ABU DHABI 19 August 2017: Doha has become a training hub to undermine the UAE’s security and stability, revealed a new episode of a popular documentary that was broadcast yesterday by local television channels.
The 30-minute episode of the hit documentary, “Qatar’s terrorism support files,” featured the confessions of Isa Khalifa Al Suwaidi, a former member of the Muslim Brotherhood, who was a senior member of the organisation’s “Majlis Shura Al Jama’a,” or the advisory board.
Al Suwaidi spoke in detail about Doha’s support for questionable organisations with direct and indirect links to international groups that are active in training youths, including Emiratis, to destabilise security in their respective countries.
The documentary also showed a video of a fugitive Emirati member of the secret organisation while addressing a training course to incite the trainees to act against the UAE and its symbols, and who called for “changing the regime in the UAE, or toppling it.”
Al Suwaidi affirmed that it was no coincidence that the group’s members who fled from the UAE are in Doha.
“Their escape was made under an emergency plan. Some of the fugitives settled there while others were provided safe passage to move to other countries, despite the expiry of their passports,” he added.
Al Suwaidi referred to the Qatari national, Mahmoud Al Jeeda, who acted as the Qatari government’s liaison in providing financial and moral support to the fugitives in Doha. He dismissed Al Jeeda’s claims that he was tortured while serving his sentence in the UAE, adding that he received excellent treatment, and was allowed to call his family and meet with the Qatari Ambassador to the UAE.
Al Jeeda was found guilty in the secret organisation case and was sentenced to seven years imprisonment and deportation after serving his term. He was later pardoned and released, but after arriving in Doha, he alleged that he was ill-treated and was denied visits by his relatives.
Al Suwaidi, who is serving a 10-year jail sentence after the secret organisation case, also detailed his journey with the terrorist group.
“The beginning was in 1989, when I made Bai’aa, or the pledge of allegiance to the organisation, and the fall continued until I became a member of the advisory board. The organisation’s operations are highly secretive, and it has a structure that cascades into committees for educational, social, media, women’s and youth affairs,” he said.
He also revealed that the organisation’s budget came from membership subscriptions, donations and grants, as well as investments in property and stocks, adding that its largest front in the UAE was the now-disbanded Al Islah Society.
Al Suwaidi added the organisation has worked on attracting all segments of the community, with a particular focus on tribal dignitaries, businessmen and the children of senior officials.
He cited education as a cornerstone of the organisation’s philosophy to control the minds of the youth, to draw them into the terrorist group. In this context, he referred to the “Al Jazeera School,” which was owned at that time by Hamad bin Jassem, Former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Qatar, and was once visited by the then Israeli Prime Minister.
He revealed that his own residence in Qatar was used a venue for a meeting between the Qatari terrorist group and the Emirati secret terrorist group, under the alleged umbrella of “Gulf co-ordination.”
He also noted that like other brotherhood organisations, the group in the UAE has operated under heavy secrecy and discipline and a strict hierarchy. The group had an executive bureau, an advisory board and committees working on educational, social, media, women’s and youth affairs.
Al Suwaidi stated that he continued working for the group until his arrest and trial.
“The group rode the wave of the ‘Arab Spring’ in some Arab countries and became more vocal about their ideology. Many of them resorted to social media and suddenly, everyone started to write and tweet uncontrollably,” he added.
Al Suwaidi stated that many of his former “brothers” have made irresponsible and unacceptable statements about the symbols of the state in the UAE.
“That was part of a plan by the media and electronic committees within the organisation. This was also aided by contact with some advocacy groups from around the world, facilitated by certain people who live abroad. That act signalled the start of the interference in our local affairs,” he added.
“Like most of the organisation’s members, I received a 10-year prison sentence and I have already served five. It is a normal situation, and I find it bizarre when some people talk about ill-treatment, torture, beatings and abuse. That is not true. I was treated decently. In fact, I received medical treatment inside the prison, and I was once referred to a specialist hospital outside the prison and received medical treatment like other citizens. The prison food was also perfect in terms of quality, nutrition and hygiene. I do not know where this talk about bad services is coming from,” he further added.
He also dismissed reports about the authorities denying him visits by his relatives. “Any talk about depriving me of seeing my relatives or suffering torture is a sheer lie. I spent five years here and have never been exposed to such things,” Al Suwaifi stressed.
Al Suwaidi added that he and Al Jeeda spent around two years in the same prison.
“He received the same services, including cleaning, phone calls and regular visits by relatives. In fact, he was more privileged as he was visited in prison by the Ambassador of Qatar. I think this proves that all the allegations about ill-treatment are untrue,” he further added.
Alleys of Darkness
Al Suwaidi continued his account of the journey, which led to him “sinking in the alleys of darkness,” stating that two years before his arrest, he had moved to Qatar and worked as a supervisor of a private school.
“It is known that Muslim Brotherhood members have a special interest in education because they believe that schools are the perfect incubators for spreading their ideology among the youth, leading to their membership in the organisation when they grow up,” he added.
On the secret meeting held in his residence, he noted, “While in Qatar, I received a call from one of those convicted in the secret organisation case. He asked me to lend them my residence and I gave him the keys. Later, I learned that the reason was to use my residence as a venue for a meeting between the Qatari and Emirati brotherhood groups. I was not really surprised, because I know that the two groups have strong ties, under the ‘Gulf Co-ordination’ umbrella.”
“I came back to the UAE just three months before my arrest while other key members of the secret group started to leave, either to Qatar or other countries via Doha. Their escape was no coincidence, it was based on an emergency plan. A group like the Muslim Brotherhood will always have plans and alternatives when its leaders are arrested,” Al Suwaidi continued.
“They fled to Qatar where they received financial and moral support, including safe passage to other countries such as Turkey or the United Kingdom. What confirms Doha’s support for them is that some of them had expired passports, and there is no way that they could leave the country without assistance at the state level,” he added.
He stressed that after fleeing to Qatar, the Qatari group assisted the members of the Emirati organisation to settle there. Mahmoud Al Jeeda was in-charge of obtaining cash from the UAE for the fleeing members, he said in conclusion.
On Doha’s harbouring of questionable organisations, he said, “Doha hosts several NGOs with direct or indirect relations with international groups. The main goals of these NGOs are to provide training to young people, to prepare them to create the ‘change’ in their respective countries. The Muslim Brotherhood groups, including the Emirati groups that fled to Qatar, attended training courses there, to create chaos and destabilise their countries.”
He stressed that the courses were not only limited to men, but they also included many women, including Alaa Siddiq, who attended courses on “changing the regime in the UAE.”
The documentary showed video excerpts of Alaa Siddiq, who is a member of the secret group that fled to Qatar, while speaking at a training course about the need to realise what she called, “the concept of planting change in people’s minds, then persuading them about changing or toppling the regime.”
In addition to financial and moral support, Al Suwaidi noted that Doha has also provided support in the form of the media, with Al Jazeera TV as its platform to promote their ideas.
“In my opinion, this qualifies as open instigation, because it is known to everyone that Al Jazeera plays a subversive role, by hosting questionable people and wanted terrorists. Al Jazeera’s role was obvious during the Arab Spring revolutions. Al Jazeera also hosts many extremist clerics, who advocate destruction in some countries. It constantly hosts Yusuf Al Qaradawi, whose statement about the UAE had offended me,” Al Suwaidi said.
He also warned about the controversial fatwahs, or religious edicts, reported in Al Jazeera, including one that permits suicide bombings and killing others.
“Imagine if such talk was accepted by an illiterate and ignorant person. He might even kill his own father or mother. This is a dangerous statement, and even worse, it is made through the media and circulated in social media and mobile phones,” he added.
He also talked about the “islamonline” website, run by Jassem Sultan, one of the Muslim Brotherhood leaders in Qatar, which he described as a portal with considerable potential for misinformation.
He also expressed his resentment of the negative media campaign against the UAE.
“What is the purpose of these campaigns, and how can someone insult a country that has treated Qatar with brotherly love and benevolence. Even Qataris themselves cannot deny the great political, moral and financial support given by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan to Qatar. But instead of expressing their gratitude, they are trying to defame the UAE and the late Sheikh Zayed, who spent his life trying to unify the Arab ranks. I am shocked by this amount of slander against the UAE by Qatar’s government media and websites,” Al Suwaidi stressed.
On the confessions made by the Qatari intelligence officer, Hamad Ali Al Hammadi, aka Bu Askoor, that Qatari intelligence had created online accounts to defame the UAE and its symbols, including the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Al Suwaidi expressed his hope that Doha will stop these actions.
“I could never believe that the government agency of a friendly country would talk this way about the late Sheikh Zayed, until I saw and heard the confessions of the Qatari officer,” he stated.
Al Suwaidi also described the Qatari-Irani rapprochement as a “time bomb in the region.” He further said that Doha’s move to seek external help from countries such as Iran and Turkey would have a damaging effect on the Gulf Cooperation Council in the long run.
The episode ends with a message from Al Suwaidi to the Qatari government, urging them to solve the issues that they started and to work towards resolving the crisis before it escalates.
Al Suwaidi is a former member of the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist organisation in the UAE. He holds a Bachelor degree from the United States and a Masters degree from the United Kingdom in Education.
He served in the education sector in the UAE for nine years before establishing his private business. He then joined the Arab Company for Educational Development and left to work in Qatar in 2009.
Al Suwaidi joined the terrorist group in 1989 and pledged his allegiance to the organisation. He advanced up the organisation’s hierarchy, to become a member of its elite advisory board.
By Eudore R. Chand