Filip­ina jailed for join­ing IS

Over 2,000 Saudis fight­ing abroad

Kuwait Times - - FRONT PAGE -

KUWAIT/RIYADH: A Kuwaiti court yes­ter­day sen­tenced a Filipino woman to 10 years in jail af­ter con­vict­ing her of join­ing the Is­lamic State mil­i­tant group and plot­ting at­tacks. The rul­ing, which is not fi­nal, also calls for de­port­ing the 32-year old af­ter serv­ing her term. The woman was ar­rested in Au­gust, two months af­ter ar­riv­ing in the state to work as a do­mes­tic helper. At the time, the interior ministry said she had con­fessed to be­ing a mem­ber of the Is­lamic State group and was plot­ting ter­ror­ist at­tacks in the state.

The woman told in­ter­roga­tors that her hus­band was an ac­tive fighter with IS in Libya and he had asked her to come to Kuwait from the Philip­pines as a do­mes­tic helper, ac­cord­ing to the ministry. An IS-af­fil­i­ated group in the Philip­pines has con­ducted a string of bomb­ings as well as kid­nap­pings for ran­som of for­eign tourists and Chris­tian mis­sion­ar­ies in the coun­try.

Kuwaiti courts have sen­tenced to var­i­ous jail terms a num­ber of mem­bers, sym­pa­thiz­ers and fi­nanciers of the IS group. In Oc­to­ber, Kuwait po­lice ar­rested an Egyp­tian driver sus­pected of be­ing a mem­ber of the IS, af­ter he rammed a garbage truck into a pick-up car­ry­ing five Amer­i­cans. Au­thor­i­ties in July said they had dis­man­tled three IS cells plot­ting at­tacks, in­clud­ing a sui­cide bomb­ing against a Shi­ite mosque and against an interior ministry tar­get. An IS-linked sui­cide bomber killed 26 wor­ship­pers in June last year when he blew him­self up in a Shi­ite mosque, in the worst such at­tack in the state’s his­tory.

Sep­a­rately, more than 2,000 Saudis are fight­ing abroad with ji­hadist groups, with over 70 per­cent of them in Syria, the king­dom’s interior ministry was re­ported as say­ing yes­ter­day.

“The num­ber of Saudis proven to be in con­flict ar­eas is 2,093,” interior ministry spokesman Gen­eral Man­sour Al-Turki told daily news­pa­per Al-Hayat. He said that 1,540 of them were in Syria, where mil­i­tants have flocked since the Is­lamic State group seized con­trol of vast ar­eas in mid-2014.

An­other 147 were in Ye­men, which is the base of Al-Qaeda in the Ara­bian Penin­sula, con­sid­ered by Washington as the most dan­ger­ous af­fil­i­ate of the global ter­ror net­work. An­other 31 were be­lieved to be in Afghanistan or Pak­istan, Turki said. Only five were be­lieved to be in neigh­bor­ing Iraq, where IS also seized sig­nif­i­cant ter­ri­tory in 2014. Turki said 73 Saudis had also been de­tained abroad “on charges re­lated to acts of ter­ror­ism”.— Agen­cies

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