In a security message released Sunday, embassy officials said “extremist elements of certain opposition groups have conducted surveillance on U.S. personnel” in various locations. These included the Navy Support Activity Bahrain, the Bahrain School where American students attend, and other areas that Americans frequent.
However, diplomatic officials said the message was more of a “periodic notice” and that there are no specific threats against U.S. personnel or facilities. They pointed out that there have been no attacks on U.S. citizens in Bahrain to date.
In a separate message to service members and families, U.S. Navy force protection officials urged them to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to base security personnel.
For several years, Bahrain — home to the U.S. 5th Fleet — has experienced demonstrations sparked by segments from its Shiite majority, which is demanding a greater political voice in the Sunni-dominated political system.
Protests have ranged from peaceful marches to violent demonstrations with participants throwing Molotov cocktails and using improvised explosive devices.
Analysts have warned that a segment of Shiite opposition appeared to be growing increasingly more radical in recent months. Last week an explosion from a homemade bomb injured seven police officers west of the capital of Manama.
Approximately 6,500 U.S. personnel serve in Bahrain in support of U.S. Navy activities.