Kuwait minister denies report of funding Syria terror

Kuwait minister denies report of funding Syria terror
Tue Apr 1, 2014 21:17:50

Kuwait's justice and Islamic affairs minister has rejected remarks by a senior American official stating that he called for jihad in Syria and promoted the funding of terrorism.

Nayef al-Ajmi was quoted as saying in a Monday statement by the Kuwaiti cabinet that comments made by US Treasury Undersecretary David Cohen in March, as cited by US press reports, were "baseless and groundless," Kuwait’s state news agency KUNA reported Tuesday.

Unlike Persian Gulf Arab states of Saudi Arabia and Qatar, Kuwaiti government policy is against arming rebels fighting to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and has led a humanitarian fundraising campaign for Syria through the United Nations, according to the report.

However, the US-backed Kuwaiti government allows fundraising for the insurgency in Syria in private houses as well as on social media, which it says is hard to control.

Some of the fundraising campaigns, it adds, have been for aid for Syrian refugees but others openly call for funds to purchase weapons for foreign-backed insurgents.

Some Kuwaitis have gone to fight in the years-long conflict which has drawn in mostly al-Qaeda-linked insurgents and Takfiri terrorists from across the Middle East as well as Europe and Asia to stoke sectarian tensions.
Cohen said that Ajmi had "a history of promoting jihad in Syria" and that his image had been featured on fundraising posters for a financier of the al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front, a notorious terrorist group.

Ajmi's ministry said it would allow non-profit organizations and charities to collect donations for Syrians at Kuwaiti mosques, Cohen said, describing it as "a measure we believe can be easily exploited by Kuwait-based terrorist fundraisers."

The Kuwaiti cabinet statement said the government "reiterated Kuwait's firm rejection to all forms of terrorism regardless of its justifications", noting that Kuwait would cooperate on fighting against terrorism.

"Al-Ajmi affirmed that all his activities and efforts are part of Kuwait's well-recognized official and unofficial efforts in charitable, religious and humanitarian realms," it said.

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