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Kenya Police: Iranians Shipped 100kg of Explosives

Two Iranians have been accused of planning attacks on Israeli and American targets in country.
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 7/11/2012, 12:47 PM

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Reuters

Two Iranians, suspected of being members of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Quds Force, an elite and secretive unit that acts against foreign interests, have been accused of planning attacks on Israeli, American, British or Saudi Arabian interests in the country.

They allegedly shipped more than 100 kilograms (220 pounds) of powerful explosive into the East African country, most of which has not yet been recovered, a police officer told a court Tuesday.

Iranian nationals Ahmad Abolfathi Mohammad and Sayed Mansour Mousavi are charged with preparing to commit acts intended to cause grievous harm after they were arrested last month and led officials to a 15-kilogram (33-pound) stash of the explosive RDX, the Associated Press (AP) reported.

Police Sgt. Erick Opagal, an investigator with Kenya's Anti-Terrorism Police Unit, asked the court to deny the two suspects bail because more than 85 kilograms (187 pounds) of the explosive authorities say was shipped into Kenya has not been found.

"The police have information that the applicants (suspects) have a vast network in the country meant to execute explosive attacks against government installations, public gatherings and foreign establishments," Opagal said in an affidavit, telling the court that granting bail would allow the suspects to continue planning attacks.

Iranian agents are suspected of perpetrating several successful or thwarted attacks, especially against Israeli interests, around the world over the last year.

In 2002, terrorists bombed an Israeli-owned luxury hotel near the coastal city of Mombasa, killing 13 people. The perpetrators also tried to shoot down an Israeli airliner at the same time. An al-Qaida operative was linked to those attacks.

One of the Iranian's lawyers, David Kirimi, said Tuesday the prosecution was "blowing the matter out of proportion" and claimed that his clients were sickly men, one with a liver condition and the other a heart ailment, and that their detention was further damaging their health, according to the AP.

Prosecutor Daniel Musangi urged the court to deny bail, due to the fact that the two were in Kenya on tourist visas and argued that they were released, they would likely flee the country.

Magistrate Paul Biwott said he would rule on the bail application on Monday.