Three brothers from Saudi Arabia have been arrested in connection with the suicide bombing of a Shiite mosque in Kuwait that has reverberated across the Gulf.
One of the men was arrested in Kuwait, where Saudi suicide bomber Fahad al-Gabbaa killed 26 worshipers and wounded more than 200 in the June 26 mosque attack. Saudi authorities apprehended the second in Taif and the third in Khafji, after he exchanged gunfire with security forces, wounding two, the Saudi Press Agency reported, citing an unidentified interior ministry official. A fourth brother is fighting for the militant Islamic State group in Syria, SPA said.
Kuwait’s worst bombing in decades raised concern that sectarian attacks could spread elsewhere in the oil-rich Gulf Cooperation Council, as conflicts in Iraq and Syria inflame the divide between Sunni and Shiite Muslims. Islamic State supporters killed more than 20 people in two suicide bombings in May at Shiite mosques in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern region. The same type of explosives were used in the attack in Kuwait, Kuwait state news agency Kuna reported.
Gulf Arab countries have tightened security since the attacks, with Bahraini and Saudi authorities promising to install security cameras at places of worship and Kuwaiti officials discussing new security laws.
Kuwait initially arrested three people in connection with the June 26 attack, including the driver who took al-Gabbaa to the mosque and the Kuwaiti owner of the home where the driver fled. It later referred more than 40 suspects to public prosecution in connection with the attack, the AFP reported, citing an unidentified Kuwaiti official.
The two brothers arrested in Saudi were identified by Kuna as Majid and Mohammed al-Zahrani. They had delivered the explosives to Kuwait the day before the assault, driving across the border and handing them over in an ice box, it said. The brother arrested in Kuwait wasn’t identified.