Bahrain jails 24 for forming IS cell

Only eight defendants are held by authorities while 16 others remain at large


Afp June 23, 2016
Only eight defendants are held by authorities while 16 others remain at large. PHOTO: REUTERS

DUBAI: A Bahraini court on Thursday sentenced 24 people for belonging to an Islamic State group cell, stripping 13 of them of their citizenship, the prosecution said.

One member was jailed for life after being convicted of forming a branch of the Sunni group and recruiting others, while the rest were each sentenced to 15 years in jail.

Only eight defendants are held by authorities while 16 others remain at large.

The cell ringleader was accused of recruiting two others into IS, and helping one of them travel to Syria to receive military training from the jihadists, public prosecutor Ahmed al-Hammadi said.

Islamic State struggling to gain foothold in Pakistan

The pair were also tasked with recruiting others who joined IS abroad.

Members were judged to have fought for IS, while the cell used social media to incite members of the military and security forces to "join their terrorist group," the prosector said.

The group also "plotted suicide attacks by members in Bahrain against places of worship, like the attacks by the terrorist group in neighbouring countries," Hammadi said in an apparent reference to attacks on Shia mosques in Saudi Arabia last year.

Sunni-ruled Bahrain has a majority Shiite population which has long complained of marginalisation.

The Gulf kingdom is part of the US-led coalition that is conducting air strikes against IS in Syria.

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