One of the Iranian suspects, Ahmad Mohammad, alleged in court last week that the two men had been interrogated by Israeli agents while under arrest. He also said he was tortured while in detention, which a Kenyan prosecutor denied.
Israelis have long vacationed in Kenya, and Israelis own hotels and retail properties in the country. In 2002, 13 people were killed in the bombing of an Israeli-owned beach hotel in Mombasa.
Over the past several years, at least five scientists linked to the Iranian nuclear program have been killed, and Iran has blamed the U.S., the U.K. and Israel for the attacks. Several were killed using magnetic "sticky" bombs attached to vehicles. Some of the apparent reprisal attacks allegedly carried out by Iranian suspects used the same method.
The arrests of Iranian suspects come in the midst of a series of terror attacks inside Kenya. The U.S. embassy issued an alert on June 22, three days after the men were arrested, warning Americans against travel to Mombasa, ordering government workers out of the city and suspending government travel there through July 1.
On Sunday, June 24, attackers killed three people at a bar near Mombasa. On Sunday, July 1, attackers using grenades and firearms killed 10 people at two churches in the eastern Kenyan town of Garissa, which is 120 miles from the Somalia border and close to a sprawling Somali refugee camp.
These recent attacks and others like them, often involving grenades, are believed to be the work of al Shabaab, the al-Qaeda affiliate operating in neighboring Somalia. The Kenyan military launched an offensive against the Somali group last fall, and al Shabaab has threatened to level buildings inside Kenya in return.
Intellpuke: You can read this article by ABC News correspondent Randy Kreider in context here: abcnews.go.com/Blotter/iranians-planned-attack-us-israeli-targets-kenya-officials/story?id=16699615#.T_JrdZHh7No