Middle East

Kuwait 'foils three planned IS attacks'

Rifles, ammunition and IS flag allegedly seized by Kuwaiti security forces Image copyright Kuwaiti Ministry of Interior
Image caption Kuwait's interior ministry said agents seized rifles, ammunition and an IS flag during one raid

The authorities in Kuwait say they have thwarted three planned attacks by so-called Islamic State (IS), including a plot to blow up a Shia mosque.

An interior ministry statement said security agencies had arrested five Kuwaitis and an Asian in a series of raids inside Kuwait and abroad.

Those held include a woman and her son, who were living between Syria and Iraq.

Last year, a Saudi suicide bomber killed 27 people when he blew himself up inside a Shia mosque in Kuwait City.

At least one man has been sentenced to death in connection with the attack, which IS said it was behind.

Gulf national 'at large'

The interior ministry statement, which was published overnight, did not mention when the raids to foil the alleged plots took place.

One of those held was named as Talal Naif Raja, an 18-year-old who the statement said was planning to bomb a Shia mosque and an interior ministry facility.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption IS said it was behind a suicide bomb attack on a Shia mosque in Kuwait City in June 2015

He allegedly told investigators that he had received instructions from a leading IS figure abroad, and that he had planned to carry out the attacks at the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan on Tuesday or during the festival of Eid al-Fitr.

The second cell comprised 52-year-old Hessa Abdullah Mohammad and her 28-year-old son, Ali Mohammed Omar, who were arrested near the Syria-Iraq border and brought back to Kuwait, according to the statement.

The third cell was made up of four men, three of whom were seized along with two rifles, ammunition and an IS flag, it added.

The statement said one of the suspects - Abdullah Mubarak Mohammed, 24 - worked for the interior ministry and that another was a citizen of an Asian country.

The fourth member of the cell, a Gulf national, is still at large.

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