Last Updated: Monday, 14 July 2014, 10:44 GMT

Country Reports on Terrorism 2011 - Kuwait

Publisher United States Department of State
Publication Date 31 July 2012
Cite as United States Department of State, Country Reports on Terrorism 2011 - Kuwait, 31 July 2012, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/501fbcaf28.html [accessed 14 July 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Overview: Kuwait lacked legal provisions that dealt specifically with terrorism and terrorist financing, although the government sought to counter terrorism and violent extremism, notably through other legal statutes and official statements.

On July 16, Kata'ib Hizballah (KH) in Iraq threatened to attack workers building Mubarak al-Kabir port on Bubiyan Island. In subsequent public threats, the KH also named the Kuwaiti National Assembly building in Kuwait City as a possible target for rocket attacks.

Legislation and Law Enforcement: As a result of the Government of Kuwait's lack of a clear legal framework for prosecuting terrorism-related crimes, it often resorted to other legal statutes to try suspected terrorists, which hampered enforcement efforts.

In April, the government introduced biometric fingerprinting at Kuwait International Airport, and announced plans to extend the system to land and sea entry points. On July 18, the Ministry of Interior announced plans to install retina-scanning capabilities at ports of entry and to create a system to link border crossing information to visa submissions at embassies abroad.

On April 27, Kuwait's criminal court reaffirmed the 2005 guilty verdict against Ahmad Abdullah Mohammad al-Otaibi for his participation in the murder of two security officers during a January 2005 clash between the Peninsula Lions violent extremist group and security forces.

On July 18, United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1267 designee Mubarak al-Bathali was sentenced to three years in prison for threatening to kill a Shia member of parliament, incitement, and other charges. On September 5, an appeals court upheld that conviction but reduced the sentence to six months. While serving that sentence, al-Bathali was convicted on September 25 over remarks made on Twitter against Shia Muslims and was sentenced to three months hard labor. On November 28, the second sentence was upheld but the sentence reduced to one week, to be served concurrently with the July 18 sentence.

On November 27, local media reported that security services had arrested three Kuwaiti military officials on suspicion of links with a terrorist cell plotting to attack embassies in Bahrain and Qatar, as well as the King Fahd Causeway connecting Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

Countering Terrorist Finance: Kuwait is a member of the Middle East North Africa Financial Action Task Force, a Financial Action Task Force (FATF)-style regional body, and hosted a plenary meeting of that body in 2011. Kuwait's 2011 mutual evaluation report found Kuwait deficient in 37 of FATF's Forty plus Nine Recommendations. Kuwait lacked legislation that criminalized terrorist financing. While Kuwait has an anti-money laundering law and has had some successful money laundering prosecutions, numerous attempts to pass a comprehensive anti-money laundering/counterterrorist finance law have failed in Parliament. The entity that Kuwait calls its Financial Intelligence Unit is not an autonomous national entity responsible for receipt, analysis, and dissemination of reports.

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor (MoSAL) and Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) continued monitoring and supervising charities, including enforcing the ban on cash donations, except during Ramadan, implementing an enhanced receipt system for Ramadan cash donations, and coordinating closely with the Ministry of Islamic Affairs to monitor and prosecute fraudulent charities. During its 2011 Ramadan audit, MoSAL reported no violations, and despite more stringent collection regulations, reported an increase in donations. MFA and MoSAL also worked closely with recipient governments, conducting foreign site visits and audits of selected foreign projects funded by Kuwaiti charities. MoSAL suspended registering additional family-based charities (mabara) as it prepared additional regulations for those entities.

For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, we refer you to the 2011 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: http://www.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/index.htm.

Regional and International Cooperation: As in previous years, the Kuwaiti Armed Forces, National Guard, and the Ministry of Interior conducted a number of exercises aimed at responding to terrorist attacks, including joint exercises with regional and international partners.

Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: Kuwaiti officials used the occasion of Usama bin Ladin's death as an opportunity to reiterate Kuwait's commitment to fighting terrorism. Prominent politicians said the event was a chance for Muslims to retake the message of Islam from terrorist organizations, who had distorted religious teachings, and instead promote moderation and tolerance. Responding to limited calls to eulogize the terrorist leader, the Ministry of Islamic Affairs instructed mosques that no such funerary events should be held.

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