Gulf Arab states have detected a U.S. role in the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in the region.
The Gulf Cooperation Council was said to have been examining the growth of Brotherhood-aligned groups in the six member states over the last year.
GCC sources said the Brotherhood’s expansion in the Gulf region appeared to reflect U.S. encouragement of the Egyptian-based movement.
“Today the Americans are mobilizing the Muslim Brotherhood in the Arab nation, for the benefit of America, not the Arabs,” Brig. Gen. Dhahi Khalfan, regarded as the security chief of the United Arab Emirates, said. “There is an American plan that has been drawn up for the region.”
In a statement on Sept. 2, Khalfan, police commander of the UAE port of Dubai, said the Brotherhood was being manipulated by the United States as part of its effort to overthrow the ruling families of GCC members. The police chief cited alleged Brotherhood plots in the region.
Khalfan stressed that he was not speaking for the UAE. But GCC sources said the leadership in the emirates regularly employs the outspoken police chief to issue statements that reflect concern by Abu Dhabi as well as other Gulf Arab regimes.
“Khalfan is not a loose cannon; that’s not the way things work here,” a GCC source said.
“He is responsible for UAE internal security, and he reflects the view of the leadership in the emirates and often the entire GCC.”
The UAE has launched a campaign against the Brotherhood. Over the last nine months, Abu Dhabi has arrested and interrogated dozens of suspected Brotherhood operatives, some of whom were identified as leading academics.