Bahrain lodges Arab League complaint Al Jazeera over Al-Qaeda assassins exposé

Bahrain lodges Arab League complaint Al Jazeera over Al-Qaeda assassins exposé
Arab League foreign ministers will discuss a complaint lodged by Bahrain against Doha-based broadcaster Al Jazeera over a documentary aired earlier this year.
2 min read
10 September, 2019
Al Jazeera aired a documentary on Bahrain's recruitment of al-Qaeda assassins [Getty]

A documentary aired by Al Jazeera has become the subject of a complaint lodged to the Arab League by the Kingdom of Bahrain.

The Gulf state's complaint against the Doha-based media network will be discussed by Arab League foreign ministers who will meet at the body's headquarters in Cairo on Tuesday.

Al Jazeera was reportedly informed of the complaint by sources who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The documentary alleges that three Bahraini intelligence officers recruited Al-Qaeda commanders to form a secret cell to assassinate Bahraini opposition activists on orders of Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa.

The alleged list of opposition activists to be assassinated included Abdulwahab Hussain, a prominent leader of the Al-Wefaq movement who played an important role in the 2011 Bahraini uprising against the monarchy.

The documentary claims that King Hamad personally intervened to have one of the Al-Qaeda commanders, Mohammed Saleh, released when he was imprisoned in Saudi Arabia.

The documentary also quoted a retired CIA officer, John Kiriakou, as saying that intelligence obtained from notes made by Abu Zubaydah, a Guantanamo Bay detainee who was previously accused by the US of being an Al-Qaeda leader and extensively tortured by the CIA, had mentioned three members of the Saudi royal family.

Read more: Ruling Bahrain – The emir declares himself king

When the CIA contacted the three Saudi royals, they disappeared and their bodies were later found in the desert.

The documentary, entitled Those Who Play With Fire, was first aired by Al Jazeera in July.

Since 2017, Bahrain along with Saudi Arabia and its allies have hit Qatar with bans on shipping, trade, direct flights, overflight and land crossings.

The Saudi-led bloc have demanded Doha accept a list of 13 conditions, including shutting Al Jazeera and The New Arab, to open a dialogue to resolve the conflict.

Mediation efforts, mainly led by the emir of fellow Gulf state Kuwait, have so far failed to break the deadlock.