Kuwait busts cell working to back, finance ISIS

Security forces and officials gather at a Shiite mosque after a deadly blast claimed by ISIS that struck worshippers attending Friday prayers in Kuwait City. (File photo: AP)

Kuwaiti security authorities have busted an international cell led by a Lebanese man that was sending air defence systems and funds to ISIS, the interior ministry said Thursday.

The cell’s chief, who was not named, confessed that he raised funds and provided logistical support for the group, which has carried out deadly attacks in Lebanon and France in the past week, the ministry said.

He acted as coordinator for the ISIS in Kuwait and arranged arms deals and FN6 portable air defence systems from Ukraine, which were shipped to ISIS in Syria through Turkey.

The ministry did not provide details about the size of the arms deals.

Besides the Lebanese mastermind, authorities arrested three Syrians, an Egyptian and a Kuwaiti and said four others were outside Kuwait - two Syrians and two Australians of Lebanese origin.

Several suspected ISIS members and sympathizers were tried in the Gulf emirate for a suicide bombing in June claimed by the group.

A court sentenced seven men to death and jailed eight others to between two and 15 years for assisting the Saudi bomber.

An appeals court is to issue its verdict in the case on Dec. 13.

Earlier this month, the lower court sentenced five men to 10 years in jail each for raising funds for ISIS.

They were charged with raising about 400,000 Kuwaiti dinars ($1.3 million) and sending it to IS, which has seized control of large parts of Syria and Iraq and carried out attacks throughout the Middle East.

Over the past year, Kuwaiti courts have issued several rulings against ISIS supporters.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:46 - GMT 06:46