Manama, Asharq Al-Awsat—The Bahrain authorities announced the arrest of several individuals alleged to be part of a new terrorist cell last Thursday evening. The Bahraini minister of interior, Lt. Gen. Sheikh Rashid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, stated that this cell had been trained in the use of weapons and explosives in Iran, Iraq and Lebanon. The minister revealed that the cell was composed of eight people and that “these arrests were made with the cooperation of a fellow brotherly country,” understood to be Saudi Arabia.
General Khalifa announced that all elements of the new cell are Bahraini citizens, stressing that investigations have revealed their movements between Iran, Iraq, and Lebanon, and that they “had received training in weapons and explosives and also obtained funding from outside Bahrain.”
Bahrain authorities claimed the same day to have disrupted another attack on the King Fahd Causeway. Ministry of the Interior spokesmen told reporters that a bomb had been discovered and defused by police technicians on one of the bridges linking the island state to Saudi Arabia.
The security source stressed that the new cell has no ties to the previous cell that the Bahraini security forces uncovered in November 2011. At that time, it was claimed the cell was targeting the King Fahd Causeway linking Bahrain to Saudi Arabia, the Saudi embassy in Manama, and the headquarters of Bahrain’s interior ministry.
On a related matter, attorney general Abdul-Rahman al-Sayed revealed that the prosecution service has completed their investigation into the seizure of a warehouse containing in the region of Salmabad, and the arrest of some of those allegedly involved in the manufacture of explosives, which were later used to target the security forces and terrorize citizens. The prosecution has referred nine defendants—four detained by the security forces, and five still at large—to trial, on the charge of belonging to a group aiming to disturb public order and putting the safety and security of the Kingdom at risk, and using terrorism as a means to achieve its objectives.
The defendants have also been charged with training others in the manufacture of explosives, manufacturing and possessing explosives themselves, and using them to violate public security for terrorist aims. Further charges include creating explosions in order to terrorize innocents, and raising funds to finance a terrorist group. The defendants will appear before the High Criminal Court on 28 February.
Sayed said that the seized explosives contained a mixture of substances including nitroglycerin and nitrocellulose, a highly explosive mixture that forms the basis of dynamite.
Other items seized in the possession of the accused include video clips and instructions on how to make bombs and explosive materials, Qassam rockets, and anti-armor weaponry, along with ways to measure the materials used in the manufacturing process. The attorney general said that investigations have proved that some of the accused were behind the blasts that occurred near the International Exhibition Center in November 2011.