Kuwait jails Filipino maid for plotting ISIS attacks

KUWAIT CITY • A Kuwaiti court has sentenced a Filipino woman to 10 years in jail after convicting her of joining the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and plotting attacks.

Yesterday's ruling, which is not final, also calls for deporting the 32-year-old after her jail term.

The woman was arrested in August, two months after arriving in the oil-rich Gulf state to work as a domestic helper.

At the time, the Interior Ministry said she had confessed to being a member of ISIS and was plotting terrorist attacks in the emirate.

The woman told interrogators that her husband was an active fighter with ISIS in Libya and that he had asked her to go to Kuwait from the Philippines as a domestic helper, according to the ministry.

An ISIS-affiliated group in the Philippines has conducted a string of bombings as well as kidnappings for ransom of foreign tourists and Christian missionaries in the country.

Kuwaiti courts have sentenced a number of members, sympathisers and financiers of ISIS to various jail terms.

In October, Kuwaiti police arrested an Egyptian driver suspected of being a member of ISIS, after he rammed a garbage truck into a pickup carrying five Americans.

The authorities said in July that they had dismantled three ISIS cells plotting attacks, including a suicide bombing against a Shi'ite mosque and against an Interior Ministry target.

An ISIS-linked suicide bomber killed 26 worshippers in June last year when he blew himself up in a mosque belonging to Kuwait's Shi'ite minority, in the worst such attack in the Gulf state's history.

Meanwhile, the Turkish army yesterday accused ISIS militants of killing at least 30 civilians seeking to flee the Syrian town of Al-Bab which Ankara and its rebel allies have been seeking to capture for weeks.

The army said that the civilians were killed with mines and homemade bombs as they tried to make their way out of Al-Bab, the state- run Anadolu news agency reported, without giving further details.

Turkish forces and allied Syrian rebels have been seeking to take Al-Bab as a key part of an unprecedented four-month campaign that began in late August.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 27, 2016, with the headline 'Kuwait jails Filipino maid for plotting ISIS attacks'. Print Edition | Subscribe