Kuwait envoy's son charged in abduction

23-yr-old suspected of holding Jewish teens against their will in Warsaw hotel; faces up to 3 years in jail.

March of Living 224.88 (photo credit: AP [file])
March of Living 224.88
(photo credit: AP [file])
Polish authorities charged the Kuwaiti ambassador's son with briefly abducting three Jewish teenagers at a hotel and claiming he had a bomb, police said Tuesday. The 23-year-old son of Ambassador Khaled Al-Shaibani, identified only as Mohammad A., was charged with holding the teenagers against their will, Warsaw police spokesman Anna Kedzierzowska said. Kedzierzowska said the suspect has confessed and faces a suspended sentence of 10 months to three years. The suspect will be released pending his court hearing. No date had been set. The Kuwaiti Embassy confirmed the suspect was Ambassador Khaled Al-Shaibani's son, but declined further comment. On Monday, police said a heavily intoxicated Mohammad A. pulled the three 16-year-old Brazilians into their sixth-floor room of Warsaw's Holiday Inn after 9 a.m. (0700 GMT). Witnesses alerted hotel guards, who rushed to the site, but called police when the Kuwaiti said he had explosives, police said. Agents stormed the room just before 10 a.m. (0800 GMT) and took the suspect into custody without incident. None of the captives was harmed and no explosives were found. Al-Shibani was too intoxicated to undergo questioning Monday, police said, but the suspect spoke with authorities Tuesday morning. The three teenagers were among about 10,000 people from around the world, mostly Jewish, who came to Poland to take part in the March of the Living on Thursday, an annual event at the former Nazi death camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau that honors the memory of some 6 million Jews who perished in the Holocaust. At least 1.1 million people, including Jews, Poles and Roma, perished in the camp's gas chambers or from starvation, disease and forced labor. The camp was liberated in January 1945 by Soviet troops.