Overview on Security
Security is an important element in any given country since the presence or absence of security significantly affects the general operations of any given country’s activities. For the necessary level of security to exist in a country, there is a need for cooperation among different systems of governance and operational security in the given country. This is attributable to the fact that such cooperation ensures that people and the country’s resources are safe. As such, the effectiveness of the different branches of power plays a significant role in ensuring that the well-being of any given state is maintained. However, the security of the state is determined by the operationthrough diverse systems, which have the capacity to alter the operations and activities of people in the concerned state.Security in a state requires agencies to ensure that the different security systems align to one another in terms of their functionality.1 Such an approach guarantees prosperity and the stability of the country.
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This paper is an in-depth study of the state of security, potential sources, and possible risks for the United Arab Emirates. This analysis gives special research attention to the element and policy of Homeland Security.
Because of the new geography,security systems are designed to achieve different goals and objectives with respect to the peculiarities of the given country’s culture. For example,countries with increased conflicts would design their security system based on the needs to carb such conflicts. Such can be attributed to the fact that for the efficiency of the security system, it has to align with the needs and demands of the local culture.
Objectives of the Research
The primary objective of this study is to explore The State of security and potential threat towards theUnited Arab Emirates. The study has specific objectives, which include the listed:
- To analyze the demographics, economy and peculiarities of the United Arab Emirates.
- To establish the role ofHomeland Security in the state of security affairs in the United Arab Emirates.
- To assess the security risks and threats in the United Arab Emirates, and measures for such security threats
- To review some of the past security cases that have a close connection with the work of Homeland Security
- To evaluate the current state of security
- To propose issues for consideration in risk management of possible external or internal threats in the United Arab Emirates.
Based on the above research objectives, the study will rely on research questions listed below to act as study guides towards achieving the objectives of the study.
- What are the demographics, economy, and peculiarities of the United Arab Emirates?
- Does the Homeland Security have any significant role in ensuring effective security in the United Arab Emirates?
- Are there any security threats in the United Arab Emirates and available measures to deal with such security threats?
- What are some of the past security cases that have a close connection with the work of Homeland Security?
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this descriptive study is to examine the state of the security in the United Arab Emirates with a specific focus on the role of Homeland Security in enhancing geopolitical stability in the region. In addition, the study seeks to establish the potential sources and possible security risks for the United Arab Emirates.
Importance of the Study
The United Arab Emirates is known for increased cases of insecurity due to the fact that there are numerous terrorists groups within and outside the country’s borders. The complete list of these groups is mentioned in the 2014 Federal Law on combating terrorism crimes. In general, there are more than 87 terrorist organizations included in the list. They are both national and international. The national terrorist groups are those based in the United Arab Emirates, such as the UAE Muslim Brotherhood. Their emergence and operations are significantly influenced by Iran and Iranian terrorist organizations.Other groups are regional and based in Saudi Arabia (for instance, Hizbollah Al Hijaz) and Arabian Peninsula (Hizb Al Ummah):Syria (Abu Dhar Al-Ghifari Battalion, Katibat al-Khadra (the Green Battalion), Abu Bakr Al Siddiq Brigade, etc.), Iraq (The Badr Organization, Hizbollah Brigades, Ansar al-Islam Group, and other organizations), Pakistan(Haqqani Network, Taliban Movement of Pakistan, and East Turkistan Movement of Pakistan), Lebanon (Fatah Al Islam and the League of the Followers), Egypt (AjnadMisr (Soldiers of Egypt) and Jamaa Islamic), and Iran (Al Qaeda).
In addition, there are international organizations based in Uzbekistan (the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan), United Kingdom (Muslim Association of Britain andCordoba Foundation), Norway (the Islamic Council of Norway), Switzerland (Alkamara Organization), Italy (Association of Italian Muslims), Sweden (the Muslim Association of Sweden), Denmark (the Islamic Society of Denmark), France (Union of Islamic Organizations of France), and Germany (the Islamic Society of Germany).Still, regardless of the array of terrorist groups, those in geographic proximity to the United Arab Emirates are the most significant ones and the largest threat to security presently (UAE Muslim Brotherhood). Because they are powerful and operate in the region, they should be focused on, especially keeping in mind the desire of other neighboring countries to become even more influential in this part of the world.
While the security of any country is an important element in its growth and development, the subject of security in the United Arab Emirates, the possible sources of insecurity and risks have remained to be unstudied, with only little focus in the past.
Given the fact that the region has been able to remain a bit stable politically despite the security threats from within and outside its borders, there is a need to examine the strategic approaches used in the country to enhance security.2To detect and deter terrorism, special attention is paid to developing efficient security policies that involve network security, increased awareness of the main threat of terrorism, and making anti-terror laws tough and strict (life imprisonment and capital punishment).For this reason, this study is highly significant in that it explores the state of the security in the United Arab Emirates by focusing on the role of the Homeland Security in enhancing geopolitical stability in the region. Therefore, this study is significant as an addition to the existing literature on the United Arab Emirates’ security as well as for academic purposes.
The study required valid and reliable data to draw comprehensive inferences regarding the state of the security in the United Arab Emirates and the significance of Homeland Security in the United Arab Emirates in enhancing geopolitical stability. The combination of qualitative and quantitative methods was used to get the relevant data with respect to the subject under investigation. Therefore, descriptive study and the case study designs were used. Data for the study was collected from past cases of security concerns in the United Arab Emirates, such as the 2015 Reem Island Ghost case, the 2010 assassination of MamouldAal-Mabhouh, the operation of the Muslim brotherhood in the United Arab Emirates, and an attempt to take over Abu Dhabi Government.Recently, middle east are facing many security issues such as Qatar, Iran and the war in Yemen all those issuesare require serious precaution and caution. Furthermore, recently we have discovered that Qatar playing as sponsor of terrorist organization by giving them large amount of money such as Muslim brotherhood. Primary sources of information included reports on anti-terroristoperations, while secondary resources were the case studies investigating those terrorist attacks that were mentioned above.
Scope and Limitations
This study focuses on issues related to the security concerns and threats in the United Arab Emirates. As such, some of the major indicators and important factors considered include the United Arab Emirates’ Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and an overview of the region’s population and infrastructure. In addition, the study reviews past cases of security concerns in the United Arab Emirates including; the case of Reem Island Ghost, the execution of Hashemi, the assassination of MahmouldAal-Mabhouh, and the Muslims Brotherhood. However, the study is limited to the data available to the public since major issues of security concerns to the country are considered as classified information. In addition, terror groups such as the Muslims Brotherhood, keep their information private.
Homeland Security: is a term used to describe a country’s efforts of ensuring that there is safety, security, and resilience against terror attacks as well as any other hazards.
- Homeland Security of the United Arab Emirates: this refers to the government of the United Arab Emirates’ security policy that was adopted for the purpose of ensuring geopolitical stability within the region.
- Muslim brotherhood: another common name of the group is Muslim Brothers. It is the way its members refer to themselves. This terrorist group is a transnational Sunni Islamists group that was started in Egypt in 1928 with the core purposes being to ensure the adherence to Islamic social and moral values. In spite of this, it became a political organization in 1939 and opposes the government on aspects of Westernization. Being Pan-Islamic, it gained momentum after Arab Spring due to the increased popularity of the preached moral values based on active propagation via social networks and during the course of the revolts. Regardless of positioningitself as a democratic and peaceful organization, in fact, all strategic objectives of the group are achieved by means of violence and terrorist attacks. As for the influence on the United Arab Emirates, it is mainly connected to threats to political stability in the country, especially after making an attempt to overthrow the Government of Abu Dhabi and take control over this emirate.
- Peculiarities: describes the existence of a differentiating trait in an individual, group, or system. In the case of this study, peculiarity is used to define the state of indifference among various groups in the country, and which tend to influence the security of the United Arab Emirates.
There are various theories that focus on provision of more insights into the concept of security. This section highlights a few theories on security with the aim of shedding light on the aspect of security and how it applies in the case of this study.
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Regional Security Complex Theory
This theory was postulated by Ole Waever&Barry Buzan (1998). The authors are professors in international relations. They put a lot of emphasis on the aspects of security complexes. According to this theory, security is clustered differently from one geographical region to the other and hence, security concerns are not likely to travel over distances, which imply that any given region has a high probability of experiencing security threats.3In addition, there is an interrelationship between the security of one region and other actors. Based on the main postulates of the theory mentioned above, it is obvious that it can be selected as the theoretical framework for the research due to being beneficial for obtaining a better understanding of the concept of security and knowing how to analyze all aspects of this concept.Moreover, because the theory is developed from the perspective of international relations, it may be helpful for apprehending security based on the specificities of developing relations with other states.
Often, intense security interdependence is noticed within a region as opposed to between regions. Such relationship is considered the defining concept of a region. In the view of this theory, it is most likely that regions are isolated. Instead, there is a need to consider regions as mini systems in which all other IR theories like alliance systems, interdependence, polarity and balance of power, are applicable.
Theory of International Politics
This theory was postulated by Waltz and he defines theory as an approach to deal with complex issues. This theory proposes that political systems and security can be considered to be at a given level, and that it comprises of a particular structure. This structure makes up the systems-level component and this enhances the thought of units as being different from a mere collection. In other levels, the system comprises of interacting units implying that the interactions and behaviors of units within a system are influenced by their general organization.4 In the view of this theory, systems approach is only necessary where there is mutual effect between the interacting units and the system’s structure.
In the case of the current study on the state of the United Arab Emirates’ security and the concept of Homeland Security, Waltz’s theory is helpful for explainingthe existence of potential risks and threats in the region amidst the country’ security systems and strategies.
This research is divided intothe following chapters; introduction, methodology, literature review and findings and conclusion: The introduction provided an overview of the concepts being examined, research objectives, purpose of the study, importance of the study, scope and limitations, terminologies used, and the research questions. The literature review chapter offers a general outlook of the state of the security in the United Arab Emirates and the role of the United Arab Emirates’ Homeland Security. Additionally, this chapter presents the challenges currently experienced in the United Arab Emirates including increased cases of terror attacks(such as May 2017 WannaCry attack which affected over 750,000 computers in over 100 countries), cyberspace attacks, and drug trafficking among others.
The methodology chapter highlights the research design used in the study alongside rationale for use. In addition, in the methodology chapter, various cases regarding the operations of Homeland Security of the United Arab Emirates are discussed.
Chapter fourwill include the findings. These findings will include the state of the security in the United Arab Emirates based on the analysis, the role of the country’s security system in enhancing internal and external safety, threats, challenges faced in maintaining security in the country, and risk assessment.Moreover, the chapter will include a number of lessons from the state of the security in the United Arab Emirates.
Chapter 5 will include the recommendations, conclusion, and a summary of the paper with concluding remarks and personal review based on the risk assessment of this research paper.
The focus of this study is on gaining more insight into the security risks and threats in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The main case will be examining the efficacy of Homeland Security of the United Arab Emirates. To achieve the objectives of the study, this section of the thesis provides a review of past studies on security issues and potential threatsin the United Arab Emirates; Factors that contribute to some of the security conditions in the region and the effects on the Homeland Security. The literature review will cover the demographics of the United Arab Emirates, the country’s economic position in the global map, alongside the peculiarities in the United Arab Emirates. Such analysis will also include the region’s population, gross domestic product and the infrastructural development and what part they play in the state of the security in the United Arab Emirates. These aspects will be reviewed to bring out the economic position of United Arab Emirates amidst increased terror threats and security issues.
Secondly, the literature review will examine the current shifts of the Homeland Security in the United Arab Emirates, uniqueness associated with the Homeland Security, the role of the media in the security concerns of the United Arab Emirates, as well as the challenges facing United Arab Emirates. In this section, the study will cover the past security cases in the United Arab Emiratesrelative to the set objectives. Such cases will include theReem Island Ghost case (2014), the assassination of MamouldAal-Mabhouh (2010), and the aspect of the Muslim brotherhood in the United Arab Emirates, including an attempt to overthrow the Government of Abu Dhabi. These cases will provide a clear picture of the state of the United Arab Emirates’ security and the significance of the Homeland Security.Their influence on the issue of national security in UAE will be reviewed from the perspective of the criticality of law enforcement agencies in protecting peace and reacting to terrorist attacks as well as addressing their consequences.
Background on the United Arab Emirates
A lot of concerns have been raised regarding the role of strict security measures in a country. Such concerns are based on the fact that crisis can affect any country regardless of its internal or external structures and relations.
The country has been experiencing a lot of transformation in the recent years, which has led to the vulnerability of the United Arab Emirates in relation to terror attacks and other potential threats. For example, there has been a rapid economic growth in the United Arab Emiratesover the recent years. Compared to other regions of the world, the economic growth in the United Arab Emirateswas ranked 30th in 2010, which is an increase from position 62 according to Human Development index report of 1971.6The graph below (Figure 1) provides a summary of the economic growth of the United Arab Emirates since the 1970s.
Economically, the United Arab Emirates has showed significant growth with agriculture and exports being the key sources of revenue in the country. The country’s exports comprise majorly of oil and gas, and related products. The growth and development of infrastructure in the United Arab Emirates has been very instrumental in the country’s growth in terms of business and industries. The rapid growth in the United Arab Emirates’ economy has significantly affected the prices of major products such as oil and related products. Since 2000, the economy of the United Arab Emirates has grown at an annual rate of 7%. In spite of the significant growth in the country’s economy, there are negative effects associated with such growth such as increased level of insecurity in the region.
The United Arab Emirates’Potential Security Threat
United Arab Emirates’ growth and development has been of much significance not only to Middle East but also to the whole world. Such economic growth attracts people from different parts of the world with all sorts of intentions. The majority of the immigrants aim to make a living in the United Arab Emirates. However, terror groups targeted to radicalize the immigrants who end up without a source of income. A good example of groups targeted by terrorists includes immigrants from Egypt and other neighboring countries. Secondly, a significant number of people from Jordan, Algeria, Kuwait, and Iraq, move to the United Arab Emirates in search of jobs and business links.
As such, in spite of such development, United Arab Emirates suffers from internal and external challenges especially on matters related to geopolitical security threats in the region. United Arab Emirates faces a lot of security threats from Iran. For example, Iran has been experiencing an increase in its military power over the recent years. Such a situation is a risk to the United Arab Emirates’ security as it presents a high probability towards the disruption of power within the region. In addition, Iran has been engaging in the development of nuclear power, which increases the United Arab Emirates’ vulnerability to increased risks of terrorist attacksinitiated bythe terror group in the Gulf and Arabian Peninsula region (Al Qaeda). This is attributable to the fact that most of these extremists groups mentioned in the 2014 Federal Law lack operation base in the United Arab Emirates. Still, regardless of this fact, they are present in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Fujairah that makes them powerful enough to affect political stability in the UAE, especially keeping in mind that they are supported by regional terrorist groups, specifically those from Iran.All of these groups were listed in the previous section. In spite of this, the general lack of security in the region has adverse effects on the security of the United Arab Emirates.
8Following the invasion of Iraq, the United Arab Emirates experienced a shift in its stability, and balance, as Iran grew its military power based on asymmetric warfare, cruise missiles, and ballistic missiles as opposed to the United Arab Emirates’ defensive means. Iran is to blame for regional instability in various parts of the GCC such as in Yemen, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain. Iran has sleeper cells in different locations as in Syria, Bahrain, Lebanon, and in GCC, which pose a greater security risk in the United Arab Emirates.
The increased security threats in the United Arab Emirates over the recent years have been attributed to radicalization among the immigrants from Africa – those belonging to terrorist organizations based in this region, such as the Egyptian Soldiers of Egypt and Jamaa Islamic. More than that, the Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), under the leadership of Nasir al-Wuhayshi, is responsible for the radicalization. The United Arab Emirates government allows immigrants since it has become a regional and international hub for business. In addition, the United Arab Emirates relies heavily on foreign labor for the growth of its economy. In addition, there are cases of individuals who come to the United Arab Emirates for studies but when such individuals fail to achieve their goals, or they are desperate for quick money, chances are high that they turn to criminal activities, as in the case of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a Nigerian citizen jailed for attempting to blowup and airplane.
Proper intelligence is needed especially to scrutinize the immigrants entering the United Arab Emirates, as well as their operations once in the region. For example, the United Arab Emirates saw the need for improved security measures after the events of the second Gulf War.9 This was attributed to the realization that it was almost impossible for an individual country to champion for political stability in the region without the input of other Arab countries. As such, the state of the security in the United Arab Emirates largely depends on the cooperation of all other Arab countries in the region, as far as fighting security threats within the region is concerned. There is a need for the United Arab Emirates to enhance the efficiency of its Homeland Security to take care of internal and external threats in the country. This can be achieved through establishment of effective oversight as well as accountability of counterterrorism measures and policies. Even though the United Arab Emirates is focused on its efforts to ensure security within its borders, as well as around the region, such attempts have always been adversely affected by security attacks from its neighbors such as Iran.
Significance of Controlling Security in the United Arab Emirates
The ability to control security is very essential for the safety of citizens and the state at large. For this reason, the subject of controlling potential security threats and risks in the United Arab Emirates is worth studying.This study lays out the various threats the country faces as security within the country is concerned as well as any potential measures that can be adopted to deal with such security risks and potential threats. The idea that is common in the majority of studies about security risks and threats in the United Arab Emiratesis thatthere is a need for more efforts to be adopted to enhance security within the region. The country also has a responsibility to carry out an assessment of the potential threats and challenges that it may experience as well as the formulation of the strategies that can be used to solve them. However, the country may still continue to receive security threats.
For the region to be able to control its security system there is need for the identification and verification of its borders. There are several systems that are used in checking and investigating security issues in a country. Some of these systems make the use of biometric data are Deoxyribonucleic Acid(DNA), fingerprints and iris recognition. This is possible since the Interpol makes a database of DNA profiles, fingerprints, as well as facial images. For example, the geographic information system (GIS) is developed in a way that it can obtain, store, manipulate, as well as make an analysis of security information based on geographical data is a suitable approach that has been introduced followed the advancement in technology. With the introduction of the GIS, it has become possible to enhance security within the United Arab Emirates since such system supports the enforcement of law, and the security and safety of the public.
In addition to the initiatives mentioned and described above, there are some novelties in the national security system. For instance, the Ministry of Interior supported the creation of special anti-terrorism units.The UAE collaborates with Germany in order to enhance training of officers working within in these units. As for now, around 50 UAE officers undergo training in Germany –country known for effective anti-terrorist policies and programs. Nowadays, this initiative is one of the most productive ones. Except for these units, there is as well Federal police. It is created based on the example of the police of the United States. In this case, special attention is also paid to anti-terror training.
The need for the implementation of a new strategy to enhance the efficiency of security within the country may also be determined by the high number of travelers in the United Arab Emirates.10Because the utilization of the country identification cards at the borders, United Arab Emirates also finds it necessary to implement the border protection methods. For this reason and due to the recent advancement in technology, the country manufactured flying drones that are remotely controlled and help in monitoring the airports’ territory. The writings on the territory state that eyes have to be kept on the sky in the efforts to protect the ports at Abu Dhabi.
This message is essential when passed to individuals as they help in making the current situation known as well as providing any possible strategies for improvements of the United Arab Emirates’Homeland Security and border protection. Some of the laws governing border security include the maritime security and police law. However, the efforts by security agencies and other agents cannot succeed without the legal implications from the government. As a result, the government influence plays a significant role in deciding on the activities to implement so that the security state can be improved. The public policy of United Arab Emirates is to build strong relationship for a long-term in all parts of the world. Those relationships are constructive international political, economic and social relationships. Recently, United Arab Emirates has more than 182 diplomatic relationships with other country. According to CPC “currently, more than 200 nationalities are registered as living in the country. All are governed by a legal system that protects their beliefs, respects their customs and traditions, and guarantees them the freedom to practice their faith in a fair and transparent environment that prevents religious, sectarian or ethnic intolerance from developing”.
The legal factor is among the mostly considered factors before the commencement of any security project or program. As a result, the United Arab Emiratesshould focus on controllingillegal exports and imports to and from the country but also to intensify possible other homeland threats. This is attributed to the fact that illegal exports and imports of firearms increase the potential security risks and threats within the country.11The aim of such consideration is to protect the resilience of the notion. Other states such as the United States of America (USA) have helped in the war against terror through partnering with the United Arab Emirates to deal with security threats and potential risks in the country.
The United Arab Emirates is presented as a strong supporter of the methods put across by the European Union (EU) in efforts to improve security levels. Through the use of such guide, United Arab Emirates has also published its own strategies that it is using to ensure peace within the country. For example, there has been an effective collaboration between the USA and United Arab Emirates in the war against terror in the United Arab Emirates. The country’s credentials of non-proliferation have an international recognition. As a result, such a layer is very essential both regionally and internationally as the step may be significant and contribute to the improvement of the Homeland Security. Due to the efforts to ensure stability in the country, this aspect is important for this research work.The United Arab Emiratesaims at continuously enhancing its control measures within the country. It has already set huge amounts of money for the improvement of security at its homeland.
It is essential to note that there is cyberspace which makes another reason for the improvement of theHomeland Security level. The cases of cyber violations in the United Arab Emirates have increased in recent times. For example, there have been more than 400 active cases in Dubai identified and confirmed by Dubai Prosecution. As a result, there is a need for the government to set strategies that help in improving the Homeland Security to deal with such issues, includingusing the newest technologies for improving security,enforcing legislation, and guaranteeing the effectiveness of security systems. Statistics indicate that drivers of market cyber security are propelled towards raising the digital risk of Internet users. This increment can be done through the establishment of the places and people at risk due to the wide utilization of cloud computing and engineering.For this reason, the new laws on cyber security include the provisions aimed at reducing cyber risks. For instance, there are increased penalties for using the Internet as a tool for violating one’s privacy as well as imprisonment for deploying malware for collecting private information or compromising security. In addition, abusing people over the Internet, including religion-related insulting, sharing pornography or slandering public people and officials is as well punishable.
The United Arab Emirates has a strong urge to improve its Homeland Security so that economic growth may continue to be witnessed. To achieve this objective, it is important to note that several strategies may be used by the country to improve its security state. First, the government plays an influential role as it encourages the region to adopt and use the recently developed technologies such as sensors, and digital signatureto ensure efficiency and effectiveness of its security as far as cybercrimes are concerned.12 In addition, the state has a concern on the law enforcement as well as the legal aspects that have to be considered within the country –those related to cyber security and minimizing risks of terrorist attacks. Finally, the United Arab Emiratesshould ensure that the security remains tight with no potential threats from terror groups or any other individuals who hinder its development. This can be achieved through creating friendly relationships with neighboring countries, entering into partnership to fight terror, as well as enacting laws that govern immigrations and online operations.
Demographics, Economy and Peculiarities of the United Arab Emirates
It is perceived that the state of security in any country is closely linked to the country’s economic position, demographics, as well as other factors such as peculiarities. As such, examining the demographics, economy, and peculiarities of the United Arab Emirates will provide a clear picture of the state of security in the country and whether or not these factors have any significant role to play as far as the country’s security condition is concerned.
Demographics of the United Arab Emirates
Demographics are the aspects that are used in the description of any population. In this case, some of the features of the United Arab Emirates population are its ability to accommodate more than 9.4 million residents within its borders (see Table 1 below). However, the population is much diversified.This is attributable to the fact that the United Arab Emirates’ culture allows socialization regardless of people’s culture or nationality. The population is also dense in urban areas and sparse in rural areas due to the development in the big cities of the region (see Figures 2 and 3 below). As a result, 65% of the total population is found in urban areas and the rest in rural areas. The movements from rural areas to urban centers provide evidence in the referral of the region as one with the highest rate of migration in the world. Migration accounts for more than 20% of the total activities of citizens within the United Arab Emirates.13 The high rate of migration is further motivated by the legalized rules to apply for the United Arab Emirates citizenship as long as an individual has been living in the country for not less than twenty years. The other important feature that may distinguish the population of the United Arab Emirates is the ratio of male to female citizens. Its imbalance of gender is the second largest in the world.
14Table 1: UAE population by emirate.
In spite of the culturally diverse population in the United Arab Emirates, there are adverse security threats associated with such conditions. For example, the fact that immigration into the United Arab Emirates is easy has become a factor to be exploited by terror groups. Over the recent years, there have been numerous cases of radicalization of immigrants from Africa.17As such, it is evident that the demographic information is very essential as it helps the country during the evaluation of the effects of terror attacks within its borders. The authorities of the United Arab Emirates have their biggest suspects as Pakistanis, Iranians, and Indians who are more in number compared to the Emirati citizens.18
Economy of the United Arab Emirates
The economic development of the United Arab Emirates is amazing due to its ability to offer free-market economy. This is because of its rapid and constant growth and stability. One of the greatest contributors to the economic development in the United Arab Emirates is its capacity to export various goods to the outside market. For instance, it is ranked among the highest exporters of oil in the world and the income from oil is adequate to help in the economic development. The oil industry is the dominant in the United Arab Emirates. The advancement of the region in a wealthy economy is very rapid and continues to grow with the developed sectors helping the developing sectors to pick up faster. It is actually proclaimed that since it became independent from Great Britain in 1971, it has got several remarkable states. In the early years of the twenty first century, the annual growth rate of the economy was seven percent, which continued to increase until 2007.19 It was made to substantially fail during the 2008 economic crisis but started rising again in 2010 as shown in the graph below.
However, its losses were not as severe as those suffered by other areas, and it managed to recover very quickly. Therefore, it returned to its high rate of economic growth between 2011 and 2013. However, the adoption of the new value-added tax (VAT) will cause a shift in the tax policy in the region such as changing the operations of all businesses in the region. For example, expectations are high that there will be high inflation following the implementation of VAT, though the rate might stabilize with time.
The government promotes the liberalization of the economy of the United Arab Emirates in several ways. For instance, the legal requirements from any business are well attained by the organizations so that they can operate in the country. Due to the fact that the economy is rapidly growing, there is business competition from both domestic and international firms. There is also no discrimination as both the public and the private sectors are given a similar treatment. This is evident in the case of the 2015 anti-discrimination law that criminalized every form of discrimination in United Arab Emirates. For instance, the government owns some organizations, a fact that gives them the advantage to actively participate in the economic activities of the country.
It does not encourage the establishment or development and implementation of anti-trust laws within its borders. This is because there is a need to ensure that the market conditions remain free for all investors. The United Arab Emirates improves its international relations as well as its international trade with other states. For instance, it has been in partnership with Africa and Latin America since 2011.21 Though it exports oil in large volumes, it also exports dried fish and natural gas. In addition, its agricultural and production sectors are not dormant as they are also developing very fast. With such development of the economic sector, the United Arab Emirates is considered to be one of the most important regions in the world.Still, the transition to alternative sources of energy, such as water, wind, and solar energy, may be associated to the increased risks to national security due to the dependence of the country on oil exports.
In spite of United Arab Emirates’ significance as far as regional and international trade is concerned, there are adverse impacts associated with such economic growth regarding potential security risks and threats within the country. Such growth in economy acts as a target among terror groups due to the presence of a large population comprising of people from different parts of the world. In most of the cases, security activities from terror groups are aimed to cause fear and harm. Some of the confirmed terrorist groups operating in United Arab Emirates include Some of the terror groups include the Al Islah Society, Fatah Al Islam that is originally from Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates Jihad cells, the Ummah Parties which operate within the Gulf Region and the Al Qaeda Organization. Nevertheless, the United Arab Emirates’ growth in economy is significant in that the revenue from the regional and international trade can be used in the development and the adoption of effective strategies to enhance Homeland Security through initiatives such as the development of efficient mechanisms for performance management, as well as strengthen the country’s regulatory framework alongside the United Arab Emirates’ governance system. According to gulf news, the below table are the lists of the terrier’s organization in United Arab Emirates:
|United Arab Emirates terrorist organisation|
|1. Muslim Brotherhood in the UAE||2. Al Islah Society||3. Fatah Al Islam in Lebanon||4. Islamic Association in Italy|
|5. UAE Jihad cells||6. Osbat Al Ansar in Lebanon||7. Islamic Association in Finland||8. Al Karama Organisation|
|9. Al Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb||10. Islamic Association in Sweden||11. Ummah Parties in the Gulf region||12. Ansar Al Sharia (Supporters of Sharia Law) in Libya|
|13. Islamic Association in Norway||14. Al Qaida Organisation||15. Ansar Al Sharia in Tunisia||16. Islamic Relief Organisation in London|
|17. Islamic State (Daesh)||18. Mujahideen Youth Movement in Somalia||19. Cordoba Foundation in Britain||20. Al Qaida in the Arabian |
|21. Boko Haram in Nigeria||22. Islamic Relief Organisation — an affiliate of the International Organisation of the Muslim |
|23. Ansar Al Sharia (Supporters of Sharia Law) in Yemen||24. Almoravids Battalion in Mali|
|25. Taliban Pakistan||26. Muslim Brotherhood Organisation and group||27. Ansar Al Deen (Defenders of the Faith )in Mali||28. Abu Thar Al Ghafari Brigade in Syria|
|29. Islamic Group in Egypt||30. Pakistan’s Haqqani network||31. Al Tawhid Brigade in Syria||32. Egyptian Ansar Jerusalem|
|33. Pakistani Lashkar-e-Taiba group||34. Tawhid and Faith Brigade in Syria||35. Ajnad Misr (Egyptian Jihadist Group)||36. East Turkistan movement in Pakistan|
|37. Green Brigade in Syria||38. Mujahideen Shura Council||39. Aknaf Bait Al Maqdis (Defenders of Jerusalem)||40. The Army of Mohammad in Pakistan|
|41. Abu Bakr Al Siddiq Brigade in Syria||42. Al Houthi Movement in Yemen||43. The Army of Mohammad in Pakistan and India||44. Talha Bin Obaidullah Brigade in Syria|
|45. Saudi Hezbollah Al Hejaz||46. Indian Mujahideen in India/Kashmir||47. Hezbollah in GCC countries||48. Al Sarim Al Battar Brigade|
|49. The Caucasus Emirate (Chechen Mujahideen)||50. Abdullah Ibn Mubarak Brigade||51. Al Qaida Organisation in Iran||52. Islamic Movement of |
|53. Syrian Martyrs Brigade||54. Badr Organisation in Iraq||55. Abu Sayyaf Group (Philippines)||56. Abu Omar Brigade|
|57. Asa’ib Ahl Al Haq (League of the Righteous) in Iraq||58. Council on American-Islamic Relations (Cair)||59. Ahrar Shammar Brigade in Syria||60. Hezbollah Brigades in Iraq|
|61. Kanvas organisation in Belgrade, Serbia||62. Sariyat Al Jabal Brigade in Syria||63. Abu Fadl Abbas Brigade Iraq||64. Muslim American Society (Mas)|
|65. Al Shahba Brigade in Syria||66. Al Youm Al Maoud Brigade in Iraq||67. Association of Muslim Scholars||68. Al Qa’qa’ Brigade in Syria|
|69. Omar Bin Yasser Brigade (Syria)||70. Union of Islamic Organisations of France||71. Sufian Al Thawri Brigade in Syria||72. Iraqi Ansar Al Islam Group|
|73. Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe||74. Ibad Al Rahman Brigade in Syria||75. Al Nusra Front in Syria||76. Islamic Association in Britain|
|77. Omar Ibn Al Khattab Brigade in Syria||78. Ahrar Al Sham Movement in Syria||79. Islamic Society of Germany||80. Al Shaima Brigade in Syria|
|81. Army of Islam in Palestine||82. Islamic Association in Denmark||83. Al Haq Brigade in Syria||84. Abdullah Azzam Brigades|
|85. Islamic Association in Belgium|
There is a plan by all the GCC countries to implement VAT by October 2017, a move that has led to various opinions regarding the impact that such a move will have on the security of the affected countries’ economies. The adoption of the VAT tax will represent an enormous shift as far as the tax policy in the region is concerned hence, having significant impact on various segments of the economy. For this reason, the implementation of VAT by October 2017 will change the operations of all businesses in the region. As such, it is expected that there will be high inflation following the implementation of VAT, though the rate might stabilize with time. The implication is that the growth in the region’s economy might slow and perhaps, rise with time. As far as the Homeland Security is concerned, the October 2017 VAT tax will have adverse impacts on the Homeland Security. This is attributable to the fact that the economy of the United Arab Emirates will be negatively affected.
The 2020 expo is likely to have positive impact on the economy of the United Arab Emirates. This is based on the fact that the expo will attract numerous visitors and business people from various parts of the world. Due to expected business growth people of all character will flock in the United Arab Emirates increasing the probability of radicalization of immigrants. The implication is that the Homeland Security will be threatened. However, the United Arab Emirates should enhance security within by implementing effective oversight as well as accountability of counterterrorism measures and policies.
Peculiarities of the United Arab Emirates
Since independence in 1971, there have been developments of security threats in the country. When the membership issue was settled and the country was fully independent, the issues of security control arose. For instance, the union was not recognized by Saudi Arabia as the main country due to the difficulties in foreign relations it faced. Such differences between the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia were potential sources of security risks and threats.
Conflicts have always been inevitable among states. For instance, the commencement of the war between Iran and Iraq led to the questioning of the United Arab Emirates security state. The biggest issue of concern was the division among the emirates if they started supporting different parties in the war. For instance, Abu Dhabi was supporting Iraq while Dubai was a strong supporter of Iran. As a result, the other states such as Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia formed their own association known as the Gulf Cooperation Council. Evidently, individualities in the region have always affected the efficiency of security within the United Arab Emirates.
Conflicts are very unpredictable and unavoidable as long as people live together and have no specifications on what each should or should not do. In the ownership of land in theUnited Arab Emirates, Iran and Oman also claim the ownership of some lands. Iran’s dispute has been the ownership of three islands of Abu Musa, Lesser Tumb and Greater Tumb even before independence.22 To solve the conflict, Iran has claimed some part of the land and the citizens of Sharjahhave been requested to occupy the remaining part on the southern region. There were more conflicts until the 1990’s that were resolved and peace was restored.
Currently, the development levels in the country help in the determination of whether there is the need to advance the security control within the country. The place at which the country is located is quite unstable and it should always be ready to accommodate changes whenever they occur. However, the different situations observed at the Gulf indicate the dreams to ensure safety have not yet been realized.23 The individual region is very essential in the global community due to the fact that there are natural resources that make it wealthy. Over the last thirty years, the region has experienced several conflicts due to the war between Iran and Iraq.
Such wars have led to the drastic decrease in the political powers of Iraq and Iran became the main powers that disturb others in the Arabian States. Due to the various efforts to set up a new hegemony reign, Iran interferes with the Gulf States’ internal affairs anduses minorities to cause adverse impacts among the states.It is explained by the fact that Iran has military power than most of the minority statesin the Gulf region and hence, uses such states to cause security threat to the United Arab Emirates.For example, Iran considers Yemen, which is a minority state, as a springboard for subversion as well as for the accomplishment of its security threats to Saudi Arabia.In addition, Iran supports terrorist groups by providing resources (such as weapons and finances) necessary for conducting terrorist attacks. More than that, Iran citizens themselves are commonly involved in terrorist attacks – for instance, thoseplanned and carried out by Al-Qaeda.
Iraq has been having numerous conflicts as well as engaged in actions aimed at destabilizing the United Arab Emirates such as the creation of tribal support councils, the change in the structure of governance in the country as witnessed in the dictatorial powers in Iraq’s prime minister’s office. In addition, United Arab Emirates faces security threats from Iraq’s continued lack of human development as well as the indices of lack of human security in the country. On the other hand, Iraq is a conduit of global drug trade which heightens the source of tension and insecurity in the United Arab Emirates. In addition, the “Shiite crescent” discourse has affected the peaceful cohesion among theGCC countries. The fact that the United Arab Emirates faces a lot of security threats and risks from Iran and Iraq is an indication that the region needs to put more effort as far as enhancing its Homeland Security is concerned.Therefore, the main strategy deployed for addressing the risks of terrorist attacks is based on increasing awareness about these risks as well as enhancing regional collaboration in order to suppress the operation of terrorist groups and improve the overall state of national security.
Infrastructureand Security of the United Arab Emirates
The infrastructural development of a country is very important as it comes with the improvement of the transport and communication lines, as well as enhancement of security measures. Infrastructure system in the United Arab Emirates is among the most developed in the world. Such a development is very significant to the development of a country as well as its activities of business and security.24 The territory of the United Arab Emirates is very large and development of its infrastructure is critical for business meetings and security activities conducted both at the large and small cities of the region. Lack of such infrastructure might have been a challenge because the cities are not near one another.
The implication is that countries with better infrastructures can coordinate their security activities easily and effectively. In addition, the modern value of security is given to time management. As a result, there is the need to develop the region’s infrastructure to improve the speed with which securityactivities are carried as well as the efficiency of conducting such activities. Taking such factors into consideration, the region’s government made a decision to provide financial support to the construction and advancement of the infrastructural system. The primary focus was to construct good roads, airports, ports, radio, television, postal services, as well as security bases.
The development of international airports was one of the greatest attainments of the country in the efforts to develop its infrastructure. Abu Dhabi is among the biggest international airports with the expansion of Etihad Airways. This connection between the two increased the number of annual travelers to fifteen million. The other significant airports for the region are Dubai International Airport and Dubai Central International Airport.
The system of roads is also developed well in the region. The government made a huge investment to construct the roads when it realized that they can improve the efficiency and speed with which business is conducted, leading to the economic development of the region. It thus commissioned the construction of the roads in 1970. The biggest achievement for that year was that there was created a connection between Ras Al-Khaimah and Qatar. Such a development facilitated the transportation of products and services. It is ranked the second mostly used means, air transport being at the top.
The development of infrastructure in the United Arab Emirates has had significant influence as far as the Homeland Security is concerned. While such development has increased the number of people moving in and out of the United Arab Emirates, it has also significantly increased potential security threats and risks within the region. This is attributed to the fact that terror groups can now travel in and out of United Arab Emirates comfortably. In spite of this, security infrastructures have also developed, which makes it easy to counter security threats and risks within the region. An example of such development within the security is the introduction of the national identity management infrastructure, which is aimed at enhancing Homeland Security as well as the development of a federated identity management system25.
In addition, the development of one nuclear plant in United Arab Emirates that locates in Barakah is a significant move as far as infrastructure development in the region is concerned. The agreement has been singed in 2009 between UAE and USA for the peaceful use of nuclear and it has start in service in 2017. In spite of this, such development will have a significant impact on the Homeland Security. As such, the Homeland Security will have to secure the plants since there is a high probability that terrorists will target the new nuclear plants. However, there is a need for effective security to ensure that operations within the plants are secure. Therefore, security forces have been assigned to guard these sites.Speaking of the connection between infrastructure developments and enhancing national security, it is essential to mention that modern infrastructural objects are constructed and operating in a way that predetermines decreased risks of terrorist attacks. In this case, special attention is paid to timely security checks as the foundation for national security strategy.
Role of the Homeland Security in the United Arab Emirates’Security
Peculiarities of the Homeland Security
The location of theUnited Arab Emirates as well as the resources available to it plays a significant role in the decision regarding how theHomeland Securitycan be improved. The whole region has several states with different facilities that when combined can be of great significance as far as maintaining Homeland Security is concerned. In this case, it is essential to speak of cooperation between UAE and other powerful states in the region – countries of theGulf and North and Middle East Africa –to combat terrorism. Moreover, significant progress has been achieved in international cooperation – with the United Kingdom and Germany – to enhance the overall effectiveness of the national security system, including cyber security as well as creating anti-terrorism units.The government in the region also fears that there are security threats from those people who are non-Emiratis. As a result, they get adequate reasons to worry since almost 90% of the total population is comprised of migrants. The seaports and airports are developed to help in the satisfaction of the advanced customer demands. In addition, the development of the country’s infrastructure and economy help in the realization of the general Homeland Security policies.
General Overview of the System
Due to the information obtained from various sources, it is credible to assert that the Homeland Security at United Arab Emirates is very essential. The Homeland Security is made up of various agencies including science and technology, information analysis and infrastructure protection, border and transport security, emergency preparedness and response, and coast guard secret service, among others. The main agencies include the National Emergency and Crisis and Disasters Management Authority (NCEMA) focusing on addressing consequences of any disasters and emergencies; National Security Council determining framework for addressing security issues and actually reacting to them; the UAE government developing effective laws on national security; and theUAE National Electronic Security Council responsible for enhancing cyber security.
As for other types of agencies mentioned above, their role is to support nationalsecurity agencies in minimizing risks of attacks and dealing with their consequences.A lot of money is spent in the efforts to develop this system.26 The total budget can be estimated above the budgets in some of the developed countries in the European Union. As a result, the huge investment provides adequate evidence for the much attention the country officials give to this sector. According to the latest statistics, the country has spent approximately $5.5 billion on the development of Homeland Security. This is one of the reasons specialists in the national Security Council are in a position to get the latest developed equipment because of the amount of money budgeted for that development. In addition, the country security officials emphasize on the significance of increasing the current budget so that the system can be more effective. Such strategies make it easy to predict the security status in the country.
Recently, the national security system has chosen two major tasks. First, it should be in a better position to provide adequate protection to the citizens of the country from possible internal threats as well as any legal violations. External threats also need to be prevented by theHomeland Security so that terrorist threats do not scare the citizens and other business individuals. For instance, the war between United Arab Emirates and ISIL helped the region in the realization of how essential the security system is. The country gives such a great consideration to the development of the systems that will help in combating terror.27
For example, in 2014, the country showed its concerns to deal with potential security risks and threats by implementing the Federal Law No. 7 that focuses on combating terrorism. In particular, the provision of this law focuses on identifying the concept of terrorism offences as well as addressing them. For instance, it is stated that life imprisonment or capital punishment is an appropriate punishment of a terrorism offence.This law was followed by listing several organizations that are considered source of security threats and risks in the region including the United Arab Emirates Muslim Brotherhood, Al Islah, Fatah Al Islam, Al Qaeda, and Daesh (ISIL) among others. In addition, Emiratis have also been found to be into terrorism as evident in the case of Reem Island murder and the attempt to overthrow the government in Abu Dhabi.
Cases of attempts to overthrow the government are many in the United Arab Emirates. According to BBC, in 2013, United Arab Emirates has arrests more than 41 people comprising of lawyers, academics, doctors, as well as other professionals were accused of forming a secret network aimed at overthrowing the United Arab Emirates government that called the sleeping seeds (Muslim Brotherhood).furthermore, “Mr Kubaish said they also had guns and explosives and had been in touch with militant groups abroad”(BBC). The person who was found guilty in this case, thepunishment average was 15 years, 10-years, and seven years in prison. The government confiscated the financial assets of the individuals who were convicted. The suspects were linked to the Muslim Brotherhood and Al-Islah.In another case, another group of people were coordinating the Umma parties based in Gulf States in collaboration with Al-Islah to seize power in United Arab Emirates.
Role of Media and Communication
The Media plays a very significant role in the activities of both individuals and institutions. Due to the recent technological advancements, the media can be very instrumental in improving the security situation of homeland. There are other several reasons for its use. First, using media can assist in aligning the cooperation mechanism between the United Arab Emirates citizens and the national security system representatives. The collaboration between such individuals can lead to Homeland Securityefficiency if information is to be obtained from the citizens or when they are aware. The media always ensure that they have recognized spokespeople who inform the members of public in case of any occurrences. With such, it is credible to assert that the United Arab Emirates security system improves its efficiency and ensure constant contact with the citizens through the use of various media.28
However, in case of some serious security threats, any kind of media can be utilized to reach the members of public. To control issues connected to using media as a platform for motivating people to get involved in terrorist offenses or other activities destabilizing national security, monitoring activities on the Internet is a common cyber security measure. For instance, the following media activities are regulated by the state: social networks, television, and radio. In fact, media freedom is not guaranteed in order to enhance national security. It can be explained by the fact that the Arab Spring was driven by social networks. In this way, monitoring them is one of the way to avoid political instability and threats to domestic security.In addition,the spokesperson who is usually selected by the Security Council has the responsibility to ensure that the public is up to date with the current happenings.
Unfortunately, the people entrusted with the responsibility of updating the public are subject to manipulation by political leaders. For instance, such people have been used in the past to outline great successes by the country which are not actually attained. For instance, they may state very great achievements in the ability to restore peace after a certain occurrence which in real sense has not been attained. As a result, citizens stop being on the lookout but are found by surprise by the reality. Therefore, it is important for the people to use the media in the right way so that they can develop individual public reputation and help in the general development in the security system. A significant example, of this can be seen in the recent Yemen conflict where the public perception took several twists and turns. Initially, there was no seriousness as far as the impact of the conflict on the United Arab Emirates was concerned. This was attributable to the manner in which other incidences in the Arab Spring were portrayed in the media as being potential threats to the United Arab Emirates. In spite of this, the perception of the public changed following the entry of the United Arab Emirates’ security forces as an active coalition partner with Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The martyrdom of Emirati soldiers as well as the media coverage of the entire conflict brought light about the issue and helped to show the role of United Arab Emirates’Homeland Security.
Establishing the United Arab Emirates’Security Risks and Threats
The Homeland Security of the United Arab Emirates faces many security risks and threats.29 Such a scenario comes despite the efforts and investments of different groups and individuals to enhance security within the region. Highlighted below are some of the potential security threats and risks in the country.
Terrorism has been a threat to the security situation of the United Arab Emirates which creates tension among the citizens. There is constant fear of terror attack by terror groups such asShabab Al Manara and Al Qaeda, among others. The Shabab Al Manara group has been known to have its operation base at the bordersof the United Arab Emirates such as in Al Rifaa desert in Ras Al Khaimah. The group had its aim of overthrowing the government through the attacks and taking over the leadership of the region. In addition, the group wanted to make United Arab Emirates an Islamic state and was thus, involved in the bombing of some public places as well as the government premises.
The country actively participates in the reduction of terrorism activities within the region. For instance, the United Arab Emirates made a huge investment in terms of money to help in the moderation of the Islamic forces that were involved in fights in Syria. United Arab Emirates has also joined forces with Saudi Arabia to form a group that together tries to weaken the organizations related to Muslim Brotherhood in the region –Al-Qaeda and Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS).30This is one of the justifications that the government has tried its best to invest resources including financial assistance in the efforts to improveHomeland Security and border control. It may thus be credible to assert that terrorism consist of constant and growing threats to a country. The country should establish the best ways to react whenever it occurs. The huge investments that the country has made to combat terrorism are an indication that terrorism may never end in the world. For instance, the United Arab Emirates realized that the terror groups use advanced technology that may be the reason why fighting it will remain for a long period.
The opportunities for cyber-attacks have been on the rise in the world by organized groups or hackers. The growth of the United Arab Emirates’ economy has increase cyber-attacks risks and threats. Cyber-attacks can affect a whole nation as it leads to the manipulation of passwords, corrupting programs and malware among others. In more efforts to reduce the crime, the United Arab Emirates government invested its resources in 2017to ensure an improvement of the criminal laws concerning cyberspace. It further introduced two new laws that aimed at combating crimes related to information technology. Recent statistics have indicated that United Arab Emirates is among the states in the Middle East, with the largest numbers of cyber-attacks such as Ransomware attack in 2017.31 However, its security system is not yet advanced like that in the United Kingdom. As a result, it has entered collaboration with the United Kingdom so that it can be assisted in fighting cyber-attacks to the lowest levels possible. In addition, other terrorists use a virus called Gauss in the cyber terrorism malware. The virus works by tracking banking information at national level. Though it may not be dangerous individual bank users, its effects can be very harmful to the country’s banking system.
Therefore, significant effort has been made to address issues related to cyber security. Except for the law focusing on enhancing cyber security, international cooperation (for instance, with the United Kingdom) is as well perceived as one of the ways to improve it. Still, there are numerous challenges connected to security in the cyber space. It is paramount to point to the fact that they emerge not only from network security issues but also the ability to initiate attacks from abroad. In this way, regardless of the laws and cooperation with other states, it is critical to improve the system of national cyber security by addressing these gaps even though it may lead totheisolation of the UAE on the Internet.
Illegal trade on drugs has also been a challenge for most countries in the world. The United Arab Emirates uses very strict measures to fight drug trafficking such as death sentence. United Arab Emirates has a zero-tolerance policy for recreational use of drugs. According to “Government.ae,” the Federal Law NO. 14” criminalises production, import, export, transport, buying, selling, possessing, storing of narcotic and psychotropic substances unless done so as part of supervised and regulated medical or scientific activities in accordance with the applicable laws. The UAE police has dedicated departments to deal with drugs’ issue”. For instance, in 2012, Abu Dhabi Criminal Court conducted a trial on three Asian men who tried to smuggle more than fifty kilograms of hashish to Saudi Arabia. The accused were sentenced to death. Severe measures (tight border controls and improved border security as well as legal responsibilities, such as fines and imprisonment) are taken for those who do not obey the set rules and regulations.32In addition, tough immigrant policies are developed due to the high rate of immigrants in the UAE population and the fact that they are commonly interested in illegal activities in the country that should be legally controlled. In this case, special attention is paid to security policies at airports and maritime ports because they are the major ways for immigrants to move into the UAE as drugs gets into UAE through airports and maritime ports from countries like Mexico. However, the government of the United Arab Emirates should always be ready to fight such cases as they occur continuously. The restrictions to combat drug trafficking are connected to the religious and social background of the United Arab Emirates. As a result, strict measures to improve security and morals at the borders also help in preserving the culture of a country.
This chapter has presented several aspects of the United Arab Emirates including the Homeland Security system, the indicators of growth, Role of Homeland Security in the United Arab Emirates’ security, demographics, economy, and peculiarities of the United Arab Emirates, significance of controlling security, as well as the challenges affecting the security system of the United Arab Emirates. From, this analysis, it was evident that United Arab Emirates is rapidly growing, a factor that has attracted people from different parts of the world. A review of the security system of the United Arab Emirates was also carried out in this chapter. For more analysis, an overview of some of the cases associated with the operations of Homeland Security of the United Arab Emiratesis available in chapter three.
Research methodology refers to the procedures and processes that a researcher uses in the process of collecting and analyzing data required for any study.33 For efficiency of the entire research process, the researcher shouldhave a well-organized plan – a study design – that lays out the action path that the researcher follows towards realization of any set goals and objectives for the given study.34This section presents the research design used in the research about the role of Homeland Security in the United Arab Emirates, the security threats in the United Arab Emirates, and analysis of cases studies in relation to the concept of security in the United Arab Emirates.
The primary objective of this study included examining the state of the security in the United Arab Emirates with a specific focus on the role ofHomeland Security in enhancing geopolitical stability in the region, as well as establishes the main peculiarities ofHomeland Security of the United Arab Emirates. Given the scope of the study, valid and reliable data was needed for comprehensive inferences as far as the significance of Homeland Security in the United Arab Emirates is concerned. For this reason, the study employed quantitative approaches to get the relevant data with respect to the subject under investigation. Descriptive study design was used alongside cross-sectional study.
The descriptive research design is suitable for type of studies that take consideration of large geographical region.35In this case, the focus of the study was on the case of the United Arab Emirates’ security, and thus the scope of the study required large amount of data for comprehensive findings. As such, the descriptive study design was very useful in this case, since it helped in aligning the identified research questions to appropriate answers, as well as provided indexes to the study variables under examination.Primary sources of information included reports on anti-terrorist operations, while secondary resources were the case studies investigating those terrorist attacks that were mentioned above.
In addition, the use of the descriptive research design was very important in examining homeland security ofthe United Arab Emirates’, the measures adopted to deal with security threats in the United Arab Emirates, as well as in the identification of the peculiarities in the region. Nonetheless, this type of research design has several challenges associated with its overreliance on instrumentation and observation.36As such, the study design was adopted to complement the descriptive design. Thisapproach was very instrumental in getting an overview of the operations ofHomeland Security in the past, as well as in examining the performance of the United Arab Emirates in terms of economy, population growth, and security threat.
Data Collection and Analysis
Based on the scope of research, it was necessary to ensure the collection of valid and reliable data for the study. For this reason, the study used secondary sources of data including books and journals, to get the necessary information and data on issues related to security concerns and threats in the United Arab Emirates. The study used qualitative data. For example, a review of past cases in the United Arab Emirates was carried out as highlighted below.
Past Security Cases
As outlined above, several cases in the United Arab Emirates were very significant in the history of the United Arab Emirates’ security. Some of these cases include the case of Reem Island Ghost, the assassination of MahmouldAal-Mabhouh, and the Muslims Brotherhood activities, such as an attempt to overthrow the Government of Abu Dhabi. Carrying out an in-depth analysis of these cases was significant in highlighting the major peculiarities in the operations of the national security system of the United Arab Emirates.
Case of Reem Island Ghost
The case of Reem Island Ghost highlights the scenario involving the murder of 47-year-old woman, Ibolya Ryan. The case involved a 30-year-old Al Hashemi, who killed a woman in a toilet at Boutik Mall. However, the killer was identified after 24 hours, and arrested barely 48 hours after the incident, through the help of CCTV footage. The video has distributed broadly to the news and the social media. 37SWAT team has arrest the suspected in the home at night time.they has found information that AL Hashemi providing funds to AL Qaeda in Yemen, collecting illegal explosive materials.
For example, the doctor had pointed out before the bomb was discovered at his home’s door, they had seen a woman in abaya enter and leave their compound perhaps, to establish who the home belonged to. In support of this, the security guard pointed out that he saw a woman in an abaya, niqab and gloves around the area prior to the planting of the bomb at the doctor’s residence. However, he could not identify the subject prior the incidence because she never showed signs of aggressive behavior. Still, she was in the building to leave the self-made bomb that later led to the accident.Nevertheless, the swiftness of the United Arab Emirates’ national security in finding and arresting Hashemi was an indication of the readiness of the security systems of the United Arab Emirates to protect the citizens.
Apart from the murder of Ibolya Ryan, the police found a number of evidences linking the killer to other crimes. First, the killer was convicted of attempting to kill the family of an Egyptian-American Dr. Hassan using a homemade bomb. Secondly, she was convicted as being a threat to the United Arab Emirates’ security and stability by engaging in the identified crimes. Thirdly, the killer was found to have created explosive objects aimed at terror attacks. Further probe showed that the killer had been involved in several other illegal activities such as the intention to harm the reputation and prestige of the nation and funding Al Qaeda in Yemen also said to be linked to Iran. She also had homemade bomb factory in her home.In addition, she was guilty of setting up an Internet website to promote terrorism to other accomplices. The husband also committed conspiracy to commit murder. The reason for finding his guilty is the fact that he was involved in terrorist offences, such as making bombs and planning assassinations using them.
H.H Sheilkh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al-Nahayan, president of United Arab Emirates has issued a new federal Law in August 2014 to strengthen UAE counter-terrorism capabilities. The Law aimed to prevent citizens from “joining or establishing” terrorist organization on both inside or outside the United Arab Emirates. Before the murder by two weeks, United Arab Emirates has placed Muslim brotherhood (MB) at the top of the list of 84 organization under the auspices of federal law No.7.
The local security claimed that suspect targeted rayan and the dector based on their nationalities and did not know them.
The hearing of the case took about seven months before the verdict to execute the killer was pronounced by the State Security division in the United Arab Emirates alongside an approval from the president.
Figure 5: A picture of 47-year-old woman, Ibolya Ryan.The execution of Hashemi by the firing squad serves as a warning to individuals engaging in terror activities, as well as perpetrators of violence. United Arab Emirates has constantly preached towards enhancing peace in the region and thus doing away with elements of extremism such as in the case of Alaa Al Hashemi, was an indication of the readiness of the United Arab Emirates to have a safe region for all people. The terror groups like AL-Qaeda are manipulating people minds through socials media and other channels to provoke them into violence. 39Sheikh Saif’s said: “the official source went on to explain that rather than targeting an American or any other nationality, she was looking for anyone who looked foreign—in short, “she selected her victims randomly”.
Those are some of the charges against the ghost:
- aggressive murder using sharp weapon
- planting homemade bomb
- executing terrorist act with purposes of threat the stability of United Arab Emirates.
- peoviding finances to terrorist organization.
- using electronic account to spread information and ruin reputation of the United Arab Emirates symbols.
Assassination of Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh
Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh has been murder in 19 of January 2010. Al-Mabhouh was born in 14 of February 1961 and he was the senior of Hamas military commander and one of founders of Izz ad Din al Qassam Brigades.He was suspected for being involved in abduction of two Israeli soldiers in 1989. The events surrounding the assassination of Mahmoud highlight United Arab Emirates’ guarantee of enforcing law and order within the region. The assassination Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh has a direct link to the operations of the security system in the United Arab Emirates. Investigators in the General Department of State Security were able to track the killers and identify them within 24 hours of the discovery of the crim. The team were assign for this case was prove it was a murder and not natural death as the result shows due to high pressure in brain. In the picture below, you could see some of the identity photographs of suspects in the killing of Mahmoud al Mabhouh released by the Dubai police on Wednesday.
The Muslim Brotherhood is a Sunni Islamist terrorist organization that is focused on political reforms. In spite of this, the Muslim Brotherhood is considered to be a terrorist organization in the United Arab Emirates. As such, the security system of the United Arab Emirates works towards controlling the operations of the Muslim Brotherhood organization in the United Arab Emirates. The major concern is that the organization has the potential of negatively influencing the citizens of the United Arab Emirates.41The role of security of the United Arab Emirates in dealing with the Muslim Brotherhood was evident during the events that followed the September 11, 2001 attack.
The national security system in the country was focused at showing the international community that the country’s security system was strong.In 2012, there was a crackdown campaign in the United Arab Emirates that targeted the Muslim Brotherhood, a move that led to arrest of seven significant members of the organization, with more than 90 member of the organization arrested by the end of 2012. In addition, the security system of the United Arab Emirates has actively campaigned against the operations of Muslim Brotherhood not only in the United Arab Emiratesbut alsoamong its neighbors. For example, United Arab Emirates has been threatened to cut arms deal with United Kingdom, if the government of the United Kingdom did not work towards eliminating the Muslim Brotherhood.
The Elements of Homeland Security System in the Uae
Role of Security Council
The UAE became a member of the United Nations at the beginning of the 1970s42. Since that time, the country has managed to obtain numerous benefits provided by this organization. In particular, the UAE receives assistance from the United Nations Security Council. It was established in the middle of the 1940s in order to maintain peace and security in the whole world. Being one of the principal organs of the United Nations, it has the power to manage peacekeeping operations, respond to crises, develop special political missions, and control military enforcement. In addition to that, it can address particular cases to the International Criminal Court. The Council can also impose international sanctions on those countries that are a part of the United Nations. In this way, the role of this organ is very significant because its actions are legally binding on all members. In addition to that, the Council has an authority to approve a new country, appoint officials, and elect judges. Thus, it cannot be denied that the UAE is greatly affected by the United Nations Security Council. Shaping the environment in which the country exists, it ensures its safety and minimalizes risks of specific situations that affect security.
The Council is in charge of the response to conflicts that occur between the countries, which is beneficial for the UAE. In case of a potential issue, the organ encourages involved parties to find a peaceful resolution43. The representatives of the United Nations can interfere in the situation to affect the countries. In addition to guiding efforts, the Council can provide ceasefire directives or enforce sanctions. Regardless of the national governments’ ideas, it can take steps needed to secure populations. In case of a war, for instance, the UAE can receive military support provided by the United Nations and assistance of humanitarian organizations.
Role of Ministry of Defense and Army
The UAE Ministry of Defense (MOD) is one more organization (in addition to the United Nations Security Council) that reveals its concerns about the country’s safety. It is the national military organization, which presupposes that it is more interested in the benefits for the UAE in comparison to the Council that focuses on the international peace. In particular, MOD “has the responsibility to defend the country’s borders and protect the interests of the Peoples’ external and internal solidarity and cooperation44.” That is why it is critical for this organization to ensure that the country’s armed forces have all resources needed for their appropriate work. In particular, there is a necessity to focus on training, equipment, budgeting, and any required assistance.
MOD has a range of duties that it performs in order to protect the UAE and its population. For instance, it develops those policies and projects that are needed to ensure proper land operations conducted by the army. The organization provides strategic intelligence, which gives the country an opportunity to plan its actions appropriately when the risk of being adversely affected by other counties increases. MOD also protects the power in the country. Like the United Arab Emirates Army, it is aimed at the achievement of political objectives. Nevertheless, its priorities start with the population of the UAE. The global influence of the UAE is considered and projected by MOD. In this way, the country ensures that its actions do not cause international conflicts but manage to reveal the UAE’s power.
Role of Ministry of Interior
The federation of the UAE was created at the beginning of the 1970s and the necessity to build a federal authority to focus on security was realized right away45. The Ministry of Interior (MOI) was developed to deal with crimes and ensure the country’s safety and stability46. In addition to that, this organization is in charge of managing security and police forces. Unlike those entities that were discussed earlier, MOI pays attention even to naturalization and residency affairs. Its responsibilities deal with ensuring safety on roads, including international ones. To meet this purpose, the organization makes efforts to control traffic. The safety of premises and properties is also maintained by MOI. Nevertheless, the representatives of this ministry emphasize that its primary focus is people’s security. MOI takes care not only of local citizens who live in the UAE but also of expatriates who come to the country.
MOI boosts available assets to ensure the constant development of the country. Improving the UAE’s understanding of its environment, it manages to plan those actions that allow appropriate adaptation to it. It develops strategies to communicate with society and provide its representatives with accurate information. All in all, MOI responses to both internal and external changes that affect the country. Those development plans that it adapts manage to enhance public services of the UAE significantly. Professionals who work in this organization have those skills that are needed to ensure stability in the country. They represent culturally and ethnically diverse populations, which allows them understanding needs of the UAE citizens and implement those changes that benefit them. MOI’s security teams are able to address the perils of crime, protecting the country and its inhabitants.
Role of Private Security Association – Integrated Security
Security of the UAE is ensured not only by public organizations but also by private ones. For instance, the Emirates Solutions for Integrated Security (ESIS) “was created as a joint venture company between the Privatization Service Group, owned by Ministry of Interior and Airbus Defense and Space who decided to join their considerable resources and technologies to provide interoperable solutions for the security of the UAE and beyond47.” This organization deals with those security challenges that are developed by current societies. It tends to utilize innovative interventions in order to overcome occurring problems and protect the lives of the population. In this way, ESIS also manages to ensure the well-being of the UAE’s citizens. The main purpose of this company is to provide needed capabilities for security stakeholders. ESIS has different customers as it serves not only MOI. That is why it is critical for this organization to provide strict confidentiality. In this way, it proves that information that is vital for the safety of the country is not revealed. ESIS supports the government of the country and cooperates with its representatives to ensure people’s safety.
In addition to public security stakeholders, ESIS assists businesses and helps them to make mission-critical solutions. Taking into consideration the fact that the UAE develops rather fast, ESIS uses innovative geospatial intelligence to provide security and protection of all people in the UAE. In addition to that, it involves in law enforcement to support public safety. ESIS has all resources needed to detect threats so that it receives an opportunity to be proactive and take measures before these threats become crucial for the country.
Results from Data Collection and Literature Review
From the analysis of the security system of the United Arab Emirates, alongside the potential indicators of growth, it was evident that United Arab Emirates has invested a lot in its security system and is working to ensure that there is maximum internal and external security.48Internal security stands for the addressing the risks that come from the inside of the countries, while external security is associated with outward risks and coping with them properly. Such measures can be attributed to the fact that United Arab Emirates has been advocating for regional peace, and efficient security among all Arab countries.49The Second Gulf War left most of the countries in the region vulnerable to terror attack due to the fact that the security forces were weakened and this instigated such a need. Secondly, it was noted that the country has been undergoing rapid economic growth that has put the country in the global map especially for its resources, well-developed infrastructure, and stable economy.For instance, the issue of national security is a critical matter of concern in Syria because of the operation of ISIS within its territories that has changed because the government supports ISISignoring the priority of the national integrity.
In spite of such developments, it was evident that the major challenge that United Arab Emirates faces is geopolitical instability of the region.50 This problem has been heightened by the fact that the United Arab Emirates is located in a region with history of high crime levels, as well as the fact that the economic growth witnessed in the country has attracted attention from many parts of the world. Nonetheless, the country has developed a security system that guarantees the protection of its citizens against internal and external threats.51 Even though it was evident that the security system of the United Arab Emirates is young, it has the ability to deal with any form of extremism and related terror attacks.
As evident from the cases analyzed, the Homeland Security of the United Arab Emirates has been at the forefront of the country’s security. For example, following the murder of a 47-year-old woman in a mall, the security measures put in place were very reactive in the arrest of the killer within a short period after the incident. However, if security agencies were more proactive –arrested a suspicious woman – it would have been possible to prevent the attack.Additionally, the assassination of Mahmoud and the crackdown of the Muslim Brotherhood are some of the cases that have proven that the Homeland Security of the United Arab Emirates is dependable as far as protection of the country’s citizens and reputation is concerned.
Thirdly, the study revealed that United Arab Emirates security system faces numerous challenges such as drug trafficking, increased cases of terrorism in the region, international threats, activity of other countries security services, lack of special training for the security professionals, issues related to support of the Nonproliferation Treaty, impact associated with control from various companies, refugees control, and high rate of cyberspace crimes. A lot of impact on the security system of the United Arab Emirates comes from issues of cyberspace crime, terror attacks, and drug trafficking challenges. Terrorism has been a threat to the security situation at the borders of the United Arab Emirates which creates tension among the citizens.52 The region is in the fear of terror attacks by the terror groups such as Shabab Al Manara and Al Qaeda, among others.53 The Shabab Al Manara group has been known to have its operation base at the borders of the United Arab Emirates. The group had its aim of overthrowing the government through the attacks and taking over the leadership of the region. In addition, the group wanted to make United Arab Emirates an Islamic state and was thus, involved in the bombing of some public places as well as the government premises.
The country takes active participation in the efforts to reduce terrorism within its borders and outside in the whole region of Arab states.54 For instance, the United Arab Emirates made a huge investment in terms of money to help in the moderation of the Islamic forces that were involved in fights in Syria.55 The region fights terrorism with no favoritism for its citizens. United Arab Emirates has also joined forces with Saudi Arabia to form a group–Gulf Cooperation Countries – that together tries to weaken the organizations related to Muslim brotherhood in the region. For example, the analysis found out that cyberspace crime in the United Arab Emirates has increased over the recent years following the high rate of growth and development in the country’s economy. Therefore, the government of the United Arab Emirates has made huge investment since 2012 to ensure an improvement of the criminal laws concerning cyberspace as measure to prevent such threats.56 In addition, the country introduced new regulations to deal with security threats associated with information technology.57Due to the fact that the country’s security system is not yet advanced, the country has collaborated with United Kingdom’s government to help in combating challenges of cyber-attacks.
The study involved collection of data from secondary sources and the subsequent review of such information based on the need to achieve the study’s objectives. The table below provides a summary of the study’s time frame.
|Identifying the research topic and objectives||1 week|
|Identifying the methods of data collection||3 weeks|
|Research proposal||6 weeks|
|Data collection||5 weeks|
|Defining primary research||4 weeks|
|Analyzing the collected data||1 week|
|Final thesis||4 weeks|
Table 2: Timeframe.
The research has been completed aroundsix month. I have spent almost a month to plan and search for information, statistic and data about my topics.In the next two-month, Ihaveworking in writing the proposals and co-operate with my supervisors. When supervisehas approved my proposals, it have taken me three months to expand my works and gather more information and cases that support my topics. Gathering that information was not easy as most of the cases consider treating as confidential.For instance, Al-Mabhouh case, could not find lot information in regards of the assassination such as how they enter, where they got weapons etc.
Lessons Learned and Recommendations
From the analysis of Homeland Security and the general state of the security in the United Arab Emirates, there are a few lessons learned.
First, it was evident that the country has put a lot of legislative and practical efforts as well as funding security agencies to ensure safety of the citizens and arms of government against internal and external attacks. As such, it can be seen that the security system of the United Arab Emirates is very instrumental in the development of the country. However, the system cannot protect the citizens if it is not functioning effectively.
Secondly, it was evident that the development of the United Arab Emirates in terms of the economy has attracted various terror and criminal organization. Additionally, it was evident that the media plays a significant role in the functioning of security system of the United Arab Emirates, as far as its efficiency is concerned.
Future Research and Recommendations
In spite of the country’s great investment in security, there is still the need for more effort especially in dealing some of the major threats associated with transnational crime and security services of other countries. Overly, the Homeland Security of the United Arab Emirates requires great investment for it to improve on its efficiency. For this reason, future studies ought to focus on transnational crime as well as security services of other countries and how such aspect affect the state of security in the United Arab Emirates. In addition, there is a need for further studies to establish areas of concern as far as the need to improve the Homeland Security of the United Arab Emirates is concerned. On the other hand, the United Arab Emirates’ government should focus on identifying the factors influencing various security risks and threats within the region for a chance to adopt suitable counter-measures.
Conclusion and Recommendations
According to the review of literature and the analysis of past security cases in the United Arab Emirates, it is evident that the country has had numerous security issues to address. For example, it was evident that the United Arab Emirates security system suffers from numerous security threats and risks from various sections including drug trafficking, increased cases of terrorism in the region, international threats, activity of other countries security services, lack of special training for the security professionals, issues related to support of the Nonproliferation Treaty, impact associated with control from various companies, refugees control, and high rate of cyberspace crimes. In spite of this, the Homeland Security of the United Arab Emirates is adversely affected by increased cases of cyberspace crime and terror attacks from within the country. Given the geographical location of the United Arab Emirates, the country faces potential security threats and risks from neighboring countries such as Iran and Iraq, as well as from various regional terror groups such as the Al-Qaeda, the Shabab Al Manara, among others.
Despite the high security risks in the United Arab Emirates, the country is actively working towards enhancing its Homeland Security by adopting measures to reduce terrorism within its borders and outside in the whole region of Arab states. Such measures include moderating the Islamic forces that were involved in fights in Syria, partnership with other countries such as the U.S and the Saudi Arabia towards fighting terror groups within the region as well as building strong security bodies. To curb security threats and risks associated with cyberspace crime, the government of the United Arab Emirates has made huge investment since 2012 to ensure an improvement of the criminal laws concerning cyberspace as measure to prevent such threats. In addition, the country introduced new regulations to deal with security threats associated with information technology. In addition, the country has partnered with the United Kingdom to help in addressing the problem of cyber-attacks given that the United Arab Emirates’ security system is not as advanced as the United Kingdom’s.
From the foregoing, it is evident that a lot has to be done as far as the Homeland Security of the United Arab Emirates is concerned. This is based on the fact that the country faces various security threats and risks from diversified sources. For this reason, the government should invest more resources in the identification of the major sources of security threats and risks as well as their motivation. Such an approach will ensure that the Homeland Security is developed around the root causes of insecurity within the area, hence make it easy to address all concerns effectively.
Based on the vulnerability of United Arab Emirates in terms of security threats due to neighboring violent countries such as Iran and Iraq, there is a need for a lot of investment in the country’s Homeland Security in terms of resources.
Secondly, since the country faces numerous security threats from terror groups that radicalize immigrants, there is a need for proper intelligence (police and anti-terrorist units)specifically to scrutinize the immigrants entering the United Arab Emirates, as well as their operations once in the region.
In addition, unity towards the fight against terror activities within the region is needed. This can be achieved through partnership between different countries within the Gulf region. For example, following the events of the second Gulf War the countries within the region realized that an individual country could not successfully champion for political stability without support from other Arab countries.
The government of the United Arab Emiratesshould enhance the efficiency of its Homeland Securityby ensuring that there are not internal and external security threats through adopting effective oversight and accountability of counterterrorism measures and policies.
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