Bahrain arrests suspect, names Iran-backed cell involved in attacks

Ismaeel Naar

Published: Updated:

Bahraini authorities have arrested a terror suspect on charges of plotting a recent deadly attack on a police bus and identified an Iran-backed cell involved in a series of plots including bomb attacks on three oil pipelines.

Bahrain’s chief of public security told reporters at a press conference on Wednesday that Zuhair Ebrahim Jassim Abdullah Abas, 37, was arrested for plotting a bomb attack on a police bus on Oct. 27 which resulted in the death of policeman Salman Anjam and the injuring of nine others.

Abas’ partner in the plot has reportedly escaped to Iran.

“This was one of a series of terrorist crimes that were planned and executed by a cell linked to Iran-based terror fugitives and closely connected to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards,” a statement from an interior ministry spokesperson read.

“The disruption of the terror cell foiled a major plot to target public personalities in Bahrain and launch attacks with explosives on three oil pipelines,” the statement added.

The suspect arrested on Wednesday is part of a five-man terror cell identified for taking part in past attacks and plotting other ones across the island kingdom. In October 2011, the members of the cell travelled by land to Syria and then to Iran. Their passports were not stamped at the Syria-Iranian border.

They travelled again to Iran in July 2017, according to authorities.

Terror plots

“Cell members were trained by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard on how to plan and execute bomb attacks. This included training on how to plant bombs. The types of explosives used included TNT, RDX and C4. They were also taught how to make moulds for shaped charges, and received training on the technical aspects of bomb-making. They were trained to handle tasers, AK-47s, M16s, RPGs, and pistols,” authorities said.

Bahraini authorities identified the following men as part of the cell: Qassim Abdullah Ali Ahmed, also known as “Qassim al-Muamen”, 28, whose Bahraini nationality was revoked after being sentenced in absentia to life imprisonment on terror charges. The second man identified is Sadiq Jaffar Mohammed Abdullah Al Tooq, 36, and wanted on terror-related charges, including the manufacturing and possession of homemade bombs. Mahdi Ebrahim Jassim Abdullah, 28, was the third identified member and was earlier sentenced in absentia to 30 years on terror charges, including bomb-making. The fourth fugitive was named as Mohammed Mahdi Mohammed Hassan, 39, a heavy truck driver wanted on suspicion of plotting acts of terrorism, manufacturing bombs, and executing acts of terrorism. He was sentenced in absentia for eight cases of robbery and rioting.

All four men are currently fugitives after escaping to Iran.