Kuwait Arrests Seventh Suspect in US Bomb Plot
Kuwait has detained a seventh suspect in an alleged "terror" gang plotting to bomb US military targets, an affair that has caused a tug of war between liberals and Islamists in the emirate, newspapers reported Tuesday.
The new suspect, a Kuwaiti like the rest, is believed to be the man responsible for bringing in fake passports from Pakistan, Al-Watan daily said.
Three members of the group were picked up on Thursday with 133 kilograms (293 pounds) of powerful explosives and 1,450 detonators, while a fourth suspect was arrested in Qatar on Saturday and was due to be extradited to Kuwait.
Two more suspects were caught late Saturday at the local office of an international mailing service.
The public prosecution has started interrogating some of the suspects.
Kuwait is still looking for a Moroccan who fled to Iran using a fake Saudi passport.
The group is said to have been plotting to carry out suicide bombings on US military targets in Kuwait and other countries.
Kuwaiti liberals called for a decisive action to stamp out terrorism in the emirate, but the Islamists urged the authorities to reveal all facts.
"We urge the government to be decisive in issues related to our national security," the liberal National Democratic Movement said in a statement.
"The size of the terrorist plot ... and the links of its members indicate the high cost the country is paying due to the slackening government policy toward the infiltration of religious extremism in the country and official institutions," it said.
"What's the government waiting for to begin immediately with steps to deal with the roots of the danger?," asked Al-Qabas newspaper in a front page editorial.
"Is it waiting until our houses, establishments and public places are blown up, and our bodies fly into pieces?," the liberal paper said and called for a "national plan to confront extremism and its causes."
But the Islamic Salaf Alliance, a mainstream Sunni fundamentalist group, deplored what it called an "unfair campaign" against Islamists, utilizing the arrest of the "terror" network.
Islamist MP Waleed al-Tabtabai condemned those "secular writers who are instigating the public and the government against Islamic groups to the extent that every bearded man is guilty until proven innocent."
Press reports in Kuwait said the group is made up of Islamic activists connected to the Saudi dissident Osama Bin Laden, who on Monday denied any link with them and the attack on USS Cole in Yemen last month.
Bin Laden, the suspected mastermind of 1998 US embassy bombings in Africa that killed more than 220 people, is living in Afghanistan as a guest of the ruling Taliban militia -- KUWAIT CITY (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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