FILE - Bahraini police
CAIRO – 23 January 2018: Bahrain arrested 47 people on Sunday on charges of plotting to assassinate public figures and attack oil facilities in Manama, Bahrain’s capital, after the security forces monitored contacts between Iranian Revolutionary Guards and these elements, according to the Interior Ministry of Bahrain.
The ministry revealed that the majority of these elements are run by Iranian Revolutionary Guard, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and Popular Crowd Forces in Iraq.
It added that the terrorist crimes include attempts to assassinate officials and public figures; targeting of police officers, policemen and security patrols; arson and vandalism targeting oil establishments to hit the national economy; and plots to vandalize and disrupt national celebrations.
The security bodies implemented 105 security missions, including the inspection of 42 sites and warehouses, the arrest of 290 fugitives, and finding huge amounts of weapons, equipment and explosives.
Bahrain’s Interior Ministry stressed that these persons would be held accountable, and if the countries they are living in do not cooperate with Interpol and ignore the Red Notice or bilateral coordination, then those individuals will have no civil rights or right to stay in Bahrain.
Bahrain, a tiny but strategic Gulf state, has been gripped by unrest for years, as its Sunni royal family has resisted demands from its Shiite majority for a constitutional monarchy with an elected prime minister. Consequently, Bahrain is a target of Iran, which is supporting the Shiite majority in Bahrain.
Previously, in November 2017, Bahrain accused Iran of targeting the Saudi-Bahraini oil pipeline, as well as in the other attacks targeting Bahrain.
Gulf sources referred also that there are connections between these cells and Qatari businessmen, stressing that Doha, which has close ties to Iran, still makes attempts to incite violence in the Gulf countries by recruiting Qatari businessmen to support these cells.
On July 28, 2015, terrorist bombings targeted the Bahraini police in the Sitra district of Manama, killing two security officers and injuring eight others. According to the results of investigations carried out by Bahraini authorities in August 2017, the terrorist attack was funded by a prominent Qatari businessman who worked to finance terrorist groups from 2010 until the date of the attack.
The evidence revealed that prominent Qatari businessman Mohammed Suleiman Haider sent money from 2010 to 2015 to Hassan Issa Marzouk, which was used to finance terrorism.
Marzouk, who is a former parliamentarian and member of the dissolved Wifak organization, was arrested on August 18, 2015 upon his return from Iran. He is currently serving a 10-year sentence.
The most prominent of the defendants in this case related to terrorism is Qatari Mohamed Ibrahim Al-Tawq, who admitted to receiving support from the Qatari businessman.
The Bahraini government stressed that Qatar’s funding of terrorist events between 2010 and 2015 is only part of a continuous support system from Doha to sabotage its territory, both in practice and logistically.
Doha has provided outlawed Muslim Brotherhood and Shiite opposition leaders with Iranian funds, aiming at tarnishing the image of Saudi Arabia over false allegations that it backs violations against the Shiites in Bahrain, coinciding with Bahrain’s Independence Day on August 14.
The main reason behind the Doha-Manama disputes is the ownership of Hawar Island, which the International Court of Justice (ICJ) approved as property of Bahrain in 2001.