NAIROBI: Two Iranians have been charged with planning a terrorist act after their arrest for filming the Israeli embassy in the Kenyan capital this week.
Sayed Nasrollah Ebrahimi and Abdolhosein Gholi Safaee were charged and remanded in custody by a Nairobi court on Thursday alongside their Kenyan driver Moses Keyah Mbogah.
The three were charged with being “in facilitation of a terrorist act” after “taking video clips of the Israeli embassy using mobile phones”, the court heard.
The men were arrested by anti-terrorism police after filming outside the Israeli embassy on Tuesday, allegedly while driving in an Iranian embassy car. They denied the charges in court on Thursday.
Prosecutor Duncan Ondimu told the court the three had also been to Kamiti Maximum Security Prison outside Nairobi where they had visited two other Iranians, Ahmad Mohammed and Sayed Mousavi, who were serving a 15-year sentence for possessing explosives after being found guilty in 2013.
Kenya has been hit by a long string of attacks by Islamic militants, many of them Al-Qaeda-linked.
In 2002 Al-Qaeda jihadists bombed an Israeli-owned hotel in Mombasa and attempted to shoot down an Israeli passenger jet using a missile.
Al-Qaeda is an extremist Sunni group, while Iran is mainly Shiite Muslim.
Ebrahimi, Safaee and Mbogah will appear in court again on December 6 for a bail hearing.