Bomber was young Saudi man, says Kuwait

Kuwait yesterday identified the suicide bomber behind its worst militant attack as a young Saudi Arabian man. It said it had detained the driver of the vehicle that took him to a Shi’ite Muslim mosque where he killed 27 people.

Bomber was young Saudi man, says Kuwait

The disclosure of the bomber’s Saudi nationality is likely to focus the attention of authorities investigating Friday’s suicide bombing on ties between Islamists in the small Gulf state and those in its larger, more conservative neighbour.

The interior ministry named the bomber as Fahd Suliman Abdul-Muhsen al-Qabaa and said he flew into Kuwait’s airport at dawn on Friday, only hours before he detonated an explosives-laden vest at Kuwait City’s Imam al-Sadeq mosque.

It was not immediately known where Qabaa had arrived from, but the timing of his arrival suggests he had a network in place in Kuwait.

The ministry said it was searching for more partners and aides in this “despicable crime”, adding Qabaa had been born in 1992, putting him in his early 20s.

The Saudi Arabian arm of IS claimed responsibility for the attack on the mosque, where 2,000 worshippers were praying. It was one of three attacks on three continents that day apparently linked to hardline Islamists.

The attack was the most significant act of Sunni militant violence in Kuwait since 2005, when an al-Qaida linked group calling itself the Peninsula Lions clashed with security forces in the streets of Kuwait City. Nine Islamists and four security force members were killed in the gun battles.

The bombing has sharply heightened regional security concerns because IS appears to be making good on its threat to step up attacks during Ramadan.

The group, seeking to expand from Iraq and Syria strongholds, says its priority target is the Arabian peninsula and in particular Saudi Arabia, home of Islam’s holiest places, from where it plans to expel Shi’ite Muslims. IS subscribes to a puritanical school of Sunni Islam that considers Shi’ites as heretics.

The ministry said the driver of the Japanese-made car, who left the mosque immediately after Friday’s bombing, was an illegal resident named Abdul-Rahman Sabah Aidan. The phrasing of its statement suggests Aidan is belongs to the “Bidoon”, a large underclass in Kuwait lacking citizenship and access to jobs.

  • Reuters

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