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Iran-backed cell ‘planned blasts’

Bahrain News
Tue, 16 Feb 2016
By NOOR ZAHRA

Bahrain: A foreign-backed terrorist cell was allegedly planning to cause explosions in Bahrain using ‘motion-sensor bombs’, a court heard.

A detective described how 11 Bahrainis, who had amassed a stockpile of explosives, were planning to plant these bombs around the country and create havoc. The 11 are on trial charged with possessing a large quantity of explosives and bomb-making materials.

Police said the explosives and bomb-making materials equivalent to 222kg of TNT seized from a house in Dar Kulaib in June last year belonged to the group that was formed in 2011.

He said that the defendants were instructed to carry out ‘jihad’ in Bahrain.

“Sixty-six motion detector electrical circuits used to trigger explosives were among items found in the defendants’ possession,” the 30-year-old detective told prosecutors.

“The circuits are powered by infrared, which is used in detonating the bomb, triggered by motion.

“Fingerprints of two of the defendants (aged 17 and 25) were lifted off the explosive materials.

“A 30-year-old Bahraini said that he chose the nickname ‘Nooh’ in the terrorist group after a computer programmer (aged 25) incited him to carry out ‘jihad’ in Bahrain.

“He admitted to travelling to Iraq and Iran along with his co-defendants to receive militia training at camps run by Hizbollah and Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).”

The detective said that ‘Nooh’, a chemical graduate, confessed to renting his uncle’s apartment for BD120 a month, where he stashed weapons and explosives.

“They were planning to carry out blasts in Bahrain to cause havoc while ‘Nooh’ bought explosive materials and helped his co-defendants in making bombs.

“Items confiscated included vehicle alarm speakers used to remotely detonate explosives, 11 bags containing 10kg of C-4 military high explosive with a velocity of 8,092 metres per second, which can prove lethal and damage property.

“Also seized were 82 bags containing 249.92kg of urea nitrate, a fertiliser-based high-explosive commonly used in manufacturing improvised explosive devices (IEDs), in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq – with an explosive speed of 4,700 metres per second.

“Twenty-three detonators connected to an electrical circuit and a pipe containing tetryl (a sensitive explosive compound used to make detonators and explosive booster charges) were also confiscated.

Unstable

“Four kg of TATP, also known as Acetone Peroxide, a white crystalline powder that is unstable and used in manufacturing IEDs with an explosive speed of 5,300 metres per second and 1.89kg of ammonium nitrate, a chemical compound used in agriculture and manufacturing IEDs, were seized.

“Authorities also confiscated 23 pairs of commercial detonators, 66 electric circuits controlled by infrared, 67 mobile phone circuits, 21 Nokia mobile phones, three bags of large metal ball bearings and metal moulds for containers and lids of explosively formed projectiles (EFPs).”

The trial was adjourned until March 14 to summon defence witnesses for cross-examination.

A secret room was discovered by authorities in the apartment, where C4, commercial detonators, advanced circuitry, chemicals and mobile phones were stashed.

‘Nooh’ previously admitted to receiving around BD1,000 every month from the group’s leaders, which was kept in water meters at various mosques for him to collect.

Among the 11 defendants is alleged mastermind Murtadha Majeed Ramadhan Al Sindi, 32, who was previously sentenced to life in jail and had his Bahraini nationality revoked for working with the IRGC.

He is still at large and is currently believed to be in Iran.

Another group leader is said to be Qassim Abdullah Ali, 25, who is also believed to be at large in Iran after being sentenced in absentia to life imprisonment on terrorism charges. 

noorz@gdn.bh.com

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