Manama: The driver of a bus travelling from Iraq to Bahrain was aware that one of the suitcases had explosives inside it, the advocate general has said.

Ahmad Al Hammadi said that the driver had an agreement with a man living in Iraq to transport the suitcase and to register it in the name of a young passenger to avoid suspicions.

The attempt to smuggle the bomb-making material on the bus through King Fahad Causeway, the 25-kilometre long terrestrial link between Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, was foiled when the customs officers conducted a thorough search.

“The investigations into the case of the bomb-detonation devices seized in a bag smuggled from Iraq via King Fahad Causeway concluded that the bus driver was aware of the suitcase content,” Al Hammadi said.

“The investigations revealed that the driver had agreed with a suspect in Iraq to exploit the young age of the juvenile to cover up their crime and avoid suspicion,” he said in a statement carried by Bahrain News Agency (BNA) on Tuesday evening.

The bag reportedly contained electrical equipment, in which 140 detonation fuses, 41 electric circuits for use in bomb attacks, remote control device, and mobile phones were concealed.

The investigations were launched after the driver was arrested as the bus was thoroughly searched.

The advocate general said that the suspect confessed during questioning by the public prosecution that he had brought the devices from Iraq at the request of someone living there who was wanted by Bahrain security in various terrorism-related cases.

He was to deliver the bag to someone in Sitra, south of the capital Manama, to use in acts of terrorism, he added.

The man in Iraq and the driver had reportedly smuggled devices three months before the latest incident.

Al Hammadi said the four recipients of the bag were identified and added that two of them were caught in possession of “tools used in rioting and devising explosive material.”

“The suspects confessed the charges, and one of them admitted to having received training on the use of weapons and explosives and that the plan was to set up a terrorist group by the suspect in Iraq,” Al Hammadi said.

The investigations indicated the suspect had financed terrorist groups and supplied them with bomb-making material.

The advocate general said the public prosecution charged the suspects with importing and possessing explosives for a terrorist purpose and receiving training on the use of firearms to carry out criminal attacks.

The prosecution ordered the four suspects be remanded in custody pending further investigations.

The King Fahad Causeway, opened on November 26, 1986, is Bahrain’s only terrestrial link with neighbouring Saudi Arabia.

It achieved a milestone on February 28 when 100,643 people crossed it, the highest one-day figure since the opening of the causeway.

According to the figures released in Manama, 62,266 used the causeway to depart from Bahrain and 38,377 to arrive in the island kingdom on that day.

Statistics indicate that around 80 per cent of the people who arrive in Bahrain or leave the kingdom now use the causeway.

In September, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia announced the construction of a new terrestrial link between them, the King Hamad Causeway.

The new causeway, expected to be 25-kilometres long, will run parallel to the existing King Fahd Causeway and will be used by passenger and freight trains and vehicles.

Separate train connections will be part of the wider Gulf Cooperation Council 2,170-kilometre railway network.