Secret Islamic cell vows new attacks on Americans in Kuwait

Friday, January 31, 2003

ABU DHABI An Islamic insurgency group that claimed responsibility for the ambush of U.S. defense contractors in Kuwait has threatened to strike again.

A communique by the so-far unknown group said it will employ all available weapons against U.S. targets in Kuwait. The claim by the Daawa and Jihad group was obtained in an exchange on the Internet conducted by the London-based A-Sharq Al Awsat daily.

The communique, which identified the head of the insurgency cell as Abu Osama Al Kuwaiti, said the group has decided to launch an attack similar to the one last week that killed a defense contractor and seriously injured another outside Camp Doha near Kuwaiti City.

[Kuwait plans to introduce new security measures over the weekend to protect U.S. civilians and soldiers, Middle East Newsline reported. The measures include police roadblocks as well as spot searches of pedestrians on the streets of Kuwaiti cities.]

"We have launched an initiative to assemble brother holy warriors and unit them into an effort under the name of the Daawa and Jihad Group," Al Kuwaiti said in the Internet exchange. "We consider Sheik Osama Bin Laden as our leader and we are careful to work under all the directives issued by the sheik to the youths of the Islamic nation. But obviously, there are no direct contacts with the sheik because of obvious circumstances."

The Daawa group disputed the assertion of Kuwaiti officials that they had captured the chief suspect, Sami Al Mutairi, in the Camp Doha ambush.

The Jan. 21 attack, the group said, was carried out by another insurgent, identified as Abu Khadifa Al Kuwaiti. The group stressed that all names cited were not actual identities.

The group denied any links to Iraq. But the statement stressed that it aims to target U.S. interests in the Gulf amid any war against Iraq.

"The Daawa and Jihad Group is fighting to expel the allies from the Arab Peninsula and free Kuwait from colonialism," the group said. "It will fight until it frees the prisoners in Guantanamo [in Cuba] and the victory of our brothers in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine."

On Thursday, Kuwaiti newspapers reported that a U.S. aircraft technician was killed and his colleague was injured in a car accident. They said the vehicle of the Americans flipped over while they were driving to Kuwait's Ahmed Al Jaber air force base.

Kuwaiti Defense Minister Jaber Mubarak Al Sabah dismissed the warnings by the Daawa group. Jaber questioned whether such an organization really exists or is a cover for a much larger group linked to Iraq.

"I don't have information on this group and I don't think this is real," Jaber said.

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