'UAE's Trump' Dhahi Khalfan urges Egypt to strike Qatar

'UAE's Trump' Dhahi Khalfan urges Egypt to strike Qatar
A senior Emirati intelligence chief urged Egypt to strike Doha in response to an explosion in Cairo which he blamed on Qatar.
3 min read
07 August, 2019
Dhahi Khalfan is known by many as the 'Trump of the Arab world' [Getty]
Dubai security chief Dhahi Khalfan took advantage of an explosion that shook Cairo on Tuesday by pinning blame on Qatar and calling for an airstrike on its capital city.

In a series of tweets by Khalfan, who is known by many as the Donald Trump of the Arab world for his notoriously wacky posts on Twitter, the senior Emirati official alleged that the Muslim Brotherhood were behind the attack.

"Qatar, be proud for your attack on the National Cancer Institute in Egypt through the Muslim Brotherhood group that is supported by your leadership," he said.

"Qatar is, without a doubt, the source of terrorism. If the source is not attacked, it will harm everyone," he added.

He went on to ask whether Egypt shouldn't "take the battle to Qatar?"

Egypt's interior ministry has accused anti-regime movement Hasm of responsibility for Monday's explosion in central Cairo that killed 19 people, which was initially blamed on a car crash.

At least 30 people were wounded when a car drove against traffic and crashed into three other vehicles, causing a huge explosion outside the National Cancer Institute.

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi expressed his "sincere condolences" to the Egyptian people and the families of the victims who were killed as a result of the "cowardly" terrorist incident.

Hasm has previously claimed responsibility for attacks on security forces and officials, including an attempted assassination of former Egyptian Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa.

Egyptian authorites rounded up alleged members of Hasm after a bomb blast injured 17 people near the Giza pyramids in May.

The Egyptian government says Hasm is the militant wing of the Muslim Brotherhood but the group has distanced itself from the armed movement.

In a statement published by Qatar’s foreign ministry, Doha expressed its "strong condemnation of the explosion", reiterating its "firm position on rejecting violence and terrorism, whatever the motives and causes".

Both Egypt and the UAE classify the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group and supported the deadly overthrow of Egypt's first elected President Mohamed Morsi in 2013.

Boasting almost 2.3 million followers on Twitter, Khalfan has a habit of firing off almost daily angry, controversial tweets to opponents, yet somehow still manages to avoid getting into trouble.

Khalfan is known as a key figure in the UAE regime and is one of the most important intelligence chief’s in the country. He often tweets fiery, strongly-worded messages to the Gulf state's opponents - from Iran to the Muslim Brotherhood.

He once backed Donald Trump's so-called "Muslim ban" in a series of Twitter messages that were aimed primarily at the Shia Muslim-majority countries - Iran and Iraq - included in the list.

Khalfan also claimed to have seen UFOs and tweeted a proverb about rape.

He also once described former Yemen dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh as "the manliest man" in the country.

This earned him a public rebuke from UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed whose nation was officially at war with the late Saleh and his Houthi allies.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE and its allies Egypt and Bahrain severed all ties with Qatar on 5 June 2017, accusing it of support for extremist groups - a claim Doha strongly denies.

The anti-Doha coalition closed their airspace to Qatari carriers and blocked the emirate's only land border, a vital route for its food imports. Qataris were ordered to leave their countries, while coalition nationals in Qatar told to return home.

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