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Israeli Intelligence Knew Of Possible al-Qaida Attacks In Africa - 2002-12-03


An Israeli security official says Israeli intelligence had advance warning that al-Qaida was planning attacks in Africa and that Kenya was a likely target.

But the official, military intelligence chief General Yossi Kuperwasser, is quoted by Israel radio as saying the warning was only general -- without enough detail to have prevented the suicide bombing of the Paradise resort hotel in Mombasa.

The blast killed 10 Kenyans, three Israelis, and the three suicide bombers.

Minutes before the blast, two missiles were fired at an Israeli passenger plane leaving the city, narrowly missing their target.

Kenyan authorities -- meanwhile -- are being criticized for allegedly ignoring warning signs that a terrorist attack was imminent.

A report in Tuesday's Kenya's daily independent newspaper, The Nation, outlines several warnings received by security officials before the attacks. The newspaper reports officials were told that a bomb had been smuggled into the country. The report says they also had the names and pictures of two terrorists, both Iraqis, who planned to enter Kenya from Somalia to carry out the attack.

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