(Picture: Material seized from the site of the blast.)
At the height of the 2014 Grand Prix the opposition mobilized thousands of their foot soldiers and gave them all banners featuring the photo of the latest Bahraini “martyr” Hussain Sharaf.
Online opposition propagandists like Maryam Al Khawaja and Marc Owen Jones were blaming the authorities for Hussain’s death and citing Hussain as yet another example of the Bahrain Government’s “brutal repression”.
The facts have now come to light after a full investigation of the circumstances of Hussain Sharaf’s death. Hussain had already been sentenced in absentia on a whole string of counts of terrorism, most seriously; for attacking a police patrol with explosive devices in Al-Eker in 2012; for killing a policeman and seriously injuring others. He was also charged with possessing explosive devices.
Hussain died in an explosion on 1 April 2014 in the property where he was hiding out in Al-Eker. Witnesses reported hearing a massive explosion at the site before a large fire broke out.
The Director-General of Criminal Investigation and Forensic Science announced the findings of its investigation into the Al-Eker fire. It concluded that the fire was caused by the detonation of a bomb which Hussain Sharaf was in the process of assembling. The identity of Hussain was confirmed by DNA testing.
The Director-General reported that after the fire was extinguished, another bomb was found and defused at the location. “Several other bombs were also found there, in addition to bomb-making material and mobile phone detonators linked to wires. Police also seized homemade shotguns and ammunition from the site.”
Judging by the circumstances of the explosion we can see why parts of the opposition were so distressed by the death of Hussain Sharaf. Clearly he was an experienced and active bomb-maker and is likely to be one of those who has received training from abroad. We can only assume that his passing will be sorely missed among militants.
Hussain is just one of a number of militants who have been killed as a result of handling explosive devices in Bahrain, as documented here. In fact, over the past year no protesters have died as a result of police actions, but seven police have been killed by explosives planted by militants like Hussain Sharaf.