Mofaz sees signs Qaida was behind Kenya attacks (HA´ARETZ NEWS) By Yossi Melman and Gideon Alon 12/02/02)
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Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz said yesterday that there are signs that
Thursday´s terror attacks in Mombasa were carried out by al-Qaida.
"We do not yet have confirmed evidence that the terrorist attack in
Mombasa was carried out by Qaida, but there are some signs indicating
it," Mofaz told the cabinet.
Mofaz said the rigged car which exploded in the city´s Paradise Hotel
contained at least 200 kg. of explosives. It is clear that the act
was intended to harm Israeli tourists and that there was close
coordination between the timing of launching the two shoulder
missiles toward an Arkia plane departing from the Kenyan city and the
hotel attack, he said. Mofaz said that two other missiles that had
not been launched were found at the missile launching site.
Israeli and Kenyan teams investigating the two attacks are at odds
over where to bring the findings uncovered at the Paradise Hotel.
Over the past three days, the two teams, with the FBI´s help, have
been gathering parts of the terrorists´ Pajero SUV, the bomb-racks of
the missiles launched toward the Arkia plane, and the two missiles
that were not launched. All the findings were put into IDF sacks. The
Israeli team, comprising representatives of the Mossad, the Shin Bet
and the police´s forensic identification department, wants to take
the findings to laboratories in Israel. However, the Kenyans object,
claiming the findings must stay there to help them with their
The only new discovery in the inquiry so far have been metal pieces
indicating the terrorists used a gas container in addition to
explosives. The investigators managed to identify the vehicle number,
but are having difficulty tracing its owner; the bodies of the three
in the vehicle were mutilated beyond recognition.
Senior sources in the Kenyan police admitted that despite having no
information on the identity of the perpetrators of the attack or
those who ordered the attack, they agree with the assumption that the
incident bears Qaida´s fingerprints. The 10 suspects being held by
the Kenyan police - six Pakistanis and four Somalis - have no
connection to the attack in Mombasa and are currently held for drug
(© Copyright 2002 Ha´aretz 12/02/02)
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