31 May 2012

Uganda: Suspect Al-Shabaab Terrorist Sneaks Into Country

Photo: New Vision
Police on alert as the hunt for other suspected terrorists continue.

A suspected al-Shabaab terrorist has sneaked into Uganda through Kenya, the Inspector General of Police, Lt Gen. Kale Kayihura told journalists during the launch of the annual crime report at Imperial Royale hotel in Kampala Thursday.

Kayihura said that man traveled to Uganda by a public bus from Nairobi with the aid of the driver and conductor [taut].

The IGP said the man dodged being photographed at the bus terminal in Nairobi when he moved out of the bus at the time local authorities started taking pictures of all passengers on board before it embarked on the journey to Kampala.

Kayihura explained the suspected terrorist who is being trailed by the police re-entered the bus about three kilometers from the bus terminal.

He carried a bag which the conductor later put in the luggage chamber.

At this moment a suspicious female passenger reportedly took the photograph of the man using her phone.

Kayihura said the woman whose identity he declined to name told the police that the suspected terrorist disembarked from the bus about three kilometers ahead of the border point between Uganda and Kenya where he entered the bush, leaving his luggage behind.

The IGP also explained that the woman informed police that the same man reappeared from the bush and got onto the bus again about three kilometers away from the border point.

The man alighted from the bus at a certain point in Kampala city center on Jinja road after the conductor advised him to do so.

The driver and the conductor of the bus have since recorded statements with police.

Last week, security agencies in Uganda and other East African countries warned of a new terror threat in the region planned towards the end of the month of May.

Security agencies said the terrorists groups including al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, Boko Haram, Qods, and al-Shabaab intend to mark the first anniversary of the death of their leader Osama bin Laden with bomb blasts.

Terror alert on

Kayihura Thursday said Uganda remains on a high terror alert, owing to the threats security agencies have been receiving from the terrorist groups. He said the terrorists target crowded places and those frequented by foreigners. Meanwhile, he revealed that police would seek legal advice to close public places that have failed to put in place security measures to guard against terror attacks.

This fresh news about terrorism activities comes after a blast struck a shopping complex in Nairobi's business district on Monday, wounding over 30 people at Moi Avenue.

In the recent past, several people have been killed in a string of attacks in Nairobi and the port city of Mombasa since Kenya sent troops into Somalia last year to fight al-Qaeda-linked militants it accused of kidnappings that threatened tourism in the country.

The al-Shabaab militants who merged with al-Qaeda earlier this year, have been claiming responsibility for the attacks.

The militants killed 76 people in Uganda when they bombed football fans as they watched the 2010 World Cup finals at Kyadondo rugby grounds and Ethiopian village restaurant in Kampala.

The al-Shabaab said they had carried out the attacks in retaliation for Uganda's involvement in peace keeping efforts in Somalia where they are fighting a transitional government.

Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania have experienced terror attacks since 1998 in which scores of people have died.

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