Internationally renowned Bahraini blogger Ali Abdulemam appeared to be “safe” in Europe after disappearing for two years, falsifying earlier reports accusing the government of hiding him.
Abdulemam apparently escaped from Bahrain in “a secret compartment of a car,” The Atlantic magazine reported on Friday.
According to The Atlantic, Abdulemam was smuggled across the Gulf in a fisherman’s boat to Kuwait, then to Iraq, where he boarded a planned flight to London.
The Magazine pointed to several scenarios which could have lead to Abdulemam’s escape. One of them was an alleged collaboration with Nasser Wedaddy, a Muslim human-rights advocate who worked at the Boston-based American Islamic Congress (AIC).
Wedaddy was the first to alert Abdulemam of the need to hide, when the situation started escalating in Bahrain, the magazine said.
He woke “Abdulemam up in the middle of the night and asked him to go into hiding immediately,” the magazine said.
The first plan was to smuggle the Bahrini blogger through to Iraq.
The Atlantic magazine wrote that one initial plan was to smuggle Abdulemam on a ‘party’ yacht which would end up docking in Iraq.
However, the plan was not implemented, as there was a fear the boat could be at risk of being pulled aside by either Saudi or Iranian patrols, the magazine explained.
The second scenario was to seek the approval of Tyler Ramsey, a Los Angeles-based artist. The magazine said there was a plan to hold an “art performance” in Bahrain, which would help Abdulemam escape on a private plane that was owned by Ramsey.
This scenario, however, was dismissed when Abdulemam received his “now or never chance” to exit through Saudi Arabia’s King Fahd Causeway , then escape on a fishing boat to Kuwait and finally move into Iraq.
According to the magazine, Abdulemam boarded a flight from Iraq to London.
Sources told Al Arabiya that Abdulemam, who is sentenced to life-imprisonment by a Bahraini court, was smuggled to Saudi Arabia through a truck that carried construction material. The truck loaded its cargo in Bahrain, and on its way back, carried Abdulemam to Saudi Arabia.
From Kuwait, he crossed the borders into the Iraqi city of Basra. He then settled in Najaf for five days before he moved to Baghdad, from there he boarded a plane to London on a forged Iraqi passport, according to the sources.
When he arrived in London, Abdulemam got rid of his fake passport and requested political asylum in United Kingdom on his Bahraini passport, which was allegedly brought to him by a member of Bahrain’s Freedom Movement, the sources told Al Arabiya.
The news stirred anger in Bahrain over the lack of security measures that has been taken at Saudi’s King Fahd Causeway.