Monday, Aug 11, 2008
US military planes have been making secretive landings in Kenya in what is feared to be an effort to move terror suspects.
The night landings by US military planes at Nairobi’s Wilson Airport, carrying Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operatives, have raised suspicion among both local security agents and aviation authorities.
The planes belonging to the Prescott Support Group, which has been accused in other parts of the world of being involved in the rendition of terror suspects and having strong links with the CIA, were allowed to operate in Kenya two months ago, even after the country’s aviation authorities questioned the move.
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Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) Director-General Chris Kuto said the planes were only involved in “aerial mapping operations”.
“We did give them a license yes but only to carry out mapping activities in Northern Kenya. I am not aware of any other secret activities they are involved in,” Kuto told Press TV correspondent in Kenya on Sunday.
The issue raises concerns especially at a time when Kenya security forces are in a frantic search for terror suspect, Fazul Abdullah Mohamed, accused of masterminding the August 1998 attack on the US Embassy in Nairobi which left more than 200 people dead and 5,000 others seriously injured.
Leaked CIA reports cite suspects being arrested, shackled, blindfolded and sedated, after which they are transported, usually by private jet, to other countries like Ethiopia where torture is used to force them into submission.
Human rights groups in Kenya have voiced concern over the mistreatment of terrorism suspects and the harassment of Muslims in the country under the guise of anti-terrorism efforts.
Kenya has previously handed over more than 15 terror suspects to the US and Ethiopian authorities in an exercise that angered many Muslim leaders.
This article was posted: Monday, August 11, 2008 at 1:18 pm