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Kuwait Begins Investigations with Dhafiri after Philippine Deportation | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Hussein al-Dharifi and Rahaf Zina, suspected to have links to ISIS, are presented to the media at Philippines’ National Bureau of Investigation April 6, 2017. (Reuters)

Kuwait – The Kuwait General Prosecution began on Tuesday investigations with suspected ISIS member Hussein al-Dhafiri, who was arrested with his Syrian wife in the Philippines in March for their alleged terror links.

The Kuwaiti national appeared before the prosecutors four days after being deported from the Philippines. He is expected to remain in custody until investigations are complete.

In the meantime, Kuwaiti authorities had intensified their search for al-Dhafiri’s accomplices, arresting four Kuwaitis.

General Prosecutor Dherar Al-Asousi ordered that they remain in custody for 21 days on charges of belonging to the ISIS terrorist group.

The Kuwaiti embassy in Manilla had announced in a statement on Friday that Kuwaiti security forces have evidence that al-Dhafiri had planned to “launch terrorist attacks” in the emirate.

Al-Dhafiri and his wife Rahaf Zina were arrested by Philippine authorities in March, but the news of their arrest was only announced on April 6.

Police nabbed the couple at an upscale district of Manila following a tip-off from the Kuwaiti authorities.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre said that the pair had entered the country repeatedly in recent months as part of plans for “a bombing operation” either in the Philippines or Kuwait.

Aguirre said al-Dhafiri, who operated under the name “Abou Musallem al-Kuwaiti”, was an active ISIS member in the Middle East and said US authorities believed he could “pose a threat to the national security of the Philippines”.

“He is alleged to have been involved in explosives manufacturing and possibly operational planning against Kuwait,” Aguirre added.

He said Zina and al-Dhafiri married after her husband, a high-ranking ISIS commander, was killed in Syria.