Kuwaiti papers reveals names of spy cell members

May 5, 2010
By

A Kuwaiti daily on Wednesday published the first names or initials of the seven members of a spy cell reportedly working for Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.

The cell includes two Iranians, one Kuwaiti, one Syrian, one Bahraini, one Dominican and a stateless (Bidoon) Arab, Al Jareeda reported. The Dominican national, Saeed, is of Iranian origins and has worked in the Kuwaiti navy, but is currently unemployed. He is the brother of another cell member who was arrested.

The suspects have been moved to the prosecution after the state security agency completed its investigations in the case first announced by Al Qabas daily on Saturday.

They were all charged with engaging in intelligence activities with a foreign country to target Kuwait, Al Jareeda said. Four more people, believed to be working for the military, were arrested at a later stage.

The investigations revealed that the seven suspects and other members of the cell had contacts with a diplomat at the Iranian embassy in Kuwait and that they relayed to him information about Kuwait and the Kuwaiti army.

The state security agency forwarded several CDs, documents and communication devices to the public prosecution. The information ministry is currently transcribing the CDs.

Al Jareeda said that two of the suspects told investigators that they had visited the Iranian diplomat at the Iranian embassy in Kuwait and that the information they conveyed was about the domestic situation in the country.

Al Qabas newspaper said that the suspects confessed that the Iranian liaison officer had instructed them to recruit military men who accompanied the American troops in their train movements from and to Iraq.

According to Al Royah newspaper, the security agencies found plans and documents related to the UAE and Saudi Arabia with in the possession of the suspects, but did not give further details.

“The investigations have revealed that Kuwaiti retired military men and Lebanese nationals with connections with Hizbullah were also implicated in the spy cell,” the paper said.

Al Shahed daily reported that the suspects confessed that they had close links with two cells in two other Gulf countries.

The paper said that the Kuwaiti cell was busted after receiving secret information from a Gulf country and that Gulf security officers are currently coordinating the data in their possession on the issue.

According to Al Shahed, a Kuwaiti woman was implicated in laundering money for the Revolutionary Guards.

“The woman was handed a six million euro cheque, but failed to cash it in Beirut where she was arrested and then released by the Lebanese authorities. The woman was extradited to Kuwait where she confessed that a Bahraini national persuaded her to try to cash the cheque,” the paper said. 

According to some Kuwaiti media, the public prosecutor is expected to finish the suspects’ questioning within two days.

Media discrepancies in the reports on the spy cell were reflected in the inexorably widening divergences between Kuwait’s lawmakers on the issue, with stances ranging from stringent action against the cell members and backers and requests not to escalate unnecessarily the situation.

However, a move to convene the parliament to discuss the case was postponed.    

“The latest developments in the spy cell case have made us slow down in our drive to convene a special session to discuss the issue even though we had the number of lawmakers required to hold it,” Mohammad Al Hayef, a conservative MP, said. “It seems that the case has links with other members in most of the Gulf states.”

However, Al Hayef said that all Arabian Gulf countries should take a strict position towards Iran’s attitude.

“Their behaviour is a clear indication that they are not keen on good neighbourhood relations. The Kuwaiti government should reveal the names of the cell members and supporters both in Kuwait and abroad,” he said. “I also reiterate my call to expel the Iranian ambassador in Kuwait, especially that the existence of a spy cell has been confirmed,” he said.

MP Mubaral Al Waalan criticized the government for “its reluctance to show the truth.”

“The government is dealing with this case with suspicious caution and unwarranted secrecy. It is as if the government wanted to hide what is happening on the political scene,” he said.

However, MP Askar Al Anzi said that the media escalation of the case “did not serve the political, security, economic and social interests of Kuwait.”

“The investigation is still underway and the competent security agencies should be allowed to do their work,” he said.

Prince Khalid Bin Sultan, Saudi Arabia’s defence and aviation undersecretary, told reporters in Kuwait that his country fully supported Kuwait in “confronting the onslaught on its security.”

 

         

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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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