Kuwait arrests suspected Islamist after truck attack on Americans

October 8, 2016 3:22 PM EDT

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KUWAIT (Reuters) - Kuwaiti security forces have detained a suspected Islamist militant who rammed a truck believed to be carrying explosives into a car carrying five Americans, state news agency KUNA reported on Saturday.

The agency quoted an interior ministry statement as saying the Americans were unhurt, but the assailant, identified as Egyptian national Ibrahim Suleiman, was injured and was taken to a hospital under security escort.

"After an initial investigation of the suspect Suleiman, who was born in 1988, by specialized security apparatus, a hand-written note was found indicating that he had adopted the terrorist Daesh ideology and pledged allegiance to this organization," KUNA said, referring to Islamic State.

The agency published a photo of a bearded man. It said a belt and materials believed to be explosives were also found in the vehicle, "suggesting he was plotting a terrorist act".

It was the second time in three months that Western-allied Kuwait had announced it had captured suspected militants.

In July, the OPEC oil exporter and home to U.S. military bases said it had foiled three planned Islamic State attacks on the country, including a plot to blow up a Shi'ite mosque.

Kuwait suffered its deadliest militant attack in decades in June last year when a Saudi suicide bomber blew himself up inside a packed Shi'ite mosque, killing 27 people. Islamic State claimed responsibility.

A U.S. ally and neighbor of Saudi Arabia and Iraq, Kuwait is part of a 34-nation alliance announced by Riyadh in December aimed at countering Islamic State and al Qaeda in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Egypt and Afghanistan.

(Reporting by Sami Aboudi; editing by Andrew Roche)



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