'Israeli spies tortured, killed Kenyan suspects'

Kenya: Kenya allowed Israeli spy agency, Mossad, to interrogate and kill suspects arrested after the bombing of an Israeli-owned hotel in Kikambala, Kilifi County in 2002, leaked messages have alleged.

After capturing some suspects, the Israelis reportedly slashed and fed them to crocodiles. There is no indication of where they were allegedly dumped.

Three Israelis and 13 Kenyans were killed in the terrorist attack, blamed on suicide bombers and claimed by a previously unknown group-Army of Palestine.

According to the cables, the Israeli intelligence agents killed the suspects to avenge the deaths of three compatriots killed in the attacks.

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The allegations back claims by dozens of suspects detained after the attack that they were interrogated and tortured at undisclosed places by white foreigners.

Terrible crimes

The cables disclose that minutes after the attack Mossad's leadership deployed agents from a unit called Kidon "to find and kill the men" behind the bombings. Other intelligence sources are also quoted as saying several suspects were killed and the Israelis "dumped their bodies in crocodile infested waters".

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Obtained by Al Jazeera and the UK's The Guardian newspaper, the reports allege Mossad's extensive activities in Kenya, including against terror suspects, training of Kenya's intelligence and security services and also confirm past activities on Kenyan soil in which the Israelis were suspected to have been involved.

These include the capture of Kurdish nationalist leader Abdullah Ocalan in Nairobi in 1999 for which the Turkish government took responsibility, but which according to the cables was orchestrated by Mossad after intercepting Ocalan's communication from the Greek embassy in Nairobi.

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Regarding the November 28, 2002 Kikambala bombing, the cables report that minutes after the attack and the near simultaneous attempt to shoot down an Israel airliner at Moi International Airport in Mombasa, Mossad dispatched its agents from the four corners of Africa and the world to find the terrorists and their backers.

A cable, apparently leaked from South Africa's intelligence detailing Mossad's activities in Africa titled-Geopolitical Country and Intelligence Assessment-and which is marked SECRET, alleges Mossad agents from two sections of the Israel spy agency swarmed Mombasa and other coastal towns to hunt down perpetrators of the attacks.

"Israeli Prime minister Ariel Sharon has pledged to avenge the killings of the Israelis in Kenya and has deployed agents to Kenya," states the cable referring to a conversation by then Israeli's premier.

The cable further alleges Mossad agents in Nigeria, who had provided vital information intelligence on Al-Qaeda in Kenya, joined the hunt for the killers.

Apparently, the Mossad agents in Nigeria were joined by other agents from a unit known as Katsas based in South Africa and other foreign capitals. "Katsas in South Africa have joined colleagues in Mombasa, Rome and Cyprus who went to Kenya to assist in the investigation."

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The document suggests that terrible crimes were committed by the Israelis in the course of avenging the deaths and claims "no one knows for certain what the Mossad team had".

"But sources in a number of intelligence services say it (Kidon) killed several suspected terrorists," it says.

On other Mossad activities in Kenya, the documents claim Mossad assisted the Turkish government to track down Ocalan after he had secretly entered Kenya and sought refugee at Greek embassy in Nairobi.

"In 1999 Mossad assisted Turkey to capture Abdullah Ocalan, the Kurdish leader that waged a guerrilla war against Turkey," it says.

"A Mossad agent influenced one of his (Ocalan's) Kurdish bodyguards to persuade Ocalan to get out of the embassy and go to Iraq to regroup. He went on an aircraft that left for Athens but he ended up in a Turkey jail."

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Broke links

According to the cables, historic and lengthy interactions remained between Kenya's security and intelligence apparatus and Mossad which, apparently, thrived even after Kenya and other African nations broke diplomatic links with Israeli in solidarity with Palestinians.

Besides assisting Israelis launch a raid on Entebbe, that rescued Israeli hostages in Uganda in 1976, the cables also allege in 1974 Kenyan authorities contemplated assisting the Israelis, to secretly, move Ethiopian Jews to Israel through Kenya.

The document also claims Mossad fanned animosity between Kenya's intelligence and other foreign intelligence networks active in Kenya. The Israelis exposed an alleged extensive Chinese spy network in Kenya leading to its dismantling. Mossad's exposure of foreign spies, reportedly, led to the uncovering of a British spy " and Israel developed excellent intelligence cooperation with Kenya...."

During the Cold War Mossad favoured Kenya, alongside the former Zaire, Liberia and Ghana, according to the cables.

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