Report: Bahraini authorities detail terror suspects' ties to Iran

Bahraini authorities say the suspects had ties with a paramilitary group allied with Iran's Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Story highlights

  • State-run Iranian media describes the report as "anti-Iran political theater"
  • Bahrain announced Saturday that 5 alleged "terrorist cell" members had been arrested
  • A prosecutor's spokesman offers details Sunday to official media on the alleged plotters
  • The suspects had ties to Iran's Revolutionary Guard and Basij, the state report says
Bahraini authorities on Sunday explicitly tied the recent arrests of alleged "terrorist cell" members with Iran, claiming the suspects got funding from that Middle Eastern nation and had ties to Iran's Revolutionary Guard and Basij, according to a state media report.
A day earlier, a Bahrain Ministry of Interior spokesman said authorities had arrested five people for allegedly planning attacks against -- among other targets -- the interior ministry building, the King Fahad Causeway and Saudi Arabia's embassy in Manama.
On Sunday, a spokesman for the public prosecution office -- which has taken over the investigation from the interior ministry -- offered new details about the alleged plotters. Much of the new information was derived from what the official Bahrain News Agency describes as "confessions made by some of the accused gangsters."
The BNA report stated the alleged terrorists had connected with "militant elements in (Iran's) Revolutionary Guard" and Basij, the volunteer paramilitary group allied with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
The Bahrain prosecutor's spokesman claimed the suspected terrorists planning, and operations, were dependent on "foreign financing." The BNA report specifically referenced money that one suspect supposedly got during a visit to Iran.
Another report, released early Monday by Iran's state-run Press TV, described the arrests and Bahraini claims as "anti-Iran political theater."
"Manama has made similar allegations on a number of occasions, and every time Iran has denied all the charges," the Press TV report said.
A Bahrain interior ministry spokesman had earlier said, in a statement, that Qatari security authorities initially arrested four Bahrainis who had entered Qatar from neighboring Saudi Arabia.
The suspects were carrying documents and a laptop "containing sensitive security information and details about some places and vital establishments in Bahrain, as well as airline bookings to Syria," the spokesman's statement said. The suspects were also carrying a "significant" amount of U.S. and Iranian currency, the spokesman said.
The Qatari Security Authority learned that the four suspects left Bahrain "after being incited by others to head to Iran," and then they passed through Qatar and Syria "to establish a group that carries out armed terrorist operations in Bahrain," the spokesman's statement said.
The four defendants provided information about a fifth suspect in Bahrain, who was also arrested, Bahraini authorities said.