Manama: Bahrain’s interior ministry said that a counterterrorism operation conducted by the security authorities has resulted in the identification of a terrorist network and the arrest of 47 suspects. 

Security authorities confirmed that the arrests disrupted a number of sizable terrorist attacks planned for the near future.

A range of high-grade explosives, bomb-making materials and weapons were seized from several locations within populated residential areas.  In addition to the materials seized, a bomb-making facility and an explosives laboratory were discovered, the ministry said in a statement carried by Bahrain News Agency (BNA).

“Among the seizures were homemade bombs and raw bomb-making materials, including C4, TATP, Urea Nitrate, and Nitro Cellulose.  Ammunition and anti-personnel bomb molds were also seized along with partially constructed armor-piercing explosive devices, which were likely to be used as Vehicle-Improvised Explosive Devices (VIEDs),” the ministry said.

The investigation and several surveillance operations have revealed that, as with previous terrorist incidents in 2015, the suspects arrested hold strong connections with terrorist organisations in Iran, it added.

“Over the past six months multiple seizures of explosives, homemade IED and VIEDs, bomb-manufacturing equipment and caches of arms and ammunition have been directly linked to Iranian-backed extremists who intended to use the materials in terror attacks in Bahrain. Security authorities’ investigations are continuing to help identify and locate any additional suspects.”

The Ministry of Interior said police would remain vigilant for any security threats and that no effort would be spared in protecting the Kingdom’s citizens.

The ministry also “emphasised Iranian-sponsored violence which seeks to harm progress and dialogue will not deter the Kingdom's pursuit of long-term political and economic development.”