Four more military men arrested in connection with the spy cell in Kuwait as MPs agree to hold special session

May 4, 2010
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Four military men have been arrested in connection with the spy cell in Kuwait, bringing the total number of detained suspects to 11, a Kuwaiti daily reported on Tuesday.

The four men are currently interrogated by the military intelligence agency and will next week be moved to the state security agency before their transfer alongside the other seven suspects to the public prosecutor, Al Jareeda said.

All suspects could face the charge of “belonging to an illegal organization plotting to force the rupture of diplomatic ties with the US, especially that the cell was tasked with monitoring the US military sites in Kuwait and providing Iran’s Revolutionary Guards with information via satellite and other means.”

Al Siyassah newspaper also reported that four more military men had been arrested.

However, Al Shahed daily said that 12 people have been arrested in connection with the case.

According to unnamed sources, a diplomat had given money to the suspects and provided them with the maps and devices to help them locate military sites and monitor movements. The daily, however, did not mention the diplomat’s name or nationality.

Al Shahed said that the sources denied claims that a man working in an Arab embassy was among the suspects, but confirmed that members of the same family were implicated in the espionage ring.

Al Qabas, the daily that broke the news about the busting of the cell on Saturday, said that the cell was given special espionage devices and were trained on using them in a Revolutionary Guards training camp in Mashhad.

The instruments given to the cell were initially buried in the desert and later moved to two houses in Sulaibya and Al Waha, near Kuwait City.   

The paper added that the suspects had given the Iranian liaison officer, through a Lebanese intermediary, a recent map of the Bubyan Island where Kuwaiti military sites are clearly indicated. The location of Patriot missiles and the US troops’ train movements towards and from Iraq were also provided, Al Qabas said.

The Kuwaiti media continued their coverage of the spy cell case despite calls by the government to exercise caution and be accurate in their reports as the competent agencies were still investigating the case.
MPs also continued to heap pressure on the government to take strong action against the cell members and backers.

MP Mohammad Al Hayef who on Sunday called for the expulsion of the Iranian ambassador in Kuwait and the recall of the Kuwaiti envoy in Tehran, said that he would oppose the economic agreement with Iran to be reviewed by the parliament at its next session. The MP had also called for freezing all agreements with Iran.

MP Waleed Al Tabtabai said that lawmakers were working on an extraordinary session of the parliament, likely to be held on May 13, to discuss the spy cell case. An extraordinary session can be held after at least ten MPs endorse the call.

However, fellow MP Faisal Al Duwaisan said that it was “too early to call for a special session.”
“In fact, the media coverage of the case could erode social security in the country,” he warned.

MP Dhaif All Buramiah said that the government should be clear about the case and should not issue conflicting statements.

“The government should not be weak, particularly that we have common defense agreements with superpowers,” he said.

On Tuesday, the government, under pressure since Saturday to issue a statement, said that it had detained some people in connection with a spy cell and that it was investigating the case.

However, Mohammad Al Busairi, the government spokesman, said that a statement would be issued after the investigations were completed.

The government spokesman did not mention the names, number or nationalities of the people under investigation.

Abdul Rahman Al Atiyyah, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) secretary general, who was on a working visit in Kuwait, said that “any threat to a GCC member is a threat to all the member countries.”

“The GCC is a red line that should not be approached,” Al Atiyyah said on the sidelines of a GCC ministerial meeting in the Kuwaiti capital.

However, Al Atiyyah said that the meeting did not take up the spy cell case.

         

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About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Career
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
Education
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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