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Kuwait breaks up extremist cell supporting Islamic State

Published 19/11/2015

Kuwait suffered its most devastating terrorist attack in decades in June when a suicide bomber attacked one of the Gulf nation's oldest Shiite mosques
Kuwait suffered its most devastating terrorist attack in decades in June when a suicide bomber attacked one of the Gulf nation's oldest Shiite mosques

Kuwait has cracked down on an extremist cell that was aiding Islamic State with support that included brokering arms deals, arresting six people from various nationalities who were operating inside the country.

Police arrested a Lebanese citizen named Osama Khayat, described as the ringleader, who admitted to helping IS recruit fighters and raise money that was sent to IS-related bank accounts in Turkey, the official Kuwait News Agency said.

Khayat admitted to closing weapons deals in Ukraine and using Turkey as a route to send weapons to IS fighters in Syria, where the group controls territory, the Interior Ministry said.

Police said they also arrested three Syrians, one of whom was an arms dealer for IS and another who was in charge of finances and communication.

Officers also detained an Egyptian who they described as a member of the IS group and a Kuwaiti national who was responsible for logistical support.

Two Syrians and two Australian-Lebanese dual nationals are still at large.

The predominantly Sunni Muslim country suffered its most devastating terrorist attack in decades in June when a suicide bomber attacked one of the Gulf nation's oldest Shiite mosques, killing 27 people in the capital.

One of Islamic State's affiliates in the Arabian Peninsula, calling itself Najd Province, claimed responsibility for that attack.

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