Kuwait blames Iraq, Al Qaida after 6th attack on Americans

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

ABU DHABI Kuwait said "extremist thought" were to blame after a U.S. military contractor was killed and another was injured near Kuwait City. Officials said the attacks were apparently sponsored by Iraq or Al Qaida.

It was the sixth attack on U.S. nationals in Kuwait since October. Three of the six attacks involved gunfire.

Officials said at least one gunman sprayed semi-automatic fire toward a four-wheel drive vehicle that had been waiting at a stoplight near Camp Doha, which houses about 17,000 U.S. troops in Kuwait. One American in the car was killed and the other was seriously injured, Middle East Newsline reported.

"These are isolated incidents caused by extremist thought which takes advantage of the youth," Kuwaiti Information Minister Ahmad Al Fahd Al Sabah said. "We believe these incidents are not outside the realm of the Iraqi regime or to the ideology of the Al Qaida network."

The dead American was identified as Michael Rene Pouliot, 46. David Caraway, 47, was taken to a local hospital and described as being in stable condition.

The two men were identified as civilian contractors for the U.S. military in Kuwait. The U.S. embassy in Kuwait said both were employees of the San Diego-based Tapestry Solutions, a software development company. The company provides simulation training tools to the military.

The United States called on Kuwait to investigate the attack. A U.S. embassy statement expressed confidence that the Kuwaiti probe would be vigorous and professional.

Kuwaiti Interior Ministry official Brig. Gen Mahmoud Al Dusayri, told the official Kuwait news agency Kuna that the attacker used an AK-47 Kalashnikov assault rifle. It was the sixth attack on U.S. personnel in Kuwait and the second casualty in about three months.

Last week, Kuwaiti authorities warned U.S. military personnel to maintain a low profile in the sheikdom. They warned that Kuwaiti and other Arab nationals were planning to stage provocations. =

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