Kuwaiti donors arm Syrian mujahideen

July 12, 2013

Not to be outdone by their Saudi and Qatari neighbors, Kuwaitis are raising money to fund and arm the rebels in Syria.  This is being done through private donations, and officials claim that safeguards are in place to ensure that aid goes to the “right” people.  But this claim is unconvincing, especially given Kuwait’s record of allowing the Revival of Islamic Heritage Society to operate and fund terrorism abroad.

From Reuters:

Insight: Kuwaitis campaign privately to arm Syrian rebels

By Sylvia Westall and Mahmoud Harby

KUWAIT | Thu Jun 27

(Reuters) – At a traditional evening meeting known as a “diwaniya”, Kuwaiti men drop banknotes into a box, opening a campaign to arm up to 12,000 anti-government fighters in Syria. A new Mercedes is parked outside to be auctioned off for cash.

They are Sunni Muslim and mainly Islamist like many Syrian rebels who have been trying for two years to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad, a member of the minority Alawite sect that is a branch of Shi’ite Islam.

Syria’s war has widened a faultline in the Middle East, with Shi’ite Iran and Lebanese militia Hezbollah backing Assad and Sunni-ruled Gulf Arab nations supporting his opponents.

“The world has abandoned the Syrian people and the Syrian revolution so it is normal that people start to give money to people who are fighting,” said Falah al-Sawagh, a former opposition member of Kuwait’s parliament, surrounded by friends drinking sweet tea and eating cakes.

In just four hours the campaign collected 80,000 dinars ($282,500). The box moves to a new house each day for a week. Sawagh estimates this type of campaign in Kuwait, one of the world’s richest countries per capita, raised several million dollars during the last Ramadan religious holiday.

Sunni-ruled Kuwait has denounced the Syrian army’s actions and sent $300 million in humanitarian aid to help the millions displaced by the conflict in which more than 90,000 have died.

Unlike Saudi Arabia and Qatar, Kuwaiti government policy is against arming the rebels. But the U.S. ally allows more public debate than other Gulf states and has tolerated campaigns in private houses or on social media that are difficult to control.

Kuwaiti authorities are nevertheless worried that the fundraising for Syria could stir sectarian tensions – Kuwait has its own Shi’ite minority. The West is concerned that support will bolster al Qaeda militants among the rebels.

Some opposition Islamist politicians and Sunni clerics have openly campaigned to arm rebel fighters, using social media and posters with telephone hotlines in public places. Former MP Waleed al-Tabtabie, a conservative Salafi Islamist, posted pictures of himself on Twitter clad in combat gear in Syria…


  1. Reblogged this on The Firewall.


  3. Dear Muslim Brother/sister(s)
    We want to build a masjid at a rural area. But the villagers are very poor. Most of them are day laborer and marginal farmer. So they have no ability to build up their favourite masjid. Now we draw your kind attention (the local and global Muslims) to donate for this masjid.

    The first and foremost duty performed by the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) upon entering Madinah at the time of emigration was to build a Masjid.
    He said, ‘Whosoever builds a house (masjid) for the pleasure of Allah, whether it be small or large, Allah builds for him a house in Paradise.’ – at-Tirmidhi, Ibn Khuzaymah, Ibn Hibban, Abu Dawud, and Ahmad
    We, therefore pray and hope that any Muslim will help to build this masjid.
    Bank Detail
    Account title: Baittul Atik Forkania Masjid
    No of Account: 39525
    Bank name: Islami Bank Bangladesh Ltd
    Laxmipur Branch, Bangladesh

    On behalf of the villagers
    Morshed Alam
    Baitul Atik Forkania Masjid
    Romarkhil, Laxmipur,
    Cell: +88 01740 63 11 50
    Email: morshedalamideal@gmail/yahoo.com

  4. […] coverage has shown that apart from the financing from Qatar (here and here), Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait, rebels in Syria are also funded by kidnap-for-ransom schemes, donations from Western-based Islamic […]

  5. […] Kuwaitis have been playing a significant role in funding Al Qaeda-linked rebels in Syria (see here, here, and here), including operations such as the August massacre of 190 Alawites in Latakia […]

  6. […] of the role played by Kuwait in the financing of Al Qaeda linked rebels can be found here and here.  The National Interest (h/t El Grillo) has the details on the latest […]

  7. […] Read the rest here.  Previous Money Jihad coverage of Kuwaiti financing of Syrian militants can be found here, here, and here. […]

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