KUWAIT CITY, June 28 (UPI) -- A suicide bomber who detonated at a Shia mosque in Kuwait City on Friday was a Saudi citizen, according to Kuwait's interior ministry.
The attack killed 27 people and injured more than 200 at the Imam Sadiq Mosque, where up to 2,000 worshipers had gathered.
A branch of the Islamic State, known as "Islamic State in the Province of Najd," a reference to central Saudi Arabia, claimed responsibility for the attack. At the time the group said it had been carried out by Abu Sulaiman al-Muwahhid, but the Kuwaiti Interior Ministry said the attacker's real name was Fahd Suleiman Abdulmohsen al-Qaba'a, a Saudi citizen, according to Kuwaiti media.
Kuwaiti officials say he was in the country illegally and that he had flown in earlier the same day as the attack.
Authorities say they have detained a man who drove al-Qaba'a to the mosque -- Abdulrahman Sabah Eidan Saud, also an undocumented immigrant, born in 1989 -- as well as the driver's landlord, whose house the bomber reportedly visited. Officials say the landlord was a "bearer of fundamentalist and deviant ideology."
Friday's bombing joins a series of attacks against Shia mosques in the Gulf region over the past months. The BBC reports an IS branch in Saudi Arabia last month carrying out two bombings against Shia mosques there on two consecutive Fridays, the day of the week when worshipers are in highest attendance.
In March, 20 people died in a suicide bombing during Friday prayers at a Shia mosque in al-Qadeeh, Saudi Arabia. The previous November, Saudi authorities blamed IS for an attack that killed eight people in a Shia mosque in the country's Al-Sharq region.
IS, a Sunni Muslim terrorist group that holds swaths of land in Syria and Iraq, has characterized Shia Muslims as heretics. The group's leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, declared a "caliphate" in the region one year ago, and in November announced the expansion of IS to cells in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Egypt, Libya and Algeria.
While Sunni Arabs comprise a majority in the Gulf Arab kingdom of Kuwait, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency estimates that 30 percent of the country's population are Shia Arabs.