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how to spread the danger around

Will Uganda be dragged into the War on Terror?

Inspector General of Police, Asan Kasingye, gave the warning at a dialogue on human rights and conflict sensitivity organized by the East African Institute of Governance and Conflict Management, the Germany Technical Cooperation (GTZ) and the Electoral Commission

  • Kasingye warned of threats of terrorist attacks during the election process.
  • He anticipates challenges like terrorism and riots.
  • He advised people to guard against assassinations, hostage-taking and armed attacks.
  • He suggested to his audience the need to work together and with the community.

The dialogue  was mainly intended to facilitate the development of benchmarks and common strategies for conflict and prevention of electoral violence.... It was attended by political party and human rights activists, Police and army officers, candidates in the coming elections and academia....Kasingye and army spokesman Lt. Col Felix Kulayigye denied allegations by the opposition that the Police and the army were recruiting militia ahead of the elections.
What is the GTZ?

  • A federally owned organization of Germany mandated to support the German government's objectives in international sustainability.
  • Identifies PROBLEMS and suggests SOLUTIONS around the world, especially in developing countries.
  • Founded privately in 1975 and based near Frankfurt.
  • Main client is the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
  • Other clients include European Commission, World Bank, the UN, and private corporations.
  • Offices in 88 countries, 15,000 staff worldwide.

Does Uganda have a terrorism problem?

Last summer, during the World Cup, a terrorist attack in Kampala killed dozens of people. The authorities first blamed the attacks on a Somali group, Al Shabab. Al Shabab, an offshoot of Al Qaeda. The Kampala attacks supposedly demonstrated Al Shabab's grand entrance as a player on the world stage.

US officials have talked recently of an increase of al-Qaeda activity in East Africa where militants have been helping train al-Shabaab fighters.
Al-Shabaab has claimed allegiance to al-Qaeda but its ability to launch attacks outside the country had been limited until the Kampala attacks in July. The group has recently been involved in heavy fighting in the Somali capital Mogadishu.
Later Western security sources claimed the attack was not the work of Al Shabab, but the work of "Al-Qaeda in East Africa."

Splitting hairs?

The idea seems to be to spread terrorism from Somalia into Uganda, thereby "proving" that the failed state Somalia facilitates the spread of terrorism. A PROBLEM.

Some people love PROBLEMS, because once you identify a PROBLEM, Something Must Be Done.

The GTZ, for instance, specializes in this sort of thing.


In September Dutch police arrested a British man of Somali origin.

September 20, 2010: Al Qaeda 'expands into Uganda'

Last night Dutch security officials were continuing to question a British man of Somali origin who was arrested on a plane at Schiphol airport on his way from Liverpool to Entebbe. Dutch prosecutors said they were investigating the man for links to a terrorist organisation but had not found any explosives.
A European diplomat in Kampala, Uganda's capital, said the man arrested in Amsterdam could have been acting as a copycat after the publicity following the Ugandan attack, which was blamed on the presence of Ugandan troops in Somalia under an African Union peace keeping mandate.
"The problem with something like the World Cup bombings is that it puts Uganda on the map of copycat attackers, who might not even really have known Uganda was involved [in Somalia] before," the diplomat said.
"This man could have been coming here to cause a nuisance, rather than because militants in Mogadishu were controlling him."
A security consultant specialising on Somalia said there was the "sense that the World Cup bombings were going to be a one-off, and al-Shabaab sent those guys here from Somalia."
But he added: "Then you see someone who's raised an alert being arrested on their way to Entebbe, and it sets off a lot of alarm bells. There may be no evidence yet that al-Shabaab is bedding down cells in Uganda for more attacks – but that doesn't mean they are not doing it."
Most foreigners wanting to join al-Shabaab's ranks are believed to fly to Kenya and then cross the porous land border with Somalia, or to fly to the northern semi-autonomous state of Somaliland and then travel south from there. To travel to Uganda and then intend to reach Somalia would involve crossing at least two international borders.

Or, the whole thing COULD HAVE BEEN nothing. It COULD HAVE BEEN just a guy minding his own business, who happened to be a Brit of Somali extraction traveling through Amsterdam. This "set off a lot of alarm bells" because someone, unknown, unnamed, tossed some information into the mix claiming that the man had serious plans to take part in the terrorist struggle in Somalia. Where did this information come from? We don't know. Everyone ran with it, and it turned out to be false. But since no one was named in the article -- not the Dutch security officials, or the Dutch prosecutors, or the European diplomat, or the security consultant -- no one has to worry about egg on face when the man is released a few days later. They got the story out there about what could have been. Mission accomplished.

September 22, 2010: Dutch police release Somali-born British terror suspect arrested on flight

Dutch authorities released without charge a Somali-born British man who was arrested at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport Sunday on suspicion of terrorism, according to the prosecution service.

"The man was freed on Wednesday morning and has since departed from the Netherlands," AFP quoted the prosecution service in a statement, adding the investigation "did not yield any additional incriminatory material."

The suspect was arrested over the weekend just before his flight for Uganda was scheduled to take off. He had arrived on a flight from John Lennon Airport in Liverpool, where authorities had tipped off Dutch police, AFP reported.

"According to information, the man had serious plans to take part in the terrorist struggle in Somalia and was willing to give his life for this purpose," AFP quoted Wednesday's statement.

Dutch and British authorities questioned the man as well as other witnesses and carried out searches, but "The investigation failed to confirm the information received on Sunday, September 19."

On Aug. 30, two other Yemeni travelers were arrested on suspicion of a terrorist plot after flying from Chicago to Amsterdam.

They reportedly had "suspicious items" in their baggage like cell phones taped together, but were later released without charge.
The investigation revealed "no additional incriminatory material." Meaning: nothing in addition to the bogus incriminatory material that some anonymous someone pulled out of his ass in the first place, to drive a story.

This story can be used again down the road if needed. It becomes a reference point: "Remember when they caught that Somali terrorist at the Amsterdam airport in September and let him go?!?! And then the Somali who wanted to blow up the Christmas tree?!!?..." Etc.

If a witness blurts out evidence in the courtroom, before the jury, and the judge orders it struck from the record, it's still too late. We can't un-see things, and we can't un-hear them, except in special circumstances.* The authorities know this. They know that the vast majority of people will not follow up and learn that the man was found innocent. The damage is done.


Fact is: Somalia is a failed state. Uganda has sent troops to Somalia. Many people in Somalia believe that is the reason for the attack in Kampala. They want Ugandan troops out of Somalia. The Ugandan people don't want to be dragged into this hellhole called the War on Terror.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni (see outstanding portrait here) disagrees about Al Shabab. He sees Al Shabab as a ragtag group that can be overcome. He offers Ugandan troops but needs financial support.

November 28, 2010: Uganda in bind over fighting Al Qaeda group

What Museveni sees in al-Shabab is an insurgency numbering only about 4,000 fighters divided along clan lines with artillery that at best includes improvised explosive devices and pickup trucks sporting anti-aircraft guns. That has kept the Transitional Federal Government from stabilizing Somalia and perhaps sustained al-Shabab's dream of turning the lawless horn of African country into an Islamic state.

But to the former bush leader who has now ruled Uganda for 24 years, that hardly amounts to a formidable force, and he is eager to put an end to the rebel group.

To do that, Museveni has offered to send up to 20,000 troops to Somalia to bolster the 7,200 African peacekeepers -- most of whom are Ugandan and Burundian -- already stationed there, so long as a richer nation foots the bill for logistics and equipment. No country has. It's an offer that still stands, and has continued to go unmet, leaving the 7,200 peacekeepers of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) to fend off al-Shabab in the country's war-torn capital, Mogadishu.

  • "The peacekeeping force has a mandate that allows it to strike pre-emptively."
  • "But low troop levels severely limit AMISOM's capacity to wrestle control of key locations in the capital."
  • "The protracted city fighting has also contributed to civilian casualties." [1,500 this year - ed.]
  • "An additional 200,000 have fled their homes."

Ugandan People's Defense Forces spokesman Felix Kulayigye said his men are disappointed by the lack of support from the international community, which has in the past branded Somalia a lawless breeding ground for global terrorism that must be stabilized. "We have the manpower," Kulayigye said. "But we don't have the capital." Uganda's budget is roughly 33 percent donor-dependent.

Ah, so, where is all the aid from the international community? Why doesn't the media whine incessantly about the lack of international aid to control Al Shabab in Somalia, seeing as they're all so worried about it? Maybe some people would prefer that Somalia remain a failed state? Maybe that facilitates the spreading of the terrorism? Which facilitates the entrance of troops and NGOs and various SOLUTIONS?

Anyway the "international community" has no money. We only have money to bail out the financial sector.

Guests at the party, organised by City magazine Square Mile, said they were preparing to return to their “old ways”... “It's not that decadent, this kind of thing goes on every other night of the week.”

A competing school of thought is that adding troops could turn local public opinion against the peacekeepers, strengthen outside support for al-Shabab and help extend its reach beyond Somalia. (Uganda in bind over fighting Al Qaeda group)

Well maybe. Maybe if peacekeeping troops go in and start behaving like they have elsewhere, roasting little boys over fire-pits, standing by while thugs rape the women and children for several days, carelessly letting their cholera-tainted sewage into the local water supplies, etc., maybe that might turn local public opinion against the peacekeepers and strengthen support for Al Shabab. However, the Ugandan peacekeeping troops might not behave like UN peacekeeping troops.

But even without beefing up troop levels, al-Shabab has been promising revenge against the Burundian and Ugandan "occupiers." The latest threat came earlier this month, when a representative of the insurgents warned of fresh attacks on Kampala and Bujumbura, the Burundian capital, if both governments did not immediately withdraw their troops.
It may depend on the training.

While Museveni waits for financial backing to deploy more troops, the European Union and the Ugandan People's Defense Forces are jointly training 2,000 Somali troops in Bihanga in southwestern Uganda to fight in built-up urban areas, with the first 1,000 to be deployed in Somalia next month, said Alberto Merlan, public information officer with the EU Training Mission.
Win win. What does the illustrious State Department have to say?

The United States supports Museveni's call for greater troop deployment in principle but differs on how it should be supported. In September, Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Johnnie Carson said the U.S., which has already committed about $229 million in financial assistance to AMISOM since its first mandate in 2007, would not take sole responsibility for funding additional troops. "The problem in Somalia is both a regional and a global problem and, in fact, should be shared globally," he said.

Washington may rethink that position if and when al-Shabab shows a greater capacity to inflict damage beyond Somalia's borders.

Riiiight. Better to wait until something happens first. Then it can be JUSTIFIED. But they are not ignoring Somalia. Not at all. They will focus on some northern regions: Puntland and Somaliland, "with the hope of stimulating better services and institutions in those areas and transforming them into bulwarks against Islamic extremism."

Location location location!

October 29, 2008: Five suicide bombers strike in northern Somalia

Northern Somalia was rocked today with five suicide attacks on multiple facilities, killing 28 Somalis and wounding scores more. The attacks appear to be the handiwork of Shabaab, the al Qaeda backed Islamist terror group seeking to retake control of the country.
The attacks occurred nearly simultaneously in the autonomous regions of Puntland and Somaliland, two regions which have seen little violence related to the Shabaab-led insurgency.
Three suicide car bombers struck the presidential palace, the United Nations Development Program compound, and the Ethiopian Consulate in the city of Hargeisa in Somaliland. Two bombers targeted two intelligence facilities in the city of Bosasso in Puntland.

...While no group has claimed responsibility for the attacks, the operation bears the hallmarks of al Qaeda. The synchronized attacks hit vital facilities and foreign agencies, and were timed to inflict massive casualties. Shabaab, al Qaeda's front in Somalia, was likely behind the strike.

The knowledge and experience to conduct such attacks is organic to Shabaab. Al Qaeda operatives Fazul Abdullah Mohammed and Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan are senior leaders within Shabaab. Fazul serves as Shabaab's intelligence chief, while Nabhan is a senior member who also serves as a spokesman.
Fazul and Nabhan were responsible for planning and the execution of the coordinated bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998. Fazul was also behind the 2002 car bombing attack in Kenya and missile attack on an Israeli airliner.

...Shabaab has formally reached out to al Qaeda with a request for full integration into the terror network. Nabhan made the appeal on a videotape. In September, Shabaab announced "Operation No Peace Without Islam." The Campaign is designed to divide the weak Somali government and Ethiopia and the African Union, and project power outwards from the traditional strongholds in central and southern Somalia.

Sophisticated. Doesn't sound like a bunch of Somali clan members with pickup trucks and IEDs.

It sounds like state-sponsored terrorism, of which we are all familiar, whether we know it or not.


We think Uganda might be getting pressured into cooperating with the War on Terror.
December 4, 2010: Uganda: Strange disease could be plague

THE mysterious disease that has devastated parts of Acholi and Karamoja sub-regions for close to a month could be human plague. Kitgum district LC5 chairman, John Komakech Ogwok, quoting sources from the World Health Organisation, said on Friday evening that preliminary tests point at the plague. "Information from the World Health Organisation says that the strange disease that has been disturbing us seems to be plague.

December 7, 2010: Toronto man claims FBI wanted him to spy on a Nairobi mosque suspected of harbouring members of the al-Qaeda linked Somali militant group Al Shabab

Abdi Aziz Ali, a 32-year-old Somali-Canadian, said the Americans approached him at the Ugandan jail where he was being held in connection with the July bombings that killed 76 people watching the World Cup final in the capital Kampala. The Ugandan government withdrew the charges against the former University of Toronto student last week, but in his first interview Mr. Ali said that after concluding he was innocent, the FBI tried to recruit him....

Days after the blasts, Mr. Ali was arrested at his office in downtown Kampala. But he said it was a mistake that stemmed from his contacts with a Somali investor named Mukhtar. Police thought the man was Mukhtar Robow, the Al Shabab spokesman who had urged attacks on Uganda.
"They questioned me, I told them everything they wanted to know. So later on FBI started investigating me, they interrogated me. And FBI immediately knew that this is just a mistaken identity and there was no way Mukhtar Robow would have come to Uganda," he said.
He said he was then accused of giving $10,000 to a Somali fugitive, but Mr. Ali said he did not know the man. It was then that he was asked to go undercover for the FBI, he said.
Mr. Ali was released last Tuesday after four-and-a-half months in custody. All charges against him were withdrawn.
December 8, 2010: Wikileaks Dump: US embassy cables: Uganda's president eroding an 'African success story'

1.(C) Summary: Under President Museveni's leadership, Uganda has become a confident and outspoken regional leader through its military role in Somalia (which up to now has preserved the TFG as a moderate alternative to Islamic extremism), its effective campaign against the LRA and its related commitment to rebuild northern Uganda. Yet the President's autocratic tendencies, as well as Uganda's pervasive corruption, sharpening ethnic divisions, and explosive population growth have eroding Uganda's status as an African success story. Holding a credible and peaceful presidential election in February 2011 could restore Uganda's image, while failing in that task could lead to domestic political violence and regional instability. It is too early to tell whether the deadly September 10-12 riots in Kampala are the beginning of a massive and open-ended effort for political change in Uganda, or will lead to a more productive internal dialogue and a stronger democracy. The path of Ugandan politics over the next eighteen months depends largely on the President's vision and leadership. Your visit will be crucial in conveying US views and policy on Uganda and East Africa, and in raising the President's awareness about how seriously Western governments will be following the course of democracy in Uganda in the coming months. End Summary.
In our estimation, terrorism must come to The West before any serious military action would be justified against the desired targets in the East. Terrorism swings public opinion. Terrorism justifies.
In order for the terrorists to get from East to West, some countries in Africa will likely be involved as transit points. There are many options. Uganda may be one of those countries.

See: violence around the world 

* trauma


Anonymous said…
Superb research as always!

Al Qaeda (CIA and friends) everywhere!

- Aangirfan
A. Peasant said…
thanks Aan. yes the spooks sure do get around.