By Sarah Townsend
Men are accused of collaborating with Iran and firing explosives in series of attacks in Bahrain
Five men are standing trial for allegedly operating an Iran-backed terrorist cell that instigated a series of attacks in Bahrain last year.
The men, aged from 20 to 38, are accused of collaborating with Iran and firing explosives in Bahrain, according to a report in the Gulf Daily News.
ATM machines belonging to National Bank of Bahrain were among the targets, court documents reportedly reveal.
And the men allegedly recruited Bahraini teenagers and provided them with military training at camps operated by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard in Iran, the newspaper said.
Two of the defendants are still at large and are being tried in absentia, while three are in custody.
Two of those in custody allegedly travelled to Iran to receive arms training in August and September last year, according to the report. They appeared at the High Criminal Court for the first time on Monday to plead not guilty.
However, a third defendant in custody refused to attend the hearing and judges reportedly adjourned the trial until May 13.
One of the defendants told the court how a contact said he would pay for all travel costs and booked him a plane ticket to Iran on August 14.
The defendant reportedly told him his brother was in jail and his mother was sick so he could not go, but he was told he was doing a “service” for his country and so he went.
Another defendant described arriving in Iran and being given lessons in faith, arms and explosives.
“We stayed in an apartment half an hour from the airport, where two Iranian men aged in their 30s gave us lessons about jihad and faith,” he said.
“Another teacher…then gave us theory lessons about C4, TNT, explosives, AK47s and RPGs (rocket-powered grenades).
“On the fourth day we were transported to a military camp, where the same teacher gave us weapons to use in training.”
The trial continues.