[QODLink]
Middle East

Bahrain arrests 'Iran-linked' cyber group

Bahrain accuses Hezbollah of interfering in internal security affairs by backing local Shia opposition groups.

Last Modified: 13 Jun 2013 13:46
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Bahrain's interior ministry claims that those who were arrested took part 'in criminal acts' [AFP]

Authorities in Bahrain say they have identified and arrested leading members of the Shia opposition February 14 Revolution Youth Coalition, an influential cyber-group accused of working against the government and having links to Iran.

In making the arrests, the country's interior ministry accused the opposition on Thursday of taking part "in criminal acts" and "terrorist" activities.

The February 14 Coalition has been the main force behind a Shia-led uprising that began in 2011 to demand more rights from the country's ruling Sunni leaders.

The ministry identified the group's spiritual leader as Hadi al-Mudaressi, a leading Shia cleric living in the Iraqi holy city of Karbala.

The ministry said he "provided divisive sectarian support to the organisation".

It named 11 of those arrested, saying they had played prominent roles in the coalition inside Bahrain, and said other members were still being sought.

Sentenced in absentia

The ministry also named 13 people that it said were leading the coalition from abroad, some of whom are based in London.

Among those, it said, is Saeed Abdulnabi al-Shahabi "who is responsible for coordination with Iranian leaders".

Shahabi is an opposition leader who has been sentenced to life in prison in absentia for his role in the 2011 uprising.

"They frequently travel between Iran, Iraq and Lebanon to obtain financial and moral support as well as weapons training," the ministry statement said.

These members contact leaders in Iran "to receive direct financial support and field instructions".

"The information presented shows the active role in incitement and terror acts and the support that is provided by extremist religious and political leaders from outside and inside Bahrain," said the statement.

In one of the highest profile cases, Ali Abdulemam, a Bahraini blogger, who was also sentenced to a long prison term, managed to slip out of the country, and sought asylum in England.

Bahrain also accused Lebanese Shia movement Hezbollah - listed as a "terrorist organisation" by the kingdom -- and "extremists" in Iraq of interfering in its internal security affairs.

Tehran, which has repeatedly criticised the kingdom's crackdown on protesters, denies it is backing the uprising.

Bahrain's Shias, mainly in response to calls by the February 14 Coalition, continue to demonstrate in their villages, frequently clashing with police.

A total of 80 people have been killed since the protests erupted in 2011, according to the International Federation for Human Rights.

398

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
Absenteeism among doctors at government hospitals is rife, prompting innovative efforts to ensure they turn up for work.
Marginalised and jobless, desperate young men in Nairobi slums provide fertile ground for al-Shabab.
The Khmer Rouge tribunal is set to hear genocide charges for targeting ethnic Vietnamese and Cham Muslims.
'I'm dying anyway, one piece at a time' said Steve Fobister, who suffers from disabilities caused by mercury poisoning.
The world's newest professional sport comes from an unlikely source: video games.
join our mailing list