Bahrain foils planned terror attack and seizes Iranian weapons

Attack plot was aimed at 'security and civil peace', with suspects linked to terrorist groups in Iran

A Bahrain Special Forces member during a month-long GCC joint security exercise in Manama in 2016. Reuters

Bahrain's security forces have arrested suspected militants over a planned attack and confiscated Iranian weapons and explosives in their possession, the Interior Ministry said on Monday.

The number of suspected terrorists arrested was not released, nor were details of the attack that authorities said was being planned.

But the Directorate General of Criminal Investigation and Forensic Science said the operations targeted “security and civil peace”.

"Weapons and explosives from Iran were seized" from the group who "are linked with terrorist groups in Iran", the Interior Ministry said on Twitter.

Last year, the country's High Criminal Court sentenced 51 people to prison terms ranging from five years to life for forming and joining a terrorist group. The court heard the group members were taking orders from Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

The public prosecution said the group had been planning attacks on Bahrain and were supplied with weapons and training by the IRGC.

Bahrain's Parliament Speaker Fawzia Zainal on Monday said the country placed combatting terrorism among its top priorities and called for international co-operation to enhance security and stability across the region and the world.

In talks with Dr Reinhold Lopatka, chairman of the Inter-Parliamentary Union High-Level Advisory Group on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism, Ms Zainal said Bahrain was ready to host the group's 10th meeting.

The arrests came shortly after world powers met in Bahrain's capital for the Manama Dialogue, organised by International Institute for Strategic Studies, which focuses on regional security challenges.

At the meeting, US Middle East co-ordinator Brett McGurk said America would remain in the Middle East to counter Iranian threats.

The country's defence secretary backed up this statement, vowing Iran would never be allowed to develop a nuclear weapon.

“The US is committed to preventing Iran from gaining a nuclear weapon and to a diplomatic outcome of the nuclear issue,” Lloyd Austin said.

“But if Iran isn’t willing to engage seriously, we will look at all necessary options to keep the US secure."

Updated: November 23, 2021, 9:27 AM