Zaineb Al-Assam, who studies the Mideast for Exclusive Analysis Ltd, provided an analysis of the risk of violence for Bahrain. She said, "Protests are likely in Bani Jamra, Juffair, Karzakan, al-Ma'amir, entailing roadblocks and petrol and pipe bombs targeting security forces. In response, security forces are likely to use tear gas, stun grenades and shotguns to disperse protesters, although this is likely to incite further unrest.
Protesters have additionally planned to block the main road leading to the Bahrain International Circuit on April 20 and have threatened attacks on US and UK assets. In both instances, security forces are likely to prevent these actions from succeeding. Overall, despite threats made by the protestors, security precautions at embassies, hotels and the F1 racing circuit mitigate violent risks to these assets.
Cargo destined for the Grand Prix, which is likely to be transported from the highway connecting Muharraq airport in the north to al-Riffa in the south (both Sunni-dominated towns), is unlikely to be blocked, even though it passes through the restive town of Budaiya. Most incidents there occur at night, and during the day the route would be relatively easy to secure.
However, at least one racing team got the jitters on April 18. Force India team reported that two of their staff members have asked to go home after being caught up in a molotov bomb incident outside Manama, the capital. A spokesman for the British-based team said one of those concerned was a team member, while the other is a radio contractor brought in for the April 21 Grand Prix.
He said four team members, including the contractor, were returning in their rented vehicle to their Manama hotel from the Sakhir circuit when a gasoline bomb landed on the highway nearby and burst into flames. The Bahrain International Circuit issued a statement was indifferent, saying it is "an isolated incident involving a handful of illegal protesters acting violently towards police". The statement continued, "During this incident a molotov cocktail landed in the vicinity of their vehicle. After approximately two minutes, the route was cleared and the vehicle carried on its journey," it added.
However, while major disruption to the races is unlikely, violence is unlikely to be only confined to Shia-dominated villages. This was demonstrated by the April 19, read the statement, which added "Indian F1 personnel were narrowly missed by a petrol bomb as they were travelling between the race circuit and Manama.”
Exclusive Analysis Ltd is a specialist intelligence company based in the UK.