Kenyan security agents have arrested two men in one month on suspicion of terror and espionage on behalf of the Iranian state intelligence.
Abubakar Louw and Yassin Juma reportedly admitted to conspiring to carry out terror attacks against Western targets in Kenya, including hotels in Nairobi frequently used by Western tourists, businesspeople and diplomats.
Police sources say Louw, 69, was arrested on October 29 after a long intensive investigation.
He is described as a senior figure in the Shiite community in Nairobi.
Louw admitted to recruiting young Kenyans to spy and mount terror attacks in Nairobi.
He is said to have admitted to be working on behalf of the Qods Force, a clandestine overseas military wing of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which carries out the terror activities worldwide.
One of the students recruited by Louw was 25-year-old Juma from Nairobi.
Louw arranged for Juma to travel to Iran and introduced him to the Qods Force contact, nicknamed Parsa, whose real name is Mojtaba Ghanbarian.
Parsa subsequently gave Juma a set of tasks and Western targets for future terror attacks in Nairobi.
However, police arrested Juma on November 19 upon his return to Nairobi after undertaking military training in Iraq.
Louw also admitted that he was approached by Iranian government officials in 2012 to serve the country’s military intelligence organisation and was tasked with identifying suitable Kenyan students aged 20-30 who would become spies and carry out attacks.
He is said to have recruited Kenyan young Muslim men as secret operatives for Qods.
The recruits were enticed with the promise of a scholarship for Islamic Studies and military training in Iran.
When Juma travelled to Iran in April, he used the guise of going for Islamic training on scholarship, hence, did not raise any suspicion from the Immigration department.
Following investigations by Kenyan security agents, which involved reaching out to other services in Africa, it has been determined that Parsa has visited several countries in the continent in the past.
He met Juma in Karbala, Iraq, in October when the Kenyan student was introduced to special training that was scheduled when the two first met in Iran in April.
Parsa paid Juma thousands of dollars to fund his and Louw’s terror activities in Kenya.
While in Iraq, Parsa introduced Juma to Iranian experts who trained him on tactical fieldwork, methods for withstanding interrogation and how to disguise his true identity.
In Karbala, Juma met an Iranian espionage expert nicknamed The Professor.
He taught Juma techniques of how to move from place to place while avoiding detection.