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Cabinet to study new anti-terror law today – MPs press for firm measures against extremism

KUWAIT: The cabinet will discuss during its weekly meeting today proposed security legislation or amendments of existing laws in a bid to give the security services more freedom to fight extremists following the suicide attack on the Shiite mosque. Oil and National Assembly Affairs Minister Ali Al- Omair said the cabinet will study such a legislation today when asked about a government plan to request legislative support from the National Assembly to fight terrorism.

The minister however did not provide details but a number of MPs have already said they were prepared to pass such legislation if and when needed. No timeframe was given for the legislation especially that the National Assembly is scheduled to hold its final sessions of the current term this week before entering into a four-month summer recess.

It was not immediately known whether the Assembly will extend the current term to allow more time to prepare, debate and pass the needed laws.

Omair said the government will continue with its firm efforts to root out extremists in the country. Shiite MP Abdulhameed Dashti said the National Assembly is prepared to issue the necessary legislation to allow the security agencies strike firmly at terrorists. Deputy speaker Faisal Al-Khrainej said he is prepared to support any move in the Assembly to allow the security agencies purchase any equipment they need to help them fight terrorists.

MP Nabeel Al-Fadhl regretted in comments he posted on Twitter that those linked to the suicide bombing at the MP Youssef Al-Zalzalah hailed the success of the security forces in identifying the suicide bomber of Imam Al-Sadiq Mosque which killed 26 worshippers and the bomber himself.

They also praised the fast busting of those who assisted him including the driver who transported him to the mosque, the owner of the car used for transportation, both of whom stateless or bedoons, and the landlord of the house in Rigga where the driver had been hiding.

A large number of people have also been rounded up in the past few days in connection with the attack. A security source estimated that as many as 50 suspects are being questioned by the state security to uncover all those linked to the attack. As part of new policies, the interior ministry is reported to have stopped issuing Kuwaiti travel documents under Article 17, normally issued for Bedoons to allow them limited travel to certain destinations. In the meantime, Islamist Salafi MP Abdulrahman Al-Jeeran sent questions to Education Minister Bader Al-Issa inquiring about statements he has reportedly made over clearing school textbooks of extremist ideology.

According to Jeeran, the minister has reportedly said the ministry is going ahead with plans to “clear school textbooks from sectarianism and extremism” and that the terrorist attack at the mosque was not the reason for the process. The lawmaker said that the statement is an accusation by the education minister against textbooks which undermines the country’s image.

Jeeran asked the minister to provide him with the textbooks or subjects that promote extremism and sectarianism and if students who have studied in Kuwaiti schools have carried out terrorist attacks. He also asked if the opinion of the syllabi department at the ministry has been consulted over the issue and also asked for an illustration based on religious literature that the textbooks contain materials that are not in line with true Islamic teachings.

By B Izzak

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This article was published on 28/06/2015