Friday, August 13, 2010



By Steven Candia

INTERNATIONAL terror cells have been operating recruitment cells in eastern Uganda, investigators said yesterday.

Speaking to journalists at the Kampala Media Centre, Police boss Maj. Gen. Kale Kayihura said the cells stretched from Mable, Soroti, Kitgum to the Uganda-Sudan border.

Kayihura added that the terrorists were conscripting children and hawkers whom they hoodwink with big money.

So far 81 suspects, he said, had been arrested, 22 of whom will be charged with terrorism.
Eight suspects will be handed over to the immigration department, while 27, referred to as a special group, will be detained. Some 24 others will be released on Police bond, he said.

“The eight Pakistanis arrested preaching in Pallisa were initially in Kasese recruiting children and indoctrinating them in Madarasa (Koran schools). The next thing, they were in Pallisa without documents,” Kayihura said.

Intelligence says Ugandan, Kenyan, Tanzanian, Rwandan and Burudians are being trained jointly by the al-Qaeda and al-Shabaab in Mogadishu.
Kayihura said four bombs in suicide vests were smuggled into Uganda from Somalia, assembled locally and later used in the attacks. He said though the attacks were carried out by Ugandans, the planning was by al-Qaeda and al-Shabaab.

“The attacks were planned by terror cells of the al-Qaeda and the al-Shabaab and this was an international terrorist operation,” Kayihura said.

International terrorists sneaked into the country between April and May to plan the attacks and left after surveying the two scenes of the blasts––The Ethiopian Village Restaurant in Kabalagala and the Kyaddondo Rugby Club in Lugogo, he disclosed.

He said the initial plan was to have four suicide bombers but some of them developed cold feet and fled the country. “They left behind two suicide bombers and that is why they decided to use detonators.”

Present were Abas Byakagaba, the counter-terrorism boss, and Moses Sakira, the criminal investigations head.

“This success has been because of the joint effort of the various security agencies led by the Police,” Kayihura said.
He warned terrorists. “If they think they are safe anywhere in the world, they are mistaken. We are networked and we will catch them,” he said.

The bomb in Kabalagala, Kayihura said, was detonated by a Kenyan suicide bomber identified as Kaka Suli. One of the bombs at Lugogo was detonated by a Somali and the second by a Ugandan, Edris Nsubuga. The fourth bomb recovered from Ice Link Discotheque in Makindye, a day after the grisly blasts, failed to detonate because it mal-functioned, Kayihura added. “It failed to go off because of a technicality,” he stressed.

Initial reports had intimated that the suicide bomber could have developed cold feet.

Kayihura said some of the Ugandan suspects had fought alongside al-Shabaab in Mogadishu against AU forces, and that Luyima had been implicated in the November 2002 attempt to shoot down an Israeli Arkia plane in Mombasa.