Bahrain thwarts terror plot: Iranian, Syrian arms seized

Updated 09 January 2014

Bahrain thwarts terror plot: Iranian, Syrian arms seized

MANAMA: Bahraini authorities have foiled an attempt to smuggle explosives and arms, some made in Iran and Syria, into the country by boat, the state’s public security chief said on Monday.
The boat, which had two Bahrainis aboard, was stopped over the weekend at two nautical miles off the archipelago’s coast, public security chief Maj. Gen. Tareq Al-Hasan said.
He said it had been tracked over a distance of 118 nautical miles northeast of the kingdom.
“Fifty hand grenades made in Iran,” as well as “295 fuses connected to switches labeled as made in Syria,” were found in the 29-foot vessel, he said in a statement carried by state news agency BNA.
Dozens of C4 and TNT explosive devices were also found on the boat, he said, without providing details about the source of the alleged shipment.
“According to the investigations, which revealed plans to carry out terrorist acts, security deployment has been intensified.”
He said security forces had also dismantled a car bomb in Al-Houra area east of Manama, seized a weapons and explosive cache and arrested 13 people, including a Saudi national, trying to flee the country by boat.
The smuggled munitions included what Hassan called anti-personnel and armor-piercing explosives, as well as “50 Iranian-made hand bombs” and “295 commercial detonators on which was written ‘made in Syria’,” he said.
Separately, a court sentenced five men to 15 years in prison for two attacks by homemade bombs — including one during last year’s Formula 1 race — BNA said.
BNA said the men had admitted being behind the bombings. Two of the defendants were tried in absentia.
The defendants were also convicted of a number of other counts relating to explosives, the agency said.


Syria Kurds hand over four Daesh-linked children to Germany

Updated 57 min 32 sec ago

Syria Kurds hand over four Daesh-linked children to Germany

  • They included a boy and two sisters who had lost both parents, and a fatherless girl infant
  • A spokeswoman for the German foreign ministry confirmed the handover to staff from its consulate

SIMALKA CROSSING: The Kurdish authorities in northeast Syria on Monday handed over four children linked with the Daesh group to Germany, their first such repatriation to the European country, an official said.
“The autonomous region handed over four children from Daesh families to a delegation from Germany,” said Fanar Kaeet, a foreign affairs official with the Kurdish authorities.
They included a boy and two sisters who had lost both parents, and a fatherless girl infant who was repatriated for health reasons, Kurdish authorities said.
All are under 10 years old, they said.
A spokeswoman for the German foreign ministry confirmed the handover to staff from its consulate in neighboring Iraqi Kurdistan at the Simalka border crossing.
“I can confirm that four children who were in custody in northern Syria were able to leave Syria,” she said.
“The children were received on the Iraqi-Syrian border by staff of the consulate in Irbil and will be given to family members,” the spokeswoman said.
“From there, the children and their family members will, we believe, travel to Germany.”
Syria’s Kurds have spearheaded the US-backed fight against Daesh in Syria, and in March expelled the extremists from their last patch of territory in the war-torn country’s far east.
Even as they fight remaining sleeper cells, thousands of alleged Daesh fighters and family members are being held in their custody.
These include hundreds of suspected foreign fighters in their jails, and thousands of their alleged family members in overcrowded camps.
Western countries have been largely reluctant to repatriate their nationals.
But France and Belgium have brought a handful of orphans home, while the United States last year repatriated a woman with her four children.
Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kosovo have repatriated dozens of women and children.
Daesh overran large parts of Syria and Iraq in 2014, proclaiming a “caliphate” there, but offensives in both countries have seen them lose that territory.
A dozen children of alleged jihadist fighters have been repatriated from Iraq to Germany since March.