NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 1 – The Iranian Embassy has distanced itself from two Kenyans allegedly recruited in an Iranian spy ring aiming to mount terror attacks in the country.
In a press briefing on Tuesday, the Ambassador to Kenya Hadi Farajuand said that there is no connection between the two with the Iranian intelligence and security bodies.
He further described the release of such news reports as an unconstructive and counterproductive move.
“They have no link and relation with Iranian officials or with the security and police forces in Iran. I totally deny that and if there is any information, we are ready to cooperate with the government of Kenya. We care and we do use our good office to promote our relations with Kenya,” he said.
He stated that Iran has always attached special importance to its relationship with Kenya and declared that they will cooperate with the government to clarify the issue.
“We are trying to promote our friendly relations with all countries. In Africa, Kenya is very important to us. We are trying to attract more Iranian businessmen to work in Kenya. I hope that kind of news will not appear any more in the newspapers,” he indicated.
Police on Saturday said they arrested two Kenyans last week who were suspected to have been recruited to attack western and local interests in Nairobi and other parts of the country.
According to Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet, the suspects Abubakar Sadiq Louw, 69, and Yassin Sambai Juma, 25, were being held to furnish authorities with details of their activities.
“Iran has always attached special importance to its relations with African countries, especially Kenya, and based on this Iran declares its full readiness to cooperate with the Kenyan government in fight against terrorism,” the Iranian envoy stated.
The embassy, in the meantime, declared its readiness to cooperate with relevant Kenyan officials to clarify the issue. The statement came after reports that the two men had confessed to having been paid by Iran’s intelligence bodies.
Boinnet said other than radicalizing youths who include students, the two had been directed on the areas they should attack.
Sadiq, the IG said, had been recruited a number of years ago “and had been instructed to recruit other Kenyans in the network.”
He said Juma is one of Sadiq’s recruits while citing July 2012 arrest of two suspects in Mombasa where they seized 12kg of explosives called RDX.
Last month, he noted that one of the suspects had travelled to Iran where he met his handler, “where Juma was tutored on operational trade craft that include counter surveillance and counter interrogation techniques.”
According to police, Juma was also instructed on how to operate within the country, “and how to arrange meetings with their handlers in certain capitals of this region.”
He said the police service will remain watchful until all terror networks which he says are mounted by foreign powers are uprooted and their intentions foiled.