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The Ayn Al Dar Mosque near Jidhafs

Volunteers set to monitor localities in Bahrain

MANAMA, July 2, 2015

A neighbourhood watch network is being set up in Manama after Islamic State (IS) flyers were posted on the walls of a Shi’ite mosque on June 30.

Flyers featuring the IS flag were stuck to the walls of the Ayn Al Dar Mosque, near Jidhafs, and also strewn on the ground nearby, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.

The Capital Trustees Board is now spearheading the formation of a network of community volunteers to monitor neighbourhoods.

It follows last Friday’s suicide bombing at a Shi’ite mosque in Kuwait, which killed 27 people and injured 227 others.

IS claimed responsibility for that attack, as well as suicide bombings at Shi’ite mosques in Saudi Arabia on May 22 and May 29 in which 24 innocent people died.

“IS is targeting the whole nation and we in the Capital Governorate have to work as a unit if we are to avert any tragedy,” said Capital Trustees Board chairman Mohammed Al Khozaie.

“I don’t want to exaggerate things considering that they are just flyers, but worse could come and we need to be alert.

“For that, a network of all residents is needed to update police regularly with any information – in addition to residents in nearby villages and towns, as we help the government.”

Ayn Al Dar area MP Ali Al Ateesh said the neighbourhood watch network would work in partnership with police, adding that all places of worship should be on alert.

“Police can’t react without people’s attentiveness and people can’t act because they are not equipped to thwart terrorists,” he said.

“It doesn’t matter whether they are small or large mosques, the Ayn Al Dar Mosque is petite and is located within a neighbourhood – the issue is about the concept of threat.

“Terrorists always find a way to penetrate the community even if surveillance cameras and detectors are put in main mosques.

“The police have to do something as a precaution with suicide bombers doing anything to serve their evil cause.”

Parliament’s financial and economic affairs committee vice-chairman MP Nasser Al Qaseer, whose constituency is adjacent to Ayn Al Dar, said it was important not to panic – but added that people should be alert.

“The responsible committee  in parliament – the foreign affairs, defence and national security committee – is in touch with the Interior Ministry regarding this,” he said.

“We should not panic unnecessarily, but being alert is necessary.”

He also urged all communities in Bahrain to work together to defend the country against the IS threat.

“Parliament is concerned about these reports and we can assure the public that all precautionary security measures are in place to ensure safety,” he said.

“Security of the nation and its people is a priority and we MPs have been engaged in discussions about the situation since May.”  

Security was already stepped up at mosques in Bahrain before the Kuwait bombing, with worshippers being screened as they entered.

The GDN reported earlier this week that there were plans to install surveillance cameras and detectors at mosques, while volunteers were being sought to help secure places of worship and be trained on first aid and rescue services.

Mosques will be closed after each prayer session so that caretakers can sweep for suspicious objects, while legal action is being threatened against anyone promoting an extremist agenda.

Field visits are also being conducted at places of worship to assess security requirements. - TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Manama | monitor | Mosque | Volunteer |

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