MILITANTS in Bahrain are manufacturing the same bombs as those used by Houthi forces in Yemen, according to a new report.
The Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) bear the same markings and are made with materials supplied by Iran, says UK-based Conflict Armament Research (CAR).
Its findings are based on extensive research by CAR investigators, who have conducted six missions to Yemen since last April.
The organisation concluded that bombs made by Bahraini militants used identical components as those employed by Houthi rebels.
“Iran uses identical components in a number of improvised weapon systems, which it has clandestinely supplied to groups in Yemen and Bahrain,” it said.
The organisation specifically refers to Explosively Formed Projectiles (EFPs), a type of device recovered by Bahraini police during anti-terrorism raids last year.
Last July a CAR team documented materials seized by Bahraini officers, including Iranian-manufactured ammunition.
The explosives were designed to be remotely detonated and were classed as radio-controlled IEDs (RCIEDs).
They were also found to be “identical” to the bombs used by Iran-backed Houthi rebels.
“The team found that the electronic components contained in the magnetic RCIED (seized in Bahrain) were identical – in design, construction and materials employed – to the electronics used in the construction of the RCIEDs recovered in Yemen,” states the CAR report.
The report added that among items seized from Bahraini terrorists were heat-shrink wire coverings, which are manufactured by the Chinese company WOER and which feature prominently in Iranian weaponry – particularly that found in Bahrain and Yemen.
“WOER-brand heat shrink wire covering is a constant feature of Iranian-origin materiel recovered in Yemen and Bahrain, including RCIEDs, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and dual-use equipment suspected to be used in the production of rocket propellant,” it said.
The GDN reported last June that two cells, whose members were allegedly affiliated with terrorist group Saraya Al Ashtar (Al Ashtar Brigades), stockpiled 52kg of explosives.
Authorities uncovered a weapons depot in Dair, where C4, TNT, armour penetrating explosives, detonators, electrical circuits and other bomb making materials were confiscated.
CAR’s report is called “Radio-Controlled, Passive Infrared-Initiated IEDs: Iran’s latest technological contributions to the war in Yemen”.
It also describes how roadside bombs camouflaged as rocks are being used by insurgents in Yemen.
“Since the start of the current conflict in Yemen, Ansar Allah ‘Houthi’ forces have employed significant numbers of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) against Arab Coalition forces,” it states.
“Although most are rudimentary in design, the number of comparatively more sophisticated IEDs in Yemen has increased, which speaks of a recent influx of technology.”
The report authors conclude that militants had a degree of knowledge in constructing devices resembling EFPs, which were forensically tied to Iran and Hizbollah.
Their findings follow the release of a report in January by the US Combating Terrorism Centre (CTC), based at the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York, which warned that Iranian-backed militants in Bahrain could start using drone surveillance, assassination tactics and unmanned vehicles to smuggle in weapons.
It added Bahrain was witnessing a third generation of militants who, having been trained in Iran, Lebanon and Iraq, have evolved from “detectable groups of amateurs” since 2011 to professionals carrying out IED attacks using “sticky bombs”.