NAIROBI, Kenya - Two Iranian nationals Ahmad Abolfathi Mohammad and Sayed Mansour Mousavi were caught planning an attack to Western targets in Kenya with more than 220 pounds of powerful explosive, most of which hasn’t been recovered.
They were arrested last month and led officials to a 33-pound stash of the explosive RDX.
A Kenya's Anti-Terrorism Police officer Sgt. Erick Opagal asked the court to deny the two suspects bail because more than 187 pounds of the explosive authorities say was shipped into Kenya has not been found. According to him, granting the bail would allow the suspects to continue planning the attacks.
Africa News reported that the two suspects may have been planning attacks on Israeli, American, British or Saudi Arabian interests in Kenya. Security officials believe they are members of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards, an elite unit to fight against foreign interests.
Iranian agents were suspected in several successful or attacks, especially against Israeli interests, around the globe over the last year. Several resorts in the country are Israeli-owned, so is Nairobi's largest and newest shopping mall. Mombasa bombing tragedy that killed 13 people in 2002, to which Al-Qaeda operative was linked, is an Israeli-owned luxury hotel near the coastal city of Mombasa.
“The two Iranian suspects arrived in Kenya June 12 and traveled to Mombasa on the same day to receive the explosives. They traveled back to Nairobi June 16 after receiving the explosive from an accomplice who is still at large. The two were arrested on June 19 in Nairobi and led officers to some of the explosives hidden at a Mombasa golf course”, said Opagal to the court.
"I can say they had in their sights anything that would cause extreme inconvenience and destruction. This could include tourism facilities, major infrastructure including our national power supply, our major buildings", late on Monday, Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's prime minister, directly accused the Iranian government of being behind plans for a terrorist attack in Africa.
According to court transcripts seen by CNN, both Mohammed and Mousavi denied the charges and said they were wrongly accused. They also alleged Kenyan police had tortured them, and Washington Post said one of the Iranian’s lawyers, David Kirimi, claimed Tuesday that the prosecution was blowing the matter out of proportion. He said his clients were sickly men, one with a liver condition and the other a heart ailment, and their detention was further damaging their health. Kirimi said the two were civil servants in Iran who were in Kenya on tourist visas.