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HE Interior Minister briefs parliamentary panels on jailbreak
As part of coordination with the Legislative Authority, Chairman of the Council of Representatives Mr Ahmed bin Ibrahim Al Mulla met His Excellency Interior Minister Lt-General Shaikh Rashid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa today. The head and members of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and National Security committees, MPs, the Deputy Interior Minister, the Inspector-General, the Chief of Public Security and the Interior Ministry Undersecretary also attended the meeting.
The Chairman welcomed HE the Interior Minister and thanked him for briefing the council on the latest security issues, praising the Interior Ministry for maintaining security and stability in Bahrain.
He said the meeting resulted from the council’s and the ministry’s resolve to inform the public about the security situation and to strengthen cooperation between the two organisations, under the leadership of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.
He said that maintaining security and stability was a joint national responsibility and supported the efforts, proactive initiatives and hard work of Interior Ministry personnel, especially the efforts and sacrifices of the brave policemen. He also commended the Ministry's ability to handle security issues related to foreign threats.
He also condemned the terrorist attack on Jaw prison which had led to the death of a policeman and injured another. He described it as a serious case of terrorism which signified the increasing risks Bahrain faced from terrorist groups and their supporters.
The Chairman said that everyone was aware of the Interior Ministry’s achievements, adding that community cooperation with the police needed to be reinforced as a national responsibility. He affirmed the council’s readiness to offer parliamentary and legislative support for the security authorities.
HE the Interior Minister then delivered the following speech:
In the name of Allah the Merciful.
Allah cited in the Quran: “So lose not heart, nor fall into despair: For ye must gain mastery if ye are true in Faith,” Great truth of God.
Brother Ahmed bin Ibrahim Al Mulla, Chairman of the Council of Representatives, Your Excellencies Deputy Chairmen of the Council, Deputy Head of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and National Security committees and MPs, Peace and mercy of God.
I meet you today to talk about the jailbreak in the Reformation and Rehabilitation Centre that occurred at dawn on January 1. The Ministry considers this to be a terrorist operation against the public security force. As Interior Minister, it is my duty to accept and respect your criticism and comments, but I hope the negligence and shortcomings of some do not overshadow the efforts of all those hard-working and loyal policemen who work to protect Bahrain every day. The security situation in the country, as you know, has required consistent attention throughout the years.
HE Interior Minister thanked the chairman and members of the council and praised their role in reinforcing national unity and strengthening internal systems to handle regional challenges and to increase Bahrain's strong social fabric.
He then briefed those at the meeting on the latest security developments, especially the jailbreak at the reformation and rehabilitation centre in Jaw on January 1.
He said the investigation had resulted in the identification and arrest of those suspected of aiding the ones who had carried out the terrorist attack. This includes the owner of the car used in the operation and a number of terrorists wanted in various security cases. Four suspects involved in the attack and in aiding the prisoners' escape were also identified.
The suspects are:
1. Mohammed Jassim Mohammed Jassim Al Abed, 28, living in Hamad Town.
2. Hamid Jassim Mohammed Jassim Al Abed, 28, living in Hamad Town.
3. Hassan Ali Mohammed Fardan Shakar, 22, living in Bani Jamara.
4. Mahmood Yousif Habib Hassan Yahya, 22, living in Bani Jamara.
HE the Interior Minister said that negligence and collusion were among the reasons behind the escape of the ten convicts and an investigation will reveal those behind them. A number of officials and staff of the Reformation and Rehabilitation Centre in Jaw had been referred to the Public Prosecutor in the Interior Ministry’s court.
The car involved in the operation was tracked on the roads through CCTV cameras. The search continues for the 2008 black jeep with the number plate 547672. He also said the homes of a number of suspects were searched and a committee was formed to probe the circumstances of the case. Police patrols were deployed in all parts of the country for heavy security presence to protect the public and promote the sense of security.
The briefing included information on the escapees as revealed through the initial investigation and the CCTV footage. He said the attack was carried out according to a plan that showed the negligence of some members of the Reformation and Rehabilitation Directorate. He said there was nothing wrong with the security steps taken by the control towers that shot at the car, terrorists and escapees.
The briefing also highlighted that the Reformation and Rehabilitation Centre was equipped with all the required instruments, including cameras and alarm systems. There are 600 CCTVs and the guards have enough weapons and clear orders to deal with all situations.
HE the Interior Minister said the case exposed the shortcomings in the performance and not capabilities of the staff as policemen were equipped with weapons and tools to carry out various tasks. He said there were six organisations that monitored the work of the reformation and rehabilitation centres, adding that bribery cases were not peculiar to prisons in Bahrain but occurred all over the world.
He said that regardless of the ranks, those who showed shortcomings in their work would be held responsible. “This won’t undermine the work of good policemen who we depend on as they have previously foiled 14 escape attempts. We as officials should boost the policemen’s confidence, as they carry out their work professionally.”
He added that the martyr of duty, policeman Abdulsalam Saif, was shot even before he could take over his shift and that the terrorists escaped from a gate that was left open for a cleaning vehicle to enter. He said the terrorists had used a drone to film the jail and that the investigation would continue to learn more about the case and arrest those involved.
He said that security and legal steps were being taken to deal with the shortcomings and negligence at the reformation and rehabilitation centres,. He also focused on the progress in this regard including the infrastructure of new buildings, new initiatives and reformation programmes for inmates and training of personnel as part of improvements in the security strategy that covered the protection of internal frontline and measures to fight crime, maintain security, counterterrorism, drying its sources and security and civil services provided by the ministry.
HE the Interior Minister affirmed the importance of bringing in legislation to help policemen fight terror and increase penalties for attacks on policemen. He also highlighted the important role played by the MPs in following up the best interests of the nation and citizens and their coordination for the development of national projects to achieve security and stability.
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