Bahrain's High Criminal Court sentenced 51 defendants to prison terms ranging between five years and life in prison on charges of forming and joining a terrorist group which took orders from Iran's Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), state news agency BNA reported on Tuesday.
The court also issued fines totalling 100,000 Bahriaini dinars ($265,281) for 17 of the accused, ordered three defendants to pay for damages they caused worth 51,400 Bahriaini dinars (51,400), and acquitted one of the defendants.
The Public Prosecution had conducted an extensive investigation that uncovered the defendants forming a group with the aim of committing terrorist acts in Bahrain, based on orders from leaders of Iran's Revolutionary Guards (IRGC).
The authorities' investigation revealed that the 52 defendants, including 27 fugitives abroad, had received support and funding from the IRGC and were supplied with weapons, explosives, equipment and tools necessary to commit terrorist operations in Bahrain.
"They plotted to target economic and vital installations, security patrol sites, and the headquarters of the Ministry of Interior and Bahrain defense forces. To carry out their plans, some of the defendants were tasked with travelling to Iran and Iraq where they underwent military training in IRGC camps and Iraqi Hezbollah camps," BNA reported.
"They were trained to lead the terrorist groups in Bahrain and instructed to recruit members to form separate clusters that would carry out terrorist operations in different areas of Bahrain," BNA added.
The defendants were ordered to carry out an operation targeting a bank’s ATM at the entrance of Jidhafs area in November 2019.
Some of the defendants also received orders to attack public transportation vehicles and targeted vehicles with the intention of setting them on fire as they passed on Budaiya highway. The attempt was foiled, and the defendants were arrested, according to BNA.
The arrested suspects also illegally possessed explosive devices, tools used in their manufacture, and Molotov cocktails.
"In view of the conclusive evidence against the defendants... the Public Prosecution put the defendants on trial," BNA reported.
The charges against them include forming a terrorist group, joining and financing it, fully aware of its objectives, as well as receiving training in the use of weapons, explosives, arson, possession of Molotov cocktails and committing sabotage acts, for terrorist purposes.