Bahrain accuses 24 people of forming ISIS cell
MANAMA - Bahrain on Wednesday charged 24 people with forming a cell of the Islamic State group, plotting suicide attacks and recruiting fighters for the jihadist organisation.
The move came after investigations into the formation of a "branch for a terrorist group... the so-called Daesh," said a prosecution statement, using the Arabic acronym for ISIS.
Among the accused are 16 people who are still at large.
Their charges include "forming a branch for a terrorist group... joining it, possessing weapons and explosives for terrorist aims, in addition to promoting the overthrow of the regime," said public prosecutor Ahmed al-Hammadi.
One of the defendants is accused of recruiting two others into ISIS, and helping one of them to travel to Syria where he received military training by jihadists, the prosecutor said.
The pair were also tasked with recruiting others who joined ISIS abroad.
The group also "plotted suicide attacks by members in Bahrain against worship places, like the attacks by the terrorist group in neighbouring countries," Hammadi said in an apparent reference to attacks on Shiite mosques in Saudi Arabia.
A court hearing has been set for December 22.
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 ISIS in Syria.