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January 11, 2016

Where's the Coverage? Bahrain Foils Terror Plot

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Khalifa ibn Salman Al Khalifa, Prime Minister of Bahrain


Authorities in Bahrain claimed on January 6, 2015 that they foiled an Iranian-sponsored plot to launch terror attacks in the country. Yet, many major U.S. news outlets—even those reporting on tensions between Shi’ite Iran and Sunni-governed Bahrain—failed to note the announcement.

According to The Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT), a non-profit organization that monitors and analyzes terrorist threats, Bahrain’s state news agency, BNA, claimed:

“A secret terrorist plot aided by the so-called Iranian Revolutionary Guard and the Hezbollah terrorist organization was foiled...It targeted the security of the kingdom of Bahrain by (plotting to) carry out a series of dangerous bombings.”

BNA stated that Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, personally gave a man named Ali Ahmed Fakhwari $20,000 to assist the terror cell in Bahrain. Hezbollah is the Lebanese-based, Iranian-funded “Party of God” movement. It is a U.S.-designated terrorist group.

IPT reports that in November 2015, Bahrain arrested 47 people for allegedly planning to conduct attacks, saying they had links to “terrorist elements in Iran.” According to Reuters (“Bahrain says Iran-linked cell plotting attacks,” Jan. 6, 2015)—one of the few media outlets to cover the plot—BNA has said these individuals were about to “carry out attacks in the coming days.”

Bahrain arrested some suspected in planning terror plots as early as 2013. On April 7, 2013 the Bahraini government made what was then an unprecedented move for an Arab country and designated Hezbollah a terror group.Two individuals named by the government are listed as fugitives, one of whom is reportedly residing in Iran.

Bahrain is a Shi’ite majority country that has been governed by Sunni rulers since it declared independence from Britain, under which it was a protectorate since the late nineteenth century.

Tensions between the Bahraini government of Aal Khalifa and Shi’ite Iran have been increasing since 2007, when Hossein Shariatmadari, the editor of Kayhan (an Iranian daily newspaper with close ties to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei) called for Shi’ites in Bahrain to overthrow their government. Shariatmadari called for renewed Iranian sovereignty over Bahrain, which was governed by the Safavid Dynasty of the Persian Empire from 1602 until 1783.

According to a May 29, 2013 report by the Middle East Media Research Institute, a non-profit organization that monitors media in the region, Shariatmadari insisted that Bahrain is actually a province of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Iranian officials, such as Natek Nouri who works in Khaemeni’s office, echoed Shariatmadari’s claim.

MEMRI’s report concluded:

“An examination of statements by senior Iranian officials and actions by the Iranian regime on this issue shows that, while denying that it is interfering in Bahraini affairs, Iran is empathetically and enthusiastically supporting the Shi’ite protests there [occurring since 2011] and encouraging the Shi’ites there to continue their opposition to the Bahraini regime.”

Many major U.S. outlets have failed to note the latest Iranian-inspired agitation in Bahrain.

Recent Washington Post coverage of tensions between Iran and Sunni Gulf Arab states, while noting that Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and others have recalled their ambassadors from Iran, still omitted any mention of Bahrain’s claims (for example “Iran alleges Saudi airstrike on embassy in Yemen,” January 8). A Post blog by foreign affairs commentator Fareed Zakaria, while describing growing Iranian influence in the region, failed to detail the terror plot (“The United States shouldn’t take sides in the Sunni-Shiite struggle,” January 8).

Both USA Today and The Baltimore Sun, among others, also failed to note Bahrain’s charges of an Iranian-backed bomb plot.

In contrast, The Boston Globe did report the alleged terror plan—while noting that Bahrain, as home to the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet, is of strategic importance to the United States (“Iraq offers to mediate amid tensions,” January 7). Similarly, The New York Times also noted Iran’s recent activity in the recent Gulf kingdom (“Iraq Offers to Mediate Iran’s Dispute with Saudis,” January 7).

An Iranian-terror plot in a country that hosts U.S. servicemen and women, and yet most media outlets were MIA. Where’s the coverage?

Posted by SD at January 11, 2016 03:21 PM

Comments

The whole issue over Farsi Island draws a blank too.
Why?
What is Iran up to and what is Obama allowing to happen?
Farsi Island is in disputable waters and perhaps what is under them is also disputable. Hussein invaded Kuwait because he claimed Kuwait was stealing oil that rightfully belonged to Iraq. Kuwaitis were taking from a large reserve most of which Iraq claimed was Iraq's.
The ownership of shelves comes into play.
Also Iran as far as I know has never given up its claim that Bahrain is Iranian territory.
Russia is now the more important player not because of what it is doing but because of what Obama is loathe to do.
Obama had a frantic meeting in the USA with the Jordanian King when it was disclosed Jordan was now entering into a military alliance that will directly impact on the anti-Assad/Daesh forces supported through Jordan by the USA.
But failure and retreat is Obama's strong pints and what he does best applauded by his minions products of an intentionally broken public education system that is more and more resembling an indoctrination mill.

Posted by: jeb at January 15, 2016 05:38 AM

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