Kuwaiti security forces disrupted a major terrorist attack planned for New Year’s Eve that targeted places of worship and commercial complexes.
The authorities identified an Iraqi Daesh recruiter and intercepted his communication with the main Kuwaiti suspect in the case: the 16-year old son of a former Kuwaiti parliamentarian who had recruited five other minors.
Daesh gradually radicalized the teen over social media for two months, investigators said. The recruiter promised the boy money and munitions to carry out the attack in Kuwait.
If the attack succeeded, Daesh would smuggle the would-be perpetrator into Iraq.
When the recruiter secured the recruit’s loyalty to Daesh, he directed him to draw Daesh’s flag on a garbage bag and hang it in his bedroom. He transferred money to him through a remittance service to cover the cost of munitions.
According to the investigation, the suspect was told to lead his six-person cell in targeting public places and government installations, specifying an Ardiya mosque in which followers of the Bohra Islamic sect attend services. Worshippers were to be shot with three Kalashnikov machine guns found in the cell’s possession.
Arrested members of the terrorist cell confessed that the main suspect recruited them through online video games.
The plot evoked bad memories for Kuwaitis: In June 2015, a suicide bomber detonated a suicide vest at Imam Al-Sadiq Mosque in Al-Sawaber district of the Kuwaiti capital, killing 27 and injuring 227. In June 2016, Kuwaitis arrested Daesh members — some of them Kuwaitis — planning to blow up a Shiite mosque in Hawalli governorate.
“The awareness of the security services and their tracking down of donations that go to certain countries contributed to stopping such attacks,” political analyst Dr. Ayed Al-Manaa said. “The security services were able to identify groups that planned to carry out terrorist acts during the New Year holidays against temples, churches and followers of various religions, including followers of Islamic sects.”
Sources: Alarab.co.uk, alkhaleejonline.net