Bahrain links Iran to alleged terror plot
Published 06/09/2010 | 05:00
Bahrain indicated that Iran was implicated in an alleged plot to overthrow its government yesterday after 23 prominent opposition leaders were charged with terrorism.
Authorities in the American-backed Gulf kingdom made the arrests during weeks of unrest in the run-up to a parliamentary election next month.
Officials said the activists were members of "a terrorist network with international support" and were planning a campaign of "violence, intimidation and subversion".
Abdulrahman al Sayed, a government prosecutor, said: "The leaders have been accused of several crimes including the planning and instigation of violence, conducting a wide-ranging propaganda campaign against the kingdom and seeking to overthrow the regime."
Although the foreign state behind the purported plot was not named, it was widely understood that Iran was the focus of suspicion. The Bahraini government, dominated by the country's Sunni minority, has frequently accused its Shia Muslim dissidents of collaborating with co-religionists in Tehran.
The charges against the 23 activists have been condemned by human rights groups.
Particular concerns centre on Abduljalil al-Singace, the leader of one of the opposition groups.
Mr Singace was arrested at Bahrain's airport as he got off a flight from London, where he had addressed a conference at the House of Lords. (© Daily Telegraph, London)