Friday, May 03, 2013

3-May-13: Kenya discovers it is hosting a "vast network" of terrorists; convicts two Iranians and hopes for the best

The convicted Iranian terrorists [Image Source: Capital FM News, Kenya]
The BBC says two Iranians were found guilty in a Kenyan criminal court yesterday of "plotting to attack Western targets inside Kenya" and face up to 15 years in prison. They were arrested in the capital, Nairobi, in June 2012 in possession of 15 kilos of explosives
"in circumstances that indicated they were armed with the intent to commit a felony, namely, acts intended to cause grievous harm... Swift action by the Kenyan police in apprehending the men had averted mayhem and a massive number of deaths, the court magistrate said." [BBC]
The investigation showed that Ahmad Abolfathi Mohammad and Sayed Mansour Mousavi shipped more than 85 kilos of explosives into the country. So their plans were not small-scale. Police say another accomplice is still at large.

For most, this will be one of those 'so what?' stories that don't really touch the lives of anyone we know. But then note what the BBC report slips in right at the end - that police investigations show that the convicted terrorists, which is of course not what the BBC calls them,
have a vast network in the country meant to execute explosive attacks against government installations, public gatherings and foreign establishments," said Sgt Erick Opagal of Kenya's Anti-Terrorism Police Unit... [BBC]
We have noted here over and again (for instance, "24-Mar-13: Seed of evil: Whitewashing terror at the BBC") how absurd it is that the BBC's editors are so shy about calling terrorists 'terrorists'. In fact, it's not really shyness but a mendacious and foolish kind of political correctness that does far more harm than any possible good.

A pity also that this BBC report did not say what other sources, notably Associated Press, did: that the Kenyan police discovered the two convicted Iranian agents
are members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Quds Force, an elite and secretive unit... Iranian agents are suspected in attacks or thwarted attacks around the globe in recent years, including in Azerbaijan, Thailand and India. Most of the plots had connections to Israeli targets.
Here's some more that AP reported but the BBC did not:
Several resorts on Kenya’s coast are Israeli-owned. Militants in 2002 bombed an Israeli-owned luxury hotel near Mombasa, killing 13 people. The militants also tried to shoot down an Israeli airliner at the same time.
A report a year ago in The Telegraph (UK), quoting a senior Kenyan detective "with close knowledge of the men's case" adds that the Iranian agents
"were driving around Nairobi, they went past the British High Commission, they went past the [Nairobi Hebrew Congregation] synagogue in town, they went to the Israeli embassy. It is very clear that they were casing these places, that they were up to no good. From what we saw, their intention was clear to plan and execute terrorism attacks... Had the attacks been successful, they would have matched an emerging pattern of Iranian actions against Israel taking place across the globe." [Telegraph]
Iran's normally garrulous English-language mouthpiece PressTV ("the first Iranian international news network, broadcasting in English on a round-the-clock basis... staffed with outstanding Iranian and foreign media professionals") has published not a word about the Iranian agents or their criminal conviction for terrorism.

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