updated 6/23/2004 8:23:04 PM ET 2004-06-24T00:23:04

Bahrain authorities released six men Wednesday who were detained on suspicion of plotting terror attacks.

The men were arrested in predawn raids Tuesday after being monitored by authorities for a month. They were detained “to prevent them from committing dangerous acts that threaten property and people,” the official Bahrain News Agency said Tuesday.

But Advocate-General Sharif Shadi said Wednesday the men “can all go home. There are no charges against them.”

The men’s lawyer, Abdulla Hashim, said the men should never gave been detained.  “They had no weapons or anything dangerous on them,” he said.

Some relatives said computers, compact discs — including children’s games and educational CDs — and audiotapes were seized from some of their homes.

Most of the six detainees were believed to be part of Bahrain’s Salafi Muslim community. The Salafi movement is a slightly stricter version of the Wahhabi Islam sect that is widely followed in neighboring Saudi Arabia.

Critics of both sects accuse them of fostering extremism.

One of the six men recently had a run-in with authorities in Kuwait, where police have cracked down on Islamic militants.

Three others were detained in February 2003 in connection with a group allegedly planning terror attacks, but they were released.

The rash of terror attacks carried out in the past two months against Westerners in Saudi Arabia has prompted some to look into relocating to Bahrain, which is more relaxed and Westernized and is a short drive to the eastern Saudi oil hub of Khobar.

There are fears in the region that Saudi militants, under pressure from crackdowns at home, might see Bahrain as an easier place to operate with equally attractive targets. It is closely allied with the United States and home to the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet.

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