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IS members arrested in Kuwait, warrants issued for others – Suspects accused of funding, promoting, fighting with radical group

KUWAIT: Local dailies’ reports contradicted about the exact number of Islamic State-affiliated people so far detained by security forces. However, these numbers vary between four and eleven suspects. In confirmation that IS members do exist in Kuwait, local daily Al-Jarida said that the public prosecution has detained seven suspects accused in two separate cases of joining IS, said security sources, noting that travel restrictions and warrants were also issued for thirteen others (ten citizens and three bedoons) who were mentioned while interrogating the detained suspects.

In this regard, judicial sources said that the suspects were detained for ten days at the central prison and explained that the first case involved a citizen and a bedoon who were accused of distributing leaflets and an Egyptian working in a printing press where the leaflets were printed.

The second case includes four suspects - three citizens and a bedoon accused of funding IS by transferring over KD 14,000 to Syria. The suspects confessed that they were in contact with someone who made fatwas on whom to recruit and that they did nothing illegal in Kuwait except ‘wait for the Islamic Caliphate’.

Meanwhile, Al-Anbaa said that state security referred four suspects (two citizens and two bedoons) to the public prosecutor, who were then referred to the central prison for 21 days pending further investigations. Al-Rai said that the state security has referred eleven suspects belonging to various nationalities to the public prosecution.

Notably, three of the suspects were accused of printing hundreds of leaflets calling for and promoting terrorist ideology that undermines basic structures in the country, calling for changing the regime by force and accusing regime leaders of being infidels, calling for joining an organization that calls for accusing the Kuwaiti society of being an infidel one and joining an internationally banned organization.

Precautionary measures
Earlier reports had indicated that the Ministry of Interior is taking precautionary measures to prevent Islamic State (IS) supporters from infiltrating or operating in Kuwait, and to investigate residents who might support the radical Islamic group. Security officials are also coordinating with Saudi security and intelligence to exchange information and lists of wanted people.

According to unnamed sources quoted in local Arabic press, there was a strict surveillance recently set up to prevent GCC nationals returning from Turkey and Syria from entering Kuwait over suspicions of being ISIL members. “Eight hundred non-Kuwaitis who had been on a list of IS members were banned from entering Kuwait and were immediately deported on arrival at Kuwait Airport,” said the sources, noting that fingerprints of both Arabs and foreigners suspected of belonging to IS were investigated, identified and then deported.

Additionally, under the supervision of the public prosecution, passengers traveling to Turkey, Syria or Iraq were banned from carrying more than KD 3,000. Kuwait’s state security are also fully alert and are closely monitoring all suspected IS supporters in Kuwait and have so far traced over 30 of them. “Yet, there are more birds to catch,” said a source quoted in the Arabic press without being named.

One of the recently arrested individuals has provided extensive information about various people within Kuwait supporting the Iraq and Syria-based terrorist organization. Security forces are also closely watching IS supporters movements, especially in Jahra where many of them dwell and have been ideologically influenced by citizen Abdul Mohsen Th. (AKA: Abu Jandal), who lives in the same area, is currently fighting with IS in Dier Ezzor, Syria and has a great influence over his fans and followers.

‘The Lion’
According to the security sources, Abu Jandal, who had been seen in many videos while holding a knife behind a kneeling person and taking part in the operations, is a Kuwaiti citizen in his thirties from Jahra. Affected by Jihadist ideology, he left to fight in Syria where he joined IS and is considered its second ‘general’ after Abu Atheer Al-Halabi.

He was the leader of the Knights Battalion in the Syrian area of Al-Hasakah before he left to fight in Iraq. Abu Jandal, dubbed ‘The Lion’, has repeatedly criticized clergymen Shafi Al-Ajmi and Al-Ar’our through his Twitter account for their condemnation of killings committed in Syria.

According to security information, Abu Jandal married an Iraqi Jihadist and has a baby boy named Jandal. He is an IS leader and has been in many photos while cooking for the group members who considered this as modesty from their leader.

Cleric Shafi Al-Ajmi said that the international coalition against ISL would harm all believers and protect IS for a while. “The greatest disorder our region is witnessing is this so-called international coalition against ISIL because it targets uprooting all good ‘trees’ and replace them with evil ones....all scholars must meet to discuss this crisis before being victimized as sheep attacked by wolves,” he warned.

—Al-Jarida, Al-Anbaa and Al-Rai

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This article was published on 17/09/2014