First Published: 2013-04-23

 

Bahrain foiled ‘terrorist plots’ to attack F1 Sakhir circuit

 

Police seize 1,000 petrol bombs, 137 tyres protesters were planning to set ablaze as well as 72 fire extinguishers which were to be used as bombs.

 

Middle East Online

To extinguish fire or to set it on?

DUBAI - Two Bahraini girls were arrested for allegedly having plotted to carry out an attack on Sakhir circuit during the weekend's Formula One Grand Prix race, police said on Tuesday.

Authorities arrested "two girls who were trying to carry out a terrorist act at Bahrain's international circuit in the south, as the kingdom was hosting the Formula One race," state news agency BNA quoted police as saying.

The pair were arrested on Saturday, the second day of practice sessions, at one of the entrances to the Sakhir circuit, south of Manama, said public security chief General Tariq Hassan.

He did not give the age of the girls but said one of them had concealed a pillow under her clothes and explained that this was a dry run "to test security measures."

The pair, identified as Nafisa al-Asfur and Rihanna al-Musawi, are being held for 60 days on charges of seeking to "bomb the Sakhir circuit."

The public security chief said 8,000 policemen had taken part in securing the race, against which thousands of Shiites had demonstrated the previous week.

He said police had seized 1,000 petrol bombs, 137 tyres protesters were planning to set ablaze as well as 72 fire extinguishers which were to be used as bombs.

The race took place without disruption despite the backdrop of daily clashes between protesters and police, in Shiite villages away from Sakhir.

Strategically located just across the Gulf from Iran, Bahrain is home base to the US Navy's Fifth Fleet and is also a major offshore financial and services centre for its Arab neighbours in the oil-rich Gulf.

The Shiite Muslim-majority kingdom, ruled by a Sunni dynasty, was rocked by a month-long uprising in 2011, which was crushed with the help of Gulf troops led by neighbouring Saudi Arabia.

Elsewhere on Tuesday the interior minister of Bahrain, Sheikh Rashid bin Abdullah Al-Khalifa, warned that Arab monarchies of the Gulf are endangered and must stand united.

"The danger facing the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council concerns each and everyone of us and demands that we be united," he said at a consultative meeting of GCC interior ministers in Manama, the BNA reported.

Bahrain -- which is a member of the GCC along with Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates -- accuses Iran of backing the Shiite-led uprising in the Sunni-ruled kingdom.

The UAE is trying 94 Emirati Islamists over their alleged links to the Muslim Brotherhood.

On Thursday the UAE announced it had broken up an Al-Qaeda cell comprising seven Arabs who were plotting attacks in the Gulf state.

An official statement on the official Emirati WAM news agency said the group was also "trying to extend its activities to reach some other countries in the region." It did not elaborate.

 

Iran-backed bomb attack foiled in Jordan

Iran nuclear talks enter in final straight

Carrot and stick as ‘Islamic Sate’ seeks to win over Sunni tribes

7 Iraqis killed in accidental warplane bomb

A year after Gaza war, Shijaiyah still trying to recover

'Islamic State' bomb attacks target Iraq town of Haditha

Egypt arrests Brotherhood members over plot to disrupt shipping at Suez Canal

Egypt reveals number of Sinai militants killed in last five days

‘Islamic State’ seizes Syria town of Ain Issa from Kurdish forces

Crunch talks to seal Iran nuclear deal begin in Vienna

Warplanes target headquarters of Saleh party in Yemen capital

Egypt to reconsider parts of anti-terrorism draft law

Morocco journalist on hunger strike in Geneva told to return home

Near Gaza Strip, Israelis live in fear behind concrete walls

Tunisia declares state of emergency after beach massacre

After Tunisia beach massacre, tourists switch to other destinations

Deadly US raids target ISIS stronghold in Syria

Concern and grief as Britain remembers 2005 terror bombings

Iran nuclear talks: Will Ministers score diplomatic success?

Erdogan moots possibility of snap election

Coalitions of Syria rebels battle regime forces in Aleppo

Lawlessness in Libya poses real danger for Tunisia

Hezbollah backs Syria army in major assault on border city

Syria mosque explosion kills at least 25 Nusra fighters

Egypt President in Sinai after jihadist attacks on security forces

Yemen Huthi rebels ‘attack’ various areas in Saudi Arabia

No guarantee of success as Iran nuclear talks inch closer to lasting deal

Egypt ‘in state of war’ on second anniversary of Islamist ouster

Ansar al-Sharia denies killing of Abu Iyadh in US air strike

Rockets from Sinai strike Israel

Palestinians arrest 100 Hamas members in West Bank

Erdogan inaugurates public mosque in palace

Islamists form alliance in battle for Aleppo

Top Tunisian jihadist reportedly killed by US strike in Libya

Emir attends joint Shiite, Sunni prayers in Kuwait

Hamas denies involvement in Sinai attacks

4 Qaeda suspects killed in US drone attack in Yemen

'Series of errors' behind Air Algerie crash in Mali

Ankara has no plans for imminent intervention in Syria

21 killed in clashes, strikes in Yemen's Aden

GCC states vow united stand against IS mosque bombings

Palestinians protest one year after teenager burned alive

Egypt vows to wipe out 'dens of terror'

Tunisia arrests eight in connection with beach massacre

Youth in Tunisia 'ripe for radicalisation'