“Uganda Describes Plot Foiled With U.S.”
The Wall Street Journal, September 16, 2014, p.A7
“Security forces said Monday that they discovered suicide vests and improvised explosive devices after foiling, with U.S. help, a coordinated terror attack that was meant to hit bars, hotels and Uganda’s largest university. The raid on Saturday broke up a suspected terrorist cell in the Somali-dominated suburb of Kisenyi, outside the capital Kampala, according to police, and marked the latest example of the U.S. and the East African nation working together to disrupt attacks. Nineteen suspected militants linked to Somalia’s al-Shabaab Islamist group were arrested, police and government officials said. The group’s leader, Ahmed Abdi Godane, was killed by a U.S. airstrike early this month. The suspects allegedly planned to carry out attacks in Kampala over the weekend. Two security officials who participated in the operation said the suspects had chosen crowded bars and hotels, and Makerere University, which has a student population of more than 50,000, as targets. The cell was discovered less than two hours before the start of an English Premier League soccer match. Big televised sporting events attract fans to bars and restaurants around Kampala. In 2010, al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for multiple bomb blasts during the World Cup finals. … The killing of Mr. Godane and other al-Shabaab leaders brought worries about reprisal attacks. Ugandan troops, part of the U.S.-backed African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia, provided intelligence that supported the Sept. 1 U.S. drone strike, according to Uganda military spokesman Lt. Col Paddy Ankunda. … Uganda was the first country in the region to send troops to Somalia in 2007. Along with forces from Burundi, Kenya and Ethiopia, they continue to support Somalia’s fragile government in its fight against al-Shabaab.”
Quickie Analysis: A bit of welcome news on the anti-terror front in Africa. The terror attacks that are prevented always generate fewer headlines than the ones that succeed.