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IS poses no threat to Kuwait: Interior Ministry – Police lieutenant on trial for ‘joining insurgent groups’

Maj General Sheikh Mohammed Al-Yousef Al-Sabah

Maj General Sheikh Mohammed Al-Yousef Al-Sabah

KUWAIT: The Interior Ministry’s Assistant Undersecretary for Border Security Affairs Maj General Sheikh Mohammed Al-Yousef Al-Sabah disclosed that the ministry intends to use drones to monitor and secure Kuwaiti borders, and that this plan will reviewed soon to be put into practice. “We are completely capable of protecting all our borders,” he said, claiming that throughout the five years he has been in his position, no terrorists, car bombs or explosives managed to infiltrate through the borders. “The only case recently was the arrest of a hunting weapons smuggler,” he underlined. Responding to a question about steel berms on the borders with Iraq, Sheikh Mohammed stressed that there were no problems over the border demarcation with Iraq.

He denied the need to dig trenches along the Kuwaiti-Iraqi border because they were already hard to penetrate. “Our borders with Iraq are more secure than those between the US and Mexico that are infiltrated by thousands every year,” he added. Sheikh Mohammed belittled the threats by Islamic State against Kuwait, noting that their fighters were more active to the north of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, which is over 800 km away from Kuwait. “Reviewing domestic and foreign information shows that these threats are mere rumors,” he said, pointing out that IS supporters in Kuwait are very limited and that many of them are being prosecuted.

Lieutenant’s trial On another concern, the criminal court recently adjourned hearing a case against a police lieutenant who was arrested with charges of joining two insurgent groups till Feb 16 pending summoning the concerned state security officer for testimony.

The 26-year-old suspect is accused of taking part in offensives against Syria by joining those two groups without permission from the Kuwaiti government, which jeopardizes Kuwait’s relations with Syria. He was also charged of undergoing military training, possessing firearms and ammunition and transferring a machine gun and ammunition to another person. The defendant admitted that he had travelled to Turkey, entered Syria and joined “Mohammed’s Army” and fought against the Syrian army before he joined “Jund Al-Sham” and got shot in an operation against the Syrian army.

He added that he was treated at a Syrian Free Army field hospital and was then married to a Syrian girl for a short while before he fought with Jund Al-Sham against IS in a fierce battle during which IS destroyed 90 percent of his group. “Along with the survivors, we escaped to the Turkish borders where we were arrested and I was evacuated to the capital for investigation before the Turkish authorities contacted the Kuwaiti embassy and I was arrested on arrival to Kuwait,” said the defendant.

The defendant’s lawyer called the foreign ministry’s undersecretary for testifying about diplomatic relations with Syria and asked for a copy of a parliamentary session’s agenda during which lawmaker demanded boycotting the Syrian regime and supporting the armed Syrian opposition against it. —Al-Anbaa and Al-Rai

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This article was published on 13/01/2015