Kuwaiti authorities have detained 60 people in connection with the bombing and closed a charity for alleged militant ties in raising funds for Syrians, local newspapers said on Tuesday. “We are in a state of war. It’s a war that had been decided with this cell. But there are other cells, and we will not wait for them to try their luck with us,” Interior Minister Sheikh Mohammad Al-Khaled Al-Sabah told Parliament.
The Kuwaiti newspaper al-Qabas reported on Tuesday that five people arrested for suspected involvement in the attack had been referred to the Public Prosecutor. The five, it said, had confessed to receiving financial transfers from abroad to carry out attacks targeting houses of worship.
Kuwaiti officials said the attack was aimed at stirring up sectarian strife in the majority Sunni Muslim state. Relations have traditionally been good between the 70 percent of Kuwait’s 1.4 million citizens who are Sunni and the Shiites who comprise 30 percent, but regional rivalry between Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shi’ite Iran has opened some fissures.
The bombing has sharply heightened regional security concerns because Islamic State appeared to be making good on its threat to step up attacks in the holy fasting month of Ramadan. On the same day as the mosque bombing, an Islamist gunman killed 39 people, mostly British tourists, in Tunisia. Since the suicide bombing, plainclothes officers have carried out arrest raids on the homes of five people for possession of illegal weapons, the state news agency KUNA said.
Some had been found to have been in contact with Sunni Islamist militants while others were suspected of belonging to “extremist” groups, al-Qabas reported, without elaborating.
Meanwhile, H.H. the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah expressed great admiration at the unity and solidarity among Kuwaitis since the terrorist attack on Imam Al-Sadiq Mosque. HH the Amir said this unity has shown the true image of Kuwaiti people as one family that is loyal to the homeland and united behind its leaders against violence and extremism. His Highness the Amir underlined that the crime of killing of innocent people contradicts with all religious teachings.
This attack has drawn widescale condemnation from the whole world, he said. His Highness the Amir hailed the highly- efficient work of security agencies which helped unveil the circumstances and arrest those involved in the crime. His Highness the Amir also thanked the armed forces, Ministry of Health, Kuwait Fire Service, Ministry of Information, and local and international press and all the bodies and organizations that contributed to the efforts and measures taken after the attack.
H.H. the Amir expressed thanks to His Highness the Crown Prince Nawaf Al- Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim, the National Guard Chief His Highness Sheikh Salem Al-Ali Al-Sabah, Deputy Chief of the National Guard Sheikh Mishaal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, His Highness Sheikh Nasser Al- Mohammad Al-Sabah, His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, Parliament members, citizenry and residents on their good sentiments after the tragic incident. HH the Amir thanked leaders of Arab, other world countries and heads of the government and international organizations which condoled with Kuwait.
The sources said some clerics and religious personalities were summoned for interrogation because their names surfaced during interrogations with the accused. Moreover, their photos were found on the smart phones of the suspects. The State Security service, sources say, has prepared a long list of names of people who are believed to be either promoters of the deviant thought and extremist ideology and/or are supporters of the terrorist organizations. Some of the names on the list names were picked from the phones of cell members who planned and bombed the mosque in Al-Sawaber last Friday. The sources pointed out, the Interior Ministry has sent the list to their counterpart in Saudi Arabia because it includes the names of some Saudi religious personalities.
The names are reportedly supported by pictures and documents which were gathered during interrogation with the suspects in police custody. The pictures allegedly show the suspects with those who are still at large. The pictures were picked from their cell phones and websites including Instagram and Twitter. The sources explained one of the defendants Jarrah Nimr confessed during interrogation that he received money from ‘outside’ and ‘inside’ from extremist religious people to promote the thought of DAESH through religious lessons which he gave to children and teenagers inside mosques and during land and sea journeys inciting extremism and urging them to join the organization.
The source added Nimr maintains a strong relationship with religious people in Saudi Arabia and that he has been receiving a number of them to set up seminaries and organize workshops inside diwaniyas in Sulaibiya.
The same source said the State Security have spotted nearly 10 such diwaniyas over the past few days in addition to mosques where extremists groups belonging to the terrorist organizations in the region are received. The source explained these diwaniyas are set up in open areas and installed with the most recent audio system and furniture. The Interior Minaistry is coordinating with the Kuwait Municipality to demolish these diwaniya and other encroachments on state property over the next few days, particularly in Sulaibiya.
On the other hand the Al-Qabas daily quoting official sources at the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs have warned of the danger of makeshift mosques which are spreading in some areas of the country such as Wafra and Kabd. The sources described them as ‘time bombs’ because they breed extremists and sympathizers of terrorist organizations. The sources said these mosques are not subject to supervision of the Ministry of Awqaf, which means the Friday sermons are not recorded and lessons or donations collected there shall not be monitored.
The sources revealed the Ministry of Awqaf has submitted reports on these mosques to the concerned authorities, stating some of them promote extremism and incite sectarian strife, posing a major threat to the security and safety of the community. Meanwhile, the State Security police have taken into custody a Kuwaiti imam of a mosque, identified as H. K., from Doha, a suburb of Jahra for interrogation because the whereabouts of his sons are not known but believed to be in Syria fighting a holy war. The State Security men are also interrogating a Kuwaiti and an Egyptian. They were whisked away for interrogation after picking them from one of the mosques.
According to the sources, the citizen prompted suspicion of securitymen because he wore black clothes. Police also found in his vehicle a forged ID, and is believed to one of the former suspects. The Egyptian was arrested while taking pictures of surveillance cameras installed in a mosque. Police also found on his cell phone sectarian slogans. Police investigations have revealed that the suspects who have been arrested following the bombing of the Imam Al- Sadiq mosque in Sawaber in downtown Kuwait City belong to a large network of terrorists from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, reports Al-Shahed daily.
A high-level security source said the investigations carried out by the State Security service in cooperation with their Gulf counterparts have revealed that the network is closely linked to DAESH and was planning to carry out terrorist attacks in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain. The same source said the investigation resulted in unearthing three other suicide missions – one in Kuwait and two in Bahrain. The security source said the three people who were to carry out the suicide bombings are two Saudis and a bedoun. They remain at large but their escape from the country on forged passports is not ruled out. According to the source they may have gone to Syria following the arrest of some of the members of the network.
The attack on the mosque in Kuwait, sources say, was planned inside a mosque in Saudi Arabia a few weeks ago following attacks in the kingdom and Kuwait was chosen as the second target followed by Bahrain. According to the investigations, the Saudi suicide bomber Fahd Al-Qaba’a communicated with the DAESH via the Internet. The investigations also said he was trained in suicide operations in one of the restrooms east of Riyadh. He reportedly coordinated all moves with a terrorist cell in Kuwait before the operation was accomplished. Investigations also show the terrorists have made an unidentified Asian country as their base to carry out terrorist attacks and recruit and train new members.
Meanwhile, MP Dr Abdulrahman Al- Jeeran has denied information that was published by some media concerning members of Osoud Al-Jazeera ‘Peninsula Lions’ who are serving time at the Central Prison and reportedly were all praise for the bombing of the Imam Al-Sadiq Mosque, reports Al-Anba daily. Al-Jeeran said he met the prisoners and they expressed their anger. They described the act as ‘criminal’ and have nothing to do with religion. Al-Jeeran is a member of Osud Al- Jazeera Prisoners Rehabilitation Committee — a committee that has failed in its mission.
The relatives of the martyrs in the recent terrorist attack on Imam Al-Sadiq Mosque affirmed their cooperation and unity with Kuwaitis to stop terrorism from achieving its vicious goals in the country, reports Al-Seyassah daily.
In different statements to KUNA, they expressed their shock over the terrorist attack which killed their relatives. At the same time, they commended the positive efforts exerted by the country and all Kuwaitis particularly H.H. the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al- Sabah in this regard. Mohammed Al-Nasser, brother of martyr Ali Rabea Al-Nasser, explained that he and his brother were supervising the media committee of Imam Al-Sadiq Mosque. At the time of the attack, they were inside the mosque for recording the Friday sermon and coordinating other technical duties of the committee.
He said, “I started performing the prayer after the sermon. When the explosion took place during our last Rakaa at the back rows, I rushed quickly to check on my father and uncles who were also in the mosque. After confirming their safety, I ran to the recording room to check on my brother but I did not find him. I ran outside the mosque to look for him and check if anyone helped him in getting out. After searching desperately for two hours, I finally found his body among the martyrs. He must have been the last martyr to leave the mosque.” Mohammed hailed the efforts of the political leadership and the government in taking necessary action and procedures quickly in dealing with the incident. He added that martyr Ali Rabea Al-Nasser was one of the martyrs who were buried in Al-Najaf Al-Ashraf City in Iraq. Meanwhile, brother of martyr Mohammed Sulaiman Al-Bahraini, Abdulhadi Al-Bahraini said, “My brother usually performs prayer in Imam Al- Sadiq Mosquea. When we heard reports about the bomb explosion, we called him on his cell phone but he did not answer. Later, I received a call from one of my friends who was at the mosque who told me that my brother died as he was praying in the back rows.”
It is worth mentioning that a large number of citizens and expatriates attended the ceremony held in honor of the martyrs of the callous terrorist attack.
The names of these martyrs are:
Mohammed Hassan Ali Al-Hader, Taleb Mohammed Saleh, Abdullah Hassan Sulaiman Al-Sayegh, Mohammed Hassan Ali Al-Khawajah, Jafar Mohammed Redha Al-Safer, Hussein Ismail Ibrahim Ismail, Sadiq Jafar Taher Hussein, Ali Mohammed Ali Al-Khawajah, Ali Jafar Mohammed Al-Fali, Mohammed Ahmad Al-Jafar, Jassem Mohammed Al-Khawajah, Taher Salman Buhamad, Abdulaziz Ali Al-Herz, Yousef Abdulrazzak Al-Attar, Makki Turki Makki Al-Qallaf, Mohammed Sulaiman Al-Bahraini, Ali Rabea Al-Nasser, Abdulhameed Ouda Al-Rifai, Qais Habib Al-Mutawa, Bin Abbas bin Ali, Mohammed Saeed Al- Matroudi, Sabti Jassem Hassan Al- Saad, Gholam Hassan Mohammed Naqqi, Mohammed Redha Mohammed Ali, Abdulhameed Sayed Mohammed and Rawdhan Hussein.