Somalia: Trial of Two Iranian Terror Suspects Begins in Nairobi

Photo: Hezron Njorge/The Star
In the dock (file photo): Iranians Ahmed Mohammed and Sayed are charged with possession of explosives and suspected of plotting a series of terrorist attacks in Kenya.

Nairobi — A trial of two Iranian terror suspects accused of being in possession of dangerous explosive materials that could be used to make a bomb kicked off in a Kenyan court on Monday.

However, both Ahmed Mohamed and Said Mausoud who were released last week on a cash bail of 24,000 U.S. dollars and a surety of 60,000 dollars each have denied the charges before Nairobi Principal Magistrate Paul Biwott.

During the trial, the country's anti-terrorism police Kennedy Musyoki who is investigating the matter dismissed the defence's allegations that the two suspects were interrogated by the Israeli security agents, saying the Kenyan police were competent enough to handle the case.

Musyoki said the police do not allow foreigners to interrogate or torture suspects who are in custody and denied their claims those Israeli security agents grilled the 2 Iranians.

Mohamed and Masoud were charged with being in possession of 15 kgs of explosives on June 20 in Mombasa.

The trial which has raised international concern as the war against terrorism is being heightened will continue on Tuesday in Nairobi.

The two suspects 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 early this month that 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 July 3.

According to the charge sheet, the Mohamed and Mausoud who were arrested on June 20 in the port city were found armed with the 15kgs of RDX explosives in circumstances that indicate they were armed with intend to cause grievous harm.

The middle aged suspects are believed to be among foreign al Qaida terror suspect who have fled Somalia to Kenya and other countries including Yemen.

Sources said the chemical recovered can be used to manufacture improvised bomb that was used in recent blast that rocked Kenyan capital city Nairobi killing one person and injuring 38 others last month.

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.

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.

Source: Xinhua

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Kenya: Trial for Iranian Terror Suspects Delayed

In the dock (file photo): Iranians Ahmed Mohammed and Sayed are charged with possession of explosives and suspected of plotting a series of terrorist attacks in Kenya.

The hearing for Iranians Ahmed Mohammed and Sayed Mansour, who were charged with possession of explosives and suspected of planning bombings in Kenya, was cut short on the second ... Read more »