Spy networks and terror cells that aim to destabilize the Gulf should be combated through unified legislation, said a top Bahraini official.
Interior Minister Lieutenant-General Sheikh Rashid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa (photo) highlighted the importance of joint efforts to tackle foreign threats, during this week’s 14th Consultative Meeting of the GCC Interior Ministers at Ritz-Carlton Bahrain, Hotel and Spa, which was attended by high-level Gulf security delegations, according to Gulf Daily News.
He said security-related incidents have increased in the region since the previous meeting held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in November.
“In Bahrain, security authorities discovered a terrorist cell that aimed to set up a military network to perpetrate acts of terror in vital locations,” he said.
“The confessions of the suspects and the facts about their movements, calls, money transfers and technology used in making explosives have proven their link with Iran, and the latter's attempts to interfere in the homeland security of Bahrain, in addition to ensuring the continuation of violence, vandalism and criminal acts by terrorists against policemen and civilians,” he added.
Sheikh Rashid told his Gulf counterparts that all security incidents in the region aimed to spread chaos.
“This calls for a joint stance and agreement to determine common threats and increase co-ordination. There is no question of compromising a country's security. We will not accept jeopardizing the sovereignty and integrity of our countries by anyone. What we have gone through in terms of security-related incidents has alerted us to the security threats around us.”
He also lauded efforts by UAE authorities in foiling an Al Qaeda terror cell on April 13, which led to the arrest of Muslim Brotherhood members.
“Saudi Arabia discovered a spy network with links to Iranian intelligence that included academicians,” he added.
“Oman witnessed some protests that were brought under control according to legal procedures, while Kuwait managed to handle protests and violence in a manner that ensured protection of the freedom of expression.”
Meanwhile, GCC Secretary-General Dr. Abdullatif Al Zayani called for greater regional co-operation especially between Interior Ministries to deal with “terrorism and extremism”.
“These terror cells affect the GCC's security and its achievements,” he said.
Source: Gulf Daily News