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.

 

Two Danes stabbed by man shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ in Gabon

UN considers rejecting Trump Jerusalem decision

Israeli air traffic halted due to strikes

Iran's schools suffocate in smog

Christmas in Jordan dimmed by Jerusalem crisis

Turkey slams Austria ‘discrimination’

Tunisia elections delayed

Istanbul summit strong on the rhetoric, weak on concrete steps

Morocco’s Islamists elect new leader, walking away from predecessor’s populism

Palestinians call for protests against Pence Jerusalem visit

Palestinian billionaire detained in Saudi Arabia

Egypt opens Rafah crossing for four days

Turkey court releases 7 suspects in New Year attack trial

Palestinian activist killed in Gaza protests

Foreign fighters a worry as IS struggles to survive

Over half Syrian refugees in Lebanon live in 'extreme poverty'

Palestinians killed in continuing protests over Jerusalem occupation

Bourita: Extraordinary meeting between ECOWAS, Morocco to be held beginning of 2018

Saudi-led air strikes, clashes as Yemen forces battle rebels

Sahel force funding shows terrorism fight is Saudi 'priority'

UN 'appalled' at mass execution of jihadists in Iraq

Iraq's Sistani says Hashed should be under government control

Middle-class Egypt adapts as costs soar

Somalia's budget meets IMF terms

Israel PM questioned in graft probe

US says Iran supplied ballistic missile to Yemen rebels

Lebanon approves bid for oil, gas exploration

US to present 'irrefutable evidence' of Iran violations

Istanbul 'to remove Gulen links' from street names

Iraq hangs 38 jihadists

Pence to visit Middle East despite controversy

Hamas chief calls for continued Jerusalem protests

EU to repatriate 15,000 migrants from Libya in two months

Syria Kurds fear US ally will desert them after IS defeat

Israeli drugmaker Teva to cut 14,000 jobs over two years

Turkey rescues 51 migrants stranded on rocks

Saudi, UAE hold talks with Yemen Islamists

18 killed after bomber strikes Mogadishu police academy

Israeli air strikes target Hamas military facilities

US-led air strikes kill 23 civilians in Syria

Israel union calls nationwide strike over pharmaceutical giant job cuts

UN envoy urges Putin to press Assad for elections

Yemen's Huthi rebels release pro-Saleh media staff

Israel intelligence minister invites Saudi prince to visit

Saudi-led strikes kill 30 in rebel-run Yemen prison