Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Understanding Sectarianism in the Persian Gulf

I know, two posts in one day: crazy, right? I just couldn't hold off on this one. Those who follow the blog somewhat regularly will know that I've made frequent mention of a book project sponsored by Georgetown University in Qatar (and edited by Columbia's Larry Potter) titled "Sectarian Politics in the Gulf," for which I contributed a chapter. Well, although we'll have to wait a bit long for the actual book to be published, Georgetown has now released its own "summary report" of the project, which includes a 2-3 page synopsis of my chapter. It is titled "Understanding Sectarianism in the Persian Gulf." Other contributors include, inter alia, Laurence Louër and Kristin Smith-Diwan. I encourage you to read it.

The Three Reinforcing Conflicts of Bahrain

In an unprecedented development, tonight's Brookings event on Bahrain went off without so much as a single thrown shoe or sectarian epithet. This is likely due to the fact that the panel--myself, POMED's Stephen McInerney, and Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi--did not include any actual Bahrainis (thanks to the government's refusal to participate and threats against any Bahrainis thinking of doing so). 

In any case, some attendees asked if I could e-mail my remarks, so I thought it would be easier simply to post them here.  Supposedly there will also be an audio and/or video recording (via Al-Jazeera Mubasher) of the entire event, so I will also post these once/if they materialize.

The theme of the talk was "The Three Reinforcing Conflicts of Bahrain":

Update: Audio is now up via the Brookings website.

I will say a little bit about the underlying social and political dynamics reinforcing the present conflict in Bahrain, a conflict which involves many more parties than simply “the government” and “the opposition.”

This discussion is useful I think for two separate reasons:

First, rather than simply describing Bahrain’s lack of implementation of the BICI recommendations, and its reluctance to undertake political reform generally, it helps explain why it has failed to do so in a way that avoids recourse to moral arguments or judgments. That is to say, understanding the web of conflict in Bahrain helps explains why the country’s decision-makers presently have no real incentive to alter their current, post-uprising political strategy.

Second, it is useful in focusing the discussion away from the BICI specifically and back to the larger political picture. Obviously, the BICI arose to investigate the aftermath of the uprising, and to recommend changes to help ensure that the violent mishandling of the crisis would not happen again. Somewhat lost in all this attention on what happened after February 14, then, are the root causes of the uprising itself, which are well-known and have been since at least the early 2000s. It also distracts from what has gone on since the BICI recommendations were issued, including additional arrests of political activists and critics, the upholding of sentences against opposition leaders and medical personnel, legal threats against senior Shi‘i religious leaders and religious institutions, and most recently the stripping of citizenship from opposition figures, including former members of parliament and even academics abroad.

The misdirection afforded by disproportionate focus on the BICI process of course is to the government’s benefit, and fits into its larger strategy of simply working to become better prepared (from a security and to a lesser extent diplomatic standpoint) to handle the next large-scale uprising—as if such a thing were inevitable anyway—rather than working to rectify the underlying conditions and grievances driving political discontent. And it’s probably safe to say that, as a result, Bahrain’s leaders will achieve a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The Three Reinforcing Conflicts of Bahrain

Since I’m limited here to ten minutes, I will briefly outline what I would describe as Bahrain’s three mutually-reinforcing political conflicts, each working to preclude resolution of the others. You’ll notice that none of these three is “the opposition” versus “the government.” This is for two reasons. First, I think both groups are sufficiently heterogeneous that it makes little sense to speak in these terms. Second, even if we were revise this formulation to be something more workable such as “the moderate opposition” versus “moderates in the ruling family,” still I think this is not the main sticking point today in Bahrain. Disagreement between, say, al-Wifaq leaders and Bahrain’s nominal leader King Hamad, is not the primary cause of political stagnation or regression in Bahrain.

The Intra-Al Khalifa Conflict

On exactly this point, the first and arguably most important conflict precluding resolution of Bahrain’s political deadlock is disagreement among senior members of the ruling family. Unfortunately, this disagreement is not simply over the best way to handle the political problem posed by the uprising, but over the much more fundamental question of how to understand the problem itself—how to understand the problem of Shi‘a political mobilization in Bahrain. When you look at the period following King Hamad’s succession, and at the political and especially economic reforms that were introduced, it is easy to see what was the thinking underlying these initiatives. The idea was that by offering opponents at least some political space in which to operate, and by improving the living conditions of citizens through economic revitalization, diversification, and efforts to stamp out corruption, Bahrain could escape from the chronic discontent that had plagued the country—and King Hamad’s father—throughout the second half of the 1990s.

However, there were two significant problems related to this reform agenda. First, King Hamad’s initiatives, ultimately superintended by the crown prince, were a direct challenge to the economic-cum-political interests of other senior members of the ruling family, namely the prime minister whose political influence originates in expansive patronage networks with links to Saudi Arabia. Thus each of the tenets of the crown prince’s economic agenda—diversification away from reliance upon natural resources generally and away from Saudi Arabia in particular; labor market regulation; and efforts to limit corruption—all served to undermine the prime minister’s economic and thus political position. And indeed one assumes that this was precisely the intention.

So this was one problem. The second problem is that not everyone within the ruling family was sold on the basic premise of the economic and political reform program—or alternatively one could hypothesize that even King Hamad and his son had doubts about the state’s ability to co-opt political support through limited political liberalization and economic improvement. In either case, the upshot was that on the political front at the state proceeded on two parallel tracks—the second being a sort of preemptive back-up plan in the event opponents were not satisfied with the changes instituted.

So, for example, at the same time that Bahrain reintroduced an elected parliament, it also took steps to ensure that the opposition could never gain a majority, by redrawing electoral districts around sectarian boundaries. Even though Shi‘a citizens comprise a majority of the overall population, for example, al-Wifaq has never bothered to field candidates in more than 18 of the 40 total districts, out of recognition that it cannot hope to win the others. Besides redistricting, other preventative measures included the onset of Bahrain’s now decade-long program of naturalizing Sunnis from Syria, Yemen, Pakistan and elsewhere for work in the police and armed forces, as well as the near wholesale exclusion of Shi‘a citizens from those services. Finally, certain agencies of the state—in particular the royal court and its various public outlets, including the inflammatory newspaper Al-Watan—also worked to cultivate anti-Shi‘a orientations among ordinary Sunnis such that these citizens will be happy to fight the government’s battles for it if and when the need arises.

Perhaps the biggest substantive impact of the February 14 uprising, then, in my opinion, was to deal a real blow to the basic premise of Bahrain’s entire post-1999 reform agenda overseen by the king and crown prince. Those in the ruling family who opposed it on principle or out of self-interest, including not only the prime minister but also other security-minded individuals such as the royal court and defense ministers, were in their minds vindicated in their belief that citizens—in particular, Shi‘a citizens—will never be satisfied with anything less than wholesale political revolution, and that accordingly the only way to achieve social and political stability is through strong, proactive security measures and the incitement of ordinary citizens against the opposition as an imagined Iranian fifth column.

So, whether this means that King Hamad and his son have lost the internal Al Khalifa battle for political direction, or simply that they have finally come over to the view of more security-minded members of the family, the result is the same: Bahrain now working to solve its “Shi‘a problem” within a security, rather than a political, framework.

The Fractured Opposition

The second conflict underlying Bahrain’s political stalemate is the division within the opposition itself—namely, between those who hold out hope for the formal, moderate opposition represented by al-Wifaq, and who remain open in principle to political dialogue, and those who continue to pursue more radical and more violent means of protest and who would reject any political compromise. Certainly, there has been much talk lately about increasing radicalization and violence among members of the opposition, including among al-Wifaq leaders themselves.

But despite this attempt to paint al-Wifaq as mastermind of violence, the fact is that the increase in violence represents something even more worrisome to the state: a protest movement entirely out of the hands of the formal (and more moderate) opposition.

Indeed, from the state's perspective, it would be preferable if al-Wifaq WERE behind the violence, since then the group could credibly commit to ending it as part of political negotiations. As it is now, with al-Wifaq wielding almost no command over Bahrain's revolutionary youth, any promise by al-Wifaq to end violent protest activities in exchange for political concessions is entirely non-credible, giving the government no incentive to engage in dialogue in the first place. This is a classic commitment problem.

In short, not only does increasing violence give security-minded royals and citizens more fuel for their arguments in favor of an even harsher security crackdown against protest activities, but, even more importantly, al-Wifaq appears an ever more unreliable and inefficacious partner in political dialogue.

The Other Opposition

The third domestic conflict in Bahrain involves what are usually referred to simplistically as “Sunni loyalists” or “the Sunni counter-opposition.” In fact, the various groups and movements that arose in opposition to the February uprising—the largest and most important being the National Unity Gathering and Sahwat al-Fatih—are neither exclusively Sunni nor strictly-speaking pro-government. In a recent Chatham House paper, Jane Kinninmont offers an illustrative quotation from a National Unity Gathering supporter, who told her, “We are not for the government, just temporarily aligned with it.” And I think that is about right for many ordinary Sunnis in Bahrain, who share most of the same basic political grievances of the opposition, including discontent with corruption and wasted resources; continued naturalization of foreigners for work in the police and military; and a lack of say in political decision-making.

Both before and after the uprising, the government has been successful in dissuading Sunni citizens from joining the opposition in significant numbers—or of forming a parallel opposition based around Sunni identity—by raising the specter of Shi‘a empowerment. Prior to al-Wifaq’s resignation, the primary function of the two main Sunni political societies in parliament was to obstruct the opposition, and any Sunnis who dared oppose the government were branded as complicit in the larger Iranian conspiracy represented by al-Wifaq.

In the aftermath of the uprising, which saw an unprecedented and only partly state-sponsored Sunni mobilization, Bahrain’s leaders found themselves with two groups of discontented Sunnis: those that disagreed with what was perceived to be its lax security response to opposition activities, and those that harbored substantive political misgivings independent of this concern, such as those already mentioned. Even if the state could somehow broker some political agreement with the opposition, then, still it would face a different set of problems involving Bahraini Sunnis stemming from its very own efforts to mobilize the community.

The government learned this lesson the hard way during its most recent attempt to restart talks with the opposition in March 2012, where the problem was not intransigence on the part of al-Wifaq but the reaction of Sunni groups. Both the National Unity Gathering and Sahwat al-Fatih rallied against the dialogue—not because they symbolized compromise with the opposition but because they had not been invited. That is, Sunnis were angry that the state would seek a political bargain without their input, particularly given their decisive role in turning the tide of the uprising in February and March 2011.

Not coincidentally, reports of this new “political dialogue initiative” stopped almost immediately. The state is willing to do a lot of things to appease Sunnis, but allowing them a seat at the negotiating table alongside members of the opposition is definitely not one of them. Indeed, this scenario above all others is the one that the ruling family will work to avoid. The chance that Sunni and Shi‘i political leaders could agree some set of political demands is far too dangerous to risk by agreeing to multiparty talks. (According to longtime Bahrain scholar ‘Abd al-Hadi Khalaf, who incidentally is among those whose citizenship was revoked last week, the last time that members of the ruling family sat at a negotiating table with leading Sunni and Shi‘i figures was in the 1960s.) In this case, then, rather than reject the Sunni demand for inclusion directly, the state appears instead to have ended its pursuit of a new dialogue initiative altogether, and in the eight months since there has been no hint of another one.

The state thus seems to have decided that if it cannot placate both sets of Sunnis—that is, those unhappy with the state’s security response to protesters, and those simply unhappy—then it will have to take steps to appease at least the former group of more security-minded citizens. This group, then, can be conveniently mobilized against the latter more reform-minded Sunnis, who may be branded “traitors” or fools duped by the opposition. It was this dynamic, I would argue, that led to the high-profile arrest of Nabeel Rajab, and of the recent legal action begun against Sh. ‘Isa Qasim, against ‘Ali Salman, against al-Wifaq as an organization, and others accused of fomenting violence.

The problem, of course, is that the state’s capitulation to this pressure reinforces the larger self-perpetuating cycle ongoing for the better part of two years in Bahrain. Additional arrests and more stringent security measures fuel further radicalization, desperation, and violence on the part of the youthful opposition, whose members see little hope for a promising future in Bahrain in terms of employment, education, and so on, much less an agreeable political settlement.

In conclusion, then, yes, Bahrain has successfully fended off substantive political change, and the incentives are in place for it to continue to do so. (And I’ve not even had time to mention the role of the United States or Saudi Arabia.) But at what cost?

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Brookings Doha Event on Bahrain

Please excuse my extended absence from posting as I've been completely occupied finalizing the details of my longtime childhood friend Kim Kardashian's upcoming visit to Bahrain, where, as she's already made clear in comments to reporters, she will "set the record straight" while being ogled by members of the royal family. Asked what "record" exactly will be "set straight," she continued, "You know, about how all the Tutsi rebels are killing innocent Hutus and other Bahrainites."  I hope everyone will wish her well in her fact-finding and record-straightening mission.

I have some suitcases to unpack, so I don't have time to get into all the details of BICI anniversary mania; 'Ashura' madness (although I will say that I did get a chance to witness 'Ashura' celebrations among the Lawati in Muscat; very interesting); and, of course, Kim's trip to Bahrain.  Instead, I wanted to note that I will be taking part in one such BICI anniversary mania event this Wednesday at the Brookings Doha Center.  The forum, which is billed as "a policy discussion on the political situation in Bahrain" and will include a Q&A session, will run from 5:30 to 7:00pm.  My sole co-panelist (though they are looking for a third) is Jamal Khashoggi, whom I do not know personally but is a well-known Saudi journalist and editor-in-chief of the Saudi-owned but Bahrain-based Al-Arab news channel.  The executive director of POMED, which just released a comprehensive assessment of Bahrain's BICI implementation, will also be joining via the Interweb from Washington.  In any case, it should be good fun and not at all contentious, since discussions on Bahrain are usually very civil and always based on sober and objective consideration of relevant facts.

If you're in town but don't know where Brookings is located, here is a map.  The event is public but requires pre-registration by e-mailing  Kim Kardashian may or may not be in attendance.

One additional note is that sometime in the next few days Middle East Policy will publish its Winter 2012 issue, which contains an article by me entitled "The Political Costs of Qatar's Western Orientation."  It is based on two years of survey data from Qatar and although not related to Bahrain may be of interest to some insofar as it is an analysis of popular political attitudes in a Gulf state.

Update: An informative article in Al-Ahram on Bahrain's recent revocation of opponents' citizenship. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Kuwait, Not Escalating Violence, Could Be a Game-Changer for Bahrain

One day early last month I received several not-quite-frantic e-mails asking if I knew anything about a meeting said to be scheduled to take place in Doha, where I am located, between members of Bahrain's government and opposition.  As I was indeed not aware of it, I read with interest an article written by the editor of Akhbar al-Khaleej, Anwar 'Abd al-Rahman, decrying this "suspicious meeting in Doha" and comparing its prospective participants to those traitors who had returned just a week earlier from Bahrain's human rights review at the United Nations in Geneva.

Though some of his information proved to be wrong--the event was not organized by the Carnegie Endowment, for one--it turns out that there was an attempt to bring together a group of Bahrainis in a workshop format.  However, the editorial by 'Abd al-Rahman, combined with several other articles in various outlets, amounted to a preemptive strike on the whole enterprise, a less-than-discrete warning to those invited that it was in their interest not to go (to say nothing of Qatar's continued treachery in daring to allow such meetings in its territory). The event was called off for lack of participation and, one suspects, for fear of a possible diplomatic incident.

Later, at the end of October, The Guardian reported that an NGO run by a former aide of Tony Blair was "advising Bahrain on conflict resolution," with "Bahraini government and opposition figures ... being trained in negotiation and conflict resolution techniques." Once again, Bahrain would not tolerate the suggestion that it was anything but staunchly opposed to any political compromise with the opposition and to foreign interference in this "internal matter."  Minister of State for Crazy Affairs Sameera Rajab was promptly dispatched to deny explicitly the Guardian story in remarks later carried in the Bahrain News Agency.

Now, I've not written here for some time.  That is due in part to an increase in other commitments.  But it owes also to a more substantive cause, which is that it's tedious to rehash the same thesis week after week.  The securitization of politics in Bahrain has thrown the country into a destructive, self-perpetuating cycle, whereby the lack of even a hint of political compromise encourages increasingly radical protest tactics, which only reinforces the state's (and security-minded "pro-government" citizens') resistance to compromise or even dialogue.  Indeed, in the aftermath of yesterday's bombings (which occurred in my old neighborhood), Interior Minister Sh. Rashid was quick to declare that "there can be no negotiation with terrorists."  This is just as well, of course, since those responsible for the explosions are presumably not interested in talking either.

The question, accordingly, is not whether Bahrain is likely to continue down (or, in this case, around) the same political path, but what it would take for it NOT to.  That is to say, what event or development would be sufficiently transformative to alter the government's calculus on the usefulness and/or necessity of an actual political solution to Bahrain's conflict as opposed to the present (and now months-old) artificial stalemate imposed via a sweeping security crackdown? (A security crackdown that, as of a week ago, now includes an outright ban on demonstrations.)

In the first place, one can rule out homemade pipe bombs and other acts designed ostensibly to get the attention either of the government or, more likely, of the international community.  Momentarily stealing headlines away from Syria serves little purpose if the headline is something like "Two Killed in Terrorist Attack by Bahrain Opposition."  Similarly, targeting foreigners in areas popular with foreigners--and 'Adliya, the site of one of the injuries, is perhaps the most popular of all--is unlikely to convert additional supporters.  More fundamentally, such actions only feed into the narrative of those within the state and in society who are most opposed to "compromise with terrorists." Take the graphic below, for instance, which comes from Bahrain's main Sunni forum and compares yesterday's incident to a Hizballah bombing in Lebanon.

Not only do such events strengthen the resolve of those opposed to dialogue, moreover, but it gives fuel to those advocating a further escalation of the existing security crackdown, including most notably the immediate closure of al-Wifaq and arrest of 'Ali Saman and especially 'Isa Qasim as alleged inciters of violence.  Already last month the former was summoned for police questioning, while the Bahrain Mirror reported on October 1 that one of King Hamad's advisers, Nabeel al-Hamar, announced that "a number of Bahraini lawyers" are preparing to bring a legal case against 'Isa Qasim "next week"--i.e., this week--relating to his infamous "crush them" sermon.  (Remember this one?)

Leading the charge as usual is the editorial board at Al-Watan.  Of the five headlines on today's (electronic) front page, the top two are stories about 'Isa Qasim.  One, featuring a photo of one of yesterday's victims, reads: "MPs and Shura Council members: Qasim's incitement is behind the development of terrorist methods and mechanisms."

A second asks, "Why does 'Isa Qasim hate foreigners and incite [violence] against them?" I'm not even sure how to describe the photograph.

In keeping with the general cycle of violence and mutual recrimination which is now a defining feature of Bahrain, the response from the other side--both with respect to yesterday's events specifically as well as the larger attack on 'Isa Qasim--has been equally defiant.

The Islamic 'Ulama' Council--I'm not sure exactly whom this represents--continues to criticize the "attack on Ayatallah Sh. 'Isa Ahmad Qasim."  In a new statement released Sunday, the council says that "the defense of this symbol of jurisprudence ... is the defense of all the targeted [opposition leaders]," and closes with the words,  "May God help you [all] to protect the security of this nation and to defend its loyal symbols."

The February 14th movement has also joined in with the flashy graphic seen below, which offers a generic warning to no one in particular: "He is our Shaykh ['Isa] Qasim: Beware." 

Neither are al-Wifaq and 'Ali Salman adopting a conciliatory tone.  Caught between the dual threats of dissolution by the government and irrelevance on the street, al-Wifaq faces a precarious balancing act, to say the least.  Opposition forums have picked up on an interview by 'Ali Salman on the al-Mayadeen television channel (I have no idea what this is), in which he is reported to have said, "If a person entered my house I would kill him in self-defense." Some of course are taking "a person" to mean "a police officer," while others say it was a general statement now being blown out of proportion and to substantiate claims about incitement toward violence.

Al-Wifaq also has not done itself any favors with its Twitter response to yesterday's bomb blasts, which as you can see below is being interpreted as another lost opportunity to condemn acts of violence.

Finally, with the politically-charged festival of 'Ashura' little more than two weeks away, some--more specifically, Sh. 'Abd al-Wahhab Hussain's group al-Wafa'--are attempting to put the holiday to even more explicit political use, dubbing it the "'Ashura' of Resistance."  As the Interior Ministry has already announced that the new ban on public gatherings would not apply to 'Ashura' processions, it is perhaps not surprising that the latter would transform into genuine political marches.

In short, then, there is no reason to believe that yesterday's attack represents anything more than the new normal in Bahrain.  Certainly it will not prompt the state to rethink its present security-based strategy, nor invite outside pressure for it to do so.  Quite the opposite, such acts of violence will only engender a more complete crackdown as security-minded royals and citizens gain ever more fuel for their arguments, and, even more importantly, al-Wifaq appears an even more unreliable partner in political dialogue.  For, despite the attempt of some to paint al-Wifaq as mastermind of violence, the fact is that such violence represents something even more worrisome to the state: a protest movement entirely out of the hands of the formal (and more moderate) opposition.

Indeed, from the state's perspective, it would be preferable if al-Wifaq WERE behind the violence, since then the group could credibly commit to ending it as part of political negotiations.  As it is now, with al-Wifaq wielding almost no command over Bahrain's revolutionary youth, any promise by al-Wifaq to end violent protest activities in exchange for political concessions is entirely non-credible, giving the government no incentive to engage in dialogue in the first place.  Here is a classic commitment problem.

So, I return to the question asked at the outset: if not the recent escalation in violence, what is it that may force the government to reconsider its present security-cum-political strategy?  Previously I have suggested that such a revision in thinking would most likely be prompted by a substantive change in external/regional rather than internal political dynamics: the inevitable question of succession in Saudi Arabia, which may draw the kingdom's attention away from Bahrain; a shift (unlikely as it seems) in U.S. policy toward Bahrain; or the mobilization of Sunni citizens in Saudi Arabia--beyond the perennial protests in the Eastern Province--sparked by Sunni activism in Bahrain.

Now, none of these three scenarios has come to fruition.  But if you tweak the final item a bit, changing Saudi Arabia to Kuwait, then you may see where I am going.  Imagine, for instance, that Kuwait's ongoing parliamentary stalemate devolves into a full-blown political crisis, complete with violent clashes between protesters and riot police.  As already threatened by the emir, the Kuwaiti army is deployed to forcibly quell protests, and one popular uprising in the Gulf (excluding for now the case of Saudi Arabia) becomes two.

Such a scenario would have two important implications for Bahrain.  First, since there is no question of Iranian involvement or "outside interference" in the case of Kuwait, and since the Kuwaiti opposition is a rather heterogeneous coalition of nationalists, liberals, youth, tribes, and so on, it would be much more difficult for the United States and other Western countries to write off a Kuwaiti revolt as a "special case" not representative of the "truly democratic and popular" uprisings seen elsewhere in the Arab world.  If Bahrain is no longer viewed as an isolated and unique case, in other words, but as part of a larger phenomenon of "demands for political reform in the Gulf," then the entire narrative surrounding U.S. and Western support for GCC governments--including Bahrain--changes.  (Of course, some are already questioning, however fruitlessly, U.S. policy on Bahrain.)  And, since the U.S. election will have been decided by then, Washington may have more political will--assuming Obama is re-elected--to act.  Finally, the U.K.'s recent decision to launch a parliamentary review of its relations with Saudi Arabia and Bahrain could further isolate the U.S.

Second, it is possible that a Kuwaiti revolt could re-energize the large contingent of (mostly Sunni) Bahrainis whose fear and dislike of the opposition has so far precluded a coordinated and sustained pursuit of their own political agenda and resolution of their own grievances.  But these political grievances nonetheless persist, and individuals may be more likely to overcome their fear of inadvertent Shi'a empowerment if Kuwait's (also largely Sunni) opposition is seen to achieve substantive political gains--for example, a sizable number of cabinet seats or an elected prime minister.  Moreover, because the newly-reconvened Bahraini parliament now consists almost entirely of these nominally "pro-government" citizens, they already enjoy an institutional mechanism by which to push a reformist agenda if they so desired.  Signs that Bahraini Sunnis are re-awaking from their recent stupor, then, could push the government to end the current cycle of perpetual political crisis.

Gulf foreign ministers will meet tomorrow in Manama "in preparation" for next month's GCC summit, also to be held in Bahrain. I suspect that one of the agenda items will be how to stop isolated political sparks across the Gulf from transforming into a wider regional conflagration.

Update: Sh. Fawaz announces on Twitter that Bahrain is now returning to the methods of the 1990s, taking away the citizenship of 31 activists, including respected Bahrain scholar 'Abd al-Hadi Khalaf and two former al-Wifaq MPs (Jalal and Jawad Fayruz). The BNA has posted an English list of names. (Interestingly, in the English list they omit the "Khalaf" bit for 'Abd al-Hadi, presumably so he is not readily identified.)

Already, some ingenious Twitter activist has responded with the following: