Manama and London,(Asharq Al-Awsat) — Bahraini authorities claimed on Monday that the country’s security forces foiled four terrorist attacks and arrested 17 suspects, including Bahrainis and a Saudi national.
They also said they foiled an attempt to smuggle Syrian and Iranian arms into the country by sea from Iraq.
The announcement was made in a news conference by the commander of the Bahrain Public Security Forces, Maj-Gen. Tareq Hassan. He said weapons, including Iranian bombs, were also found during the operations, as well as Syrian-made detonators.
Major General Hassan told Asharq Al-Awsat that the foiled terrorist plots were major ones, and that diplomatic parties in Bahrain would contact the relevant countries in due course. He said that suspects apprehended during the investigations also revealed the presence of other conspirators present in the country, who were subsequently apprehended.
He said the security forces foiled four major plots on Saturday and Sunday, which he said appeared to be linked to each other. He added that “the first operation involved defusing a car bomb which was spotted by a police patrol in the Houra area.”
In the second operation, the Coastguard uncovered an attempt to smuggle 13 wanted men to Iran by boat. One of the men was a Saudi national. They were all arrested ten miles off the Bahraini coast.
He said that the third operation involved the confiscation of Iranian and Syrian arms arriving from Iraq on a boat which was stopped at sea, while the fourth operation uncovered a cache of weapons in Bahrain.
Major General Hassan told journalists that the suspects arrested on the boat admitted that they had received training in Iran on the use of weapons and explosives.
He added that one of the suspects admitted that he had arranged with his brother, who lives in Iraq, to prepare the shipment and send it to him, and that he had received the shipment at sea and brought it into Bahrain.
There was also evidence of the involvement of foreign parties in the training of suspects in camps in Iran and Iraq, Major General Hassan said.