Kuwaiti police have arrested several suspects belonging to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group believed to be planning attacks across the country, the interior ministry has said.
“Kuwait security agencies have carried out three pre-emptive operations in Kuwait and abroad that led to derailing a number of Islamic State [referring to ISIL] plots targeting Kuwait and arresting several IS members,” an interior ministry statement said on Monday.
Those arrested included 18-year-old Kuwaiti Talal Raja, who was allegedly planning to bomb a Shia mosque and an interior ministry building during Eid holidays, said the ministry statement carried by state news agency KUNA.
The man allegedly confessed to plotting the attack, and had planned to deploy a suicide vest.
In the second operation, at least three people, including a 52-year-old mother and her son, were detained in Syria and brought back to Kuwait, the ministry said, adding that they admitted to providing logistical support to “several terrorist operations”.
Three more people, including a Kuwaiti policeman, were arrested in the third raid. Kalashnikov rifles, ammunitions and the black ISIL flag were all recovered from their possession.
The interior ministry statement, published overnight on Monday, did not say when the arrests took place.
All seven suspects confessed to being members of ISIL, also known as ISIS, which last year carried out a deadly attack at a Shia mosque in the oil-rich Gulf state – home to several US military bases. That attack left at least 27 people dead.
Kuwait launched a security crackdown in the wake of last year’s attack, which had been carried out by a Saudi suicide bomber,
The government said the bombing, Kuwait’s worst ever such attack, was aimed at stoking sectarian strife in the majority Sunni state, where Shia Muslims comprise between 15 to 30 percent of the population.
Last November, Kuwaiti security authorities busted an international cell that was sending air defence systems and funds to ISIL.(Al Jazeera()
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