Members of the Israeli Mossad spy agency and the FBI are reportedly helping investigate whether terrorism was behind a massive fire at a Kenyan airport earlier this month.
The August 7 fire at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport shut down operations at the major gateway to East Africa and gutted the arrivals hall.
US President Barack Obama pledged support to Kenya after the fire, and according to Kenya’s Citizen News, members of the FBI and the Mossad were probing the cause of the blaze.
A Kenyan official told the Associated Press that terror was ruled out by investigators.
Michael Kamau, the cabinet secretary for transport and infrastructure, said Kenyan officials were receiving assistance from international agencies “because we intend to carry out a full investigation on what happened yesterday.” One of the officials who spoke to AP confirmed that members of the FBI were assisting.
Kenya and Israeli security agencies have a long history of cooperation, dating back to the Entebbe hostage crisis in 1976.
According to foreign media reports, the Mossad runs an outpost in Nairobi, tasked with maintaining security ties with Kenya and other East African nations.
The airport fire took place on the anniversary of twin blasts at US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed 224 people in 1998.
Kenya has also seen terror targeted at Israelis. In 2002, terrorists blew up an Israeli-owned hotel in Mombasa, killing 13, and launched an unsuccessful attack on an Israeli plane departing from the airport there.
In May of this year, two Iranians were jailed for life for planning massive bombing attacks on Jewish, Israeli and Western targets in the country. Defense lawyers claimed that Israeli security official interrogated the two while in Kenyan custody.