Bahrain says it foiled terror plot

February 17, 2013

Bahraini authorities said that they had arrested a cell of eight terrorists who received training in using weapons and explosives.

Shaikh Rashid Bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, the interior minister, said that the cell had connections with Iran, Iraq and Lebanon.

“These arrests were made with the cooperation of a fellow brotherly country,” he said. “The eight individuals obtained training in weapons and explosives and also received funding from outside Bahrain,” the minister said during an address on Bahrain TV on Saturday evening.

Shaikh Rashid said that the street violence during the past few days resulted in deaths and injuries.

“Over the past few days, Bahrain has witnessed an increase in the nature of violence used against the police and the state,” Shaikh Rashid said. “This development has resulted in the death of two people, injuries to 75 police officers, additional injuries to others, and significant damage to public as well as private property. It is a sad day for the nation as we find members of our own community attempting to undermine the stability of the nation.”

The minister said that the “dramatic change in the range of weapons used included rebar spears, Molotov cocktails, and live fire against police”.

“In addition, 19 suspicious objects were discovered throughout the country, including a 2kg bomb that was defused by authorities on the King Fahd Causeway,” he said.

The bomb was discovered on Thursday near the mosque on the Bahraini side of the 25-kilometre terrestrial link between the two kingdoms by a cleaner who raised the alarm.

Bahrain witnessed three days of clashes between anti-government protesters and security forces as the opposition marked the second anniversary of the events that hit the country in 2011.

Shaikh Rashid called upon all Bahrain citizens “to denounce violence and to abstain from participating in criminal activities”.

“The Public Security Force is committed to maintaining order in the face of any and all provocations or attacks. We ask for the support of all good citizens of Bahrain,” he said.

In his speech, he thanked the communities in Bahrain for “their patience and perseverance through these difficult days”.

“We will not be dissuaded by the actions of those intent on undermining the stability and the peaceful endeavours of the Bahrain government. This is a nation that is committed to reform, human rights and the rule of law.”

However, he stressed that Bahrain’s future progress required “a strong commitment from all citizens to avoid engaging in blame games and finger pointing”. “The community plays an integral role in our efforts to identify a peaceful way forward. We must not be sidetracked by the naysayers and saboteurs. The solution to our problems requires us to come together rather than stand apart. The National Dialogue is an opportunity to examine the issues facing this country and to work through these daunting issues through understanding, empathy and consensus,” he said.


About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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