UAE casts global net with anti-Islamist 'terror list'
November 25 2014 10:41 AM
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UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahayan
UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahayan

 

 

AFP/Dubai

The following is the list of  organisations designated as terrorist by UAE

:: The UAE Muslim Brotherhood.
::  Al-Islah (or Da'wat Al-Islah). 
:: Fatah al-Islam (Lebanon).
::  Associazione Musulmani Italiani (Association of Italian Muslims).
:: Khalaya Al-Jihad Al-Emirati (Emirati Jihadist Cells).
:: Osbat al-Ansar (the League of the Followers) in Lebanon. 
:: The Finnish Islamic Association (Suomen Islam-seurakunta).
:: Alkarama organisation.
:: Al-Qaeda in the Land of the Islamic Maghreb  (AQIM or Tanzim al-Qa idah fi Bilad al-Maghrib al-Islami).
:: The Muslim Association of Sweden (Sveriges muslimska forbund, SMF)
:: Hizb al-Ummah (The Ommah Party or Nation's Party) in the Gulf and the Arabian Peninsula
:: Ansar al-Sharia in Libya (ASL, Partisans of Islamic Law).
:: Det Islamske Forbundet i Norge (Islamic Association in Norway).
:: Al-Qaeda.
::  Ansar al-Sharia in Tunisia (AST, Partisans of Sharia) in Tunisia.
:: Islamic Relief UK.
:: Dae'sh (ISIL).
:: Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahideen (HSM) in Somalia ( Mujahideen Youth Movement)
:: The Cordoba Foundation (TCF) in Britian.
:: Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
:: Boko Haraam ( Jama'atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda'Awati Wal-Jihad) in Nigeria. 
::  Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW) of the  Global Muslim Brotherhood.
:: Jama'at Ansar al-Shari'a (Partisans of Sharia) in Yemen. 
:: Al-Mourabitoun (The Sentinels) group in Mali.
:: Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (Taliban Movement of Pakistan).
::  The Muslim Brotherhood (MB) organisation and groups. 
:: Ansar al-Dine (Defenders of the faith) movement in Mali.
::  Abu Dhar al-Ghifari Battalion in Syria.
:: Jama'a Islamia in Egypt (AKA al-Gama'at al-Islamiyya, The Islamic Group, IG). 
:: The Haqqani Network in Pakistan. 
:: Al-Tawheed Brigade (Brigade of Unity, or Monotheism) in Syria. 
:: Ansar Bait al-Maqdis (ABM, Supporters of the Holy House or Jerusalem) and now rebranded as Wilayat Sinai (Province or state in the Sinai).
:: Lashkar-e-Taiba (Soldiers, or Army of the Pure, or of the Righteous).
:: Al-Tawhid wal-Eman battalion (Battalion of Unity, or Monotheism, and Faith) in Syria.
::  Ajnad Misr (Soldiers of Egypt) group.
:: The East Turkistan Islamic Movement in Pakistan (ETIM), AKA the Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP), Turkistan Islamic Movement (TIM).
:: Katibat al-Khadra in Syria (The Green Battalion). 
::  Majlis Shura al-Mujahideen Fi Aknaf Bayt al-Maqdis (the Mujahedeen Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem, or MSC).
:: Jaish-e-Mohammed (The Army of Muhammad).
:: Abu Bakr Al Siddiq Brigade in Syria. 
:: The Houthi Movement in Yemen. 
::  Jaish-e-Mohammed (The Army of Muhammad) in Pakistan and India.
:: Talha Ibn 'Ubaid-Allah Compnay in Syria.
:: Hezbollah al-Hijaz in Saudi Arabia.
:: Al Mujahideen Al Honoud in Kashmor/ India (The Indian Mujahideen, IM).
:: Al Sarim Al Battar Brigade in Syria.
:: Hezbollah in the Gulf Cooperation Council.
::  Islamic Emirate of the Caucasus (Caucasus Emirate or Kavkaz and Chechen jidadists).
:: The Abdullah bin Mubarak Brigade in Syria. 
:: Al-Qaeda in Iran. 
:: The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU).
:: Qawafil al-Shuhada (Caravans of the Martyrs).
:: The Badr Organisation in Iraq.
:: Abu Sayyaf Organisation in the Philippines.
:: Abu Omar Brigade in Syria.
:: Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq in Iraq (The Leagues of the Righteous).
:: Council on American-Islamic Relations  (CAIR) 
:: Ahrar Shammar Brigade in Syria (Brigade of the free men of the Shammar Tribe).
:: Hezbollah Brigades in Iraq. 
:: CANVAS organisation in Belgrade, Serbia. 
:: The Sarya al-Jabal Brigade in Syria.
:: Liwa Abu al-Fadl al-Abbas in Syria.
:: The Muslim American Society (MAS).
:: Al Shahba' Brigade in Syria.
:: Liwa al-Youm al-Maw'oud in Iraq (Brigade of Judgment Day).
:: International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS).
:: Al Ka'kaa' Brigade in Syria. 
:: Liwa Ammar bin Yasser (Ammar bin Yasser Brigade).
::  Ansar al-Islam in Iraq.
:: Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe.
:: Sufyan Al Thawri Brigade.
:: Ansar al-Islam Group in Iraq (Partisans of Islam).
:: Union of Islamic Organisations of France (L'Union des Organisations Islamiques de France, UOIF).  
:: Ebad ar-Rahman Brigade (Brigade of Soldiers of Allah) in Syria.
:: Jabhat al-Nusra (Al-Nusra Front) in Syria. 
:: Muslim Association of Britain (MAB).
:: Omar Ibn al-Khattab Battalion in Syria.
:: Harakat Ahrar ash-Sham Al Islami (Islamic Movement of the Free Men of the Levant).
:: Islamic Society of Germany (Islamische Gemeinschaft Deutschland).
:: Al-Shayma' Battaltion in Syria.
:: Jaysh al-Islam in Palestine (The Army of Islam in Palestine)
:: The Islamic Society in Denmark (Det Islamiske Trossamfund, DIT).
:: Katibat al-Haqq (Brigade of the Righteous).
:  The Abdullah Azzam Brigades.
::  The League of Muslims in Belgium (La Ligue des Musulmans de Belgique, LMB)

When the United Arab Emirates released a blacklist of "terrorist groups" this month, many prominent Western charities were shocked to find themselves cited alongside Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group.

There was little surprise to see the Muslim Brotherhood topping the list, given the Gulf state's relentless efforts against the regional Islamist group.

But the inclusion of organisations such as the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Islamic Relief UK and some of the largest Muslim associations in Finland, Norway, Sweden and other European countries prompted outrage and calls from several Western governments for an explanation.

By casting its net so far and so wide, experts say, the UAE is pushing its view that the fight against militant Islamism is as much an ideological war as a conventional one.

The real target of the list, said Frederic Wehrey, a Gulf expert at the US-based Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, is "politically active Islamism".

"(The UAE) is trying to include non-violent, Brotherhood-affiliated groups in the same ideological constellation as real terrorist groups like (Nigeria's) Boko Haram and Al-Qaeda," he said.

The wealthy Gulf state, which boasts an open society that brings together millions of foreigners of 200 nationalities, at first seems an odd choice to lead the charge against political Islam.

 

- Longer blacklist than US -

The UAE has never been targeted by attacks and has not seen the kind of populist protests that have shaken other countries in the region.

The country's vastly rich leaders see a real threat to their rule however from the Muslim Brotherhood, a grassroots group that was formed in Egypt in 1928 and has expanded across the region.

"I think the criteria (for the list) has been to look at anything that could have even a remote link to the Muslim Brotherhood," said Andrew Hammond, a senior policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations' Middle East and North Africa programme.

The UAE has pushed hard against the Brotherhood in recent years, jailing dozens of members.

It has also used its increasing military power against Islamist insurgencies, bombing militant positions in Libya and joining the US-led coalition carrying out air strikes against Islamic State jihadists in Syria and Iraq.

Mustafa Alani, a security expert from the Geneva-based Gulf Research Centre, said the UAE may not be facing any "imminent or potential threat", but is increasingly worried by "the situation across the region and security developments in Syria and Iraq".

The UAE blacklist was released on November 15 and included 83 groups, far outnumbering Saudi Arabia's list of nine and even the US list of 59 designated "Foreign Terrorist Organisations".

There were several interesting omissions, including Lebanon's powerful Iran-backed Hezbollah militant group and the Palestinian Hamas movement running Gaza.

But it was the inclusions that sparked debate.

CAIR, the most prominent Muslim civil liberties group in the United States, described its listing as "shocking and bizarre", pointing to its "many anti-terror initiatives".

"Like the rest of the mainstream institutions representing the American Muslim community, CAIR's advocacy model is the antithesis of the narrative of violent extremists," it said in a statement.

 

- 'Excessive alarmism' -

Islamic Relief in Britain expressed similar surprise, saying it assumed its inclusion on the list "can only be attributable to a mistake".

"We abhor terrorism in all its forms," the group said, noting its work with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, British authorities and the United Nations.

UAE officials have said groups can appeal through the courts to have their names removed from the list.

"This is available to organisations whose approach has changed," the minister of state for foreign affairs, Anwar Gargash, said on Twitter.

In a recent interview with US broadcaster Fox News, UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahayan suggested that those on the list were secretly backing and funding violent groups.

"We cannot accept incitement or funding when we look at some of these organisations," he said.

"For many countries, the definition of terror is that you have to carry a weapon and terrorise people. For us, it's far beyond that; we cannot tolerate even the smallest, tiniest amount of terrorism."

But Wehrey warned the UAE list could do more harm than good by "driving Islamist political movements underground".

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