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Cablegate: Terrorist Cell Trial Begins

VZCZCXRO8154
PP RUEHDE RUEHDIR
DE RUEHMK #0967 2971410
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 241410Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY MANAMA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7335
INFO RUEHZM/GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHBVAKS/COMUSNAVCENT PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY

UNCLAS MANAMA 000967

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PTER KISL ASEC BA
SUBJECT: TERRORIST CELL TRIAL BEGINS

REF: A. MANAMA 932

B. MANAMA 913
C. MANAMA 876
D. MANAMA 831
E. MANAMA 820
F. MANAMA 794
G. MANAMA 790

1.(U) The trial of five suspects charged under Bahrain's 2006 counter-terrorism law (reftels) began October 23 in Manama's High Criminal Court. The three present entered pleas of "not guilty"; two others remain at large and are being tried in absentia. The court denied a defense request for bail and adjourned until November 20.

2.(U) The five face charges of membership in a terrorist organization, undergoing terrorist training, facilitating the travel of others abroad to receive terrorist training, and financing terrorism. For the first time, press accounts connected the accused to Al-Qaeda and to carrying out acts of terrorism against a foreign power. Press reporting did not provide names of the accused, only their ages and nationalities.

3.(U) The defendants appeared in an open session of the court, however public access was limited to their families and supporters. Media were not permitted into the courtroom during the proceedings. ********************************************* ******** Visit Embassy Manama's Classified Website: XXXXXXXXXXXX********************************************* ******** ERELI

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