AP is reporting that Israeli intelligence agents interrogated an Iranian terror suspect in Kenya. The suspect, who was arrested and found with explosives in his possession, claimed he’d also been tortured by the agents, which included the injection of drugs. This incident calls to mind Israel’s kidnapping of Gaza engineer Dirar Abusisi in 2010. In that case, the Mossad, with the collaboration/collusion of the highest echelons of the Ukrainian intelligence services, kidnapped Abusisi on a train, spirited him to a safe house in Kiev, drugged him, and took him from the country inside a casket according to the victim’s testimony.
Israel has a long history of such drugged-kidnappings including Adolf Eichmann from Argentina, and an IDF defense attaché suspected in the 1950s of spying for the Russians (he died of a drug overdose en route back to Israel).
A second Iranian suspect was also arrested in Mombassa.
A high level Israeli source reports to me that Israel sent a joint Mossad-Shin Bet team to investigate this incident. My source cannot confirm the use of torture on this suspect, but such practices are standard in security cases within Israel. Thanks to a reader who notified me that, coincidentally, last year news reports noted that during a presidential visit to Israel, Raul Odinga signed a far-ranging “memorandum of understanding for cooperation on matters of homeland security” with Kenya. In doing so, Israeli enlisted that country in its worldwide fight against the “Islamist menace.” This is clearly the fruit of such understanding.
All of this indicates a number of things: first, that if true, Iranian intelligence interests are probing soft targets in locations where there may be Islamist groups like the Shebab to facilitate their efforts. Previous Iranian terror attempts were in India and Thailand. Though both have Muslim populations, Kenya is right next door to an Islamist insurrection in Somalia. Kenya has had two major terror attacks, one of which was on an Israeli-identified target. Second, Kenya is offering Israel (and possibly the U.S.) the right to interrogate terror suspects on its soil. What is interesting is that Kenya did not allow the Israeli agents to kidnap the Iranian and render him to Israel as Ukraine did in the case of Abusisi. This either means that Israel was less interested in holding these suspects permanently as it was with Abusisi, or that the Kenyans weren’t prepared to accept this affront on their sovereignty as the Ukrainians were. The security memorandum may not have permitted such rendition. The third interesting aspect of this story is that the Shin Bet, Israel’s domestic intelligence agency, participated in this foreign mission. Finally, Israel must be interested in interrogating such terror suspects in order to prove there is an organized, official Iranian effort to sabotage international targets. Doing so might allow Israel and the U.S. to further isolate Iran in the world arena, and support the current regime of sanctions and other punitive measures against Iran, up to and including war.
I just published a new story at Antiwar.com about a Maariv report that the on-again/off-again joint Israeli-U.S. military exercises are on-again. They are scheduled for October, only a few weeks before the presidential election (surely a coincidence!). These will be the largest such military maneuvers in the history of both countries. They will focus on defending Israel from an Iranian counterattack after it pre-emptively attacks Iran. Though this is surely meant to send a message to Iran that such an attack on it creeps that much closer, it comes that much closer to guaranteeing that such an attack will happen. I’d be grateful if you’d disseminate the link to this post as widely as possible as it’s not been reported yet in U.S. media.