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Bahrain mosque blast duo sentenced to life

Manama, November 11, 2013

Two Bahrainis have been sentenced to life in prison for forming a terrorist group that carried out an explosion outside a mosque in the Riffa district of the kingdom, a report said.

They were convicted of establishing and heading an illicit group that carried out the July 17 bombing in the parking area of Shaikh Isa bin Salman Mosque in West Riffa, as worshippers were performing special evening prayers, reported the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.

They were jailed for 25 years by the High Criminal Court yesterday, which also sentenced two other Bahrainis to 15 years each for detonating and possessing an explosive device.

A fifth man, who is still at large, was also sentenced to 15 years for training the defendants to use explosives.

"We found the defendants guilty based on two of the men's confessions, prosecution witnesses' testimonies, forensic report, DNA and fingerprint examinations found at the scene, along with surveillance footage of the two men who carried out the attack," read court documents.

Prosecutors yesterday revealed the two bombers received explosives training in Karzakan before carrying out the attack.

They detailed in court documents that the men stole two cars from Sanad on the day of the attack and drove it to Riffa.

One of the vehicles was used as a getaway car, while the other was booby-trapped with two gas cylinders that were connected to explosive devices and a mobile phone.

"The defendants, who established and headed the group, gave orders to two men to carry out a terrorist attack at the Shaikh Isa bin Salman Mosque in Riffa," the prosecution said in court documents.

"One of the establishers funded the illicit group, while a member of the group purchased gas cylinders which were used in the attack.

Target

"He then hired an unknown man, who is still at large, to train the two men on how to use explosives in Karzakan, where they detonated an explosive device as a test prior to the attack.

"The two men who carried out the attack placed two gas cylinders, which were connected to wires and a mobile phone, in one of the stolen vehicles at the parking area of the mosque.

"They then got into the other stolen vehicle and when they reached Suq Waqif in Hamad Town they detonated the explosive remotely by calling the mobile phone connected to the cylinders."

No one was injured during the blast, but the bomb destroyed the vehicle.

The GDN earlier reported that an extremist group calling itself Al Ashtar Brigades claimed responsibility for the explosion, saying its target was not the mosque but the Royal Court.

The explosion caused shockwaves across the country with political societies, human rights activists, clerics, community leaders and diplomats condemning the attack as it targeted worshippers during Ramadan.

Following the attack, Interior Minister Lieutenant-General Shaikh Rashid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa reviewed security procedures with ministry officials and police directorates to step up security efforts. – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Bahrain | Criminal Court | Life sentence |

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