New Vision (Kampala)
Uganda: Police Foil Another Bomb Attack in Kampala
Kampala — THE Police and other security agencies in the country foiled a planned second attack on the country by arresting al-Qaeda's top leaders on September 15, in Kampala.
Omar Awadh Omar, said to be the second-in-command of the East Africa al-Qaeda terrorist cell, has been charged alongside a Muslim human rights activist, Al Amin Kimathi, for the murder of 79 people in the July 11 twin bomb blasts in Kampala. They are now remanded in Rapid Response Unit cells near Kampala.
According to new intelligence information, Omar and local al-Shabaab slippers in Uganda were using local resources to make the deadly explosives.
"He came to lay the ground work for a possible further attack but using local resources that were being assemble in the suburb," said a source.
How it all happened
Awadh, a Kenyan citizen, is high in the hierarchy of the terror slippers and is second to the region's al-Qaeda boss, Harun Fazul, according to The Star, a Kenyan newspaper.
He is also a well respected businessman in Kenyan with close political and business connections. He has got several businesses across the East African region that range from transport to tourism.
Before his arrest on September 15, in a city hotel, Police had tracked him for six weeks from Nairobi, his dealings in Somalia until the time he entered the country on September 7.
Awadh acquired temporary travel documents from the Malaba border point and travelled by road to Kampala. Once in Kampala, Awadh stayed in different hotels and apartments.
He acquired 18 different phones and 18 mobile sim cards which he used to communicate with the al-Shabaab slippers in Uganda in the seven days he operated in Kampala, before his arrest.
For the seven days that he operated in the country, Awadh, however, never contacted his mother, believed to be Ugandan and lives in a Kampala suburb or any of his relatives. He instead spent the day in one place, communicating on phone with al-Shabaab leaders in Somalia, Kenya or in Uganda and holding meetings at night.
In the seven days, he travelled in the night, using bodaboda (motorcycles) only and used lonely routes. He also avoided the city centre. Awadh, security sources said, would disguise himself as a Rastafarian, Sheikh or a well-grown businessman.
Security sources said he held meetings with the slipper members in the wee hours of the morning, normally between 2:00am and 4:00am.
After seven days in the country, security said, he agreed to meet with Kimathi at Niagara Hotel, on Entebbe road, in Kampala, where the two were arrested on September 15.
Security alleged that Awadh's transport and tour business in the country is a cover for al-Shabaab activities. It is also alleged that Kimathi's organisation is the biggest front where money is wired to different cells.
Details filtering in indicate that Awadh co-ordinated the horrid July attacks at the Ethiopian Village Restaurant in Kabalagala and at the Kyadondo Rugby Club in Lugogo, which also left more than 50 people injured.
Kenyan intelligence and police sources point at Awadh, also known as Abu Sahal, as the top logistician of the East African al-Qaeda cell and the al-Shabaab terrorists in Somalia.
After the twin attacks in Kampala, the two were reportedly planning a similar attack in Kenya, sources said.
Sources intimated that the planning of the Kampala July 11 attack dates back to 2008. This followed the killing of Saleh Nabhan by the US, the then number two to Fazul. The network then started the mission, dispatching several key players to Somalia for training and indoctrination.
Regional intelligence sources say Awadh, a second-hand car dealer, recruits youth from Kenya and neighbouring countries into the terror cells, which have spread their activities to Uganda and Tanzania.
Sources added that Awadh facilitates the travel and training of the recruits in Somalia, usually co-ordinated by a cell in Nairobi.
* East Africa
According to the network structure, Omar Badrudin (head of al-Qaeda intelligence) and Bilal el Berjawi reported directly to Fazul. Berjawi first entered the country in July. He is known under four different names: Halway Carpet, Omar Yusuf, Bilal Berjawi and Bilal el Berjaour. He was born on September 28, 1984 and bears three passports with the numbers 301307039, 303941310 and 800307153.
In July, New Vision reported that three al-Shabaab members had entered the country. The three were identified as Walla Eldin Abdel Rahman, born on September 1, 1982 and bearing passport number 039813894 and Sakrih Mohammed, born on February 6, 1985 and bearing passport number 012726483.
About 34 suspects, including Hassan Agade, have been charged with the killings. The arrest of Awadh and Agade means that Uganda now has two top commanders of the terror cells of al-Shabaab and al-Qaeda.