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Kuwait Identifies Suicide Bomber in Mosque Attack

BEIRUT, Lebanon — Kuwait has identified the bomber who carried out a deadly suicide attack in a Shiite mosque as a citizen of Saudi Arabia who arrived in the small Persian Gulf nation just hours before blowing himself up, the Kuwaiti Interior Ministry said on Sunday.

Kuwaiti authorities also arrested a local man who had driven the car that dropped the bomber off and the Kuwaiti owner of the house where the driver was hiding, the Interior Ministry said, adding that the house’s owner followed a “deviant ideology.”

The bombing on Friday occurred during the largest communal prayers of the week, killing 27 people and wounding more than 200 others. It came within a few hours of separate terrorist attacks at a beach resort in Tunisia and at an American-owned chemical plant in France.

The Islamic State extremist group, which controls territory in Iraq and Syria and has called on its sympathizers around the world to engage in assaults, claimed responsibility for the Kuwait and Tunisia attacks, although it remains unclear whether they were coordinated.

The Kuwait attack resembled recent bombings of Shiite mosques in Saudi Arabia that have also been claimed by the so-called Najd Province of the Islamic State in statements posted online. Analysts say the attacks seek to heighten sectarian discord between Sunnis and Shiites in Gulf nations.

The Islamic State’s hard-line Sunni ideology considers Shiites, who make up about one-third of Kuwait’s citizens, heretics.

Kuwait’s Interior Ministry named the bomber as Fahd Suleiman Abdul-Mohsen al-Qabaa and said he had entered the country through the international airport in Kuwait City on Friday morning.

Kuwaiti authorities also arrested the driver who had dropped him off at the mosque, identifying him as a member of the country’s Bedoon population, descendants of nomads who live in Kuwait but are not citizens, as well as the Kuwaiti citizen who was sheltering him.

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(via NY Times)