Al-Shabab Threatens Americans: Uganda Ruins Attack Plot And Follows Up With Arrests
Al-Shabab warned Americans they are not safe at home or abroad, and Americans in Uganda were warned by the United States Embassy to find safety on Saturday after authorities in Uganda discovered a plot masterminded by the terrorist group al-Shabab.
According to the Washington Post, the U.S. Embassy used its website to post a statement telling Americans that it was not known whether al-Shabab was targeting specific people or groups. However, authorities in Uganda placed emphasis on security in key places, including Entebbe International Airport.
“We remain in close contact with our Ugandan counterparts as investigations continue into what appears to have been planning for an imminent attack,” the U.S. Embassy stated on its website.
Earlier this month, the al-Shabab militant group’s leader, Ahmed Godane, was killed in a U.S. airstrike in Somalia. The Somali Islamist group warned that revenge would be had against U.S. targets, according to BBC News.
The U.S. Embassy asked for Americans to stay at home while the police in Uganda uncovered the al-Shabab terrorist cell.
Authorities in Uganda arrested 19 people, all believed to be foreigners, in connection to the failed attack in central Kampala. Even though the United States is sure the Somali militants are al-Shabab, Uganda has not confirmed that the terror cell is al-Shabab.
According to CBC News, authorities in Uganda say they have recovered “substantial amounts of explosives” and suicide vests during a raid of the suspected al-Shabab group. Ugandan police spokesman Fred Enanga said that the plot was uncovered just in time.
“The attack was foiled at a stage where it was imminent.”
Information Minister Rose Namayanja said Uganda asks the public to “remain vigilant” as investigations into the alleged al-Shabab plot continue, and increased security continues at the airport, hotels, and other key areas.
Al-Shabab wants to overthrow the UN-backed government in Somalia, and was behind an attack in July 2010 that killed 76 fans as they watched the World Cup final in an Ethiopian restaurant in Kampala.
Al-Shabab recently announced it had a little-known new leader, Ahmad Umar, after his predecessor was killed in the U.S. airstrikes. Last week, al-Shabab attacked two military convoys near Mogadishu. On Saturday, al-Shabab claimed responsibility for shooting and killing a senior Somali national security officer.
CBC News reports Fuad Mohamed Khalaf Shongole, a senior al-Shabab official, claimed last Monday that Americans in New York and Washington were not safe from the militants, and the group plans to “capture Kenya and Uganda.”
[Images via Farah Abdi Warsam eh/Associated Press, BBC]