seize the opportunity of summer time and head to Jihad in the blessed land," considering that "Syria is the cause of the Islamic nation," and that "fighting there is Jihad for the sake of Allah."
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