Bahrain identifies February 14 movement leaders

Arrests made for string of crimes committed over last few months
  • By Habib ToumiBureau Chief
  • Image Credit: Reuters
  • Sayed Jameel (C) of the Shiite opposition group al-Wefaq speaks to the media as he arrives at the National Dialogue session in Manama June 12, 2013. The talks, aimed at ending more than two years of unrest in Bahrain, resumed after a two-week boycott by opposition societies in retaliation against a raid on the home of Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassim by security forces.
Manama: The interior ministry in Bahrain said that it had identified “several members of the February 14 organisation” for crimes committed in connection with a wave of attacks on the kingdom.
“As a result of the discovery of a string of crimes committed over the last few months, and after an extensive investigation, a number of the February 14 organisation’s main actors who took part in these and other criminal acts have been arrested,” the ministry added.
“The detainees have confessed their involvement in these dangerous terrorist acts to the public prosecutor,” it said. According to the statement, the “crimes have terrorised and spread fear among citizens and residents and ranged from road blocking and burning tyres, to heavy use of Molotov cocktails and the construction and use of weapons and explosives.”
“The February 14 organisation was created as a result of the incidents that took place in Bahrain in February 2011,” the ministry said, adding that it had leaders both inside Bahrain and abroad.
“The responsibilities of the local members included the recruitment of members who coordinate subgroups or plan and execute bombings and the transfer of weapons, media relations, the selection of agents to be sent abroad for training, and the arrangement of safe houses to be used by suspects on the run in Bahrain.”
The organisation leaders not staying in Bahrain were based mainly in London, the ministry said. “They frequently travel between Iran, Iraq and Lebanon to obtain financial and moral support as well as training on the use of weapons,” the ministry said.
“Their responsibilities included coordination between subgroups and interaction with leaders in Iran in order to receive direct financial support and field instructions, the intensification of field movements and the provision of media support for the organisation’s members.”
They were also tasked with the supervision of the transfer and storage of weapons in Bahrain and training members on the use of weapons, gang tactics, real and fake bomb-making, monitoring and recruitment, the ministry said.
According to the ministry, the bombings that have occurred in Bahrain were “similar in type and style to those in Iraq.” “Evidence and confessions have proven the interference by Hezbollah and extremists from Iraq in the internal security affairs of Bahrain,” the ministry said.