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By William D. Ross

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The reason for this might have related to complicating circumstances surrounding the two most obvious suspects: the Iraqi The Immediate Impact of Neighboring Revolution and War 41 regime (fighting Iran on Kuwaiti soil), and Kuwaiti Sunnis (acting out against the revolutionary Iranian Shiite regime). If Kuwait believed Baghdad to be the mastermind of one or more of the attacks, it would have feared retribution from its Arab neighbor for its accusations. Additionally in this scenario, the attacks likely would have been interpreted by Kuwait not only as anti-Iranian, but also as a warning to Kuwait against efforts to smooth over relations with Tehran.

23 Government responses to the two episodes above also echoed earlier post-oil policies. In the case of the bombings, the government arrested agitators, tried the bombing suspects in a newly created security court, and deported expatriates. 24 Arrests, special security trials and expulsions would continue to represent the hallmark of al-Sabah leadership policy responses to bombings and other attacks by expatriates and Kuwaitis. The closure of parliament and other venues for public expression as a result of criticism against the government would be repeated in 1986 and 1999, as would the arrest of parliamentary activists in 1989.

Although the attacks were mentioned in the Kuwaiti press, the lack of reaction they elicited from the authorities was conspicuous, and contrasted with the response to the Iranian-associated demonstrations approximately six months earlier. There was little showering of blame on any group for the attacks. Virtually no public discussion took place regarding new security measures that would be implemented as a result of the incidents. 138 However, it also seemed that the authorities chose not to publicly address the issue of the attacks’ perpetrators.

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