In a preemptive move and in a major blow to the extremist elements in Kuwait, security forces have busted and dismantled a multinational cell for Daesh (Islamic State), including five Syrians, two Australians, a Lebanese, an Egyptian, and a Kuwaiti national.
The vigilance of security agencies has led to the apprehension of a dangerous Daesh cell in Kuwait, the Ministry of Interior announced in a press statement Saturday, adding that the cell was providing the main organization in Syria with new recruits, money, weaponry, and logistical support.
It stated that five of the cell members were arrested and four others are still fugitive outside the country. The ringleader is a 45-year-old Lebanese national, born in Kuwait, named Osama Khayat.
It added that the cell included a Kuwaiti national named Rakan Al-Ajmi and was responsible for the logistical matters.
The Interior Minister said that the cell dismantling comes in continuation of the security agencies following up, monitoring, and cracking down on extremists in the state.
It pointed out that Khayat, the cell coordinator, was arrested first. During cross-examination, he gave detailed information about the cell members and roles.
The suspect, who has been using his website for propaganda work for Daesh, confessed that he has been in contact with the group leaders in Syria and has made several arms deals for the main organization, including deals for purchasing FN-6 missiles and other weaponry from Ukraine.
Khayat told investigators that the purchased weaponry was being shipped to Turkey and being smuggled into Syria later.
He admitted that he has printed and dispatched stamps and seals with the Daesh logo for the main organization and transferred money to Daesh-related bank accounts in Turkey.
The ministry statement pointed that Khayat gave the names of the five cell members in Kuwait. They were all arrested.
Abdulkarim Mohammad Selem has a Ukraine-based arms company and was about to purchase shoulder-fired missiles and telecommunications devices. Rakan Nasser Muneer Al-Ajmi is a Kuwaiti national offering logistical support to the extremists. Also in the arrests were Hazem Mohammad Khair Tartari, Wael Mohammad Ahmad Baghdadi, and Abdhulnasser Mahmoud Al-Shawa.
Investigations also unveiled names of four additional members who are still at large abroad.
Waleed Nasif works as a currency exchanger in a Turkish city on the Syrian border. Mahammad Hekmat Tartari was in charge of financial matters and external liaisons. Hesham Mohammad Thahab and Rabia Thahab are also suspected to be involved, though their positions within the cell are not known.
The arrested an seized items were all referred to relevant investigative bodies, the ministry said.
It reiterated firm determination to confront any attempt from extremist groups to jeopardize the country’s security and people’s safety.
It also urged all people to cooperate with security bodies for securing their homeland.