Bahrain thwarts terror plot: Iranian, Syrian arms seized

Updated 09 January 2014
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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.


Did lightning strike trigger Gaza rocket attack on Israel?

Updated 23 October 2018
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Did lightning strike trigger Gaza rocket attack on Israel?

  • Hamas took the unusual step of denying it had carried out an attack
  • Israeli cabinet minister Tzachi Hanegbi said there was reason to believe that was true

JERUSALEM: A theory that a lightning strike triggered Palestinian rocket fire from Gaza last week gained traction in Israel on Tuesday and might explain the Israeli military’s limited response.
Two rockets were launched from the Hamas-ruled enclave on Oct. 17. But the group took the unusual step of denying it had carried out an attack. Israeli cabinet minister Tzachi Hanegbi said there was reason to believe that was true.
One of the rockets wrecked a house in the southern Israeli city of Beersheba, causing no casualties, the other landed in the Mediterranean Sea. Israel responded with air strikes that killed a militant in Gaza.
Soon afterwards, video appeared on social media showing lightning illuminating the night sky in Gaza and then two flaming rockets streaking into the air.
Israel’s best-selling daily, Yedioth Ahronoth, reported on Tuesday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s security cabinet now believed the lighting set off a launch mechanism.
Asked about the report, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, a member of the security cabinet, told Israel Radio: “I won’t discuss security cabinet meetings and I don’t know which ministers are chatting with journalists, but I can say that as far as we know, Hamas did not intend to fire those rockets.”
Hamas officials had no immediate comment.
The rocket launchings coincided with Egyptian efforts to broker a long-term cease-fire between Hamas and Israel, which have fought three wars in the past 10 years.