|Kuwait mosque bombing|
|Part of 2015 Ramadan attacks|
|Location||al-Imam as-Sadiq Mosque |
Kuwait City, Kuwait
|Date||26 June 2015 |
|Target||Shia Muslim worshippers|
A suicide bombing took place on 26 June 2015 at a Shia mosque in Kuwait. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant claimed responsibility for the attack.Kuwait's Emir arrived at the location of the incident after a short period of time. Twenty-seven people were killed and 227 people were wounded. Twenty-nine suspects were taken to court and after approximately ten sessions, most of them public, 15 were found guilty, with 7 to receive capital punishment (5 in absentia). Those include Adel Eidan, who drove the bomber to the mosque and admitted his intention to bomb the mosque and claimed that he wanted the mosque itself to be bombed, but "not the people", and Mohammed and Majid az-Zahrani (in absentia), who delivered the explosives to the terrorists in Kuwait and were arrested by Saudi authorities.
Kuwait, officially the State of Kuwait, is a country in Western Asia. Situated in the northern edge of Eastern Arabia at the tip of the Persian Gulf, it shares borders with Iraq and Saudi Arabia. As of 2016, Kuwait has a population of 4.5 million people: 1.3 million are Kuwaitis and 3.2 million are expatriates. Expatriates account for 70% of the population.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, officially known as the Islamic State (IS) and also known by its Arabic language acronym Daesh, is a Salafi jihadist militant group and former unrecognised proto-state that follows a fundamentalist, Salafi doctrine of Sunni Islam. ISIL gained global prominence in early 2014 when it drove Iraqi government forces out of key cities in its Western Iraq offensive, followed by its capture of Mosul and the Sinjar massacre.
Three other Islamist attacks took place on the same day in France, Tunisia, and Somalia. The attacks followed an audio message released three days earlier by ISIS senior leader, Abu Mohammad al-Adnani, encouraging militants everywhere to attack the stated enemies of ISIS during the month of Ramadan. No definitive link between the attacks has yet been established. One attack, at a French factory, resulted in the beheading of one person; another, at a Tunisian beach resort, killed 38, most of them British tourists; and the other, an attack on an African Union base undertaken by Al-Shabaab, killed at least 70.
Taha Subhi Falaha, known as Abu Muhammad al-Adnani al-Shami, was the official spokesperson and a senior leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. He was described as the chief of its external operations. He was the second most senior leader of the Islamic State after its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Media reports in August 2016 suggested he was in charge of a special unit, known as the Emni, that was established by ISIL in 2014 with the double objective of internal policing and executing operations outside the ISIL territory.
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting (sawm), prayer, reflection and community. A commemoration of the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad, the annual observance of Ramadan is regarded as one of the Five Pillars of Islam and lasts twenty-nine to thirty days, from one visual sighting of the crescent moon to the next.
A terrorist attack took place on 26 June 2015 in Saint-Quentin-Fallavier, near Lyon, France, when a French Muslim of North African descent, Yassin Salhi, decapitated his employer Hervé Cornara and drove his van into gas cylinders at a gas factory in Saint-Quentin-Fallavier near Lyon, France, which caused an explosion that injured two other people. Salhi was arrested and charged with murder and attempted murder linked to terrorism. Three other people were questioned by the police but released without charge. Salhi committed suicide in jail in December.
The only prior bombing attacks in Kuwait took place in 1983 and 1985, which caused at least five fatalities - the perpetrators themselves.Sectarian tensions have been generally low in Kuwait. The Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq Mosque is one of the oldest mosques in Kuwait, located in the Sawabir district in Sharg area, which is a part of the Capital Governorate. The mosque is attended mainly by Shia Muslim worshippers.
Sawabir is in an old district in Sharq area in Capital Governorate in Kuwait. It is a large, mainly residential district of Kuwait City. Sharq's total population stood at about 16,000
Al Asimah, also called Al Kuwayt or Capital is one of the six governorates of Kuwait, and consists of the following districts:
This attack was a part of the strategic terrorism of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which considers Shia Islam to be heresy.In late May 2015, after the Qatif and Dammam mosque bombings, ISIL released a voice message calling on Muslims to clear the Arabian Peninsula of its Shia population.
The Qatif and Dammam mosque bombings occurred on 22 and 29 May 2015. On Friday May 22, a suicide bomber attacked the Shia "Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib Mosque" situated in Qudeih village of Qatif city in Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria claimed responsibility for the blast, which killed at least 21 people. The event is the second deadly attack against Shia in six months.
The Arabian peninsula, simplified Arabia, is a peninsula of Western Asia situated northeast of Africa on the Arabian plate. From a geographical perspective, it is considered a subcontinent of Asia.
A suicide bomber attacked the mosque during Friday prayers in Muslim holy month of Ramadan, factors that made the mosque more crowded than usual.At least eight people were immediately killed in the blast, which heavily damaged parts of the building. A witness said that the bomber entered the last row between the worshipers and detonated his device. Another witness, Parliament member Khalil al-Salih, who was in the mosque during the attack, said the same. He added "The explosion was really hard. The ceiling and wall got destroyed". He added that more than 2,000 people were praying there at that time.
Twenty-seven people were killed, consisting of 18 Kuwaitis, three Iranians,two Indians, one Saudi, one Pakistani and one Bedoon. Another 227 people were wounded in the attack, of whom 40 were still hospitalized on 28 June. Eight of the deceased victims were sent to Peace Valley cemetery, in the Shia holy city of Najaf, Iraq, by an official state plane.
Wadi-us-Salaam is an Islamic cemetery, located in the Shia holy city of Najaf, Iraq. It is the largest cemetery in the world. The cemetery covers 1,485.5 acres and contains tens of millions of bodies. It also attracts millions of pilgrims annually.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant identified the bomber as Abu Suleiman al-Muwahhid, and said in a statement posted on social media that he had targeted a "temple of the rejectionists" – a derogative term used towards Shias. By the following day, Kuwaiti authorities had arrested several people in connection with the attacks, including the driver of the car that took the bomber to the mosque,and the owner of the house he stayed in, which initial investigations showed that he is a supporter of "extremist and deviant ideology". The Ministry of Interior released a statement on its website two days after, identifying the perpetrator as Fahd Suleiman al-Qabba (born 1992 ), a Saudi citizen. The statement added that the terrorist arrived in the country on a commercial flight on the day of the attack. In his Instagram account, the arrested owner of the car, posted pictures of him giving lessons to kids in a mosque in the Sulaibiya area. His account was suspended in accordance with Instagram terms.
According to local newspapers, the perpetrators were told 20 days before to commit an operation that will "Shake Kuwait up", and let them choose the time and location. After picking the location, they contacted ISIL leaders about their plans via WhatsApp and e-mail, and checked the mosque for a two-week period. The source says that the explosives arrived at terrorist's house by partners from Saudi Arabia. Accordingly, the driver stopped at the parking lot of the mosque, along with suicide bomber at 11:00 am. Both of them waited until the mosque got crowded with worshipers. The suspected suicide bomber then went out holding a device, and when he opened his hand the bomb exploded. CCTV clip indicates that the suicide bomber walked into the mosque with his left hand crossed at his stomach. After the crime, the perpetrators were planning to escape Kuwait, but the rapid response of the Ministry of the Interior left them with no time to do so.The day of the attacks has been dubbed "Bloody Friday" by international media.
Two weeks later, Saudi authorities said that they had arrested three brothers suspected to be involved in the attack.On 14 July, the public prosecutor charged twenty-nine people involved in the attack - including the two Saudi brothers - and one still at large. The public prosecutor demanded the death penalty for eleven suspects.
|Wikinews has related news: Kuwaiti court sentences seven to death for June mosque bombing|
Most sessions were public. Eleven suspects were released after the 6 August session, and the trial was deferred to the 10 August to assign new lawyers to those suspects without legal representatives. After the trial, the lawyer of the 9th and 11th suspects stepped down from defending the ninth suspect, as his testimony contradicted that of the eleventh. The lawyer of the 26th suspect also stepped down for "private reasons". The first suspect's lawyer also stepped down claiming the same reason. The first suspect's, Adel Eidan, the man who drove the bomber to the mosque and brought the explosives from the Saudi brothers near the Kuwaiti-Saudi border and gave shelter to the bomber after he arrived from Saudi Arabia, made the claim that he wanted to bomb the mosque without killing anyone.On the 15 August session, a lawyer was fined 100 KWD (~$330) for not showing up without an excuse, and another attorney was assigned for his clients. On the same session, one of the suspect's claim that he was tortured was refuted by the Forensic Medicine doctors. All session were public except the fourth session, and the suspects were able to see and contact their lawyers. Some females suspects were charged with hiding and destroying important evidence. For example, the twentieth suspect destroyed Fahd al-Qabba's (the bomber's) mobile phone. On 14 September 2015, the court ruled that 15 out of the 29 suspects had been found guilty, with seven receiving death sentences (five in absentia).
The Appeals court reduced the sentence of ISIS leader in Kuwait Fahad Muharib to 15 years in prison, and upheld Eidan's sentence. With this, Eidan is the only defendant in Kuwait to receive the death penalty. The cases of the five other defendants sentenced in absentia were not brought before the higher courts as their charges can only be challenged when they appear.
The Cassation Court upheld all of the Appeals Court's sentences.
The Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Sabah was on the scene minutes after the attack,as was the speaker of the Kuwaiti parliament, who called for an urgent meeting. The cabinet convened an emergency session later in the afternoon.
Several pictures were posted in social media and local newspapers showing men smeared with blood outside the mosque, a row of victims wrapped in white body bags, and the damage the mosque received.Calls for blood donations have been made. After receiving sufficient blood, the rest of the donors were told to come back after iftar – the meal eaten after sunset that marks the end of fasting. According to a Blood Bank supervisor, the bank received 1300 donors by the end of first day. The wounded were sent to more than five hospitals across the country.
Several private hospitals announced that they will treat any victim of the incident for free.Stuttgart Hospital in Germany announced that they will treat the victims for free. Some of the injured were sent there. The German Vivantes medical group sent medical staff to Kuwait.
The condolence acceptance was held in Grand Mosque, the country's largest Sunni mosque on Saturday, 27 June. The Emir, Crown Prince, Prime Minister, former Prime Minister, other ministers, MPs, and high-ranked officials all attended.According to the Arab Times, thousands paid their respects.
At least 35,000 Kuwaitis, expatriates and mourners from the GCC countries attended the burial at Ja'fari Cemetery in Sulaibikhat. °C. Parliament Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim said at the funeral: "The unity of the people of our country is incredible [...] If you look around you will see Sunnis and Shias, Kuwaitis and non-Kuwaitis, all present to give their condolences to the families of the victims."Paramedics were on site and helped those who fainted due to the hot temperature which reached 45
The Mosque was renovated and reopened about one year later in June 2016. The Emir of Kuwait, along with Sheikh Nasir al-Sabah, the former Prime Minister of Kuwait, and other members of the royal family visited the mosque and led a voluntary prayer there. Sheikh Nawwaf al-Sabah, the Crown Prince of Kuwait, was quoted praising national unity, adding "Kuwait's leaders, government and people are a single family that are united through both good and trying times." The Minister of Justice and Minister of Islamic Affairs Yaqoub al-Sane' was also present.
Relatives of the victims applauded the visit, saying it was a reflection of the national unity the terrorists were trying to undermine.
The Speaker of the Parliament at the time, Marzouq al-Ghanim, recalled the Emir's comment that "those are my children" after his security guards warned him about the dangers of going out in the open immediately after a terrorist attack.
On the second anniversary of the attack, an exhibition was opened to document the attack.
Three years after the incident, a surveillance footage showing the perpetrator walking inside the mosque and detonating himself, along with the immediate effects of the explosion was released. The video also showed the response, or lack of response, by the police.
After attacks targeting Shia in other parts of the region, such as the Qatif and Dammam mosque bombings, which took place one month before the incident, and threats against Shia mosques and prominent Kuwaiti Shia scholar, such as S. Muhammad Baqir Al-Muhri, the most prominent Shia scholar at the time, the government promised to take serious measures to protect worshippers. In the aftermath of the incident, a lawsuit accusing the government of negligence was filed. While the appeals court ordered the government guilty and ordered it to reimburse the victims, the Supreme Court found the government not guilty, stating the government have taken sufficient measures and citing "compelling circumstances."
Emir of Kuwait Sabah Al-Sabah,
All segments of Kuwaiti society released statements condemning the attack. Kuwait's Emir came to the location of the incident after a short period of time.He was warned that it was dangerous for him to get out, to which he replied "Those are my children". The Mosque's administration released a statement one day after the attack, condemning it and showing appreciation to the Emir for coming, and offering their condolences to the Emir, the Crown Prince, and the families of the martyrs. The Prime Minister, Sheikh Jaber al-Mubarak al-Sabah, visited the wounded and condemned the attack, saying, "This incident targets our internal front, our national unity. But this is too difficult for them and we are much stronger than that." The country's Minister of Justice and Islamic Affairs, Yaqoub Al-Sanea, called the attack "a terrorist and criminal act that threatens our security and targets our national unity". The Emir ordered re-construction of the mosque, although a few days before a Sunni business owner said his company is ready to do it for free.
Terrorism in Saudi Arabia has formerly been attributed to Islamic extremists. Their targets included foreign civilians— Westerners affiliated with its oil-based economy—as well as Saudi Arabian civilians and security forces. Anti-Western attacks have occurred in Saudi Arabia dating back to 1995. Saudi Arabia itself has been accused of funding terrorism in other countries, including Syria.
The Dolphinarium discotheque massacre was a Hamas terror attack on 1 June 2001 in which a Hamas-affiliated Islamist terrorist blew himself up outside a nightclub on the beachfront in Tel Aviv, Israel, killing 21 Israelis, 16 of them teenagers. The majority of the victims were Israeli teenage girls, whose families had recently immigrated from the former Soviet Union.
The 2010 Zahedan bombings were two suicide bombings on 15 July 2010 that targeted Shia worshippers in Iran, including members of the Revolutionary Guards. The bombings targeted those celebrating the birthday of a Muslim saint at the Jamia mosque in Zahedan, Sistan-Baluchestan. Responsibility for the attacks was claimed by Jundullah in revenge for the execution of their leader by the Iranian government. Amongst the reactions and national and supranational condemnations, Iran blamed the USA and Israel for facilitating the attack.
On December 31, 2014, a suicide bomber blew himself up at the cultural center in Ibb, Yemen, killing as many as 49 people and injuring up to 70 others. This was the deadliest attack in the country during 2014, as well as the second major bombing in less than a month, after the 2014 Rada' bombings.
The following lists events that happened during 2015 in the State of Kuwait.
On 26 June 2015, attacks occurred in France, Kuwait, Syria, Somalia, and Tunisia, one day following a deadly massacre in Syria. The day of attacks has been dubbed "Bloody Friday" by international media and "Black Friday" among Francophone media in Europe and North Africa.
The Fahd Al-Ahmed Charity was a Kuwaiti charitable organization that was permanently shut down by the Kuwaiti government following the June 26, 2015 terrorist attack on the Imam Sadiq Mosque.
On 12 November 2015, two suicide bombers detonated explosives in Bourj el-Barajneh, a southern suburb of Beirut, Lebanon, that is inhabited mostly by Shia Muslims. Reports of the number of fatalities concluded that around 89 people were killed, 43 directly died from the detonation, then many followed during treatment or from injury. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) claimed responsibility for the attacks.
On 12 January 2016, a suicide attack in Istanbul's historic Sultanahmet district killed 13 people, all foreigners, and injured 14 others. The attack occurred at 10:20 local time, near the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia, an area popular among tourists. The attacker was Nabil Fadli, a Syrian member of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
On 4 July 2016, four suicide bombs exploded in three locations in Saudi Arabia. One of them exploded in the parking lot of the Al-Masjid an-Nabawi, killing at least four people. The second and third suicide bombers targeted a Shia mosque in Qatif, but they failed to harm anyone but themselves. A fourth militant blew himself up after police tried to arrest him near the U.S. consulate in Jeddah. Two Saudi Arabian police officers were injured.
On July 7, 2016, at least 56 people were killed and 75 injured after a group of attackers stormed the Mausoleum of Sayid Mohammed bin Ali al-Hadi, a Shia holy site in Balad, Iraq. The attackers included suicide car bombers, suicide bombers on foot, and several gunmen. They attacked Shia pilgrims celebrating Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. There were three suicide bombers, and one of them was killed by security personnel. There were other attackers too. ISIL also launched several mortars into the area.
The November 2016 Kabul suicide bombing occurred on 21 November 2016. At least 32 people have been killed and above 80 were injured in a suicide bombing at a Kabul Shia mosque "Baqir-ul-Olum". People including women and children were commemorating Arba'een rituals. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant – Khorasan Province claimed responsibility for the attack. It was just one in a string of major attacks in Kabul during 2016, and the third to be claimed by ISIL.
On 11 December 2016, a suicide bomber killed 29 people and injured 47 others at St. Peter and St. Paul's Church, a chapel next to Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral, seat of the Coptic Orthodox Pope, in Cairo's Abbasia district. Egypt's President, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, on Monday identified the bomber as 22-year-old Mahmoud Shafiq Mohammed Mustafa, who had worn a suicide vest. el-Sisi reported that three men and a woman have been arrested in connection with the attack; two others are being sought. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack. This was the first time the church was ever bombed.
On 18 December 2016, a series of shootings took place in the city of Al-Karak in southern Jordan. The attack started in the vicinity of Al-Karak where a group of unidentified militants ambushed emergency responders and then moved into the city, attacking police patrols and the local police station and finally seeking shelter in the historic Crusader-era Kerak Castle, a popular tourist attraction.
On 21 January 2017, a bomb was detonated at a vegetable market in Parachinar, in the Kurram Valley of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. At least 25 people were killed and 87 injured by the explosion. Parachinar is the administrative headquarters of the Kurram Agency near the Afghan border. The same area has previously seen several blasts in 2008, February 2012, September 2012, 2013 and in December 2015.
On Palm Sunday, 9 April 2017, twin suicide bombings took place at St. George's Church in the northern Egyptian city of Tanta on the Nile delta, and Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral, the principal church in Alexandria, seat of the Coptic papacy. At least 45 people were reported killed and 126 injured. Amaq News Agency said the attacks were carried out by a security detachment of the ISIS.
On 21 April 2019, Easter Sunday, three churches in Sri Lanka and three luxury hotels in the commercial capital Colombo were targeted in a series of coordinated terrorist suicide bombings. Later that day, there were smaller explosions at a housing complex in Dematagoda and a guest house in Dehiwala. 258 people were killed, including at least 45 foreign nationals and three police officers, and at least 500 were injured. The church bombings were carried out during Easter services in Negombo, Batticaloa and Colombo; the hotels that were bombed were the Shangri-La, Cinnamon Grand, Kingsbury and Tropical Inn.