KUWAIT CITY, March 25: The Muslim Brotherhood, the main Islamist force that emerged after the Arab Spring, is plotting to take over Gulf states, Dubai’s police chief said in remarks reported on Sunday.

Lieutenant General Dahi Khalfan said he had his reasons to claim that the “Brotherhood was plotting to change the regimes in the Gulf,” in an interview published in the Kuwaiti daily Al-Qabas.

“My sources say the next step is to make Gulf governments (their ruling families) figurehead bodies only without actual ruling.

The start will be in Kuwait in 2013 and in other Gulf states in 2016,” he said.

Khalfan has been involved in a tit-for-tat controversy with the Brotherhood after he threatened earlier this month to arrest cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a leading Brotherhood figure, for criticising the United Arab Emirates for deporting Syrian protesters.The police chief said he based his information on “leaks” from western intelligence agencies and said this “had been known to us”.

“If these leaks from western intelligence were to be correct, by 2016 all Gulf rulers” will be just figureheads with no actual power, Khalfan said. “I am warning Gulf states about these groups.”

All of the six oil-rich Arab states in the Gulf have been governed for centuries by ruling families that dominate almost every aspect of life and who have the final say on almost everything.

These states — Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE — together sit on more than 40 per cent of the world’s proven oil reserves and around a fifth of its natural gas.

Khalfan said the alleged plot will begin in Kuwait because “it is ready more than any other Gulf state... this is a strategy”.

Islamists made an impressive show in a February 2 snap election in Kuwait, securing more than 20 seats in the 50-member parliament.—AFP

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