U.S. warns forces, civilians in Kuwait to be on guard

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

ABU DHABI The United States has warned American in Kuwait that they may be targets for an attack.

The U.S. embassy has urged Americans to be on the alert for an Al Qaida-inspired attack in the sheikdom. The embassy said the attack could take place either on U.S. soldiers or American civilians. More than 25,000 U.S. soldiers are deployed in Kuwait.

The embassy pointed to the arrest of more than 20 Al Qaida-aligned insurgents in Kuwait over the last few weeks. The insurgents were accused of recruiting and training youngsters to attack U.S. troops in both Iraq and Kuwait. The insurgency network was also said to have possessed weapons, ammunition and explosives.

Last week, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage urged Kuwait to increase security against Al Qaida threats, Middle East Newsline reported.

"With the detention of several individuals in Kuwait for suspected activities against the U.S. military in Kuwait and Iraq," the U.S. embassy said, "the embassy would like to remind all U.S. citizens to be aware of their security posture at all times."

Kuwait has identified three fugitives said to have played a major role in the Al Qaida cell. Kuwait has also coordinated with neighboring Saudi Arabia, where some of the insurgents were said to have originated.

About 14,000 American civilians and between 25,000 and 29,000 soldiers were said to be stationed in Kuwait.

Copyright 2004 East West Services, Inc.

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