Bahraini police video of raids on houses last week
The regime is hoping for a big PR success from its claim, launched last week, of a major find of explosives in raids on houses.
At the same time, the Bahraini Minister of Interior was in London for meetings with British officials, including Foreign Officer Minister of State Lord Howell. Whether or not the trip is connected to the campaign, Britain's security services and the BBC's Frank Gardner give a big boost to the regime today:
Britain has sent a team of forensic detectives from the Metropolitan Police to Bahrain to help investigate a huge find of advanced bomb-making materials.
Officials say the explosives, which altogether weighed over 100kg, would have had catastrophic consequences.
Some of it was packaged into bombs and combined with hundreds of iron balls to inflict maximum casualties, they said.
A statement by the opposition said it did not condone violence and that bomb-making was "wholly unacceptable".
Clashes between riot police and masked protesters hurling homemade petrol bombs are a regular occurrence in certain Shia-dominated villages.
However, on Monday a senior police official, who asked not to be named, described the step-up in sophistication as "a game changer" and said the devices "could not have been put together without help from outside the country".
Gardner also puts out the regime's lines that the target could have been "a crowded area like a shopping mall" or "an ambush site" and that three named suspects were trained by Hezbollah in Lebanon. He noted the opposition society Al Wefaq's statement, ""We find it hard to trust this government as they have fabricated claims in the past," but then dismisses it:
But Britain, it seems, is taking the find seriously, reinforcing its resident police team at embassies in the Gulf with forensic experts sent out from the UK....
A counter-terrorism expert told the BBC: "It is very serious indeed; this is almost at the level and style of the dissident IRA."