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Emerging intelligence information indicates that Ugandan security was alerted by a South Africa-based informer to the presence of militants in the country planning to strike targets in Kampala. This happened months before Sunday’s synchronised bomb blasts at Lugogo and in Kabalagala that killed at least 74 people.

Sources told The Observer on Tuesday that an unnamed mother of a radicalised Somali young man living in South Africa, who did not want her son to get involved in terrorist attacks, told Ugandan security officers in October last year that militants were planning to bomb Kampala.
It appears that the security services did not properly coordinate and process this information to avert an attack, even after the Commander-in-Chief, Gen. Yoweri Museveni warned his top commanders of a possible attack around the same time.
In a memo dated October 26, 2009 to the Chief of Defence Forces, Gen. Aronda Nyakairima, the Chief of Military Intelligence, Brig. James Mugira and the police chief, Maj. Gen. Kale Kayihura, Museveni instructed them to step up security vigilance at all military installations to prevent a possible attack by Al Shabaab, a militant Islamist group reportedly with links to Osama Bin Laden’s Al Qaeda.

 

Indeed, on Monday, a security source told us that Ugandan intelligence was aware of the presence of terrorists in the country but did not know who they were, where they were hiding, when they planned to strike and which places they were targeting.
Army spokesman, Lt. Col. Felix Kulayigye couldn’t comment on that particular information but simply said that the terror threat has been on since last year.
In fact, in December 2009, highly placed military sources told The Observer that the commander of the Ugandan peacekeeping contingent in Somalia, Maj. Gen. Nathan Mugisha, had advised the Commander of the Lands Forces, Lt. Gen. Katumba Wamala, to put the UPDF and other security agencies on “extra alert” as some Ugandan-trained militants could plan a terrorist attack in the country.
It was reported then that the UPDF was training Somali forces at Bihanga Military Training School in the western Uganda district of Ibanda. The UPDF, this paper would later learn, was shocked when it discovered that one of the Al Shabaab fighters killed in a skirmish with AU forces near Medina Hospital in Mogadishu was one of those trained by the Ugandan army at Bihanga.
Another Islamist fighter who was injured in the same fighting was also Uganda-trained, raising fear that the UPDF was unknowingly training fighters for Al Shabaab.
“AMISOM has discovered that one [of the Al Shabaab fighters] who died and one of the injured were trained by UPDF,” our source in Somalia said then. He added that this had confirmed fears that some of the Somalis trained in Uganda had turned their guns on the peace-keeping troops.
Fearing that the country may have been infiltrated by militants who are familiar with its geography and other features, military intelligence personnel have since Monday been combing the city and its suburbs for any possible terrorist cells.
The search for any possible terror cells became urgent when the Police Anti- Terrorism Unit (PATU) defused another bomb in Makindye that had been left in a bag inside a busy pub. Police says some people have been arrested, but couldn’t say whether they were held in connection with the Kyadondo, Kabalagala or Makindye incidents.
The bombs exploded at about 11pm during the match between Spain and The Netherlands in South Africa, at a popular Ethiopian restaurant in Kabalagala, and at Kyadondo Rugby Club in Lugogo where hundreds of people had assembled to watch the game. At least 76 people were killed and more than 70 injured.

MULTIPURPOSE BOMBS

Maj. Gen. Kayihura described as “multipurpose” the explosives used in the attacks.
The bombs, Police say, could either be planted or worn as a vest. Kayihura and the Director of PATU, Abbas Byakagaba said that the Makindye bomb was similar to the ones that exploded at Lugogo and in Kabalagala, meaning all were coordinated.
Coming after repeated warnings by Al-Shabaab who have since claimed responsibility, the July 11 attack has put to question the preparedness of those responsible for the safety of Ugandans.
Just last week, Sheik Muktar Robow, the Al- Shabaab commander, repeated his group’s earlier threat calling for terror attacks on Uganda and Burundi.
The group is unhappy with Uganda and Burundi’s peace-keeping mission in Somalia which they say is an invasion of an Islamic country by “infidels.”  Uganda and Burundi are the only African peace-keeping countries in Somalia.
Kayihura says the attacks would have been prevented if the management of the rugby club and Ethiopian Village Restaurant had used metal detectors to check everybody who entered the venues.

The deputy Inspector General of Police, Assan Kasingye said the proprietors of the two places had inadequate security. “There wasn’t even a single guard at the Ethiopian Village Restaurant,” he said.
Kasingye noted that Police had played its role to alert the public of a possible terror attack and carried out sensitisation campaigns in public places. He said all district police commanders had been instructed to do the same in their respective areas.
“We did our part, we have been alerting the public to be on the lookout,” he said.
He however admitted that the campaign might have been inadequate.
“We need to do more. People need to be reminded [about the terror threats] all the time.”
In October last year, Police issued an alert in which it instructed proprietors of hotels, restaurants and entertainment places to take extra-precautionary security measures.
Kayihura on Tuesday announced that the Police and other security agencies will now be visiting social gatherings, public places like hotels, supermarkets, hospitals, stadiums, campaign rallies, markets and places of worship to ensure that they have adequate security arrangements. He hinted at the possibility of stopping some of the events organised without taking into consideration basic security measures such as security checks on entry.
Incidentally, Lugogo was a scene of an attempted bomb attack early this year when police removed suspected explosives that was thrown in one of the sewage paths opposite the rugby grounds. Kabalagala has also been targeted by bomb attackers before.
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Comments

 
0 #1 Harunna 2010-07-14 18:38
How on earth did Somalia peace or bsence of it become our business for us to engage in this so called PEACE KEEPING

From where am standing we have enough problems on our plate to put our nose into Somalias and as everyone now will agree we these dire consequencies are indirectly self inflicted

LETS PULLOUT OF SOMALIA and have our peace as before. Trying to bring order to somalia has proved way too expensive for us after all none of these peace keeping missions are successful not for AMERICA not for BRITAIN therefore can never be for UGANDA
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0 #2 Jim Kamezza 2010-07-14 18:55
the police is partisan not good for value , its a waste of tax payers money , mob justice ,ritual killings ,beheadings and all the nasty crimes tell that the country lacks civillian policing , the dictator has been exposed and dont know what remains to happen
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0 #3 Kivumbi Earnest Benjamin 2010-07-14 20:28
The more revelations made about these July 11 Attacks, the more bitter I feel. This shocking report makes me doubt whether the Uganda Government would have been in position to avert these terrorist attacks that have claimed people. If the possibility was there and as evidenced by these reports then it would take a million words to convince the people of Uganda and the entire world that this was beyond our measure.

But something comes lingers in my mind equally as we ask as ourselves whether our government would have done something; If the U S in her superiority failed to stop the September 11 Attacks, then who are we?


Terrorism has become the systematic weapon of a war that knows no borders or seldom has a face.

While we must remain determined to defeat terrorism, it isn’t only terrorism we are fighting. It’s the beliefs that motivate terrorists. A new ideology of hatred and intolerance has arisen to challenge Uganda and Pan-Africanism.

This is not a battle between the Uganda and terrorism. It is a battle between the free democratic world and terrorism.
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0 #4 Sewy 2010-07-15 06:24
Haruna it is being very shortsighted to think that any problems in Somalia do not concern or affect Uganda. Right now you are paying more for every commodity or service you consume because of the high fuel costs. Sea shipment cost on the Indian Ocean is high due to pirate risks that originate from Somalia. Just imagine you have to pay more for even the makooke that come from your father’s village because of the unlawlessness in Somalia.
Secondly Somalia has a 3000 km coastline on the east with proximity with the middle East and it borders with Sudan on the west. You can not let radicals control such a strategic place other wise there will be more insecurity/instability in southern Sudan, Durfal region, Ethiopia and N. Uganda due to unchecked arm trafficking. If you must note that the al shabab boasted of killing Christians in Kampala. That indicates more than the UPDF presence in Somalia motivated the attack.

More than before, Uganda needs to strengthen the forces in Somalia, get on the offensive than peacekeeping mission.
The last time a terrorist group controlled a state, tragic history was written on 9/11 and the world has never been the same. Al shabab should never take control of Somalia, I am glad UPDF is there to prevent them.
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0 #5 JM 2010-07-15 08:29
For Africa's security, Uganda needs to bombo all al-shabab strong hold towns and they find their way out to accept lasting peace deal. UPDF should send more troops to somalia under the premix of government forces and the flush those shabab fighter.
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0 #6 Jim Kamezza 2010-07-15 08:48
I call on upon m7 not to pass the Amama phone tapping Law , its not good for business, it cant work and it is further squeezing Ugandans in the the corner ,terrorists dont speak in Lukiga when plotting , dont follow Amama a mean hearted man ,prosecute him for UPDF man found dead in his compound , he is a hopeless minion waste of space ,
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0 #7 Grace 2010-07-15 12:39
Surely the insecurity in somalia does affect us all in many ways like economicaly, socially, politicaly, security wise etc. I think now is not the time for aportioning blame because in any case the tragedy is already with us. I would urge Ugandans to support the govt in its bid to fight terorism. Today it is in Somalia, Uganda etc, but soon it may spread too wide and then it will be more dificult to contain. There is need for other african countries to come up and contribute troops to fight the teror forces in Somalia. Unless we work together, uganda and Burundi will find it very dificult to achieve peace in Somalia.
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0 #8 Mwaka 2010-07-15 13:20
Thank you Micheal for the news piece.
In the wake of such an incident of suicide bombers attacking especially the majority young Ugandans enjoying a night out at the World Cup final, we must pull out our forces lest other countries on the continent also contribute some soldiers.

How naive was our president to publicly tell the world that Al shabab are cowards , that they should have attacked the barracks not people watching world cup, my dear remember these terrorists don't want to take power at Nakasero, all what they want is to inflict pain on what they view as aggressors on their soil back in Somalia.
We should pull out soon.
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0 #9 Isaac 2010-07-15 13:38
Sewy, your analysis is indeed spot on. Much as we are angered by what just befell us, we should not be short sighted and fail to realise the strategic importance of a peaceful Somalia (one that is not controlled by radicals) specially to a country like ours given its location and the problems that we have faced with insurgents who cross boarders with ease for safety as they wreck havoc. With such problems, it would have been an error in judgement to just sit back and watch Somalia being taken over and hope that the effects would never trickle down to us.
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0 #10 Peter L. kato 2010-07-15 13:45
A popular American country musician, Kenny Rogers, once sang these words: "Some times You don't Have to fight to be a Man" How true that!

Can those proponents of our continued stay in Somalia quite honestly tell me how long it took us to chase Kony from the northern Uganda, huh?

And this is in spite of the fact that the guy was fighting a primitive guerrilla war using very rudimentary equipments. And news coming in is that the guy is still very much around.

Waging war in the Central African Republic, killing,raping & maiming in Congo, Sudan and elsewhere. Even the North is yet to be completely secured!

Is it really tenable then to start swearing vehemently to 'purse the enemy (the Al- Shabaab) wherever he is'?

When it took us an entire 25 years + some vital backing of the world's super power, not to completely dislodge the JIGGER (Kony) from our little toe, but only register some dismal success in arresting his Kaunda suit & displacing him momentarily to CAR!!!

Don't you people sit down a little while and try to consider this: that by insisting on staying and sending more of our troupes to that little and Savage country, we are instead spreading our selves so thin?

Plus inviting even more of their anger & counter vengeance on our unsuspecting citizenry!?

Please our decision makers try to carefully think this through. And do it while you are stone-cold SOBER. Leave any egos out of this.

Come to think of it, Uganda as a country still has a lot of its geese to bite (or is it pluck!)
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0 #11 nze kenyini 2010-07-15 14:54
I hear Museveni is going to Somalia to keep peace and we poor Ugandans we believe in that.We have no food to feed our selves then we go and help other people.Naye banange kale Katonda osobola,u leave such people to make us suffer?God is dead.
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0 #12 nze kenyini 2010-07-15 15:01
the only question is why this people bomb us?Don't say coz they are stupid ,no,they have their reasons.Either we are all stupid or we are all greedy.
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0 #13 nze kenyini 2010-07-15 15:05
Really God why Africa,are we so that much stupid?greedy?money minded?to sell our Gold so cheaply?what on earth have we ever done to u God?What?tell me now God what?U are being unfair God.U must be white man's friend.God u are a racist.
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0 #14 kabayekka 2010-07-15 15:28
Indeed South African warnings must always be taken serious. This is a country that has been occupied by foreign forces since 1400 century. These Africans have their history of international atrocities in full. It is an African political and economic country to reckon with.
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0 #15 Katongole 2010-07-15 17:04
The whole world has offered their support to our cause including president obama but its only ssemujju that thinks that he's the only right man in the whole world!!
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0 #16 DJ Erycom 2010-07-15 19:20
Now am asking as to why Museven on behalf of the Ugandan Government accepted the army to go to Somalia? Why not make security better in Kampala than fighting in Somalia. But still Ugandans should remeber that in 2005 almost near election time, the same incident of bombs happened in kampala. It also happened in 2001, who should we blame and why? Twakoowa era Katubalinde 2011 when we see you going back to wherever you came from. God bless The Observer, God bless Ugandan Radio Dotcom and also DJ Erycom in general
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0 #17 mbogo 2010-07-16 00:54
Just see what the taliban are doing to Pakistan..How many lives have been lost in the name of getting rid of the taliban..Pakistan economy with all the brain power is on downhill..Cant we see that Uganda cannot afford to go to war with an enemy they dont understand.Fire power is not the winner here.We cant even trace who is supporting Alshabab. We risk turning the Somali folk already settled in Uganda against us as I would imagine many of them may have relatives in Alshabab..Let us wake up and get out of Somalia..it will be the mistake of the century for Uganda..never to recover because of our misplaced ego.Look around the only way peace can come to Somalia is by supporting all the factions to get to negotiating table and solve their own problems..not us patronising them..May the Almighty bestow wisdom on to our leaders..Obama believes in dialogue
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0 #18 Katushabe Sula 2010-07-16 02:06
I feel sorry for the dead and victims of the bomb blasts.However,the public should be patners to avert more of what happened by giving information to police about suspicious people.
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0 #19 angie 2010-07-16 05:14
i commend the UPDF for the work they've done in Somalia.But they should remeber that they cant do it all alone.What happened to other countries forces?why arent they joining in the fight in Somalia? and why are the somalis figting?what is the origin of that way?remeber they are fighting against themselves.Ugandan trained somalia soliders in al shabab?are we getting the point?we are training the same people that are destroying us.lets us first sort issues at home then we can help our neighbours.Our boys should come home.Let other AU states contribute to the peace in somalia.If our people keep on dying then that mission is not worthy it.It our right as citzens of this country to be protected by the government.Ifit means our boys getting out of somalia,then let it be.what is government doing about the immigration laws?anyone can come into this country without documentation,t he government should style up.We come first,and the rest follow.
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0 #20 Jim Kamezza 2010-07-16 07:29
Al Shabaab has won , it has lived to its true definition as a terrorist outfit ,Ugandan govt has been beaten ,mauled and left panicking ,its now exerting terror on the poeple of Uganda in the name of fighting Alshabaab. So now to Ugandans who is the terrorist they should fear ? the one who kills and takes away all their civil liberties or they one who kills once in a blue moon? The Dictator's pants have been torn and his bowls exposed , His is weak and an opportunist
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