Terror group members jailed over attack plots

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Manama, Nov. 3 (BNA): The High Criminal Court has sentenced 51 defendants to prison terms ranging between five years and life in jail on charges of establishing, organizing and joining a terrorist group and committing crimes within the framework of that group's activities.

The court also ruled fines of BD 100,000 for 17 accused, ordered three accused to pay for the damages they caused estimated at BD 51,400, acquitted one accused and confiscated the seized items.

The Public Prosecution had conducted extensive investigations and intelligence work that found defendants organizing themselves within a group established by some of them to commit terrorist acts in Bahrain, based on directives received from the Iranian Revolutionary Guards' leaders abroad who take Iran and Iraq as sanctuaries.

The defendants were assigned to form and organize armed groups consisting of internal elements to plan and carry out terrorist and sabotage operations in Bahrain.

The accused members of the group who are in Bahrain were arrested late last year by the General Department of Investigation and Criminal Evidence.

Investigations and intelligence revealed that the 52 defendants, including 27 fugitives abroad, had received financial support and funding from the Revolutionary Guards and that they were supplied with weapons, explosives, equipment and tools necessary to commit terrorist operations in the Kingdom.

They plotted to target economic and vital installations, security patrol sites, and the headquarters of the Ministry of Interior and Bahrain Defence Force.

To carry out their plans, the terrorists in Bahrain were assigned to travel to Iran and Iraq where they underwent military training in the camps of the Revolutionary Guard and the Iraqi Hezbollah.

They were also trained on how to lead the terrorist groups in Bahrain and instructed to recruit other terrorists to form separate clusters that would carry out the terrorist operations in the different areas of Bahrain.

They were also trained militarily on the use of weapons, explosives and monitoring operations.

The defendants took orders from their leaders abroad to carry out an operation targeting a bank’s ATM at the entrance of Jidhafs area in November 2019.

Some defendants also received orders to attack public transportation vehicles and targeted vehicles belonging to a transportation company with the intention of setting them on fire as they passed on Budaiya highway. The attempt was foiled and the defendants were arrested.

The arrested suspects also illegally possessed anti-personnel explosive devices, vehicles and tools used in their manufacture, in addition to Molotov cocktails.

In view of the conclusive evidence against the accused, including physical and technical evidence, the fingerprints and human cells of some of the defendants found on the tools used in preparing explosive devices and videos from security cameras in the locations where the terrorist operations were committed, the Public Prosecution referred the defendants to trial.

The charges against them included establishing, organizing and managing a terrorist group, joining and financing it while aware of its objectives, as well as receiving training and training in the use of weapons and explosives, arson, destruction, possession of Molotov cocktails and committing acts of sabotage, all of which for terrorist purposes.

The High Criminal Court reviewed the case in public sessions in the presence of the imprisoned defendants and their lawyers during which it heard witnesses for the prosecution and the defence.

It issued its verdict based on the charges and the defendants who fled.