Bahrain claims it foiled Iranian-backed terrorist attacks

Bahrain has charged 18 people with allegedly plotting attacks in the country with support from Iran.

al-monitor Bahraini police arrive to disperse protesters during clashes following the funeral of Ali Abdulghani, 17, whose family says died of injuries suffered in a police chase, in the Shiite village of Shahrakkan, south of Manama on April 5, 2016. Photo by MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH/AFP via Getty Images.

Topics covered

normalization, irgc, iranian foreign policy, terror attacks, bahrain

Sep 21, 2020

The Bahraini government announced this week that it had foiled Iran-backed “terrorist operations” earlier this year.

A total of 18 defendants are accused of plotting to carry out attacks in Bahrain with help from Iran, for which they gathered explosive and flammable materials. They also allegedly received financial and logistical assistance from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the state-run Bahrain News Agency reported on Monday.

Nine of the defendants, some based in Iran, are being tried in abstentia. Their next court date is scheduled for Sept. 28, according to Bahrain News Agency. The outlet did not provide further information on the alleged attack plan, including what the targets were. It also did not specify how the defendants pled in court.

The group reportedly named itself after late IRGC leader Qasem Soleimani, who was killed by a US airstrike in Baghdad on Jan. 3. The alleged plotters were arrested in mid-January, but Bahrain did not report the arrests until Sunday.

Bahrain has a difficult relationship with Iran. Many members of Bahrain’s Shiite-majority community visit Iran regulalry. Bahraini officials have contended for years that Iran backs opposition groups in the country. Iran has criticized Bahrain’s recent normalization agreement with Israel.

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