Bahraini internal security forces announced yesterday it disrupted and thwarted a major terrorist cell with supposed direct links to Iran, Iraq and Lebanon. Bahrain’s Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid bin Abdullah al-Khalifa called the development a major “escalation” as internal dissent continues to fester. According to the Interior Ministry, eight suspected terrorists were apprehended and have been accused of receiving foreign financial support as well as training in explosives and arms. The recent arrests indicate that internal security concerns on are on the rise and that political instability in the country remains a serious and ongoing concern.
The increased security awareness is partially the result of increasing tensions between the Shi’ite majority and the Sunni government since February 10. The government of Bahrain has long accused the Shi’ite government in Iran of backing protestors in the country and fomenting discontent, and the arrests are likely linked to efforts to quell Shi’ite demonstrations.