Kuwait says captured Tunisian ISIS members monitored Shiite mosques

Prosecutors believe suspects were planning attacks on Shiite places of worship

Police vehicles in front of Kuwait parliament building in Kuwait City, Kuwait. EPA
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A Kuwaiti judge has ordered the continued pretrial detention of two citizens and three Tunisians arrested in connection with an alleged ISIS plot against Shiite Muslims.

Kuwait arrested the five on Friday on suspicion of planning attacks on Shiite places of worship after security personnel monitored their activities.

The Kuwaiti Public Prosecutor’s office said the Tunisians had entered the country and sought to monitor places of worship, survey their security conditions, and count the numbers of worshippers at several locations.

“They were trained to make explosives for the purpose of using them in these operations, and they agreed that each one of them would target a house of worship, and they went to the locations with the intention of killing its visitors. However, their attempt was foiled,” prosecutors said.

While the Public Prosecution continues its investigations into the defendants, sources told Al Qabas newspaper the suspects had admitted during questioning that they had been planning to attack three sites.

The sources told Al Qabas that the defendants had been communicating with ISIS leaders in Syria and Iraq for some time before their planned attacks in Kuwait.

In 2015, a suicide bomber, identified at the time as a Saudi national, killed 26 worshippers and wounded more than 200 at a Shiite mosque in Kuwait.

That blast followed a series of bomb attacks on Shiite mosques in Saudi Arabia that were claimed by ISIS.

Since Friday's arrests, Kuwait has heightened security measures at its borders, with Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed Sabah Al Salem visiting the Abdali crossing with Iraq on Saturday alongside the acting interior minister.

Updated: January 30, 2024, 4:46 AM