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Nabbed terrorist is Al- Shabaab boss in Uganda

By Steven Candia     
Tuesday, June 05, 2012
                                                
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MORE details have emerged indicating that the terror suspect arrested over the weekend is allegedly a big figure in the Al-Shabaab and Al-Qaeda cells in Uganda, according to security sources.

The suspect only identified as Hussein now in police custody, is however not one of the three suspected international terrorists who are said to have sneaked into the country recently.

Top security sources say they have got clues that seem to reinforce the view that that Hussein has been the chief recruiter and coordinator of both the Al-Shabaab and Al Qaeda cells in Uganda.

It also emerged Monday, contrary to earlier reports, Hussein is a Ugandan national.

 Police sources said the suspect (Hussein) passes by numerous aliases to elude detection and arrest.

  "We now have every reason to believe that he (Hussein) is a top Al-Shabaab/Al-Qaeda coordinator and recruiter in the country," a police source privy to the probe said adding that Hussein was arrested in Luwafu, in Makindye, a city suburb. By Monday he was being held in an undisclosed facility as anti-terror personnel continue with interrogations.

 Police sources said Hussein was arrested following intelligence "that was followed up and checked." "We have both communication and testimony from separate recruits arrested en-route Somalia and in Somalia that link him to the cells," the source said.   

 Attempts to get comment from deputy police spokesperson Judith Nabakooba on the matter were futile as her telephone was switched off.

 Uganda police and sister security agencies last week launched a major man hunt for three terror suspects- Martin Muller alias Ahmed Khaled Andreas; Emrah Erdogan Alias Imraan AL-Kurdy Alias Salahaddin AL-Kurdy and another unnamed terrorist who is believed to have sneaked into the country on board a Kalita bus from Kenya.

Police Monday said they were keen to establish who picked the terror suspect who got into the country on board Kalita bus. "We want to know who arranged the cab, who picked him and where it went," the source said.

Sources also said the hunt for the German terror suspect; one of the three suspects has widened with Germany joining the hunt.

Police said though no formal request had been made to the International Police (Interpol) to lend a hand in the hunt, Germany had joined given the nature of the offence its national is accused of.

Whereas Muller is German, Emrah Erdogan is German of Turkish origin. "I am aware that even though we have not written to Interpol over the matter, Germany has joined the hunt for the German (Muller) given the International nature of the offence. Germany does not condone terrorism," Police Counter Terrorism (CT) boss John Ndugutse said.

Muller and Erdogan are said to have sneaked out of Somalia into Kenya and then exited, prompting security to strongly suspect that they could be in Uganda.  

Police said they were working closely with their Kenyan counter parts in the hunt for the three terror suspects who up to yesterday still remained elusive.

"The whole of East Africa region is working as one body on this, as far as information and intelligence sharing is concerned," a source said yesterday. Kenya police highly reinforced the Uganda police following the July 2010 twin bomb attacks which the Somalia based Al-Shabaab militia claimed responsibility.

Kenya media reported Monday that Kenya police have sought help from Ugandan authorities to arrest the two terror suspects Ahmed Khaled Andreas Martin Muller and Emrah Erdogan alias Imraan Al-Kurdy alias Salahaddin Al-Kurdy.

Sources also told New Vision that the police last week arrested two other people -a Kenyan and Somali national in Atiak district in Northern Uganda. They reportedly travelled from Kenya to South Sudan before crossing into Uganda.

Police though did not link these two to terrorism but is holding them for illegal entry. Police sources said though the two suspects had travel documents, there was something suspicious about them. "They had documents but we had interest in them and we are holding and interrogating them," a police source said.


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