(MENAFN - Arab Times) The Muslim Brotherhood, the main Islamist force that emerged after the Arab Spring, is plotting to take over Gulf states, Dubai's police chief said in remarks reported on Sunday.
Lieutenant General Dahi Khalfan said he had his reasons to claim that the "Brotherhood was plotting to change the regimes in the Gulf," in an interview published in the Kuwaiti daily Al-Qabas.
"My sources say the next step is to make Gulf governments (their ruling families) figurehead bodies only without actual ruling. The start will be in Kuwait in 2013 and in other Gulf states in 2016," he said.
Khalfan has been involved in a tit-for-tat controversy with the Brotherhood after he threatened earlier this month to arrest cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a leading Brotherhood figure, for criticising the United Arab Emirates for deporting Syrian protesters.
The police chief said he based his information on "leaks" from Western intelligence agencies and said this "had been known to us."
"If these leaks from Western intelligence were to be correct, by 2016 all Gulf rulers" will be just figureheads with no actual power, Khalfan said. "I am warning Gulf states about these groups."
All of the six oil-rich Arab states in the Gulf have been governed for centuries by ruling families that dominate almost every aspect of life and who have the final say on almost everything.
These states - Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE - together sit on more than 40 percent of the world's proven oil reserves and around a fifth of its natural gas.
Khalfan said the alleged plot will begin in Kuwait because "it is ready more than any other Gulf state... this is a strategy."
Sunni Islamists made an impressive show in a Feb 2 snap election in Kuwait, securing more than 20 seats in the 50-member parliament.
DUBAI: United Arab Emirates authorities on Sunday briefly detained a political activist who criticized one of the Gulf country's rulers on his Twitter account, a prominent Emirati blogger said.
Ahmed Mansour told The Associated Press on the phone that security agents detained the activist, Mohammed Abdel-Razzaq al-Siddiq, before dawn Sunday. He was taken from his home in the emirate of Sharjah and released on bail later Sunday, Mansour said.
The arrest was the latest move by the UAE to crack down on political dissent in the oil-rich union of seven city-states. Each emirate is ruled by a hereditary sheikh.
The US-allied UAE has not been hit by Arab Spring unrest that has spread across the Middle East during the past year, including in neighboring Bahrain. UAE authorities have moved aggressively against any signs of dissent that could pose a challenge to the tight political controls in country.
Political activity is severely restricted in the Gulf federation. There are no official opposition groups in the country, and political parties are banned.
UAE officials could not be reached for comment about al-Siddiq's arrest and release Sunday.
In the past few weeks, three other people have been detained for postings on social media websites. All are free on bail, including an online activist who faces charges in the state security court after commenting on uprisings against autocratic Arab rulers in his Twitter posts.
Al-Siddiq is an Islamic scholar who was stripped of his citizenship along with six others last year after authorities accused them of links to an Islamic group.
After the unprecedented step, al-Siddiq told the AP that he and the other men were part of an Islamist organization known as the Reform and Social Guidance Association. He said they were targeted because they have been campaigning for political reform.
Last year, five political activists, including blogger Mansour, were convicted on anti-state charges that included insulting the UAE's leadership, endangering national security and inciting people to protest.
They were freed on order of the federation's president a day after their sentences of two to three years in jail were handed down. Despite the order, charges against were never officially dropped.