Bahrain Defense Force: Al Jazeera program aims to incite discord, undermine GCC

The spokesman of the Bahrain Defense Force (BDF) says the program “Ma Khufiya Aatham,” which was broadcast on Sunday on Qatari-owned Al Jazeera network, marks a new series of conspiracies against the Kingdom of Bahrain and is an attempt by Qatar to undermine the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

“This is a new episode of the conspiracy against the Kingdom of Bahrain and the desire of Qatar to undermine the Gulf Cooperation Council and incite discord amongst its countries,” the spokesman said.

“Through the information provided by the guest Yasser Athbi al-Jalahma, this program presents false information to distort the facts,” he added.

In the “Ma Khufiya Aatham” episode, al-Jalahma claims that he was assigned to work in a unit belonging to Bahrain’s interior ministry which was responsible for dispersing a protest in Manama’s Pearl Roundabout in 2011.

However, the spokesman says that al-Jalahma was assigned to work at the Salmaniya Medical Complex in 2011, and that he was not present at the Pearl Roundabout, adding that al-Jalahma’s allegations and comments are based on lies.

The spokesman added that in 2018, the security agencies in the BDF spotted al-Jalahma recruiting cluster cells in order to spy on behalf of a foreign country: Qatar.

“He conspired with other suspects engaged in intelligence activities to disclose Bahrain’s defense secrets and to hand over classified information to Qatar intelligence agencies in order to damage Bahrain’s military and defense status,” the spokesman said.

Al-Jalahma and the other suspects disclosed “sensitive classified information and military secrets to unauthorized individuals,” he added.

On April 30, 2019, Bahrain’s military court issued sentenced the above-mentioned suspects to temporary and life prison terms. Al-Jalahma was sentenced to death in absentia and his rank was demoted to soldier. He was also discharged from the BDF without insignia and his name was written off the BDF reserves list. He is still a wanted fugitive, according to the spokesman.

In 2013, al-Jalahma was also sentenced to ten years in jail for failing to respond to the call of the Reserve Force and the dereliction of  his military duties, afterwhich he fled to Qatar and acquired the Qatari nationality without the approval of the relevant department in the BDF. A judicial warrant of arrest was issued against him through Interpol.

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