Qatar accused of using Muslim Brotherhood cell in UAE to promote separatism

Jailed member of the group claims Qatar targeted educational centres, women and youth to hold secret meetings

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A former member of the Muslim Brotherhood has accused Qatar of using the outlawed group to target education institutions, youth and women to spread separatist ideologies.

Appearing on an Abu Dhabi TV programme on Friday, Essa Khalifa Al Suwaidi said he joined the Muslim brotherhood in 1989. He worked for educational organisations in the UAE and moved to Qatar in 2009 where he was employed with a private company and became more involved with the Muslim Brotherhood.

“The underground organisation concentrated on educational institutes,” said Al Suwaidi.

“They prefer to attract youth related to upper class families, such as sons of senior officials and from well-known families,” said Al Suwaidi, who claimed he had completed his PhD studies in the United States.

During his stay in Qatar, he alleges that he learnt of meetings that the Muslim Brotherhood was organising in the UAE.

“During my stay in Qatar, a man from Muslim Brotherhood asked for my apartment key and then I found out he was holding meetings between Muslim Brotherhood groups in UAE and Muslim Brotherhood groups in Qatar. The meetings were held without my knowledge,” said Al Suwaidi who then returned to the UAE.

He was arrested on his return and was sentenced to 10 years in jail. He has completed half his term.

Al Suwaidi accused Qatar of spreading rumours about the UAE torturing prisoners and said he was not ill-treated in jail.

He claimed that three months before his arrest, Qatar helped members of the Brotherhood to flee the UAE.

“Some went to Qatar and others went abroad. Senior official from Qatar facilitated many to enter other countries,” he alleged.

He said the Muslim Brotherhood also organised special committees to target women in secret meetings where they would discuss their plans and ideologies.

In his confession on television, Al Suwaidi alleged that Qatar also reached out to youth to cause instability in the Arab world.

“A large number of youth were present during meetings organised by the Brotherhood to train them to carry on destruction in several Arab countries. Women were invited for these meetings,” he said.

Al Suwaidi alleged that officials from Qatar insulted the UAE’s rulers.

“I never imagined that anyone would insult Sheikh Zayed who spent all his life to spread peace among countries, until I saw a senior security official from Qatar spreading false facts,” he said.

The UAE and Saudi Arabia formally designated the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group in 2014.