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Kuwait bomber’s elusive childhood years exposed by family member

Qabaa is believed to have never visited Iraq or Syria, despite his leanings towards ISIS’ militant ideology

Published: Updated:

Fahd al-Qabaa, the Saudi national identified as the ISIS suicide bomber behind Friday’s deadly attack on a Kuwaiti Shiite mosque, had an anomalous character since his childhood years and was taunted during family gatherings by those who disagreed with him, a family member told Al Arabiya News Channel on condition of anonymity.

Qabaa never finished university and moved out to live in Riyadh with his father, a trader, around 20 years ago, the source also said, adding that Qabaa rejected government jobs because he believed they were forbidden by religion.

According to the source, Qabaa worked at two private companies after his cousin used his influence to hire him, however he was described as being unstable in the jobs.

A few days before the holy month of Ramadan began, in early June, Qabaa was present during a family gathering however he refused to sit with them and left because he disagreed with their ideology, the source said, adding that he had often argued with them.

Qabaa is believed to have never visited Iraq or Syria, despite his leanings towards ISIS’ militant ideology, the source also said, adding that the environment in which Qabaa grew up in was not ideal. The source said some of his uncles had been imprisoned on extremism charges.

On Sunday, Kuwait’s interior ministry said Qabaa flew into Kuwait's airport at dawn on Friday, only hours before he detonated explosives at the mosque killing at least 27 people and injuring 227.

Earlier on Monday, the ISIS released an audio clip purporting to be a posthumous statement by Qabaa. The statement consisted largely of Quranic verses and was released on social media channels used by ISIS. The speaker in the audio clip criticized Shiite Muslims and says they can expect revenge for what he terms insulting Islam.

On Saturday, Kuwaiti police arrested the driver who transported Qabaa to the mosque where he blew himself up. Authorities have also detained the owner of the house where the bomber was staying.

According to the official KUNA news agency, the driver, who was named as Abdulrahman Sabah Eidan Saud, was described as an "illegal resident" born in 1989 while the owner of the vehicle is a Kuwaiti national who subscribes to "fundamentalist and deviant ideology.”