5 March 2018

Kenya: Why Is Iran Meddling in Kenyan Criminal Justice System to Further Its Terrorist Agenda?

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Following the successful arrest and prosecution of two Iranians, Ahmad Abolfathi Mohammed and Sayed Mansour Mousa in June 2012 for planning to commit devastating acts of terror and other heinous criminal acts in Kenya, operatives of the Iranian government went full throttle in mobilizing resources and covertly using agents in their embassy in Nairobi to defeat the course of justice regarding the two convicts.

On their own submission, the two confirmed being members of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Quds Force (IRGC), a unit known for its covert operations both within and outside Iran. The Quds Force is actively involved in recruiting and training terrorists as well channelling funds to support terrorist groups globally. In 2011, the group gained notoriety for attempted assassination of Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the US.

Ahmad Abolfathi Mohammed and Sayed Mansour Mousa were arrested in Kenya on 19th June 2012 in possession of 15 kilograms of RDX explosive that they allegedly smuggled into the country to commit acts of terror. RDX was used in Mumbai train bombing in 2006 as well as in the 2010 Moscow Metro attacks. Their primary targets according to reports from the ATPU were the Western and Israeli Interests in the country. In 1998 and 2002, terrorists hit American Embassy and Israeli hotel in Mombasa respectively, heralding a new phase in global terrorism, especially in East Africa, a region that is home to many investments by the Western countries.

Ahmad Abolfathi Mohammed and Sayed Mansour Mousa were charged for plotting attacks in Kenya and being in possession of explosives. They were incarcerated for life after the Courts found them guilty in 2013 on the basis of the strong evidence that had been adduced by the prosecution. Information from those privy to the ongoing, indicated that following the conviction, the Iranian government hatched a two-step approach to secure the release of the two terrorists.

The first plan was to use a hit squad to conduct a prison break and rescue the convicts. Operatives within the Iranian embassy, the IRGC undercover operatives in the Eastern Africa region and their Kenyan contacts worked tirelessly in obscurity to ensure the escape plan succeeded. However, the plan hit a snag, thanks to the resoluteness of the Prison staff who had been approached to help execute it. Instead, the prison was fortified with extra security measures to quash any attempted escape by the Iranians.

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