Author of Kuwait Shiite mosque attack was Saudi
Kuwait City (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The suicide bomber who carried out the attack, claimed by the Islamic State, on the Shiite mosque in Kuwait on 26 June leaving 26 dead and 227 wounded was a Saudi. This is confirmed by Kuwaiti authorities, during a press conference held yesterday outlining the latest developments in the investigation. The attack on the mosque of al-Imam al-Sadeq coincided with Friday prayers was carried out by Fahd Souleimane Abdel Mohsen al-Qabaa who was born in 1992.
The jihadist militant had entered the country through the international airport Friday morning. A photo of the alleged bomber, published by the al-Qabas newspaper, shows a young man with a beard and wearing a traditional keffiyeh.
In the hours after the attack, the Islamic State immediately claimed responsibility, the first such attack by the movement in Kuwait. On May 22 and again on 29, the Islamic State had already claimed two attacks that left 21 people and 4 people dead in two Shiite mosques in the eastern part of Saudi Arabia.
According to experts, the jihadist organization is trying to sow discord between the Sunni majority and Shiite minority in the Arabian Peninsula. This morning the militiamen released an audio recording of the suicide bomber, criticizing Shiite Muslims.
Meanwhile, the Kuwaiti police arrested the driver of the car who brought the suicide bomber to the mosque. In addition, the authorities arrested the owner of the house where the driver was hiding. The Ministry of the Interior also stated that the owner, a Kuwaiti citizen, was among the supporters and promoters of "fundamentalist ideology".
In contrast, the driver is an "illegal resident" born in 1989 and identified with the name of Abdulrahman Sabah Eidan Saoud. The ministry explained that he "was hiding in a house in the district of Al Rigga, in the governorate of al-Ahmadi, south of the capital Kuwait City."
The term "illegal resident" is normally used by Kuwait authorities to define stateless persons, nicknamed "bidoun", representing a population of about 110 thousand people who claim Kuwaiti citizenship.
Oil Minister Ali al-Omair announced a government meeting which aims to approve a new anti-terrorism law. Many representatives were in favor of the new legislation. The Shiite lawmaker Abdelhamid Dashti said that "if we need a new law to hit the evil elements and terrorists, we are ready to approve it." While the Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, has ordered the immediate repair of the mosque damaged in the attack.
Braving the scorching sun and high temperatures, on June 27 last thousands of people attended the funerals of 18 of the 26 victims of the attack on the mosque the previous day. Yesterday, the bodies of eight others were buried in Najaf, in Iraq, at the Shiite cemetery of Wadi al-Salam as confirmed by the same vice-chairman of the provincial council of the holy Shi'ite city, Louay al-Yassiri.
Marzouk al-Ghanem, chairman of the Kuwaiti Parliament, stressed that the mobilization of the crowd at the funeral of 27 June is "proof of the failure of the objectives [behind] this criminal act". From neighboring Iraq, Abdulfatah al-Mutawwia, a Kuwaiti citizen who lost his brother in the attack, said: "We want to send a message to these Daesh [Arabic acronym of the Islamic State, ed], that we are brothers and we are joined together Sunnis and Shiites, they will fail to divide us. "
Many Sunni religious and political organizations in Kuwait were quick to condemn the attack perpetrated by the Islamic State.