Group Linked To al Qaeda Claims Responsibility For Uganda Bombing
There is an al Qaeda link to yesterday's terrorist attack in Uganda.
A Somalian group linked to al Qaeda has claimed responsibility for a bombing that killed at least seventy people in Uganda, including at least one American:
Among the at least 64 people killed in the two devastating blasts that tore through outdoor gatherings in Uganda where hundreds of soccer fans were in the midst of watching the World Cup final was 25-year-old American Nate Henn. Henn worked for a California-based children’s charity, Invisible Children, which helps former child soldiers in Uganda.
The selection of targets in the Ugandan capital — a restaurant and a sports field where people were watching the game on large-screen TV’s — ensured the bombs struck a broad mix of Ugandans and foreigners, including Americans. The wounded were rushed to local hospitals, which were soon overwhelmed. Fred Opolot, a Uganda Media Center spokesman, said, “The government of Uganda ladies and gentlemen does convey its condolences to the bereaved families and requests the public to remain calm under this situation, thank you very much.”
Police said initial signs indicated bombs had been place under tables, though investigators had not yet ruled out suicide bombers.
“Right now it is too early to say we have suspects because it could be a suicide bomber or a time bomb, so it is too early to speculate and conclude that they were suicide bombers. Let’s give time to our investigators. They will be able to give us a full report of their findings.” Capt. Judith Nabakooba, a police spokeswoman, said.
Al Shabaab, a fundemental Islamist group based in Somalia, today claimed responsibility for the attacks.
“We will carry out attacks against our enemy wherever they are,” Sheik Ali Mohamud Rage speaking from Mogadishu told the Associated Press.
“No one will deter us from performing our Islamic duty.”
Intelligence officials earlier told ABC News there’s evidence the attack was carried out by the Al Shabaab terror group.
As Jerry Remmers notes, this just seems to be the latest indication that al Qaeda has been at least somewhat successful in expanding beyond the Afghanistan/Pakistan region. There have already been indications of al Qaeda influence in Yemen and, of course, Somalia would seem to be the perfect breeding ground for terrorists. It makes one wonder if focusing on Afghanistan really makes sense if the terrorists have already begun to move elsewhere.
Incidentally, Dave Weigel has a write-up about Nate Henn, the American killed in the attacks who also happened to be a friend of Weigel’s from his days in Delaware.