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DUBAI — The United Arab Emirates said on Sunday it was investigating a group with international links that was planning "crimes against state security," the state news agency said.
The group "aims to commit crimes against state security and challenge the constitution and basic principles that government in the state is based on," WAM said, adding that the group is "subordinate to foreign organizations and agendas."
The protests that have swept four Arab heads of state from office and strengthened the Islamist movement throughout the Middle East have not been seen in the UAE, thanks in part to its cradle-to-grave welfare system.
But the authorities remain concerned that the rise to power elsewhere could embolden its own Islamists' movement, and they show little tolerance for dissent.
"Prosecutors ordered the group's arrest pending investigations," WAM said. "Investigations are continuing to uncover the extent of the conspiracy this group and its members were planning."
The report did not give more details.
The government has arrested at least 10 Islamists in the past three months in a rare move against dissidents in the tightly-controlled state. Islamists in the UAE say they share similar ideology with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt but have no direct links with the group, seen as a mentor for all Islamist groups in the region.
Analysts say Islamists could tap into unease among UAE nationals over their minority status in a country of some eight million people, most of whom are incoming foreign workers.
The economic boom in Abu Dhabi and Dubai — the leading emirates in the seven-member federation — has made UAE citizens some of the world's wealthiest, with an annual income per capita of $48,000, but it has also brought what some see as unwelcome Western influence.