Kuwait mosque fire suspect arrested

October 24, 2013

A man who allegedly set fire to two mosques in the capital Kuwait City has been arrested, the interior ministry has said.

The suspect has a criminal record and is known as a drug addict, a statement from the ministry media centre said. “The suspect has made full and detailed confessions about his act,” local Arabic daily Al Kuwaitiyah quoted the statement as saying on Thursday.

However, police said investigators were still trying to determine the reasons why the suspect set fire to the two mosques in the vibrant Salmiya neighbourhood.

No-one was injured in the two fires, but several lawmakers and government officials condemned them as a cowardly attack, amid concerns that it was driven by sectarian considerations

Reports said that initially seven people had been summoned as possible suspects in the two arson cases.

In a separate case in April, security authorities in Kuwait arrested a man who shattered the glass doors and windows of a mosque.

The 21-year-old was apprehended by policemen as he attempted a new post-midnight attack on Al Baharna Shiite mosque, the police said.

“The mosque was placed under constant monitoring and when the police noted on the surveillance cameras a young man carrying a stone getting close to the mosque, they apprehended him,” the police said. “During the quizzing, he confessed that he attacked the mosque on Friday and that he had also targeted the same religious building twice over the last two weeks.”

The police said that they found a video clip of the attacks on his mobile phone. However, the suspect denied there was a sectarian motivation behind the attacks and said that he was curious to observe how people reacted to his acts.

Reports said that the suspect attributed his attacks on the mosque to “voices telling him to do it”.

The attacks on Al Baharna Mosque sparked a robust show of unity between all leading political and religious figures in the country who issued statements condemning the act and warning against attempts to sow divisions in the country along sectarian lines.




About the author

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

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