Kuwait has confirmed that its security forces were able to capture 12 wanted persons belonging to the so-called Abdali cell.
Kuwaiti Interior Ministry announced last month that it had implemented the judgment of the Court of Cassation issued in case No. 302/2016 on the so-called Abdali cell, calling for the arrest of the suspects. Al Arabiya English reported on Saturday, 12 August 2017
They released photos of 16 men who belonged to the extremist cell and urged citizens and residents to cooperate with security forces by providing any information about the convicts through calling 112 or reaching the nearest police station.
The Abdali cell includes a number of Kuwaitis and an Iranian who were wanted over spying for Iran and the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah.
It is noteworthy that on July 20, 2017 Kuwait’s official KUNA new agency reported that Kuwait City decided to freeze any activities involving joint committees between the two countries following the ruling by Kuwait’s top court in a case known as the “Abdali cell.”
Media reports earlier in the day also said Kuwait had shut down the office of Iran’s cultural attaché and reduced the number of Iranian diplomats in the country.
According to Kuwaiti diplomatic sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, the number of Iranian diplomats in Kuwait was decreased from 14 to nine, Turkey’s Anadolu news agency reported.
The Iranian diplomats were granted 45 days to leave Kuwait, according to the report.
Reuters also quoted a Kuwaiti government official as saying that Kuwait City had taken “actions” regarding its diplomatic relationship with Iran following the court ruling.
“The government of the state of Kuwait decided to take actions in accordance with diplomatic norms and in abidance with the Vienna conventions with regards to its relationship with the Islamic Republic of Iran,” following the court ruling, acting Information Minister Sheikh Mohammad al-Mubarak al-Sabah said.
In August 2015, Kuwait said it had busted the 26-member cell and seized arms, ammunition and explosives from them.
Kuwaiti courts convicted members of the so-called “Abdali cell” of working for the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) and Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement. The defendants were also charged with possessing weapons, smuggling explosives, and planning “hostile actions” inside Kuwait.
They received sentences ranging from a few years in prison to, in one case, the death penalty, though the latter sentence was later reduced to life imprisonment.
The defendants were later acquitted on appeals and set free. Kuwait’s Supreme Court, however, overturned their acquittal and sentenced them to between five and 15 years in prison.