Bahrain’s launch of Shiite crackdown jeopardizes its security

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DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – Bahrain aims to end years of instability with a crackdown on Shiite political parties, but it could be a gamble that risks further destabilizing the Western-allied kingdom and the wider Middle East.

In a series of moves over the past three weeks, authorities closed down the main Shiite opposition al-Wefaq Islamic Society, doubled the prison sentence of the group’s leader, Sheikh Ali Salman, detained prominent rights campaigner Nabeel Rajab and stripped Ayatollah Isa Qassim, Bahrain’s Shiite spiritual leader, of his citizenship.

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