The Terrorism Naysayers and Tears of the Gun

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Jamil Alibaki, Nnyanzi Yafeesi Philip, Lwanga Thomas Musisi, Kityo Denis Musoke, Jjunju Abdalla-a Kenyan driver, Kalamire Patanguli- a British citizen, Julius Elius Mashairi a Tanzanian Citizen, Lumu Nicholas are different people in one. Elsewhere, he went by David Amon Musenge. This was the world of Jamil Mukulu, leader of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) who was a fugitive on the run for two decades until his capture in Tanzania and extradition to Uganda in 2015. 

Now in detention in Luzira prison on multiple charges of murders, robbery, arson and treason, some people don’t even believe that ADF exists. They argue that Jamil Mukulu is innocent until proven guilty in a competent court of law. They insist that those arrested or put out of action by security teams are innocent, but falsely claim that they are ‘targeted’ for being Muslims. Opposition MPs Muwanga Kivumbi, Asuman Basalirwa and their ilk stomp for them, claiming that Muslims are being framed as suspects in every high profile murder incidences.

To suggest that Islam, as a religion, is responsible for terror would be to miss the mark by miles. It’s never religion that’s guilty but individuals who under religious garb twist it to their insidious ends.  Islam actually means and preaches peace, although Somalia, Afghanistan, Yemen and other predominantly Muslim countries are being attacked by Muslim extremists killing Muslims.  UPDF succeeded in Somalia partly because of the support from Muslim communities. 

Those arrested in the Gen. Katumba Wamala assassination attempt are not Muslims but criminals and it’s yet to be established if they are even extremists. The state arrested criminal suspects, not Muslims. Since those arrests there is noise from the so-called ‘Muslim lawyers’ doubting the possibility of seemingly ‘innocent’ boda-boda riders or roadside chapatti makers to carry out acts of murder.

In 2008, as  AMISOM and the transitional federal government of Somalia were holding a security meeting, two suicide  explosions rocked out loud, killing five Ugandans and six Burundians, including then AMISOM Deputy Force Commander Maj. Gen. Juvenal Niyoyungunza. Two vehicles with UN logos fixed with Improvised Explosive Devises (IEDs) rammed through the compound gate. 

Reports subsequently indicated that one of the UN cars had been kept for this mission for close to two years, while the other car had been simply painted with the UN logos. They wanted to hurt the heart of the peace keeping-mission. The Islamist militant group Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for that attack. Uganda’s Maj. Gen Nathan Mugisha and Col Ba-Hoku Barigye survived narrowly.

In 2014, as CDF, Gen Katumba visited Jamil Mukulu’s camp in Eastern DRC after more than 500 ADF rebels were killed and told the DRC army to annihilate the ADF. Seven years later in terror-style an attempt on Katumba’s life was made.

In a TV clip, Gen Katumba asked young people not to be misled into terror activities under the guise of employment. In other clips captured by a local TV station, Jamil Mukulu can be seen and heard addressing hundreds of his indoctrinated ordinary men, women, and young boys who could be chapatti sellers or boda-boda riders-as part of his tactical training in the jungle in Luganda, a local dialect.

Thankfully we now know that ADF attacked and killed students in Kichwamba, burning eighty-seven of them alive, maimed some and abducted others in 1996. And while some people in Uganda including leaders still doubted the existence of such a terror group, in 2010, Alshabaab, closely linked to ADF killed seventy people in the twin bombings at Ethiopian village and Kyadondo rugby club in Kampala. The culprits were eventually got and are serving jail sentences in Luzira prison.

On April, 2, 2015 Alshabaab killed 148 students in Garrisa University, Kenya, injured over eighty, took 700 hostages, freed those who identified themselves as Muslims, and celebrated victory. On September 21, 2013 Alshababa claimed responsibility for the attack on Westgate shopping Mall, Nairobi as retribution for Kenya’s military deployment in Somalia. Seventy-one people including four attackers died. ADF, Alshabaab, Boko Haram and Al-Qaeda are all linked.

In 1998, Al-Qaeda claimed responsibility for the attacks on US embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam whose commander was one Fazul Abdullah Mohammed alias ‘Abu-Abdirahman the Canadian’ alias ‘Daniel Robinson’ travelling under a South African passport. He was eventually killed in Mogadishu when Paul Lokech-then a Brigadier was the Contingent Commander. Fazul was a top leader in Al-Qaida, and Shabaab both of which ADF pays special allegiance.  The attempt by these groups to grow terror cells in Uganda is high and must be stopped, and the community has a big role to play. 

So, a month after the attack on Gen. Katumba, Lokech arrests these terrorists, some killed, trying to fight back as part of their training because they rather die in martyrdom than be captured and paraded in public. In Pakistan, a couple wrapped IEDs on their bodies to attack a police station killing over ten people. Although we have just come from of an election and some people are still sulking let’s not allow terrorism to become an attraction.