Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Bahrain Exposes Incitement, Fabrications by Qatar’s Al Jazeera

Bahrain Exposes Incitement, Fabrications by Qatar’s Al Jazeera

Friday, 19 July, 2019 - 07:00
A general view of Manama, Bahrain. (Reuters)
Manama - Asharq Al-Awsat

Bahrain exposed the fabrications and incitement by Qatar-owned Al Jazeera television against Manama, refuting claims that Bahraini authorities had sought to recruit al-Qaeda jihadists to assassinated opposition figures in the Gulf state.

A report by Bahrain television broadcast interviews with former extremists who were featured in the Al Jazeera documentary.

One extremist asserted that the recordings were prepared by a group that has been accused of terrorism and which supported al-Qaeda in order to extort Bahraini security agencies. The recordings somehow made their way to Al Jazeera, which turned them into a documentary.

The documentary alleged that Bahraini security forces had recruited the main suspect to carry out terrorist attacks and that he had made the recordings to extort the security agencies.

The suspect appeared in the Bahrain television report to refute the claims, saying he was never recruited by anyone to carry out any attack.

The documentary showed recordings of each of Mohammed Saleh Ali and Hisham Hilal al-Balushi. The Bahrain report revealed that the recordings date back to 2011. A terrorist organization had recruited the individuals in order to exploit them in the media and use them to pressure authorities in Manama.

Former jihadist Saleh said that Al Jazeera had paid to obtain the recordings. He denied that he had ever come in contact with the Doha-based channel.

The recordings were never meant to reach Al Jazeera, he stated.

He admitted that the recordings were made in Bahrain in 2011 at Hisham and Jamal Balushi’s residence. Present were the Balushi brothers, Muheiddine Khan and Bassam al-Ali. The recordings aimed to pressure security agencies against arresting them.

The suspects were previously arrested and put on trial in 2004.

He also refuted allegations that he was recruited to carry out assassinations and smuggle weapons from Saudi Arabia.

Such claims are part of sensationalist reporting, Saleh said.

He revealed that he possessed the recordings on CDs, copies of which were also kept by Khan and Ali. He was surprised when they were leaked to Qatar, saying they were probably sold to it.

For his part, Jamal said that the recordings of Hisham and Saleh shown by Al Jazeera were manipulated and taken out of context in order to tarnish Bahrain’s image.

The Bahrain report also released recordings of contacts made by Qatari officials to Khan, who had fled to Turkey, to arrange his political asylum in the Gulf state.

Editor Picks