KUWAIT (Reuters) – Members of an al Qaeda-linked group arrested in Kuwait planned to attack the OPEC member’s Shuaiba oil refinery, a daily newspaper reported on Wednesday.
The group was targeting the 200,000 barrels per day refinery and the state security building, as well as a U.S. army camp, daily newspaper al-Anbaa reported, citing unidentified sources it said were familiar with the investigation.
The attacks were planned to take place in the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, it added. Ramadan is due to begin later in August.
Kuwait said on Tuesday it had foiled a plan by a six-member Qaeda-linked cell to bomb the Arifjan U.S. army camp and “important facilities,” but gave no further details on the other potential targets.
Members of the group, led by a surgeon at one of the Gulf Arab state’s hospitals, had confessed to planning attacks aimed at pressuring the U.S. to withdraw troops from Kuwait, the paper added.
Kuwait, the world’s fourth-largest oil exporter, was the launch pad for the 2003 U.S.-led war on Iraq to oust Saddam Hussein. The U.S. army uses it as a logistics base to support troops in Iraq. Camp Arifjan is located in the country’s south.
“The network members used Google Earth service to get photographic maps for their targets… Shuaiba refinery, Arifjan Camp and the state security building,” the paper said.
Al Qaeda has waged attacks in the Gulf Arab state in recent years such as bombings of foreign housing complexes and oil sites in several Gulf Arab states including Saudi Arabia, but a crackdown by governments in the region has succeeded in preventing fresh violence.