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Kuwait blood testing to tackle terror threat

Kuwait's parliament got behind the motion on DNA testing [AFP]

Date of publication: 2 July, 2015

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Kuwait says it will store the emirate's 4 million population's DNA in a database to tackle security threats.

Kuwait's parliament has passed a law that will make the DNA testing of the country's 4 million population mandatory.

The DNA testing legislation will help the government set up a database for the 1.3 million subjects and 2.9 million residents allowing security to make quicker arrests of terror suspects.

Blood bank

Kuwait fears that it could be a target for further attacks by Islamic State group militants.

"We have approved the DNA testing law and approved the additional funding. We are prepared to approve anything needed to boost security measures in the country," independent MP Jamal al-Omar said.

On 26 June, a suicide bomber linked to the extremist group detonated a bomb belt in a packed Shia mosque in the emirate, killing 36 worshippers.

IS had targetted Saudi Arabia's Shia population in two similar attacks earlier. 

In response, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain both said they would install CCTV cameras outside all mosques as part of a security clampdown.

Security threat

Shia-majority Bahrain also said that the interior ministry was recruiting "security volunteers" to protect mosques in the country, an official news agency reported.

Kuwaiti authorities said that those who refuse to take the DNA test will face one year in jail and a fine of up to $33,000 (29,700 euros). Those who provide fake samples can be jailed for seven years.

Parliament also approved a $400 million emergency funding for spending required by the interior ministry, which handles internal security in the emirate.

Mohammad Khaled al-Sabah, Kuwait's interior minister, told parliament that security services had busted the "terror cell" behind the bombing.

"We are in a state of war. Yes, we have busted this terror cell but there are other cells we are going to strike," said Sabah.

He said the emirate has revised "all security measures, especially around mosques and all places of worship".


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