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Heavy security presence at major Mosques in Kuwait
July 4, 2015, 10:21 am

Heavy security presence was witnessed at all major Mosques throughout Kuwait on Friday, 3 July as a precautionary measure to prevent suicide bombing attacks similar to the terrorist attack on Imam Al-Sadiq (Shiite) Mosque last Friday in Sawaber area, which resulted in the death of 27 worshipers and injuries to 200 others. At Abdulaziz Al-Othman (Sunni) Mosque in Khaldiya, worshippers were allowed to enter the mosque only through one gate on Friday.

Police officers were present at that gate to check everyone who entered the mosque. As part of the checking process, the police asked the worshipper to raise his shirt and show that he was not wearing an explosive belt.

Securitymen also used detectors to look for any item that could pose as a security threat. Similar security measures were taken in all big mosques throughout the country including in Khaitan, Farwaniya and Hawally. Women were not allowed to enter the mosques this Friday and the rooms allocated for female worshippers in the mosques were closed, as part of the precautionary measures to prevent any security threat in the mosques.

This step was taken in consideration of the fact that some suicide bombers disguise themselves as women by wearing ‘abayas’ to carry out the attacks, which was how one of the suicide bombers attacked a Shiite mosque in Saudi Arabia last month. Following the terrorist attack in the country last week, Kuwaiti government vowed to step up its security measures for avoiding the recurrence of such incidents. Kuwait’s security authorities had identified the suicide bomber of the 26/6 terrorist attack on Imam Al-Sadiq Mosque as a Saudi national named Fahad Suleiman Abdulmohsen al-Qaba’a.

The Islamic State (IS) group’s Saudi affiliate — the socalled Najd Province — claimed responsibility for the bombing and identified the assailant as Abu Suleiman Al-Muwahed. Ministry of Interior made a series of arrests in connection with the bomb blast last Friday. Ministry of Justice and the Supreme Judicial Council have set up a fast-track court to handle the suicide bombing case. Reacting to the terrorist attack, Kuwait’s Parliament passed a law last Wednesday, mandating all citizens and foreign residents of the country to undergo DNA testing. The law, which was requested by the government to help security agencies make quicker arrests in criminal cases, necessitates Ministry of Interior to establish a database with details of all citizens and foreign residents in Kuwait.

In a show of solidarity, the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs said Sunnis and Shiites this Friday prayed together at the Grand Mosque to prove to their brethren around the world and the GCC countries in particular that in Kuwait “We live in unity.” Undeterred young children as young as 4 or 5-years-old hand in hand with their fathers headed to the mosques for the Friday prayer wearing the Muslim Taqiyah (knitted skull cap). Braving the almost 48+Celsius temperatures, police threw a cordon around the mosques and the entry was limited to just one door.

Nonetheless some of the worshippers who spoke to the Arab Times said they are undeterred by such incidents and stressed on unity. “The unbelievers — referring to the extremists — cannot put fear in us,” said one worshipper who identified himself as Kh.O. Kh.O., who is a Kuwaiti and a Sunni, added, there is no difference among Muslims. As a matter of fact even among people of other religions because “everyone worships one God, the goal is one — tolerance, peace, love for humanity.” Kh.O, who is in his late 60s, went on to say never before Kuwait has witnessed hatred among its sons.

“This hatred is sowed by people who envy Kuwait for its security, prosperity and love for humanity under the wise leadership,” he added. He pointed to two distinct scenarios last Friday following the bombing of Imam Al-Sadiq Mosque. One policeman who was posted outside the mosque to ensure security of worshippers running for his life with his car, and two, H.H. the Amir, arriving at the scene of the blast in less than 45 minutes putting his life in line of danger. When the concerned authorities told the Amir that his life may be in danger, he said, ‘These are my children’.

This statement has made waves around the world, the statement of a leader who has lived by example and rallied the citizens around him on several occasions. Some journalists quoted the BBC network correspondent in Kuwait as saying: "‘I have been working as a journalist for 25 years and this is the first time I have seen the head of a state arriving at the scene of the blast in less than 45 minutes after being informed of the incident without any preparation or prior arrangement. Unlike other leaders who would rush to the TV stations to urge calm and call on the people to stay put in their homes, H.H. the Amir preferred to be among his children to share their pain — a true Humanitarian Leader."

Source: Arab Times

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