News24

Bahrain suspects in contact with Iran

2011-11-13 21:51

Dubai - Members of a cell arrested before they could carry out planned attacks on Bahrain's interior ministry and the Saudi Arabian embassy had been in contact with Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards, Bahrain's state news agency BNA reported on Sunday.

Bahrain said on Saturday that the suspects, four of them Bahrainis detained in neighbouring Qatar, had also planned to attack a causeway joining Bahrain to Saudi Arabia. The suspects' interrogation led to the arrest of a fifth member of the group in Bahrain, BNA reported.

Some of the suspects had confessed that "the group was set up abroad ... to carry out terror operations in Bahrain ... and was in coordination with the military overseas, including the Revolutionary Guards and the Basij [militia]", BNA quoted a Bahraini prosecution spokesperson as saying.

Activists among Bahrain's Shi'ite Muslim majority began a series of mainly peaceful demonstrations in the capital in February, pushing for more political freedoms and better living conditions, inspired by the Arab Spring uprisings across the Arab world.

The country's Sunni rulers, helped by Saudi security forces, crushed the demonstrators, who they said had been supported by predominantly Shi'ite Iran. Tehran has denied involvement in the unrest in Bahrain, a US ally which hosts the US Fifth Fleet.

Last month US authorities said they had broken up a plot by two men linked to Iran's security agencies to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States, Adel al-Jubeir. One of the two was arrested in the United States last month and the other was believed to be in Iran.

Iran has denied the allegations.