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Terror cell 'tracked Bahraini police officials and US Navy Base to plot raids'

Bahrain News
Thu, 04 Jan 2018
Noor Zahra


ALLEGED members of a terrorist cell are said to have taken surveillance photographs of Bahraini police officials and the US Navy Base, it has emerged.

The 25 Bahrainis are on trial at the High Criminal Court for allegedly planting an explosive device on King Hamad Highway and detonating it when a police bus, which was heading towards Jaw Prison, drove past.

Five policemen were seriously injured in the blast that happened on February 26 last year.

However, investigation documents exclusively obtained by the GDN showed that the defendants also took photographs of the US base in Juffair and monitored the movement of Bahraini police officers.

They were allegedly waiting for orders from operatives in Iran and Iraq, where some of them had received militia training with help from leaders of known terrorist organisation Saraya Al Ashtar (Al Ashtar Brigades).

“Investigations showed that two of the defendants were given orders to monitor police movement during December 2016 to target them,” said a police captain, aged 29, in his statement to the Public Prosecution.

“They wanted to plant bombs on highway to target police vehicles and target key figures.

Monitor

“The (defendants) were also ordered to monitor and take photos of the US base in Bahrain and movements of the vehicles belonging to the base to target them.

“They received funding from leaders of the terrorist cell from abroad to set up a weapons depot and carry out their missions.

“In addition, they took photographs of police vehicles leaving a military camp in Safra and police vehicles stationed in several areas in Bahrain.

“They carried out their missions and were waiting for orders from leaders of the terrorist cell from abroad.”

Fourteen of the defendants appeared in the High Criminal Court where they denied the charges, while the rest were still at large and were being tried in absentia.

Murtadha Al Sindi, a convicted terrorist who masterminded fatal police attacks and was branded a global terrorist by the US in March last year, is said to have set up the cell along with one of his co-defendants.

Both men, who are believed to be at large in Iran, ordered the defendants to wait for a ‘zero-hour’ order to carry out attacks.

Prosecution witnesses will be cross-examined in court at the next hearing on January 9.

Six of the arrested men have been accused of receiving militia training from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, where they trained on firearms and explosives including guns, C4 and TNT.

Three others allegedly received training from local terror outfits, and the remaining five men have been accused of receiving militia training from members of a Hizbollah proxy group in Iraq.

Explosives

One of the defendants admitted to remotely detonating the explosive device during questioning by prosecutors and said that they received their orders from Al Sindi.

Al Sindi, aged 34, has been sentenced to more than 120 years in connection with nine cases where he was found guilty of running terrorist cells in co-operation with Iranian intelligence services and Al Sadr Movement in Iraq.

He was also handed the death penalty in absentia on December 25 along with five others, including a BDF soldier, for carrying out terrorist attacks and attempting to assassinate the head of the military.

noorz@gdn.com.bh

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