July 4 (Xinhua)
Top detectives from Israel are in Kenya
following fresh claims that Iran was
planning to carry out major attacks
targeting Western interests in the East
African nation. A senior Kenya’s anti-terrorism official confirmed on Wednesday that a team of 16 detectives have been in Kenya since Friday and have held security meetings with key Israeli officials in Nairobi.
“We are working closely with foreign
intelligence in the war on terror that is
posing threats to our country including
American FBI and Israelis who I can
confirm are in the country,” Njeru
Mwaniki, Head of Anti-Terrorism Unit told Xinhua on Wednesday.
Other sources told Xinhua that the
detectives have also held meetings with
Kenyan authorities who also allowed
them access to interrogate two Iranians
who are facing charges of illegal
possession of RDX, an explosive bomb material weighing 15kg. RDX is a
component of Semtex which they
imported to Kenya via Iraq. The two suspects, reportedly agents of the elite al-Quds division of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards were denied bail last week by a Kenyan court which ruled that they did not present sufficient surety in support of their bail application.
Ahmed Abolfathi Mohamed and Sayed
Mausour Mousavi are suspected of
planning to detonate as many as 30
different bombs targeting British, U.S.,
Israeli and Saudi interests including
facilities and prominent commercial and government buildings across Kenya. The revelations prompted Israeli Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to warn
Iran on Tuesday it should take responsibility for the alleged heinous plot like that of 2002 against Israeli- owned Kikambala Hotel in Mombasa.
“Iranian terrorism knows no borders. The international community must fight
against this major player in the world of
terrorism,” Netanyahu was quoted as the media as saying on Tuesday. Sources close to the investigations said the pair planned to attack Western interests in the East African nation because of their involvement in Somalia where Kenya Defence Forces launched crossborder incursion in October last year in pursuit of Al- Shabaab militants.
One of the Iranian suspects, Mohammed
alleged in a Kenyan court last week that
they had been interrogated by the Israeli agents while under arrest. He also claimed that he was tortured while in detention.
Many Israelis have been visiting Kenya for holidays and most of them own hotels and retail properties in the East African nation. Terrorists believed to be from the Al-Qaida cell killed 15 people when they drove a car bomb into an Israeli-owned hotel near Mombasa in November 28, 2002.
Almost simultaneously, members of the group tried a surface-to-air missile at an
Israeli airliner taking off from the
Mombasa airport but it missed the plane. At least four men were charged in the attack but were all acquitted for lack of evidence.
Last October, U.S. agents claimed to have thwarted a plot by Iran to assassinate Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States on U.S soil.
Kenya security agencies have been on
higher alert after intelligent reports
hinted that Al-Shabaab terrorists are
escaping into the East African nation as
the operation to rout the insurgents from Somalia gains momentum. More border patrols have been intensified
along the Kenya-Somalia border in Kiunga and Dadaab refugee camps to combat the Al- Qaida-linked insurgents to gain entrance into the country.
Police have intensified patrol in key
installations for America,Israel and
British, and other countries including
Saudia Arabia,perceived by many Muslim-dominated countries as a collaborator of the US and Israel.
According to Sam Ikwaye, vice chairman
of Kenya Hotelkeepers Association, Israel has invested more in hospitality and shipping companies. “I cannot reveal how many hotels because of security reasons but they are many in
parts of Malindi, North and South coast,”
Ikwaye told Xinhua on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Kenya Defense Force has
identified a key area near Kenya-Somalia border in Lamu suspected to be used by Al-Shabaab foreign fighters to flee from Somalia to Kenya and put up satellite devices to monitor movement.
Divisional Deputy Police chief Julius Melly
said Kenya military patrol base in Manda
Island is assisting them in heightening
security along the Kenya-Somalia border. Source said that suspects posed as Kenyans were allegedly being harboured by Kenyans.
Al-Shabaab militants have vowed to
attack Nairobi after the east African
nation which hosted protracted
negotiations that culminated in the
signing of the federal charter for Somalia in 2005, invaded Somalia to flush out the insurgents it blamed for kidnappings of tourists.