Manama: Bahrain on Monday said that its foiled attempts to smuggle weapons and ammunition into the country and to help 13 people wanted on terror-related charges leave the country clandestinely.
“Thanks to the deployment plan of the Coast Guard patrols and the use of radars, a target was located 118 nautical miles off north eastern Bahrain, in international waters, sailing towards Bahrain,” Public Security Chief Major — General Tareq Hassan Al Hassan said at a press conference.
“The target was followed until it entered territorial waters in eastern Al Jarem, and with the support of the police air patrols, it was seized at 4.50 pm, around two nautical miles away from the coast of the Karranah village. The target was a 29-foot boat with two 200 horsepower engines. Two Bahrainis were on board of the boat,” he said.
The police seized 38 C4 explosives, 31 Claymore blocks, explosive material to be used against individuals, 12 EFP armour-piercing explosives, six explosive devices containing magnets, 30 Nokia mobile phones, with batteries, a Thuraya satellite phone with a SIM card, and 29 circuit boards to be fixed on mobile phones to set off bombs.
The Coast Guard also seized a PK machine gun and 12 cartridges, a large number of machine gun bullets, two boxes containing a large number of ignition capsules, three explosive fuses, 50 Iranian-made hand bombs, 295 “made in Syria” commercial detonators and C4 and TNT explosives.
“The operation was documented visually and investigations are still going on in this case,” Al Hassan said.
The 13 people being smuggled out of the country were arrested after the Coast Guard located a boat with a number a people aboard heading out of the coast of Karranah village towards the north, he said.
The boat was followed and stopped 10 nautical miles away from the kingdom’s coastline.
“The target was immediately followed with the support of the police air patrols and a number of coast guard boats until it was cordoned and stopped at 2.40pm after a pursuit along the east of Al Jarem marine area [10 nautical miles away from Bahrain coastline].
“The 29 — foot long boat was carrying 13 people wanted for security-related cases were aboard. One of them was a Saudi national. They were carrying their passports, different currencies, mobile phones, as well as clothes and personal belongings,” he said.
Other security operations included busting a warehouse used to store explosives and ammunition in the village of Al Qurrayah and defusing a bomb placed in a car parked in a popular street in the capital Manama, he said.
“Security servicemen had suspicions about two cars parked in the Hoora area and conducted a search operation that revealed they had been reported stolen,” he said, referring to a neighbourhood in central Manama.
“The specialised teams examined one car and discovered that it had explosive devices. The Bomb Squad and the Civil Defence managed to dismantle the car bomb and to neutralise the explosives found inside.
“A gas cylinder, two fuel plates, and a homemade pipe bomb connected to a remote control phone were found. The investigations are still being conducted to capture the perpetrators of this terrorist act,” he said.
“The presence of another car in a different area in Hoora also raised the suspicion of a police patrol. However, nothing suspicious was found after it was examined,” he said.