Bahrain has welcomed the US Department of State’s designation of Iran-based leader of al-Ashtar Brigades (AAB) Qassim Abdullah Ali Ahmed, aka Qassim al-Muamen, as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT).
The Kingdom’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed its sincere appreciation of this important step, considering it a reflection of Washington’s great concern over the security and stability of Bahrain as a strategic ally.
“This step is part of the ongoing US efforts to confront terrorism and combat its financing for the sake of international peace and security," said the ministry in a statement.
The new classification is a significant development in Washington's position on what is happening in Bahrain.
In 2017, Washington put Murtadha al-Sanadi and Ahmad Hasan Yusuf on the US terrorism list.
The US declaration at the time represented an important change in the US strategy towards Iranian intervention in the region, which has caused instability in GCC States in general, and towards the incidents that had taken place in Bahrain in particular.
The Iranian-backed al-Ashtar Brigades organization has carried out dozens of terrorist attacks in Bahrain, targeting security forces and the stability of the country in the first place. It has been classified internationally as a terrorist organization.
Bahraini security services have said the organization’s leadership in Iran has played a huge role in planning to target Bahrain’s security institutions by sending orders to its members in the Kingdom.
In November 2017, attacks on oil pipelines linking Saudi Arabia to Bahrain were carried out under the directives of Qassim al-Muamen and financed by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.