Bahrain security authorities arrested members of an Iranian-sponsored terrorist cell on Sunday, accusing them of planning assassinations of senior government officials. The cell is also believed to be behind a bus bombing that wounded several policemen in February.
Bahrain's state news agency – BNA – reported that Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) provided military training to six of the suspects, while five others received training from the Iraqi Hizballah terrorist organization. Three others were trained in Bahrain.
Two exiled Bahrainis living in Iran coordinate the terrorist cell, Bahrain's interior ministry announced, including a U.S. State Department designated global terrorist, Mortada Majid Al-Sanadi.
Bahrain authorities last year foiled a similar IRGC and Lebanese Hizballah plot to carry out terrorist attacks in the country.
In November 2015, Bahrain arrested 47 people accused of links to "terrorist elements in Iran," who reportedly planned to conduct imminent attacks in the country. A month later, Bahrain recalled its ambassador to Iran following a security forces raid on a bomb-making factory and arrests of individuals with suspected ties to the IRGC.
In Sunday's arrests, security forces reportedly seized domestically manufactured explosives and communications equipment from the suspects' homes. These developments suggest that Iranian sponsored proxies may be assisting local cells to build bombs.
According to the BNA report, Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah gave a main suspect, Ali Ahmed Fakhwari, $20,000 to assist the terrorist cell.
Iran has been accused of plotting terrorist attacks around the world in recent years – mainly through proxies like Hizballah and the al-Quds Force of the IRGC – in countries such as Egypt, Cyprus, Georgia, Thailand, India and others. In July 2012, a bus bomb widely attributed to Hizballah killed five Israeli tourists and a bus driver in Bulgaria.
In October 2011, the United Stated foiled an Iranian plot to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador in Washington D.C. and bomb the Saudi and Israeli embassies in the U.S. capital.