BAHRAIN (Tribune News Service) — Three men allegedly responsible for planting an M18A1 Claymore, a military-grade anti-personnel mine, on a busy Bahraini highway are standing trial.
The lethal device, which is used by the U.S. military in war zones, was planted on Budaiya Highway on April 28 last year.
It is triggered by remote and fires out a deadly spray of metal ball bearings that can cause mass casualties and damage light vehicles. Two Bahrainis, aged 19 and 40, who allegedly planted the landmine are in custody, while a third who allegedly incited them is believed to be at large in Iraq.
The device was discovered before it could be detonated and exploded as a bomb-disposal robot was in the process of defusing it, according to court documents.
The 19-year-old suspect was arrested at Bahrain International Airport as he allegedly tried to flee the country.
"The Claymore explosive device that was planted contained steel spheres, metal bearings and white powder connected to a black mobile phone and electrical wires, all wrapped with green and brown tape," a bomb disposal expert said in his statement.
"The anti-personnel mine was rigged to go off remotely using a mobile phone signal, targeting people and vehicles.
"The explosion would launch metal balls at extreme speed, with a shotgun effect, causing fatal injures."
He revealed fingerprints of the 40-year-old defendant had been lifted from the mobile phone connected to the landmine.
Meanwhile, a police detective described how his investigations resulted in the arrest of two of the defendants.
"I carried out investigations using secret sources to find the culprits," said the 27-year-old lieutenant.
"The defendants planned and planted the landmine on Budaiya Highway to detonate it in a terrorist attack and spread fear among citizens and residents."
He said the 19-year-old was arrested after police learned he allegedly bought the mobile phone SIM card used to make the remote detonator fitted to the device, using a stolen ID.
"I continued further investigation and found the man behind the (BlackBerry) account Al Sadiqoon (The Honest Ones), which is run by a fugitive in Iraq.
"He recruits Bahraini youth to carry out terrorist attacks in country."
The teenager in custody denied planting the bomb, but admitted he was assigned to supply mobile phone SIM cards by the fugitive in Iraq.
"I added the account Al Sadiqoon (The Honest Ones) on the BlackBerry service, which published news about operations carried out by Saraya Al Mukhtar and Saraya Al Ashtar (Al Ashtar Brigades)," the student said in his statement.
"The person who runs the account told me to purchase four SIM cards using Asian people's CPR cards. I agreed and bought them from shops in Manama for BD10 each, before I placed them near a mosque in Sehla."
The trial was adjourned until March 14 for prosecutors to establish the owner of the mobile phone fitted to the Claymore, as well as the administrator of the Al Sadiqoon account.
(c)2016 the Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)
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