Kenya finds 2 Iranians guilty of terror attack plot

Iranians nabbed with 15kg of explosives last year; at time of arrest, Netanyahu said they were part of plot to attack Israelis in Kenya.

May 2, 2013 16:56
1 minute read.
Kenya Defense Force soldiers

Kenya Defense Force soldiers 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)

A Kenyan court on Thursday found two Iranian men guilty of possessing 15kg (33 pounds) of explosives and planning to carry out bombings in Kenyan cities.

Ahmad Mohammed and Sayed Mousavi were arrested in Nairobi last June. Investigators said at the time it was unclear whether the pair had ties to al- Qaida-linked militants in Somalia or were part of another network.

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Following their arrest in 2012, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu charged that the men were part of an Iranian plot to attack Israeli targets in Kenya.

"I must appreciate our Kenyan security personnel for detecting and taking swift action to stop the catastrophe and ensure our country was safe," Waweru Kiarie, Nairobi's chief magistrate, said after convicting the two men.

Kenya was hit by a spate of bombings and attacks last year, which the Nairobi government mostly blamed on the Somali al Shabaab rebels its forces were hunting down inside Somalia.

Mohammed and Mousavi were charged with being in possession of 15 kg of explosives and preparing to commit a felony.

They had both pleaded not guilty and will be sentenced on Monday. They face up to 15 years in prison, the prosecution said.

In February, Nigeria's secret service arrested a "terrorist cell" trained in Iran who planned to attack US and Israeli targets in Africa's most populous nation.

The State Security Service (SSS) said they arrested Abdullahi Mustapha Berende and two other Nigerians in December after Berende made several suspicious trips to Iran where he interacted with Iranians in a "high profile terrorist network."

Tehran has previously denied any involvement in bomb attacks against Israeli embassy targets in India and Thailand in February last year and dismissed accusations it was involved in a bombing in Bulgaria that killed five Israeli tourists and a Bulgarian bus driver last July.

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