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Kuwait Holding 15 People Suspected of Plotting Attacks on US Targets - 2002-10-11

Authorities in Kuwait say they are holding about 15 Islamic militants believed to have been planning additional attacks against U.S. targets in the country. The men were rounded up as part of the investigation into the shooting of two U.S. Marines earlier this week.

Kuwaiti sources say evidence indicates the group was planning to attack locations in the country where Americans work, possibly including the U.S. embassy and military housing.

News reports say the group's leader was one of the gunmen from this week's attack, Anas al Kandari. Marines killed him and the other gunman, Jassem al Hajeri, after they opened fire on a U.S. military vehicle on the Kuwaiti Island of Failaka on Tuesday.

The incident left one marine dead and another injured.

Kuwaiti officials have said it is not yet clear if the cell is directly linked to the al Qaida terrorist organization, but some reports say Mr. Kandari trained with al Qaida in Afghanistan.

Kuwait's interior minister is expected to make more details about the case public on Saturday, along with the formal charges against the men.