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A crowd of over 150, reportedly led by members and supporters of the Kuwaiti royal family, angry about a program they deemed insulting stormed a Kuwaiti private television station, ransacking its offices and damaging furniture and other equipment. Scope TV accused the attackers of being under the guidance of "a well known diplomat" before if went off air. The attackers were enraged over a program "Zain wa Shain" or "Good and Bad" broadcast by the satellite station's director and former MP Talal Al-Saeed. The youths had earlier gathered in front of the station's offices before barging in.

 

Some of them were armed with pistols and knives and about 10 workers of the station were injured. Fajer Al-Saeed, owner of the station, said she had received threats to her life after the talk show was aired. She said the attackers had been looking for her, the station manager or the program presenter, and added that the station had gone off the air after the attack. Windows were broken and desks overturned at the station, which police had cordoned off.

 

October 18, 2010

 

 

Analysis and Forecast: Increasing Risk


 

The Kuwaiti political scene appears to be undergoing increasingly dangerous levels of tensions on multiple fronts.

 

Whilst parliamentary opposition appears to be intent on escalating the situation with parliament, the Scope TV issue reflects a more serious division within Kuwaiti society. There appears to be a growing unhappiness with various members of the Kuwaiti ruling family, both from political opposition as well as traditionalists. This is in addition to growing tensions with the country's Shiite community.

 

Whilst there is no indication of an imminent threat, the ruling family's support appears to be waning. The Emir may resort to dissolving parliament if the tensions between the parliament and government escalate. If this happens at this time of increasing tensions across the layers of Kuwaiti society, there is an increased liklihood of civil unrest ensuing.