Manama: Bahrain on Thursday said that the law enforcement and arrest powers granted to its National Security Agency (NSA) would be limited to crimes with terror links.

Senior Advocate General Ahmad Al Dossari said that with reference to Decree 1/2017 that amended provisions of Decree 14/2002 establishing the NSA and granting the NSA officers judicial control powers, the authority to arrest and detain will be confined to terror crimes.

Such crimes, due to their dangerous nature, necessitate prompt action to thwart plots, stall their effects, gather evidence and arrest the culprits, Al Dossari said, Bahrain News Agency (BNA) reported.

The arresting and detainment power in all other crime cases remains the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Interior, the advocate said.

Al Dossari stressed that “whenever the NSA discovers crimes that have no terror link, it will refer them to the Ministry of Interior to take the legal action in this regard.”

The NSA was established in 2002 and replaced the General Directorate for State Security Investigations.

In 2012, the Office of the Inspector General (Ombudsman) was set up at the NSA in order to “ensure the formation of an independent human rights office that is competent to receive and examine complaints regarding maltreatment of persons by the NSA staff and violations of the international laws and agreements endorsed by the Kingdom of Bahrain.”

The Ombudsman is also “to conduct inquiries in complaints whenever violations are committed for any reason or at any time, or during the staff’s duty or if the agency is involved in any capacity.”