KUWAIT: The interior ministry yesterday announced authorities have arrested two juveniles (aged 15 and 16) and another man with unlicensed weapons and ammunition, who had adopted extremist ideology. It said following cooperation between security departments, one of the suspects was arrested, who confessed he became acquainted with a person on social media, and exchanges between them revealed they both shared the same extremist ideology.
The ministry said two other persons were later arrested, one of whom is a juvenile. Their homes were searched and firearms, ammunition, extremist paraphernalia and cameras were found. The suspects were referred to concerned authorities for further legal action.
On Thursday, a statement on Twitter by Interior Minister Sheikh Thamer Al-Ali Al-Sabah said the ministry “has deployed foot patrols of fully equipped special forces units inside residential complexes and shopping malls” in a “step aimed at imposing discipline and observing the law”. The statement did not give the immediate reason for the security alert, but the measure coincided with the disclosure by local media of what was said to be a plot by the Islamic State terrorist group to use Kuwaiti teenagers to carry out attacks in the country.
On Wednesday, Kuwait’s state security arrested six Kuwaiti teenagers linked to IS, Al-Qabas Arabic daily reported. Quoting a source at the state security, the newspaper said the arrests were made after it was found the teenagers were lured to embrace IS ideology though online games. A squad of security officers raided the house of one of the teenagers in Ahmadi after obtaining permission from the public prosecution.
They arrested the teenager and referred him to the juvenile investigation office, where he admitted he has been in contact with IS for some time. The teenager told interrogators that a person communicated with him through a popular online game, and deliberately joined his team during the game. The IS man then communicated with him through social media platforms and asked him to embrace the ideology of IS. He was also asked to convince his friends to join IS. The teenager said he succeeded in convincing five others.
During the raids, firearms and several computers containing correspondence with the terrorist group were confiscated. Official investigations related to the case of the arrested juveniles revealed IS members had tasked these juveniles with targeting places of worship and commercial complexes on New Year’s Eve.
Al-Qabas quoted sources as saying that the ringleader of the arrested juvenile suspects was the son of a former member of the National Assembly. The sources said “security forces had clear and explicit orders to take all precautions and to deal promptly and decisively with any suspect, and to report everything that is going on moment by moment to security leaders”.
According to a report in Al-Anbaa Arabic daily, a security source said authorities had foiled a plan by two juveniles that targeted a place of worship of an Asian community in Ardiya (the building is currently closed). The source said the youths were recruited through online games allegedly by members of IS.
The source said interior ministry operations received a call about a juvenile who left an AK-47 machinegun in front of the house of an officer following an argument with another juvenile. The juvenile who left the weapon was identified and questioned. He said another person of his age contacted him and asked him to carry out a terrorist act against an Asian community’s place of worship.
The youth said he thought it was a joke, but was surprised when the other youth, who lives in Fahaheel, handed him a firearm and asked him to accompany him to the place of worship in Ardiya. But he did not oblige after he realized it was a serious matter. The source said state security raided the Fahaheel juvenile’s home and found another weapon and IS flags.