Kuwaitis financed Brotherhood members held in UAE: Media

January 12, 2013 - 1:12:07 am

KUWAIT: Islamists held in the United Arab Emirates accused of planning to topple the government were financed by Kuwaiti nationals, Kuwaiti media reported yesterday, lending support to UAE fears of an international plot against its rulers. 

The UAE has detained more than 60 Islamists in the past year who it says belong to the Muslim Brotherhood, a group founded in Egypt in 1928 and which is banned in the state, and who it accuses of planning to establish an Islamic state and operating an armed wing.

The UAE has repeatedly said that the detainees were receiving financial support from individuals in other Gulf states, but had stopped short of naming those countries.

Several newspapers yesterday quoted Kuwaiti parliamentarians as saying Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al Mubarak Al Sabah informed them at a confidential meeting held on Thursday that Kuwaiti nationals had been providing financial support to Muslim Brotherhood members in the UAE. 

“Yes, there was financing coming from Kuwait,” Sheikh Jaber told the parliamentarians in the session, according to the Arabic-language daily Al Watan. Sheikh Jaber gave no further details, Al Watan reported, adding only: “We can’t announce the names before they have been referred to the courts.”

The pan-Arab Asharq Al Awsat carried a similar report,  quoting two MPs as confirming the prime minister’s comments. A government spokesman in Kuwait was not immediately available to comment, nor were UAE officials available yesterday, the first day of the weekend in most Gulf states. 

The Muslim Brotherhood is not banned in Kuwait, which has the most open political system in the Gulf.  In July, Dubai police chief Dhahi Khalfan warned of an international plot to overthrow Gulf governments, saying the region needed to be prepared to counter any threat from Muslim Brotherhood sympathisers as well as from Syria and Iran.

Last week, local newspapers reported that the UAE had rejected a request by Egypt to free 11 of its citizens held on suspicion of training Islamists in how to overthrow governments. Muslim Brotherhood said the men had been wrongfully arrested.  reuters