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KUWAIT CITY, Dec 26, (Agencies): A Kuwaiti court on Monday sentenced a Filipino woman to 10 years in jail after convicting her of joining the Islamic State jihadist group and plotting attacks. The ruling, which is not final, also calls for deporting the 32- year old after serving her term.

The woman was arrested in August, two months after arriving in the oil-rich Gulf state to work as a domestic helper. At the time, the interior ministry said she had confessed to being a member of the Islamic State group and was plotting terrorist attacks in the emirate.

The woman told interrogators that her husband was an active fighter with IS in Libya and he had asked her to come to Kuwait from the Philippines as a domestic helper, according to the ministry. An IS-affiliated group in the Philippines has conducted a string of bombings as well as kidnappings for ransom of foreign tourists and Christian missionaries in the country.

Recently, the Preventive Security Service (PSS) said it was monitoring at least 50 people, mostly Kuwaitis, who have close ideological link with DAESH, reported Al- Anba daily quoting a high-level security source.

The source revealed some of these people are clerics who preach in mosques but their association with the terrorist organization is purely intellectual, adding that their movements are monitored round the clock.

The source said the recentlyseized cells led to the discovery of some more of these cells although several of them were known to the Internal State Security Unit at PSS. The source added it is not a secret that people are called up every now and then, in an explicit message from the security services that they are under surveillance and their communications and even their movements are known.

In response to a question why they are not arrested and prosecuted, the source said the Constitution and the law necessitate physical proofs which are not available because the issue is related to thought, tendencies and sympathy. He stressed these persons are closely monitored, especially their remittances, pointing out that the extension of detention comes as one of the steps to prosecute those with extremist ideology.

The source went on to say that the Interior Ministry, in coordination with the Central Bank and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor, played a significant role in reducing the flow of Kuwaiti funds to terrorist organizations. He warned that any contact with any terrorist or suspicious organization shall be met with decisive response, indicating there is no room for leniency at the expense of the security of the country and its people The source affirmed the PSS and Criminal Investigations Department have the right to use all their powers to protect the country and its citizens, even the use of firearms if necessary.

Kuwaiti courts have sentenced to various jail terms a number of members, sympathisers and financiers of the IS group. In October, Kuwait police arrested an Egyptian driver suspected of being a member of the IS, after he rammed a garbage truck into a pick-up carrying five Americans.

Authorities in July said they had dismantled three IS cells plotting attacks, including a suicide bombing against a Shiite mosque and against an interior ministry target. An IS-linked suicide bomber killed 26 worshippers in June last year when he blew himself up in a mosque of Kuwait’s Shiite minority, in the worst such attack in the Gulf state’s history. The Egyptian, allegedly affiliated to the DAESH terrorist organization and identified as Ibrahim Suleiman told the Criminal Court he attempted to kill five Americans on the Seventh Ring Road by deliberately crashing into their vehicle, reports Al-Rai daily. The suspect told the court the men are infidel and deserved to die. He also admitted to belonging to the DAESH organization. The court has set Jan 22, 2017, for the next hearing.

Also: RIYADH: More than 2,000 Saudis are fighting abroad with jihadist groups, with over 70 percent of them in Syria, the kingdom’s interior ministry was reported as saying Monday. “The number of Saudis proven to be in conflict areas is 2,093,” interior ministry spokesman General Mansour al-Turki told daily newspaper Al-Hayat. He said that 1,540 of them were in Syria, where jihadists have flocked since the Islamic State group seized control of vast areas in mid-2014. Another 147 were in Yemen, which is the base of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, considered by Washington as the most dangerous affiliate of the global terror network. Another 31 were believed to be in Afghanistan or Pakistan, Turki said. Only five were believed to be in neighbouring Iraq, where IS also seized significant territory in 2014. Turki said 73 Saudis had also been detained abroad “on charges related to acts of terrorism.”

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