KUWAIT: Following the arrest of eight members of a terrorist cell linked to Egypt’s outlawed Muslim Brotherhood in Kuwait on Friday, security sources yesterday said state security investigations with them focused on three basic elements – the visas on which they entered Kuwait and their relationship with the sponsors who issued them; the meetings they had in Kuwait with Kuwaitis or others and whether they were held with good or bad intentions; in addition to the nature of work and activities they practiced in Kuwait. According to sources, some of the suspects – all Egyptians – worked for a charity organization in Kuwait. 

The sources added that investigators want to know whether the cell had planned any operations outside Kuwait while they were here. The sources said after confiscating the group’s laptops, mobile phones and documents, state security detectives are currently examining and analyzing them to prepare a complete case file. The sources said the terrorist group had been tracked down after state security received tips from local and foreign sources, including suspects arrested in Egypt, concerning the cell members and the danger they pose due to their military training.

A statement by the interior ministry on Friday carried by the state-run news agency KUNA said the militants were allegedly members of a “terrorist cell”, including some who have been “convicted of terrorism” and sentenced to jail in Egypt. “Those arrested carry Egyptian nationalities and belong to the Muslim Brotherhood organization,” the ministry said.

The suspects, it said, are wanted by Egypt where some of them have been sentenced to up to 15 years in jail. During interrogations, the suspects admitted to carrying out terrorist operations in Egypt. Investigations are ongoing to determine their accomplices, the statement said, warning that it will crack down ruthlessly against saboteurs.

Egyptian authorities have led a crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood members after the military overthrew Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013. Later that year Egypt outlawed the Muslim Brotherhood and declared it a “terrorist organization”. Egypt and its allies, including Gulf powerhouses Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, consider the Muslim Brotherhood a “terrorist” organization.