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Bahrain arrests 4 suspects with Hezbollah links

Probe unravels purported human rights outfit serving as cover for terrorist activities

Gulf News

Dubai: Bahrain’s Chief of Terror Crime Prosecution, Advocate General Ahmad Al Hammadi, said that four suspects have been arrested following an investigation into the creation of an illegal organisation with the aim of sabotaging the rule of law, preventing the state from exercising its responsibilities, undermining personal freedoms and harming national unity.

Al Hammadi added that the Bahraini group was in contact with a foreign-based organisation “for the purpose of carrying out acts of terrorism against Bahrain, targeting police and public order servicemen, participating in illegal rallies, sabotaging private properties and disseminating fake news likely to undermine national security and public order”.

One of the suspects had established the Manama Human Rights Observatory as a front and a cover to support acts of terrorism in the kingdom, Bahrain News Agency (BNA) reported.

“He divided the members of the organisation into groups to carry out activities that were allegedly related to human rights and to mobilise crowds for illegal rallies ostensibly to make human rights demands, but in reality to use them to carry out riots and acts of vandalism and terrorism against police staff and vehicles and the Ministry of Interior building in Manama.”

The investigations also revealed that the founder of the terror organisation received support for its activities from Hezbollah, the Lebanese terror militia, through a Bahraini national who worked for the terror group and resided in Lebanon.

The probe also revealed that Hezbollah had been funding and supporting many people belonging to purported human rights organisations and sending out false reports about the human rights situation in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The campaign aimed to discredit those countries, undermine their status in international public opinion and damage their national interests through convening international conferences that included members of international human rights organisations, he added.

One female suspect used human rights work as a cover to communicate and cooperate with Al Karama Foundation to provide them with information and fake news about the situation in Bahrain.

It may be recalled that the founder of Al Karama figured in a list of terrorists compiled by Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt, the quartet combating the funding of terrorism. He was also listed by the US Treasury as a terrorist and had his assets and funds frozen in 2013 over his ties to Al Qaida.

Investigations revealed that he had managed to exploit the foundation to support numerous terror groups under the cover of human rights, Al Hammadi added.

The suspects were remanded in custody pending further investigations.

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