Police trailed Iranians for eight days before arrest
Posted Saturday, July 7 2012 at 23:30
- Duo was picked out for surveillance because immediately after setting foot on Kenyan soil they “made contact” with a Kenyan who had been on security watch
The decision angered Kenyan authorities with the head of public service Francis Kimemia saying it had been shared in “good faith”.
According to Mr Kimemia the US government had backtracked on an agreement.
“The US had assured us on Wednesday (June 20) that there would be no advisories when we got wind of it (planned attack).”
A senior security officer told the Sunday Nation that US officials took the step because they were not satisfied with the level of preventive measures Kenya had put in place.
A grenade explosion at Jericho Beer Garden in Mishomoroni, Mombasa, barely 48 hours after the US issued the warning, in which three people died, did not deter the Kenyan government from demanding that the US withdraws the advisory.
Mr Kimemia described it as an isolated incident that was not connected to the “imminent attack” the Americans had alluded to.
Even with the tiff over the advisory, the US State Department praised Kenya for making the arrests describing it as “quick and vigilant action” by the Kenyan authorities.
State Department spokeswoman Hilary Fuller Renner said the arrests “potentially prevented a terrible tragedy which could have taken numerous lives”.
“We cooperate closely with Kenya and stand ready to help them with any counter-terrorism investigation,” Ms Renner said.
“We do know Iran – principally through [its Revolutionary Guards’] Quds Force and its proxies and surrogates – continues to pursue destabilising activities in various places across the globe.”