The region needs to be prepared to counter any threat from Muslim Brotherhood sympathisers as well as Syria and Iran, said Dahi Khalfan, one of the most outspoken security officials in the UAE.
“There’s an international plot against Gulf states in particular and Arab countries in general… This is pre-planned to take over our fortunes,” Khalfan said at a Ramadan majlis.
“The bigger our sovereign wealth funds and the more money we put in the banks of Western countries, the bigger the plot to take over our countries…The Brothers and their governments in Damascus and North Africa have to know that the Gulf is a red line, not only for Iran but also for the Brothers as well.”
Mahmoud Ghozlan, spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, dismissed the accusation, saying the remarks did not deserve a reaction.
Ghozlan was involved in a row with the UAE earlier this year when Khalfan also accused the Brotherhood of trying to sow discord in the UAE.
Islamists in the UAE say they share similar ideology with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt but have no direct links with the group, seen as a mentor for Islamist groups in the region.
UAE Interior Ministry officials have not been available to comment on the recent arrests of more than 20 suspects. Last week, UAE officials announced that authorities were investigating a foreign-linked group planning “crimes against the security of the state”.
“I had no idea that there is this large number of Muslim Brotherhood in the Gulf states. We have to be alert and on guard because the wider these groups become, the higher probability there is for trouble,” Khalfan said. “We are aware that there are groups plotting to overthrow Gulf governments in the long term.”