News / Middle East

    Kuwait Minister Accused by US of Terrorism Funding Quits

    Kuwaiti Minister of Justice, Awqaf (Islamic endowments) and Islamic Affairs, Nayef al-Ajmi talks as he takes part in a parliament session at Kuwait's National Assembly, Apr. 1, 2014 in Kuwait City.
    Kuwaiti Minister of Justice, Awqaf (Islamic endowments) and Islamic Affairs, Nayef al-Ajmi talks as he takes part in a parliament session at Kuwait's National Assembly, Apr. 1, 2014 in Kuwait City.
    Reuters
    Kuwait's justice and Islamic affairs minister has resigned, the local news service al-Rai said on Monday, after a senior U.S. official said he had called for jihad in Syria and promoted the funding of terrorism.
     
    Last month Nayef al-Ajmi rejected the comments made in March by U.S. Treasury Undersecretary David Cohen as “groundless and baseless,” and was backed by the Cabinet.
     
    But on Monday, Ajmi said the Gulf state's ruler had accepted his resignation, al-Rai said. Kuwaiti media reported last month that he had already offered to resign once, citing health reasons.
     
    “I thank His Highness the Emir for accepting my resignation and for understanding my reasons,” Ajmi said according to an SMS alert from al-Rai, which gave no further details.
     
    Attempts to reach Ajmi were unsuccessful. He has given statements to the private news group on the topic before.
     
    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 a Syrian rebel group linked to al-Qaida - the Nusra Front.
     
    Kuwait has been one of the biggest humanitarian donors to Syria and Syrian refugees through the United Nations, but it has also struggled to control unofficial fundraising for opposition groups in Syria by private individuals.
     
    Unlike some other Gulf states, U.S. ally Kuwait is against arming rebels fighting to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. But it has tolerated fundraising in private houses, mosques and on social media.
     
    In particular, some Kuwaiti and U.S. officials fear that campaigns that give militant Islamist groups funds to buy arms will not only fuel the violence in Syria but also stir sectarian tensions in Kuwait.
     
    Like other Western countries, the United States considers that Assad has lost legitimacy for his violent repression of what began as a peaceful protest movement, but does not want to see him replaced by the more hardline Islamist groups that have gained ascendancy among Syria's armed rebels.
     
    In another sign that Kuwait was reacting to concerns about Syria financing, a Kuwaiti official said a recent fundraising campaign backed by local clerics and politicians was illegal.
     
    Munira al-Fadhli, an assistant undersecretary in the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor, was quoted by Monday's English language daily Kuwait Times as saying that “our department does not authorize or license individuals to collect donations. Licenses are only given to official charities”.
     
    Fadhli said the recent “Syria Calls” campaign violated the law and legal action will be taken against its organizers.
     
    “Syria Calls” describes itself as a “Union of Kuwaiti campaigns to support Syria” and is backed by well-known local clerics and opposition politicians. An online poster for the group does not make clear exactly what the money is for.

    You May Like

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Before burial at overflowing cemeteries, unidentified dead being swapped for DNA, in case some day relatives come to learn their fate

    Russian Opposition Leader Sues Putin for Conflict of Interest

    Alexei Navalny tells VOA in exclusive interview why transfer of $2 billion from country’s wealth fund to company with ties to President Putin’s son-in-law triggered lawsuit

    How Diversity Has Changed America

    Over the past four decades, the level of diversity in the United States has increased most in these four states

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: MUSTAFA from: INDIA
    May 12, 2014 11:09 PM
    Mr.Nayef and so many Illetrate arabs can tell me which ayat in QURAN give them power to kill fellow Muslims in the name of Islam. Islam never teaches us to kill Hindu, Sikh,Chiristian,Jew. We are born because of GOD, and then we choose our road. Show me any book from God side where God will be happy to kill any innocent men,woman,children, rape girls,destroy basic structure and burn their houses and all in the name of RELIGION.These illetrate peoples with power of wealth are creating problems for poor peoples. These rich and proudy peoples feel pleasure with tears in old father eyeys,woman with cry and poor girls with force marriage. These rich and proudy peoples must understand one thing that DAY is not too far when they are accountable in front of GOD for their blood game with poor and helpless peoples.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Filli
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 11, 2016 8:01 PM
    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video US Co-ed Selective Service Plan Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.