Six individuals detained on terrorist funding charges: UAE

DUBAI: Six Islamists were apprehended by the United Arab Emirates government on Tuesday over terrorist linkage concerns. The lawyer of the six individuals reported that their citizenship had been cancelled over their suspected links with terrorist funding groups.

The lawyer further stated that the six individuals were called upon by the Interior Ministry and were ordered to legalize their presence within the country by obtaining a new citizenship. This order was not acknowledged by the six individuals as they stated that they already were UAE nationals. As per the statement of their lawyer, the six men are supposedly detained in Shahama prison near Abu Dhabi.

Reports indicate that the citizenship of these six individuals had been cancelled in December 2011 when they had allegedly threatened the security and safety affairs of the United Arab Emirates.

The six individuals were deemed to have connections with suspicious regional and international organizations (few of them listed within the United Nation’s list of financing terrorism activities). Officials suspected these connections, threats serious and against the national security of UAE.

All of the six individuals had different nationalities than that of UAE and they were naturalized between 1976 and 1986. They were also members of the UAE’s Reform and Social Guidance Association, which has a connection with the Muslim Brotherhood.

UAE, an oil rich Arab country, has not faced an uprising or revolt like the other Arab countries. The government is considered to be a major contributor towards the peace and stability within the region as they have increased its clampdown on rebellious motives and democratic reform calls.

The government has been really strict with this respect as they received major condemnation after they forcefully shutdown two organizations in March (German Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Abu Dhabi and the US National Democratic Institute in Dubai).

The motive behind the closure of these organizations was that they were strongly criticizing the current regime but the government has reported that these organizations were shut down because they dishonored licensing laws.