THE father of a teenager accused of making bombs claims detonators and electrical circuits seized from his home were simply part of his son’s university project.
Meanwhile, the wife of a man accused of receiving militia training abroad claims he only left the country to accompany her on their honeymoon.
Both the 18-year-old son and 30-year-old husband are among 10 on trial in connection with a large quantity of explosives and firearms smuggled into Bahrain.
Police confiscated bomb-making materials, firearms and 511 detonators during raids on illegal weapons warehouses and homes of defendants last year.
The weaponry, believed to be intended for use in terrorist attacks in Bahrain, was allegedly smuggled into the country by a cell trained in Iran and Iraq by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and Iraqi Hizbollah.
Members of the group were said to have been recruited by Bahraini fugitive known as Abu Hadi, who was allegedly being sheltered in Iraq but has since died.
“The fugitive in Iraq (now deceased) helped run and set up the terrorist cell,” an investigator told prosecutors.
“He also ordered defendants to collect materials used in making bombs, which were smuggled into the country to use in terrorist attacks.
“The defendants collected the smuggled weapons and explosives, which they hid in secret warehouses.
“Authorities found secret storages in some of the defendants’ homes, which were used to stash firearms and materials used in making bombs.
“In addition, 511 detonators were confiscated along with a vehicle the suspects used to transport these items.
“Some of the defendants’ fingerprints were also lifted off the confiscated items.”
However, relatives of two of the defendants appeared in the High Criminal Court yesterday to protest their innocence.
They were the father of the teenager allegedly caught in possession of detonators and other bomb-making equipment, as well as the wife of the man accused of receiving militia training abroad.
The father claimed his son was working on a university engineering project, not making bombs.
“My son is a hard working student and he is in university studying engineering,” the 50-year-old father told judges.
“He is known for his loyalty to his country and only leaves the house to go to university.
“He does not hang around with the wrong crowd and he is always achieving the highest grades at university.
“Items confiscated at his home were for one of his projects that he was working on for his engineering class.”
Meanwhile, the 30-year-old defendant’s wife claimed her husband “never left my sight”.
“We were married in 2015 and went on a honeymoon abroad,” the 29-year-old told judges.
“Since then he never left my sight and is innocent of the charges.
“We were always together and he is a law abiding citizen.”
Seven of the 10 defendants were arrested in July last year, while three others are being tried in absentia.
They are facing charges of running and being part of a terrorist group, as well as possessing firearms and explosives.
During raids police confiscated documents that included instructions on how to establish a terrorist cell and recruit members, as well as directions for making homemade bombs, booby-trapping vehicles and planning explosions.
Fingerprints of the deceased suspect, who is not among the 10 defendants charged, were lifted from explosives recovered by officers.
He and another of the defendants at large, known as Abu Turab, have both been implicated in several other terrorist cases.
They have been identified as known recruiters by convicted terrorists in Bahrain, with the latter being named by more than 30 men found guilty of such charges.
The deceased suspect Abu Hadi was said to have been involved in a bombing in June last year that killed 42-year-old mother-of-three Fakhriya Muslim Ahmed Hassan, a schoolteacher who died when a device went off next to her car.
Ms Hassan’s children were with her in the vehicle when she was fatally struck in the head by shrapnel, but they suffered only minor injuries.