KUWAIT CITY: Kuwait on Sunday identified the suicide bomber behind an attack on a Shia mosque as a Saudi national, after a series of arrests in connection with the blast that left 26 dead.
The Islamic State group’s Saudi affiliate, the so-called Najd Province, claimed the bombing and identified the assailant as Abu Suleiman al-Muwahhid.
Kuwait’s interior ministry gave the real name of the attacker as Fahd Suleiman Abdulmohsen al-Qaba’a, in a statement carried by the official KUNA news agency.
It said that he entered the country through Kuwait Airport at dawn on Friday, the same day of the bombing.
A handout photograph of Qaba’a showed a young bearded man wearing a traditional Saudi headdress.
Earlier on Sunday, the ministry said that security services arrested the driver of the car that transported the bomber to the Al-Imam Al-Sadeq mosque in Kuwait City.
He was named as Abdulrahman Sabah Eidan Saud and described as an “illegal resident” born in 1989.
Authorities on Saturday arrested the car owner, Jarrah Nimr Mejbil Ghazi, born in 1988, and also listed as a stateless person.
Authorities have also detained the owner of a house used as a hideout by the driver, describing the owner as a Kuwaiti national who subscribes to “extremist and deviant ideology”.
“Illegal resident” is the official term used in Kuwait to describe stateless people, locally known as bidoons, who number around 110,000 and claim the right to Kuwaiti citizenship.
Alleged IS executioner Mohammed Emwazi, who became known by media as “Jihadi John”, was born in Kuwait to a stateless family of Iraqi origin which later moved to London.
Local media said 18 of those killed were Kuwaitis, three Iranians, two Indians, one each from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia and one bidoon.
The breakthroughs in the bombing probe came a day after thousands of Kuwaitis braved scorching summer heat on Saturday to attend the funerals of 18 victims.
Mourners turned out in large numbers for the funerals despite the Ramazan daylight fast and as temperatures hit 45 degrees Celsius (113 Fahrenheit).
“This crowd is the proof that the objectives of the criminal act have failed,” parliament speaker Marzouk al-Ghanem told reporters.
The mourners, who included women clad in black Islamic dress, carried Kuwaiti flags and black and green banners bearing religious slogans.
The health ministry said that 40 wounded are still being treated in hospital.
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