ABU DHABI ø Bahrain has increased security along the road that links the kingdom with Saudi Arabia after receiving an intelligence alert.
Officials said Bahraini authorities have bolstered police presence and
patrols along the King Fahd Causeway, which connects Bahrain to Saudi
Arabia. Manama also ordered an increase in coast guard patrols around the
The security alert was reported on June 23 amid an intelligence warning
that Al Qaida might be planning to blow up the Saudi-Bahraini bridge.
Hundreds of Westerners have been leaving the Eastern Province of Saudi
Arabia and entering into neighboring Bahrain via the bridge. The bridge has
been used most by Saudi nationals who seek a quick get-away into the
Western-style nightlife of Bahrain, Middle East Newsline reported.
"There is concern that Al Qaida operatives might be fleeing Saudi Arabia
via the Causeway or planning attacks in Bahrain," a security source said.
More than 100 Bahraini police officers were now deployed on the Bahraini
entry point to the bridge. They included security officers, police, SWAT
teams and undercover agents.
Officials said Bahraini and Saudi authorities believe Al Qaida
operatives have been using the King Fahd Causeway to support insurgency
attacks in Saudi Arabia. Over the last 18 months, both Saudi and Bahraini
nationals have been detained on suspicion of belonging to or supporting the
Al Qaida network.
Saudi authorities have also increased security on their side of the
bridge. Additional police were seen from the Bahraini side of the King Fahd
On June 23, Bahraini authorities released six nationals detained the
previous day and accused of plotting a major insurgency strike. In a
45-minute hearing, Bahraini prosecutors did not present any charges or
evidence, Attorney General Sharif Shadi said.
"No charges have been pressed against any of the accused," Shadi said.
"They have all been released without charge."