Bahrain arrests 8 'terrorists' fleeing to Iran by speedboat

Police inspect cars at a checkpoint during a manhunt for prisoners that escaped from Muharraq jail in Manama, Bahrain, on Saturday. (REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed)
Updated 05 June 2016

Bahrain arrests 8 'terrorists' fleeing to Iran by speedboat

DUBAI: Bahrain’s coast guard arrested eight men convicted or wanted on “terrorism” charges as they tried to escape to Iran by speedboat, the Bahraini news agency reported on Sunday.
The men were intercepted along with two smugglers after setting off from the tiny Gulf kingdom toward the Iranian coast, the official Bahrain News Agency (BNA) said.
The agency published the men’s names and said that seven had been sentenced to between 10 to 15 years in prison for “terrorism” activity and the eighth one was wanted also on terrorism charges, it said.
The men’s attempt to cross the 193 kilometer (120 mile) stretch of water to the Iranian coast was planned by two Bahraini fugitives, BNA said.
One of the men has been convicted to life and the other to 10 years in prison, it said, adding that both had escaped previously to Iran.
The incident follows a jailbreak late on Friday in which 17 prisoners fled Al-Hadd jail near the dry dock on the island of Muharraq, east of the capital Manama.
Bahrain lies across the Gulf from Iran and is home to the US Navy’s Fifth fleet.
Relations between the two neighbors are tense and Manama has repeatedly accused Tehran of interfering in its affairs and inciting violence in the country.

Lebanese spy chief tests positive for virus in US

Updated 21 October 2020

Lebanese spy chief tests positive for virus in US

  • Lebanon’s General Directorate of Public Security said that Maj. Gen. Abbas Ibrahim is in ‘good health,’ but will postpone his return to Beirut following the PCR test

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s security chief has been forced to delay his return from an official visit to the US after testing positive for coronavirus following a series of White House meetings.

Maj. Gen. Abbas Ibrahim, director-general of the Lebanese Public Security, met with US officials, including David Hale, the undersecretary of state for political affairs; CIA director Gina Haspel; and national security adviser Robert O’Brien during his recent visit to Washington.

Hale, as well as several other employees from the State Department and other executive branch divisions, are now self-isolating for 14 days, US officials said.

Lebanon’s General Directorate of Public Security said that Ibrahim is in “good health,” but will postpone his return to Beirut following the PCR test.

The Lebanese intelligence chief also held talks with senior US security officials in Washington. He was scheduled to hold meetings in Paris before his return to Beirut.

In Lebanon, the number of coronavirus infections during October rose to more than 24,000, climbing past the September total of 22,000.

Since the outbreak began in February, more than 63,000 cases have been reported in the country, with 525 fatalities.

Firas Abyad, director of the Rafic Hariri University Hospital, said: “The situation is unacceptable. If we continue on this path, we will soon reach a point where the number of critical coronavirus cases outweighs the number of available intensive care beds. This will coincide with winter, when the demand for intensive care beds increases for pneumonia cases, for example.”

Abyad told Arab News: “One of the most difficult cases that doctors can face is the death of a mother after giving birth, due to the repercussions of her infection with the coronavirus, and this happened a few days ago in Tripoli.”

Abyad pointed to a “state of denial” among those infected with the virus, saying some “consider it as just a regular flu, and do not think about the consequences of the disease.”

He added: “We have 215 cases that need intensive care in Lebanon. We are not fully occupied yet, but we may be shortly.”

Almost 80 Lebanese towns have been placed in lockdown by the Ministry of Interior after recording high rates of infection.

The one-week lockdown decree issued on Tuesday included the southern Beirut neighborhoods of Ghobeiry, Haret Hreik, Burj Al-Brajneh, Tahwitet Al-Ghadeer and Al-Laylaki.

According to the Mount Lebanon Governorate, some suburbs “failed to abide by individual and collective preventive measures to limit the spread of active infection chains.”

The lockdown includes a ban on “social events, parties and gatherings of all kinds.”

Cafes, gaming lounges, amusement parks, sports clubs and public parks will also be closed under the restrictions.