The killing of three policemen on 3 March 2014 marked the apex of a campaign of terrorism against Bahraini targets by a number of militant groups which received training, funding and weapons from outside the Kingdom. Bahrain’s first usage of the death sentence since 2010 against three terrorists convicted of this attack on 15 January 2017 is a suitable moment to look back at the pattern of terrorist incidents over the post-2011 period.
By properly understanding these threats and challenges we can better ensure that citizens are protected from terrorism and also ensure that frustrated young people are not seduced into criminal activities which ultimately destroy their own lives as well as those of their victims.
By mid-2012 it had become clear that the protest movement in Bahrain was struggling to maintain its momentum. Even calls by senior opposition clerics failed to bring out tens of thousands of supporters. Meanwhile, moderates staked their hopes on reforms, dialogue and consensus as the way forward for Bahrain.
In this context, radical elements of the opposition had already sought to continue the unrest; not through the path of civil disobedience, but through acts of terrorism. As tensions increased between Tehran and the GCC states, Iranian leaders on several occasions made their intentions clear for increasing their support for Bahraini militants. Quds Force’s Qassim Soleimani on 19 June 2016 threatened that there would be a "bloody uprising" in Bahrain which would "leave people with no other option but the toppling of the regime in armed resistance".