Kuwait disrupts extremist cell supporting the Islamic State
KUWAIT CITY (AP) — Kuwait’s Interior Ministry said Thursday it cracked down on an extremist cell that was aiding the Islamic State group with support that included brokering arms deals, arresting six people from various nationalities who were operating inside the country.
The official Kuwait News Agency said police arrested a Lebanese citizen described as the ringleader named Osama Khayat, who admitted to helping IS recruit fighters and raise money that was sent to IS-related bank accounts in Turkey. The Interior Ministry said Khayat also admitted to closing weapons deals in Ukraine and using Turkey as a route to send weapons to IS fighters in Syria, where the group controls territory.
Police said they also arrested three Syrians, one of whom was an arms dealer for the IS group and another who was in charge of finances and communication. Police also detained an Egyptian who they described as a member of the IS group and a Kuwaiti national who was responsible for logistical support.
The statement said two Syrians and two Australian-Lebanese dual nationals are still at large.
A shorter, earlier statement from the news agency provided different details, including the number of arrests.
The predominantly Sunni Muslim country suffered its most devastating terrorist attack in decades in June when a suicide bomber attacked one of the Gulf nation’s oldest Shiite mosques, killing 27 people in the capital.
One of the Islamic State group’s affiliates in the Arabian Peninsula, calling itself Najd Province, claimed responsibility for that attack.
This story has been corrected to show the number of those arrested, and that extremist cell is accused of sending funds, not receiving them.