Prominent Islamist Leader Arrested in the U.A.E.
The Financial Times reported this morning that a senior member of the leading U.A.E. Islamist group Al-Islah has been detained as part of a government crackdown on political activity. Sheikh Sultan bin Kayed al-Qassimi, according to his son Abdullah bin Sultan al-Qassimi, has been held in in solitary confinement in a palace belonging to cousin and ruler of the Ras al-Khaimah emirate.
While no reason has been given for his detention, U.A.E. officials have offered no comment. His son, allowed to see his father regularly, told the Financial Times that a solution to the deadlock is being sought.
The article suggests that al-Qassimi’s detention is part of a U.A.E. clampdown on Al-Islah. U.A.E. authorities allege the group has external ties to recently empowered Islamist groups in North Africa. Al-Islah claim to have as many as 20,000 supporters. The group also has renounced government actions against Islamists activists and claim that 11 Islamists are currently being held.