Teen found with explosives near U.S. military housing

Friday, October 18, 2002

KUWAIT -- Kuwaiti authorities arrested a teenager Thursday who had explosives in his car near a shopping center and residential high-rise where some U.S. military personnel live just outside Kuwait City, Kuwaiti government officials said.

A 17-year-old male was arrested near the Alia and Ghalia towers in Fintas, about 15 miles south of Kuwait City, an Interior Ministry official said on condition of anonymity. Several U.S. military personnel live in the building.

The youth had 10 bottles filled with gasoline, each with a cloth fuse, in his car, and told police he had received orders from Pakistan over the Internet to place the explosives in the towers.

However, the youth apparently reported the suspicious vehicle himself, waited in the area and, when approached by police, admitted to driving the car containing the explosives, the official said.

The teen was arrested, he said. The car belonged to the teen's father, according to the Kuwait News Agency.

A police car was patrolling the building afterward, but the incident did not appear to cause any disruption at the towers.

Residents outside shortly afterward said they were unaware of any trouble, and people were sipping soft drinks and appeared relaxed at a center connecting the two towers that has a bakery, Internet cafe and flower shop.

A U.S. Embassy official said the Americans had no information on the incident, which came 10 days after two Kuwaitis opened fire on U.S. Marines participating in war games on an island off the Kuwaiti coast. One Marine was killed and another wounded. On Monday, U.S. army soldiers came under fire in northern Kuwait.

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