Cablegate: Visa Revocation Kuwait


DE RUEHKU #0166 0551102
R 241102Z FEB 10

S E C R E T KUWAIT 000166



E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/24/2020

REF: A. STATE 10533
B. STATE 11763

Classified By: Classified by: Consul Pat Walsh for reasons 1.4 b and d

1. (U) Action request for Department para 7.

2. (SBU) Ref A was a list of prudential revocations of visas
issued in Kuwait. Ref B invited posts to notify VO/L/C of
any sensitive cases and to delay notifying the applicant
pending a response from Washington. Post appreciates the
opportunity to reclama and wishes to bring one such case to
the attention of the Department.

3. (C) The applicant in question is Dr. Walid Al-Tabtabae,
DPOB: April 3, 1964, Kuwait. The applicant possesses the
following non-immigrant visa: B1/B2 issued August 27, 2001,
expires August 26, 2011. The following CLASS hits are
entered in his name: One 00 hit entered September 24, 2004,
referencing TSC record 1382195, one P3B hit and one VRVK hit,
both entered December 30, 2009.

4. (C) Al-Tabtabae is a six-time Member of Kuwait's National
Assembly, in which he serves as Chairman of the Human Rights
Committee and is a member (Rapporteur) of the Legislative and
Legal Affairs Committee as well as the Negative Phenomena

5. (C) Al-Tabtabae is an outspoken critic of U.S. policies on
Israel-Palestine and opposes the normalization of relations
with Israel. In October 2009, he was barred entry into Egypt
for having illegally entering the Gaza Strip via tunnels
under the Rafah border. Al-Tabtabae is is a leading
Salafist-leaning member of the Kuwaiti Parliament, is a
frequent and vocal critic of U.S. policies, and has a very
high media profile. Kuwaiti Salafists, with whom Al-Tabtabae
is usually associated, are ultra-conservative and oppose many
aspects of U.S. foreign policy, but like most Kuwaitis for
the most part favor a continued U.S. military presence in
Kuwait as a bulwark against the ambitions of covetous larger

6. (S/NF) Though Al-Tabtabae is often at odds politically
with the United States, and has met with senior members of
Hamas, Post is not aware of credible evidence indicating his
participation in or facilitation of terrorism, and notes that
the single intel piece available through TIDE indicates only
an indirect linkage, and source is of low quality.

7. (C) In revoking Al-Tabtabae,s visa, we risk creating a
public cause clbre in Kuwait that would enable critics of
U.S. policy like Al-Tabtabae and his fellow-travelers in the
ultra-conservative/Salafist movement in Kuwait to portray the
revocation as punishment of those who disagree with U.S.
policy by labeling them &terrorists.8

8. (C) Action Request: Post requests Department reconsider
this revocation.

********************************************* *********
For more reporting from Embassy Kuwait, visit:
visit Kuwait's Classified Website at: it
********************************************* *********

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