An Israeli delegation that canceled its participation in a business conference in Bahrain this week was reportedly motivated by a Shia terrorist group releasing a video showing a simulated drone attack blowing up the Israeli participants.
The video, uploaded to social media by the Saraya Waad Allah Militia, showed an armed drone targeting the hotel the delegation may have intended to stay at, as well as the conference center where the Global Entrepreneurship Congress is being held April 15-18.
The detailed video complete with captions in Arabic and Hebrew showed an El Al plane arriving at Bahrain’s international airport at 8 a.m. on April 14. The delegation’s motorcade is then followed in the air by a drone to the Meridien Hotel, with the subtitle stating, “Location where the delegation is staying.”
The video ends with a drone exploding at the entrance to the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Center with the date and time of April 16 14:00 AM (sic) and the message “the final warning” on the screen.
A number of Israeli officials, including Economy Minister Eli Cohen, were scheduled to attend the Global Entrepreneurship Congress that opened in Manama on Monday
The delegation backed out Sunday, citing an unspecified security threat. It is not known what the delegations itinerary was, or if they were scheduled to stay at the Meridien Hotel, as specified in the video.
Channel 12 reported Monday that the publication of the video prompted the delegation to cancel its participation.
At least one Israeli, Ayla Matalon, executive director of the MIT Enterprise Forum, was listed on the conference website as a speaker.
Saraya Waad Allah is a Shia militia in Bahrain that claimed responsibility for two bombing attacks in 2017 against Bahriani police that killed one and injured more than a dozen. The group is one of several Iranian-backed militias operating in Bahrain, the Long War Journal terrorism threat website reported.
Bahrain has previously accused terrorists who staged attacks in the oil-rich Gulf island kingdom of receiving “intensive training at the Iranian Revolutionary Guard camps with the help of the leading fugitive terrorists living in Iran.”
Bahrain is one of the growing number of Arab countries that allows Israelis on its soil. Earlier this year, a report revealed that more than two years ago, Bahrain officials said they were interested in normalizing relations.
In February, Bahraini Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa told The Times of Israel that his country would “eventually” establish diplomatic ties with the Jewish state.
The Israeli cancellation came after Bharain’s parliament issued a condemnation of the visit and several demonstrators protested against the Israeli delegation in Manama.