United Arab Emirates
22 января, 18:34

Immigration Nations: The 10 Countries With the Most Immigrants

America was built by immigrants, but our immigration statistics don't crack the top 10. Here are the countries with the most immigrants.

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22 января, 15:35

Police: House fire kills 7 children in United Arab Emirates

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A house fire in an eastern region of the United Arab Emirates killed seven children while they slept, police said Monday, as one of the nation’s top rulers ordered civil defense officials to install fire alarms in all citizens’ homes.

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22 января, 11:17

Police: House fire kills 7 children in United Arab Emirates

Police in an eastern region of the United Arab Emirates say a house fire has killed seven children while they were sleeping at home.

22 января, 11:01

Tiny, Wealthy Qatar Goes Its Own Way, and Pays for It

Among Persian Gulf states, Qatar was the picked-on little sibling. Gas riches and an independent-minded ruling family changed that. Now it’s in the fight of its life.

22 января, 06:00

Trust Is Collapsing in America

When truth itself feels uncertain, how can a democracy be sustained?

22 января, 06:00

Trust Is Collapsing in America

When truth itself feels uncertain, how can a democracy be sustained?

21 января, 22:06

Canada Considers "National Islamophobia Day"

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Authored by Tom Quiggin via The Gatestone Institute, In fact, in Canada, "Islamophobia" comes in only fourth behind crimes against Blacks, Gays and Jews. Hate crimes against Muslims actually have dropped, even as the overall number of hate crimes increased, according to the last Statistics Canada reporting. The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM, formerly CAIR CAN) was founded with the mission of supporting its American parent organization, CAIR USA, which in turn was formed to support Hamas. According to the Hamas Covenant, the group is the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. Hamas is listed as terrorist group by the US and Canada. CAIR USA was also listed as a terrorist entity by the United Arab Emirates in 2014. The current Executive Director of CAIR CAN/NCCM, Ihsaan Gardee, has tried to claim that CAIR USA and its Canadian chapter CAIR CAN/NCCM have no relationship. This view is misleading. Most tellingly, CAIR CAN/NCCM made the following statement on its own website in 2003 referring to CAIR USA: "This Washington-based organization is CAIR CAN's parent organization." With respect to the presence of the Muslim Brotherhood in Canada, newspapers such as the Toronto Star have printed that there is no such thing as the Muslim Brotherhood in Canada or the US. A 2015 piece by Haroon Siddiqui, the Toronto Star's editorial page editor emeritus, stated that: "Muslim Brotherhood is not a registered entity in Canada or the USA, nor does it have any branch in North America." For this assessment, Siddiqui was quoting Jamal Badawi. What Siddiqui did not mention was that Badawi is a member of the North American Muslim Brotherhood's Shura Council, according to the Muslim Brotherhood itself. The Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, is being asked by the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM, formerly known as CAIR CAN) to designate January 29 as a "National Day of Remembrance and Action on Islamophobia." If he does, it is an indicator that the Islamists in Canada have succeeded in their program of political expansion and influence to the point of now being able publicly to manipulate the Prime Minister's Office. In fact, in Canada, "Islamophobia" comes in only fourth behind crimes against Blacks, Gays and Jews. Hate crimes against Muslims have dropped, even as the overall number of hate crimes increase, according to the last Statistics Canada reporting.   Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is being asked by the National Council of Canadian Muslims to designate January 29 as "National Day of Remembrance and Action on Islamophobia." If he does, it is an indicator that the Islamists in Canada have succeeded in their program of political expansion and influence. (Image source: European Parliament)   The event behind this request is the violent attack on the Quebec City mosque of January 29, 2017, in which six people were murdered. CAIR CAN/NCCM claims in its letter to the Prime Minister that the attack occurred "solely because the victims were Muslim." This statement is doubtful: the mosque has a complicated history, a recent rash of traumatic events, and was initially founded by adherents of the Muslim Brotherhood. CAIR CAN/NCCM CAIR CAN/NCCM was founded with the mission of supporting its American parent organization, CAIR USA, which in turn was formed to support Hamas. According to the Hamas Covenant, the group is the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. Hamas is listed as terrorist group by the United States and Canada. CAIR USA was also listed as a terrorist entity by the United Arab Emirates in 2014. They described the listing of these groups as including Muslim Brotherhood front groups, proxies and fund raisers. The current Executive Director of CAIR CAN/NCCM, Ihsaan Gardee, has tried to claim that CAIR USA and its Canadian chapter CAIR CAN/NCCM have no relationship. He has made this claim in media interviews to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and while testifying to the Parliament of Canada. This view is misleading. The US State Department has identified CAIR CAN/NCCM as the Canadian chapter of CAIR USA. CAIR USA has repeatedly claimed that CAIR CAN/NCCM is its "Canadian office." Most tellingly, CAIR CAN/NCCM made the following statement on its own website in 2003 referring to CAIR USA: "This Washington-based organization is CAIR CAN's parent organization." That statement was published as part of its "A Journalist's Guide to Islam." The Senate of Canada also heard from internationally known Muslim Brotherhood expert Dr. Lorenzo Vidino in May of 2015. In his testimony , Vidino stated that the Muslim Brotherhood has a series of eight to ten front organizations in Canada. Among those he noted were CAIR CAN/NCCM. THE MOSQUE ATTACK(S) IN QUEBEC CITY The Quebec City Mosque, also referred to as the Centre culturel islamique de Québec or CCIQ, was attacked on 29 January 2017. The alleged attacker, Alexandre Bissonnette, murdered six people and wounded eight when he opened fire with a rifle on a Sunday evening. Not just one attack occurred. The mosque has suffered a series of five events, which appear connected. In June of 2016 a pig's head was placed at the front door of the mosque. Three weeks later a pamphlet was distributed around the mosque's neighborhood, which claimed that the mosque was run by the Muslim Brotherhood. The pamphlet also said that the headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood in Quebec was the Quebec City Mosque. Following that, a blog also stated that the mosque was a Muslim Brotherhood organization. This blog posting was dated July 8, 2016 and it has similar text to what was in the pamphlet distributed around the mosque. The title of the blog was "What is the most serious: a pig's head or a genocide?" The question suggests that the first three incidents are connected. The blog was still active as of January 19, 2018. The blog also appears to have made an indirect threat to the mosque. The posting stated that: "If the Grand Mosque of Quebec does not provide formal and verifiable evidence that it repudiated any organizational, financial and ideological ties with the Muslim Brotherhood and its organizations such as the Muslim Association of Canada or others, and if it does not clearly condemn all that these organizations represent, the informed citizens will have to consider the Great Mosque of Quebec, aka Mosque of the capital, aka the Cultural Centre of Quebec, as a home propagating a radical concepts and political Islam." While this statement of July 2016 does not make a direct violent threat to the mosque, one could believe, especially with the benefit of hindsight, that this posting identifies a threat to the mosque. It does not, of course, say that a violent action will occur if the mosque did not repudiate its Muslim Brotherhood links. The threat, however, is implied; given the two violent events that followed, it seems prescient. The statement also suggests that the first thee incidents and the shooting, are connected. As noted, the mosque was then violently attacked in January of 2017, which resulted in the deaths and injuries. On the August 6, 2017, a fifth event occurred in which a car belonging to Mohamed Labidi, the President of the mosque, was burned in a deliberately arson according to police.   Pictured: The Canadian flag flies at half-mast in front of the British Columbia Parliament Buildings in Victoria on January 31, 2017, following a deadly shooting attack on a mosque in Quebec City, in which six people were murdered. (Image source: Province of British Columbia)   THE ORIGINS OF THE MOSQUE The Quebec City mosque was originally formed by Muslim Student Association, according to its own history. The Muslim Student Association was founded by adherents of the Muslim Brotherhood. The mosque donated money on a yearly basis (2001 to 2010) to the Canadian charity known as the International Relief Fund for the Afflicted and Needy (IRFAN). This funding occurred through IRFAN, which the Canada Revenue Agency has stated was set up deliberately to circumvent Canadian law to fund Hamas. This "charity" has since been listed as a terrorist entity in Canada, as it sent tens of millions of dollars of cash and services to Hamas. One of the leading figures at the mosque is Abdullah Assafiri. He was listed as the "directeur de la formation et de l'animation religieuse au Centre culturel islamique de Québec" (Director of training and religious activity at the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre). He also represented the mosque when it interacted with the provincial government. Mr. Assafiri is also a major leadership figure in the Muslim Brotherhood, according to the Muslim Brotherhood itself. He was listed as the "Masul" or "leader" for Eastern Canada in the North American Muslim Brotherhood's Shura Council organizational list. The list became public as a court document during the Holy Land Relief Foundation terrorism funding trials in the USA. Mr. Assafiri told the press he normally would have been at the mosque on the Sunday night of the attack, but he did not attend when the shooting occurred because his son had borrowed his car (c'est parce que son fils avait emprunté sa voiture). With respect to the presence of the Muslim Brotherhood in Canada, newspapers such as the Toronto Star, have printed that there is no such thing as the Muslim Brotherhood in Canada or the USA. A 2015 piece by Haroon Siddiqui, the Toronto Star's editorial page editor emeritus, actually reported that: "Muslim Brotherhood is not a registered entity in Canada or the USA, nor does it have any branch in North America." For this assessment, Mr. Siddiqui was quoting Dr. Jamal Badawi. What Siddiqui did not mention was that Dr. Badawi is a member of the North American Muslim Brotherhood's Shura Council, according to the Muslim Brotherhood itself. Further, the Muslim Brotherhood has held up Dr. Badawi as a leading and exemplary figure in its education field. Dr. Badawi has also served on the board of directors of both the Muslim Association of Canada and CAIR CAN/NCCM. The Muslim Association of Canada (MAC) was also noted as a Muslim Brotherhood front group in Dr. Vidino's 2015 testimony to the Canadian Senate. The MAC website states that the "Muslim Brotherhood remains the truest reflection of Islamic practice in the modern era." Dr. Badawi was also listed as an unindicted co-conspirator in American based Holy Land Relief terrorism funding trial that had its roots in Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. Convictions for this trial were obtained in 2008. CONCLUSIONS In the case of the Quebec City mosque attack, while it is possible that the victims were attacked solely because they were Muslim, the connected incidents – both before the attack and the online implied threat -- suggests that the motivation for the attack might be somewhat more complicated. If the "Islamophobia Memorial Day" is declared by the prime minster, it is a clear "indicator and warning" on how far an Islamist mentality has been developed within the corridors of government. It also will further confirm how deeply Prime Minster Trudeau has has continued in his support the Islamist cause on every occasion since his election as a Member of Parliament in 2008.

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21 января, 17:51

Iran may try to loosen Revolutionary Guard's grip on economy

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Iran's supreme leader has ordered the Revolutionary Guard to loosen its hold on the economy, the country's defense minister says, raising the possibility that the paramilitary organization might privatize some of its vast holdings.

19 января, 14:10

Cepsa To Redevelop Algeria Oilfield

Cepsa and Sonatrach have signed a new concession contract that will enable the Rhoude el Krouf (RKF) oilfield to be redeveloped. Cepsa also gave an update on its Timimoun gas development

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19 января, 12:10

Fugro Starts Adnoc Sour Gas Survey

Fugro has commenced a programme of geophysical and geotechnical surveys for Artelia, Abu Dhabi as part of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company’s (Adnoc) Hail and Ghasha sour gas development, it said January 18.

18 января, 12:50

The 'Underground Railroad' To Save Atheists

A vision to protect those persecuted for non-religion

18 января, 02:30

This Is How Drug Lords Make Billions Smuggling Gold To Miami

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Much of the gold used to make the components for your smartphone, or the gold band for your engagement ring, has a secret criminal history that, before a stunning report published by the Miami Herald on Tuesday, wasn’t widely known to the US public. In parts of Peru, drug cartels operate illegal gold mines to pull the lucrative gold metal out of the Earth. Much of this inventory is then sold to multinational companies, where illegally harvested gold blends with the legitimate supply from larger, established mines. Some of it ends up in jewelry, in smart phones and even in the vaults of the US Mint, the Federal Reserve and other global central banks, which are liberal buyers of gold. Like the illegal shipments of cocaine in the Netflix series Narcos, much of the illegal gold flowing into the US enters in Miami. Last year, more than $35 billion in gold cycled through Miami. And just like cocaine, a market for illicit metal has blossomed in South Florida, where nearly a third of the nation’s imported gold enters. Over the past decade, Miami, a longtime point of entry into the United States for contraband, imported $35 billion worth of gold via air, according to U.S. Customs records analyzed by WorldCity, a Coral Gables-based economic data firm. That was more than any other U.S. city. Some of the metal shipped to Miami is refined locally. Other batches are sent across the country to be melted down and manufactured into jewelry and bullion. Central banks around the world are major buyers of gold. So is the U.S. Mint. And electronics companies use small amounts of gold in consumer products because it is an effective conductor and doesn’t corrode. One way or another, almost everyone has Miami gold in their pockets, portfolios or jewelry boxes. Simple math shows it can’t all be clean. Years ago, South American drug smuggling networks realized that they could easily wash billions of dollars in profits through illicit gold mining. */ /*-->*/   Local governments say the prevalence of illegal gold mining can be seen in the official statistics. Colombia, for example, has only a handful of mines. But government export data shows tens of billions of dollars in gold leave the country every year. This difference is the illegal mines, which are typically run by organized crime groups. And while Cocaine is obviously illegal, gold can be melted and remelted until its origin is impossible to pinpoint. Take Colombia, a country with a substantial mining industry that exported 64 tons of gold in 2016, much of it to the United States, according to government statistics. That same year, Colombia’s large-scale, legal mining operations produced only eight tons, according to the Colombian Mining Association. A significant part of the gap between what Colombia’s big mines produce and what the country exports is unlicensed gold — sometimes unearthed by operations controlled by narco-traffickers and other criminals. The big Colombian mines that “[legally] produce gold can be counted on one hand,” said Jaime Pinilla, an engineer and legal gold mine owner in Colombia. “There’s a huge difference in the amount that is produced and the amount that is exported." And the discrepancy is not just happening in Colombia: Statistics from other Latin American gold-producing nations show similar ratios between legal and illegal gold mining. It’s impossible to know where all the illegal gold is coming from — but it’s clear where most of it ends up. Latin America accounts for nearly three-quarters of the gold imported into the United States, roughly 200 tons in 2015, according to Miami-based trade analytics firm Datamyne and the U.S. Geological Survey. That’s not far off from the total amount of gold mined in the United States annually. Aside from being easier to conceal, illegal mining is also far more profitable than cocaine trafficking. In 2014, a kilo of gold was worth between $30,000 and $40,000 in Colombia, according to Colombian intelligence figures obtained by the Miami Herald. By comparison, a kilo of cocaine sold for roughly $2,500. While drug trafficking in Colombia generated less than a billion dollars in total revenue in 2014, according to those same estimates, illegal mining produced roughly $2.4 billion. Here’s how drug cartels use gold trading as a front for their money laundering operation, which allows them to mix their illegitimate drug-dealing profits with the money they earn selling gold. But banks can’t accept big deposits of cash, let alone duffel bags of coke-dusted bills, without checking how the funds were made. One solution for criminals: investing in supposedly legitimate businesses. Here’s how gold fits in: Drug-cartel associates posing as precious-metals traders buy and mine gold in Latin America. Cocaine profits are their seed money. They sell the metal through front companies — hiding its criminal taint — to refineries in the United States and other major gold-buying nations like Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates. Once the deal is made, the cocaine kingpins have successfully turned their dirty gold into clean cash. To the outside world, they’re not drug dealers anymore; they’re gold traders. That’s money laundering. As one might imagine, human rights abuses abound at illegal gold mines hidden deep in the Peruvian or Colombian jungles. Workers are treated like slaves and forced to work in dangerous conditions. Heavy machinery is abandoned in the jungle, and dynamite and chemicals – like mercury - used to extract the gold do irreparable damage to the environment. The human rights abuses and deforestation are a “bleeding sore that affects millions of people and their future livelihoods,” said Douglas Farah, a national security consultant and visiting fellow at the Pentagon-funded National Defense University in Washington, D.C. "It’s become an enormously damaging industry that very few people are looking at seriously," Farah said. "Just as with ‘blood diamonds,’ the gold issue ... brings together money laundering, forced prostitution, drug traffickers, human trafficking and child slavery.' Until now, the international gold market’s dark side has drawn little public attention in the United States. That lack of scrutiny has allowed the trade in dirty gold to grow more profitable than cocaine, according to government estimates in Latin America. "Criminal groups make so much more money from gold than from coca, and it’s so much easier," said Ivan Díaz Corzo, a former member of Colombia’s anti-criminal-mining task force. In its report, the Herald focuses on the case of NTR Metals, a local gold broker that was busted by federal authorities for purchasing illegally sourced gold and using the precious metal to help launder illegal drug profits. It’s the largest example of gold being used to mask drug profits in US history. The company’s parent company, Dallas-based Elemetal, sold gold to Apple and other Fortune 500 companies. In Latin America, criminals see mining and trading precious metals as a lucrative growth business, carefully hidden from U.S. consumers who flaunt gold around their necks and fingers but have no idea where it comes from — or who gets hurt. The narcos know their market is strong: America’s addiction to the metal burns as insatiably as its craving for cocaine. NTR, for instance, was the subsidiary of a major U.S. gold refinery that supplied Apple and 67 other Fortune 500 companies, as well as Tiffany & Co., according to a Miami Herald analysis of corporate disclosures. Last March, federal prosecutors in Miami charged Granda, his boss, Samer Barrage, and another NTR trader, Renato Rodriguez, with money laundering, saying the three men bought $3.6 billion of illegal gold from criminal groups in Latin America. They claimed the gold traders, who eventually pleaded guilty, fueled “illegal gold mining, foreign bribery [and] narcotics trafficking." Now, those prosecutors are investigating other U.S. precious-metals dealers suspected of buying tainted gold from drug traffickers, law enforcement sources say. Their goal is not just to take out crooked gold firms like NTR — they also want to kneecap the drug cartels. The indicted gold brokers are expected to be sentenced later this month. They’re each facing up to 10 years in prison, though they’ve agreed to cooperate with the government’s probe. The fallout from the probe has thrown a business with billions of dollars in sales – and a gold refinery in rural Ohio – into disarray, and could lead to its closure. A Peruvian businessman suspected of working on behalf of the cartels was also indicted as part of the probe. But while this prosecution was successful, US law enforcement have barely scratched the surface of this industry.  

17 января, 12:22

Qatar: Exiled sheikh promoted by Saudi Arabia now in Kuwait

An exiled Qatari sheikh once promoted by Saudi Arabia as a possible opposition leader amid a diplomatic dispute with Doha is now in Kuwait, authorities said Wednesday, after he had alleged that the United Arab Emirates was holding him against his will.

16 января, 08:28

Qatar 🇶🇦 denies intercepting Emirati civilian aircraft

The United Arab Emirates has accused Qatari air force jets of intercepting two civilian Emirati aircraft going to Bahrain. Qatar's Foreign Ministry stresses UAE allegations on interception of Emirati aircraft are baseless. US Air Force Central Command, based in Qatar, declined to comment. Al Jazeera's Nadim Baba reports from London. - Subscribe to our channel: http://aje.io/AJSubscribe - Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AJEnglish - Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aljazeera - Check our website: http://www.aljazeera.com/

15 января, 23:20

Move Over, Queen Elizabeth: Meet Other Royal Families From Around the World

While Queen Elizabeth and her royal family get a lot of attention, these other royals from around the world are also fascinating.

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15 января, 22:36

UAE says Qatar fighter jets intercept flights, Doha denies

The United Arab Emirates on Monday claimed that Qatari fighter jets intercepted two of its commercial airliners in international airspace on the way to Bahrain, allegations denied by Qatar.

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15 января, 22:29

Brother of detained Qatari 🇶🇦 royal: UAE sending mixed messages

Qatar's human rights committee says the detention of a member of its royal family by the UAE is illegal and violates human rights laws. Sheikh Abdullah Bin Ali Al-thani is not the first public figure to accuse Abu Dhabi of holding them against their will. Qatar's foreign ministry says it is monitoring developments closely. Sheikh Khalid Bin Ali Al Thani, the brother of Sheikh Abdullah Bin Ali Al Thani, has told Al Jazeera that his brother has received mixed messages from authorities in the United Arab Emirates. - Subscribe to our channel: http://aje.io/AJSubscribe - Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AJEnglish - Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aljazeera - Check our website: http://www.aljazeera.com/

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15 января, 22:20

UAE says Qatari jet fighters intercepted civilian flights

DUBAI (Reuters) - The United Arab Emirates said on Monday Qatari air force jets had twice intercepted its civilian aircraft during routine flights to Bahrain, but Qatar called the claim "completely untrue".

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15 января, 20:19

Qatar 🇶🇦 slams UAE 🇦🇪 over detention of royal family member

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Qatar's human rights committee says the detention of a member of the royal family by the United Arab Emirates is illegal and violates human rights laws. Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali Al Thani is the latest in a line of public figures to accuse Abu Dhabi of holding them against their will. Qatar's foreign ministry says its monitoring developments closely. Al Jazeera's Jamal el-Shayyal reports. - Subscribe to our channel: http://aje.io/AJSubscribe - Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AJEnglish - Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aljazeera - Check our website: http://www.aljazeera.com/

15 января, 17:35

UAE Accuses Qatar Of Intercepting Two Commercial Planes, Stocks Plunge

The Qatari and Saudi/United Arab Emirates economic and diplomatic war which began early last summer appears to have taken to the skies above the Persian Gulf, where early Monday the UAE accused Qatari fighter jets of intercepting two UAE civilian airplanes. The UAE's official news agency WAM reported that the country's General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) has issued a statement, saying "it had received a complaint from one of the UAE's national carriers that one of its aircraft on a flight to Manama on a normal route had been intercepted by Qatari fighters." The UAE's aviation authority condemned the flight intercept, which WAM also suggests included another flight that was intercepted while landing, describing both incidents as "a flagrant threat to the safety of civil aviation and a clear violation of international law." The statement further warned that, "The United Arab Emirates rejects this threat to the safety of air traffic and will take all the necessary legal measures to ensure the safety and security of civil aviation." Among the UAE's 5 commercial carriers, it is not known which flights were intercepted according to the allegations. A follow-up report issued by WAM further claims "Qatari fighter jets buzz second UAE civil aircraft" while on a routine flight to Manama, Bahrain. Though it's not yet known which particular airline carrier was allegedly intercepted, the initial flight was set to land at one of the Middle East's busiest hubs - Bahrain International Airport - which lies just outside of the Bahraini capital of Manama. The UAE has a total of five commercial carriers, including the well-known international Dubai-based Emirates and Air Arabia, which is widely considered as the largest low cost airline in the Middle East. The news sent Qatar stocks tumbling, and the country's benchmark stocks index reversed gains following the news,  dropping 2.5% at the close in Doha, its biggest one day fall since the Qatar blockade broke out. Dubai stocks also extended losses.   The UAE allegations of a Qatari intercept of commercial aircraft come amid a full economic and diplomatic blockade on Qatar by the Saudi-led alliance of GCC countries: Source: ICAO, CAPA, Flightradar24 via Al Jazeera Qatar was quick to deny the UAE's claims both through official statements and its major international broadcaster Al Jazeera. Qatar's spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Lulwa al-Khater, issued a statement immediately following initial reports which reads, "The State of Qatar announces that the claims of Qatari fighter-planes intercepting a UAE civil aircraft is completely false. A detailed statement will follow." The State of #Qatar announces that the claims of Qatari fighter-planes intercepting a UAE civil aircraft is completely false. A detailed statement will follow. — لولوة راشد الخاطر (@Lolwah_Alkhater) January 15, 2018 Following multiple statements out of the UAE, an Al Jazeera report quoted multiple Qatari officials who denied all allegations, while notably citing US military officials stationed in Qatar as having no knowledge of the incident. According to Al Jazeera: US Air Force Central Command, which is based at the sprawling al-Udeid Air Base in Qatar, also did not immediately have any report about an alleged incident involving a commercial aircraft in the region, said Lt. Col. Damien Pickart, an Air Force spokesman. However, Pickart cautioned that US forces do not routinely monitor the flights and operations of the Qatari air force. In early June multiple gulf countries began openly accusing tiny oil rich Qatar of supporting terrorism and facilitating pro-Iran factions in the region, after which a complete economic blockade was placed on Qatar by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates. Saudi Arabia especially has been the leading Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nation targeting Qatar, though in recent months tensions and rhetoric have been relatively calmed after tensions ratcheted throughout the summer.  However, this weekend there was a dramatic escalation when Sheikh Abdullah Bin Ali Al-Thani, a descendant of Qatar’s founder, accused the U.A.E. of holding him against his will. On Sunday Al-Thani released on Sunday a video statement saying he was "a prisoner" in the UAE capital, Abu Dhabi. He also cryptically blamed "Sheikh Mohammed" as bearing responsibility should anything happen to him - an apparent reference to Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed. #عاجل بالفيديو | الشيخ عبدالله بن علي آل ثاني يقول إنه محتجز في #أبو_ظبي بعد استضافة الشيخ محمد بن زايد له ويقول إن دولة #قطر بريئة من أي مكروه قد يحدث له pic.twitter.com/6Gc7XOZT75 — الجزيرة مباشر (@ajmubasher) January 14, 2018 "I am currently in Abu Dhabi. I was a guest of Sheikh Mohammed. I am no longer a guest; I am a prisoner," the Qatari royal said in the widely circulated social media video. "They told me not to leave. I am afraid that anything could happen to me, and the people of Qatar would be blamed. So I just wanted to inform you that if anything happens to me, the people of Qatar are innocent," he added. Al-Thani's possible reference to Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince Mohammed came when he said: "I am a guest of Sheikh Mohammed and if anything happens to me after this, he is fully responsible."  He is a son of Qatar's emir from the 1960s, Sheikh Ali bin Abdullah Al Thani, and after decades of relative obscurity within Qatari politics he suddenly rose to prominence and visibility when the diplomatic crisis within the GCC broke out on June 5th.  The timing of the renewed gulf escalation is hardly a coincidence: a day after the Al Thani video was made tensions have once again exploded out into the open, this time involving allegations of dangerous commercial jet intercepts by military aircraft. One wonders if the oil-rich Gulf states preparing for "plan B" how to keep the price of oil higher even after the Vienna production cut deal ends.