31st Dec, 2013 –
As one of their conditions for a return to Dialogue, the opposition has demanded an end to police operations against militants.
However, if we just look at two days of activity by the Bahraini police; during 28th and 29th December we find examples of four major terrorist activities which have been foiled; illustrating for the need for vigilant police activity to protect the public.
Firstly, a boat which was impounded on the north east coast of Bahrain coming in from the direction of Iran. Along with a very long list of guns, ammunition and bomb-making equipment were 38 C4 explosive devices, 50 Iranian-made hand bombs, 295 detonators labeled as coming from Syria and large quantities of machine gun bullets. The operation was documented on video and investigations are continuing.
Following on from the operation in which the boat was impounded, a sizable warehouse for storing explosives and ammunition was discovered at Al Qurrayah Village; again containing large numbers of bomb-making parts, guns and ammunition. Other smaller sites were located as part of the same series of raids. In sum, the kinds of materials you’d be wanting to stockpile if you were planning to start a small war.
In the same approximate location as the weapons-smuggling ship, the Coast Guard chased and succeeded in impounding a boat containing 13 wanted individuals who had been indicted in a number of security incidents. Those detained confirmed to the authorities that the boat had been heading for Iran.
Finally, a stolen car was located in Hoora containing a “gas cylinder, two fuel plates, and a homemade pipe bomb were found connected to a remote control phone”. The Bomb Squad succeeded in neutralizing the devices.
Only a couple of days before these incidents two policemen were injured by explosive devices, coinciding with a speech by the Secretary General of Al-Wefaq Islamic Society, Shaikh Ali Salman. According to the authorities, Shaikh Ali Salman’s speech contained sectarian language and “incited hatred against the government and promoted rioting and vandalism”.
The opposition claims that its methods are peaceful, but its actions say otherwise. When opposition militants, trained and armed by Iran, are going to such efforts to bring armed conflict to Bahrain’s shores, we question the motives of the opposition in calling for an end to legitimate and targeted police actions to protect the public and maintain security.
(Much of the data regarding these four specific incidents was sourced from a press conference by Public Security Chief Major-General Tareq al Hassan, on 30th December 2013.)