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20 March, 2005

Death in Doha: Qaeda in Qatar?

The first bomb in Qatar: bad news for the entire Gulf.

"A suspected suicide bomber targeting a theatre near a British school in Qatar has killed one male Briton and injured about 12 other people.

"The car bomb blast occurred at the Doha Players theatre outside the capital, Doha, where Shakespeare's Twelfth Night was being performed. "

Still no confirmations of who was behind the attack, carried out by an Egyptian national, but the fact that it took place on the second anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq, coupled with the wester expat location (a theatre) suggests anti-western sentiment. The UK's former UAE ambassador, Antony Harris, points out that:

"Doha was the base from where the US organised the invasion so it's not a coincidence, it's a deliberate act."

The attack came two days after the suspected leader of Al Qaeda's Saudi wing urged Muslims in Gulf states to wage holy war against "crusaders", according to Reuters, making it possible that the Egyptian was inspired to act alone.

There is also the possibility that Qatar was targeted because of Al Jazeera, which continues to broadcast opinions controversial and unpopular in many Arab nations.

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