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Bahrain security arrest 8 over terror plot - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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A Bahraini policeman extinguishes tyres burning during clashes with riot police following a protest in solidarity with jailed Bahraini women in the village of Jidhafs, west of Manama, on June 13, 2013. (AFP/Mohammed Al-Shaikh)

A Bahraini policeman extinguishes tyres burning during clashes with riot police following a protest in solidarity with jailed Bahraini women in the village of Jidhafs, west of Manama, on June 13, 2013. (AFP/Mohammed Al-Shaikh)

Manama, Asharq Al-Awsat—Bahrain’s Interior Ministry claimed that it foiled plans for an armed terrorist attack on a detention center on Tuesday, which aimed to free a number of detainees held on charges related to recent unrest in the country.

According to the Interior Ministry, the group accused of planning the attack consisted of nine people, eight of whom were arrested. They are aged between 21 and 53 years old, and included four civil servants, one student, while three were unemployed.

The ministry said security forces had also seized two Kalashnikov rifles, one pistol, 143 rounds of ammunition, and a map showing the entrances and exits to the detention center.

The Interior Ministry said the confiscated gun and rifles were ready for use in the planned attack on the detention center, and claimed that investigations had uncovered that the accused belonged to the Imam’s Army, which was referred to government prosecutors on 24 January, and which had planned attacks on vital installations in Bahrain.

The Bahraini minister of information and spokesperson of the government, Samira Rajab, told Asharq Al-Awsat that “security has been improving since the uncovering of the Imam’s Army, in reference to preemptive actions and the uncovering of terrorist operations before they were carried out,” adding that “the numbers of terror operations have declined noticeably.”

Bahraini security officials announced on June 14 that they had arrested 33 people suspected of involvement in security incidents, including two women. Another 20 suspects are being pursued in and outside Bahrain. Some of those arrested and pursued are thought to be members of the Imam’s Army.

Bahraini officials say interrogations of Imam’s Army members revealed that the group had received financial support and training from specific groups in Iran, Lebanon and Iraq—the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Lebanese Hezbollah and some armed groups in Iraq—in order to expand recruitment and operations.