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2633Kuwaitis Volunteer to Fight US

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    Jul 31, 2004
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      US security alert in Kuwait after arrests of alleged Iraq-bound fighters



      27 July 2004

      WASHINGTON - The United States has told US citizens in Kuwait to
      boost security precautions in the Gulf state following the arrests of
      11 people in connection with a purported campaign to recruit
      volunteers to fight US forces in Iraq, the State Department said Tuesday.

      The department, through the US embassy in Kuwait City, did not
      cite any specific threat to Americans in the country, but reminded
      them to be alert, vary routes and times of travel and avoid areas
      where Westerners gather.

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

      "American citizens should be alert to their surroundings, vary
      their times and routes when traveling, and avoid areas where
      Westerners congregate," the embassy said.

      The notice, a copy of which was provided to AFP in Washington by
      the State Department, was issued late Monday, a day after Kuwait
      announced it had detained 11 people for questioning in relation to the
      alleged campaign to enlist fighters for a jihad, or holy war, in Iraq.

      Authorities are trying to track down a small number of people who
      have been cited in the investigation as involved in the recruitment
      drive, Interior Minister Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmed al-Jaber al-Sabah told
      the KUNA state news agency.

      On Saturday, the interior ministry named two Kuwaitis it said were
      wanted on security-related charges, urging citizens and foreign
      residents to report any information that would lead to their arrest.

      The ministry did not give details of the charges against the pair,
      but that announcement came just two days after it said four Kuwaitis
      had been extradited by Syria after being arrested for illegally
      crossing or trying to cross into Iraq.

      The ministry said the four had confessed to the charges and
      informed on other people, including a number who were under 18, some
      of whom were detained and found in possession of weapons as well as
      "maps and plans for operations."

      Sheikh Nawaf said some of the suspects were teenagers who had
      apparently been "brainwashed" with extremist ideas.



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