Sunday, December 11, 2005

Why Dubai may be next target for terror attacks :: thebusinessonline
Western pleasuredome

Quote:
Ayman al-Zawahiri, the second-in-command of al-Qaeda, recently declared that “secular countries neighbouring Iraq” have become targets.

Of these the most evident is Dubai, under Iran’s direct gaze overlooking the Strait of Hormuz, to which the authoritative Merchant International Group of corporate intelligence analysis has drawn attention recently. It has become a kind of western pleasuredome nestling in one of the most dangerous regions of the world. . . .

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26 Comments:

Blogger Tim Newman said...

It's hardly surprising, given that the editorials of the nation's newspapers are an endless diatribe against the evils of the USA and the west, and the letters pages full of vitriol about the same.

If Dubai finds itself with an anti-western sentiment lurking within which leads to a terrorist attack, it might reflect on at what point it thought it a good idea to bite the hand that feeds it.

5:21 AM  
Blogger PizzaQueen said...

Dubai is the most obvious target.
If it hasn't been touched til now is because there's some sort of deal (financial) between them (business men or ruling family also) and the terrorists. When this deal ends, it will be the start of the end for the entire Gulf.

7:22 AM  
Blogger Slagothor said...

There are many points in this article which bother me:

1) Dubai is not a country.

2) Dubai does not overlook the Straits of Hormuz, and whether it does or doesn't is not really relevant to the question at issue.

3) The UAE is not a secular country.

4) Dubai is not an "oil rich state", at least by regional standards.

5) Dubai has not been the Gulf state with the closest ties to Iran (and thus under Iranian "protection.") Bahrain, which is about half Iranian, ethnically, is the Gulf state with the closest ties. Heck, it almost became part of Iran in 1971.

This "analysis" is a half-baked piece of scaremongering by a consulting firm that as trouble getting facts straight. It is designed to get business for that firm, nothing else.

Tim Newman:

I fail to see any logic on your statement. The local papers are full of anti-westernism, so Dubai is more likely to be attacked by al-Qaeda? Or do you really think that the risk of a terrorist attack is greater from internal elements, as opposed to foreign ones?

Are you aware of the scope and scale of the state surveillance and intelligence apparatus? It is not really all that visible to us Westerners, but ask any Emirati about it. It is pervasive, and effective.

8:40 AM  
Blogger genesis said...

Want to read all blogs from the UAE in one place? Check http://uae.iopblogs.com. If you haven't submitted your blog yet, submit it to be included in the Aggregator. so that whenever you post something new it shows on the front page and visitors can click to your blog and comment or read your blog.

8:41 AM  
Blogger PizzaQueen said...

When you think of UAE you think of Dubai so yes it is a country somehow.
Not oil rich but rich, that's enough.
Not secular on papers but in reality, it represents exactly the standard that a radical Muslim must hate.

9:08 AM  
Blogger Emirati said...

This is en par with James Zogbys 'wonderful' piece on how there would be riots here.

The Intelligence apparatus here is huge and very multilayered. Its a relic of the old "coup days" when Arab states would have to mass huge internal security forces to protect against coups which happened alot then. Many people around you, and I bet you know at least 1 CID Informant or Undercover officer who is a close friend.

Just because some consultant books a 5 night stay in the Royal Mirage in Dubai (which is officialy part of the Emirates), doesnt make him a regional security expert.

I vehemently disagree with his use of "badly guarded" the border is laced with UAV's, motion sensors, walls and many outposts. Ive seen it. Go down to Liwa or Sila. In addittion the Saudis keep a very tight control of it because of their fear of drugs getting out from there.

Now why hasnt Italy, a country with a large immigrant population, and one which has the vatican in it, and one which deployed troops in Iraq, why hasnt THAT country been attacked ?

No one has accused it of conspiring with the terrorist or anything. Only we are accused of doing so, being arab and all. Half assed security "experts" and people who listen to street rumors and gibberish deserve nothing but pity.

10:10 AM  
Blogger PizzaQueen said...

We haven't been attacked yet but is coming for sure. Something was scheduled for last Xmas in piazza S.Pietro if this can make you happy.
Problem in Europe is quite different cause fundamentalists are born, grown there and trained in Pakistan or Afghanistan in some cases. You can't compare the two.
Mind that a country like mine has already suffered terrorism based on political ideologies in the 70s and still is.
Criminal activities are under local control but have strong ties with immigrants: albanians, russians, moroccans. Am not being racist here, just talking about the bad ones, which are not the majority.
With due respect to ROP, CID and any other local investigative corp here, but we have a long story of blood and maybe we learned something.
Not sure really whether international terrorism has already or will, in future, reach a compromise with mafia or camorra but i doubt, they're already in charge: why should they accept?
The only possible interaction i see, might be brought by arab investors.
Couple of years ago prince al Waleed was investigated for money laundry in one of his business he has in Abruzzo, but no idea how it ended. No further news were provided about it, weird la?

10:44 AM  
Blogger Tim Newman said...

I fail to see any logic on your statement. The local papers are full of anti-westernism, so Dubai is more likely to be attacked by al-Qaeda? Or do you really think that the risk of a terrorist attack is greater from internal elements, as opposed to foreign ones?

A successful attack would in all likelihood be orchestrated by outsiders with the assistance of insiders. Presenting insiders with a daily grievance against the west is probably not a smart thing to do.

Are you aware of the scope and scale of the state surveillance and intelligence apparatus? It is not really all that visible to us Westerners, but ask any Emirati about it. It is pervasive, and effective.

So a terrorist attack such as those that have occurred in Saudi, Qatar, and Jordan could not happen here because the Emiratis have got their act together? Erm, okay.

12:17 PM  
Blogger Emirati said...

How can you say you will be attacked for sure ? And there have been plans here, but the perpatrators have been caught in Both cases. Last years threat on the US Embassy was carried out by a Somali guy who was quickly arrested and Interrogated. Al Qaeda sympathisers were interned in 2001. I was in Roma this summer, the security situation seemed to be pretty good I saw alot of undercover police officers (judging by the way they walk, and the silouette of a pistol under their arm).

People from here fought in afghanistan in the 80s as well, hell one of the Hijackers in 911 was an Emarati (Albeit a Traitor to his country for carrying out the will of Osama). But we dealt with them as I say again in 2001. In 2 weeks the army rounded up and interned any connection to the plotters , and put severe restrictions on the religious institutions of the UAE.

We have had terrorism before. In 1983 a plane in Dubai airport en route to Mumbai had a bomb in the baggage compartment that detonated and killed all passangers on board. WRT it being foreign in Italy I can say both yes and no. You have the Sicilian Mafias (which have extended to Dubai). But some of the newer generation that are less traditional and more agressive and Brutal. The CI experts in London who dealt with the IRA couldnt deal with the Internal elements, the key is to be willing to go all the way. If the British had monitored and resricted the preachers, monitored the mosques, put extremley tight control on the explosives or chemicals that can produce explosives, re-educated the people, had been willing to make a few arrest and interrogations, 7/7 might have not happened, but Political Corectness and fear of Ethnic backlash disturbed this. In the Arab world there is no such thing as being PC.

There is no such thing as 100% sure, but if you care about the lives of people before their liberties, you can be 99% sure.

2:17 PM  
Blogger Emirati said...

Now WRT to italy, I think its the ideal market for Emaar real estate. The Tourist infrastructure remains pretty undeveloped. Opening a few beach resorts in one of the cities, followed by a few superprojects and hotels could get things going again for the Italian Economy.

2:34 PM  
Blogger PizzaQueen said...

the security situation seemed to be pretty good I saw alot of undercover police officers (judging by the way they walk, and the silouette of a pistol under their arm).
If you saw them then they were not so much undercover :p
How can you say you will be attacked for sure ?
OBL or Zawa now i don't remember, said that, plus our intelligence if we can talk of intelligence when is about SISMI
Inshallah it won't happen
Mafia is not only sicilian, not anymore and is not a matter of brutality: is about organisation, the new leaders have been educated in US and UK and run it as a parallel country
Political Corectness and fear of Ethnic backlash disturbed this.You would have anticipated Paris riots
Well we cannot go to Iraq saying 'we're bringing you democracy' and then have a Guantanamo or allow the extraordinary rendition on our territories.
In the Arab world there is no such thing as being PC. There is but is restricted to some nationalities and social classes, and this is another pearl they learned from us.

2:44 PM  
Blogger PizzaQueen said...

I think its the ideal market for Emaar real estate. The Tourist infrastructure remains pretty undeveloped. Opening a few beach resorts in one of the cities, followed by a few superprojects and hotels could get things going again for the Italian Economy.
No please, tell me you are John Peet undercover now.
That report was simply pathetic, sorry.

2:50 PM  
Blogger Slagothor said...

Presenting insiders with a daily grievance against the west is probably not a smart thing to do.

I doubt that newspaper columns will privide the tipping point for any individual. And your statement implies that the "authorities" should intervene to control the content of newspapers more than they do now. Hardly a recipe for a free, progressive society.

So a terrorist attack such as those that have occurred in Saudi, Qatar, and Jordan could not happen here because the Emiratis have got their act together? Erm, okay.

Where did I ever say "could not happen"? Of course it could, but I am saying that the article in question is hyperbolic, as well as containing several factual errors. It is my experience that if an individual cannot get basic facts straight there is little merit in listening to their "analysis".

It is much less probable here because you don't have a massive poor, embittered underclass, like in Saudi. Such an attack would unambiguously damage the financial health of pretty much every Emirati - you'd be hard-pressed to find any locals who would want to kill this country's golden goose. (i.e., trade and tourism.)

Plus, when your population is only 1 million, and half the country is busy keeping an eye on the other half it's a lot easier to nip such situations in the bud.

I'd be more worried about rogue (foreign) elements in the Armed Forces doing something silly than an al-Qaeda attack. Not that I think that's likely either.

However, you are of course free to continue worrying about the sky falling, if doing so brings you utility.

3:25 PM  
Blogger John B. Chilton said...

Thanks for the comments.

My view is that this report is (1) not news (many points are obvious), and (2) displays ignorance of some basic facts (such as "overlooking the Strait of Hormuz"). It didn't deserve publication, but it did deserve posting here in order to provide a forum for discussion and evisceration.

Good discussion between Tim and Emirati about UAE preparedness.

Tim and I often agree, but I disagree with him about the nation's newspapers at least those that I can read. What's wrong with giving vent to anti-western opinion? What good would there be in stifling it?

3:28 PM  
Blogger John B. Chilton said...

Addendum: slagothor latest comment above came in as I was writing mine above.

I agree with much of slagothor's analysis.

But I believe he glosses over one factor which is that the UAE has been concerned that foreign Arab nationals working here could contain radicals. Whether founded or not, the UAE's solution - since Saddam's invasion of Kuwait - has been to look more towards South Asia as a source of labor. This is itself a sore point.

3:44 PM  
Blogger Tim Newman said...

What's wrong with giving vent to anti-western opinion? What good would there be in stifling it?

I am not advocating silencing it, I am wondering why the UAE's newspapers employ the same columnists to write the same diatribes against the West (Linda Heard and Patrick Searle, for example) and cherry pick the anti-US columns from the UK's Guardian and Independent. It is not what objective reporting is about, and is IMO extremely destructive.

And your statement implies that the "authorities" should intervene to control the content of newspapers more than they do now. Hardly a recipe for a free, progressive society.

It implies no such thing. It is merely a statement regarding the pratice I have described above. If the residents of the UAE want to read papers with an enormous anti-western slant every day, then fair enough and the government should not stop papers printing it. But it would be a smart move to allow some independent papers to move into the market to present an alternative view, otherwise at some point people are going to start asking why they are allied with the evil west and, failing to get an answer, start sympathising with those who wish to end the relationship.

3:54 PM  
Blogger Emirati said...

"No please, tell me you are John Peet undercover now.
That report was simply pathetic, sorry."

You tell me about Arab Investors, I give a suggestion, you snap at me. Which answer is pathetic ?

Speaking of John Peet...

http://www.economist.com/surveys/displaystory.cfm?story_id=5164061

5:14 PM  
Blogger Emirati said...

Now part of the 95-2005 military reforms was to nationalize the officer corps. As of today, all the officers were Emarati. The military is kept under very tight control. Im not really sure what the demographic of an assailant would be.

WRT to counterinsurgency, please pick up something on Algeria

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/185984684X/qid=1134307257/sr=8-5/ref=pd_bbs_5/104-1699516-2273553?n=507846&s=books&v=glance

on Insurgency

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1574883356/qid=1134307359/sr=1-3/ref=sr_1_3/104-1699516-2273553?s=books&v=glance&n=283155

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0275989410/qid=1134307418/sr=2-1/ref=pd_bbs_b_2_1/104-1699516-2273553?s=books&v=glance&n=283155

and pass by CSIS.org to read the latest in Anthony Cordesmans publication, in pdf format

5:25 PM  
Blogger John B. Chilton said...

Newspapers are businesses, and businesses give their customers what they want. For an elegant embellishment of that argument see: Marginal Revolution: What makes for media bias?.

5:27 PM  
Blogger PizzaQueen said...

Emirati lol
I was talking exactly about that article, pathetic
I missed the printed copy, must be a masterpiece
Last year they gave a public debt GDP+106, this year 120, now this is hilarious
Sorry for messing your blog jbc but when they touch Berlio, my italian soul comes out :p

5:39 PM  
Blogger Tim Newman said...

Newspapers are businesses, and businesses give their customers what they want.

True, but the newspapers here are tightly controlled, and therefore are only catering for a section of the market defined by the government.

As I said, I have no objection with the newspapers printing this stuff, my objection is to them being the only newspapers in town.

5:49 PM  
Blogger Slagothor said...

Hey, Emirati;

I didn't realize the oficer corps had been fully nationalized. I'm glad it has been - that's a smart idea.

John: yes, I was aware of the swing away from "other Arab nations" to "South Asia" as a source of labor after the first Gulf War. I think this has more pros than cons from a security point of view, as non-Arabs are less likely to have some sort of identity-based claim to this land. I'm sure many Arabs are disappointed that it's harder to get menial jobs here, but I doubt that's enough to drive anyone to terrorism. And don't forget that a massive part of the "low-to-moderate skilled administrative sector" is filled by Syrians, Egyptians, Algerians, Sudenese, etc. At least, it is where I work.

We live in a rough neighborhood, and of course there is the risk of a terror attack. But when I came here I asked myself if it was a bigger risk than NY, DC, Jakarta, London or Vancouver. I didn't then, and I still don't.

And BTW, Tim, I think columns by that Saudi lackey Linda Heard and her ilk are annoying, but basically harmelss. Did you know that she got her start in writing putting together PR material for Emirates Airlines and the Dubai Duty Free? I find the histrionic, and often blatantly false anti-jewish screeds to be more offensive and dangerous. I could only laugh reading one guy say that al the US TV networks are owned by Jews. They are, of course, owned by publicly traded companies like General Electric, Disney, Time Warner and the like, a fact that can be readily discovered in 90 seconds with Google.

5:54 PM  
Blogger Tim Newman said...

And BTW, Tim, I think columns by that Saudi lackey Linda Heard and her ilk are annoying, but basically harmelss. Did you know that she got her start in writing putting together PR material for Emirates Airlines and the Dubai Duty Free?

Really?! Well, that explains a lot!

6:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Timmy boy, you cant seem to get it…. What you say is always one sided.


"It implies no such thing. It is merely a statement regarding the pratice I have described above. If the residents of the UAE want to read papers with an enormous anti-western slant every day, then fair enough and the government should not stop papers printing it. But it would be a smart move to allow some independent papers to move into the market to present an alternative view, otherwise at some point people are going to start asking why they are allied with the evil west and, failing to get an answer, start sympathising with those who wish to end the relationship."


Get real Timmy boy, are you telling my that CNN, Fox news and other western media is none bias, ya right sure. Like those imbedded reporters in Iraq war. They really told us the truth hmmm. Or how about most of the news papers in the USA who are owned by Jews or influenced by the Jewish apparatus in the USA. Let me guess they really tell it with an open mind ya. How about the moives, name me one movie that shows Arabs are not terrorist or mad killers. Even the actors they use look mean and ugly. Even in kids cartoons every villains somehow resembles Arabs. Lastly Are you telling me the all forms of media in the west did not lie and sway the general population to support the ware on Iraq. Hey what do you call that “fair and unbiast news” get real.


Like I said you are the last person to put an unbiased opinion here. One last point, regarding


"at some point people are going to start asking why they are allied with the evil west and, failing to get an answer, start sympathising with those who wish to end the relationship"


Listen dude… Arabs have no quarrel with the west, most of them were educated there when the education in this region was still in it infancy. The problem lies with the governments of the west and how one country “Israel” managed to ruin the relation of the west with Arabs to insure their unjust cause is served. Once the west treats this region fairly and kicks out the invaders back to where they came from then you will see a different side and more cooperation side. The current governments that are in this region are only an here cause they server the west interest and that is why the west turns a blind eye when they want.

4:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If Dubai finds itself with an anti-western sentiment lurking within which leads to a terrorist attack, it might reflect on at what point it thought it a good idea to bite the hand that feeds it."

Who is feeding who….. Westerners feeding this region????? Ya right that is why all western losers find their way here for high paying jobs. Like a waiter is now a food an beverage manager. ….. ya sure

4:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That last comment was obviously made by a smelly subcontinental..
yeah heard it all before
Bricklayer=construction manager, train driver= transport manager, porter=airport manager. Please take your inferiority complex back home...

As for Dubai's safety. Ask yourself why Hitler never invaded Switzerland and you'll find the answer.

11:06 PM  

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