AQAP responds to Al Jazeera documentary

In a short statement released earlier today via Telegram, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) responded to a recent documentary produced by Qatar’s Al Jazeera news channel.

“The Qatari Al Jazeera channel released a film…in which tries to prove relations between al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and the Bahraini government and that the Bahraini government uses AQAP to liquidate their accounts in regards to politics,” AQAP’s statement reads.

AQAP goes on to note that Al Jazeera has reported similar findings in regards to the jihadist group and the governments of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The documentary in question, “Playing with Fire,” attests that Bahraini intelligence services, at the direction of Hamid bin Isa Al Khalifa, the King of Bahrain, works with AQAP to target Bahraini opposition figures and dissidents.

Al Jazeera interviewed several purported former Bahraini and American intelligence personnel that attest to this secret agreement.

The al Qaeda branch denies the accusations in its statement, saying that they were made “in conjunction with their master, America.” It further alleges that the Gulf states are “keen to persuade their master Trump of who is the most loyal of his devoted workers in the war against the mujahideen.”

Ending its communique, AQAP then urges Al Jazeera to remain neutral and allow it to respond to the accusations on its site. Bahrain, much like the Emirates, has denied any such agreement with AQAP. However, the Associated Press reported late last year that the UAE cut many backdoor deals with AQAP in Yemen.

Al Jazeera, as a mouthpiece of the Qatari government, has produced several documentaries in recent years accusing its rivals in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Bahrain of working against Qatar and having relations with terrorist organizations.

Of course, Qatar has its own track record of supporting terrorist organizations around the Middle East.

Caleb Weiss is an editor of FDD's Long War Journal and a senior analyst at the Bridgeway Foundation, where he focuses on the spread of the Islamic State in Central Africa.

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