KUWAIT CITY (AP) -- Kuwaiti security forces said Monday they have arrested several suspects with alleged ties to the Islamic State group, including an 18-year-old man planning to attack a Shiite mosque in the final days of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, which ends this week.
Officials did not say when the arrests took place. The announcement came shortly before a suicide bomber blew himself up near a hospital and U.S. diplomatic mission in neighboring Saudi Arabia.
The official Kuwait News Agency identified the man accused of plotting the attack on the mosque and an Interior Ministry facility as Kuwaiti national Talal Naif Raja. It said he had sworn allegiance to the IS group and planned to deploy a suicide vest, other explosives or a rifle in the attack.
Authorities said they also arrested and repatriated a Kuwaiti man who confessed to joining IS while abroad. Also detained were his mother and a son born to a Syrian wife.
In a separate operation, police detained two other Kuwaitis in possession of assault rifles and the black IS flag, including one working for the Interior Ministry, as well as an Asian national.
Kuwait in November reported breaking up another extremist cell operating inside the country that was allegedly helping the Islamic State group by recruiting fighters, raising moneys and brokering arms deals.
An Islamic State group affiliate calling itself Najd Province claimed responsibility for the June 2015 bombing in the Imam Sadiq Mosque, one of Kuwait's oldest Shiite houses of worship. That attack, the country's deadliest in decades, was carried out by a Saudi man and killed 27 people.
A court sentenced seven people to death in connection with that attack, though at least one of those sentences has since been reduced to prison time.