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Top Israeli detectives in Kenya over terrorism

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

MOMBASA, Kenya, 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 on war on terror that is posing threats to our country including American FBI and Israeli 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 cross border incursion in October last year in pursuit of Al- Shabaab militants.

One of the Iranian suspects, Mohammed alleged in 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 in to the United States 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 patrol have been intensified along the Kenya Somalia border in Kiunga and Dadaad refugee camps to combat the Al- Qaida-linked insurgents to gain entrance into the country.

Police have intensified patrol in key installation for both 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 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 in is assisting them 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.


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