The management of Kampala International University (KIU) has denied any links with three of their medical students who are in trouble for their alleged links with the so-called Islamic State (IS). The Kenyan students were picked up by Uganda Police last week on suspicion of being members of an IS slipper cell in East Africa.
The Counter Terrorism Unit, tipped by their Kenyan counterparts, arrested Nuseiba Mohamed Haji, wife to another suspect Mohamed Abdi Ali who was earlier on arrested in Kenya. Ali is also a medical student of KIU who was doing his internship in Kenya at the time of his arrest. His wife was arrested as she reportedly attempted to leave Uganda.
The second suspect, also a KIU student, is Fatumah Mohammad Hanshi. She was picked up at a rental in Kansanga in Kampala. Both women are being detained at the Special Investigations Unit in Kireka, Kampala. The police suspect that they have been building IS terror networks in Kampala.
The Kenyan and Ugandan governments are working on the extradition of the two suspects to Kenya. According to the Kenyan police, Ali was allegedly in charge of a terror network that was planning large-scale attacks in Kenya. However, the KIU Vice Chancellor Dr. Muhammad Mpezamihigo has repeatedly denied any links between the suspects and the university to their terror activities.
Dr Mpezamihigo says the university is about training and learning and is not involved in any terror activities or criminality.
KIU, with an estimated student population of nearly 30,000 draws students from the Eastern Africa region and the entire African continent. The IS in June 2014 formally declared the establishment of a “caliphate” – a state governed in accordance with Islamic law, or Sharia, by God’s deputy on Earth, or caliph.
The Islamic State, also known as ISIL – Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, is a Salafi jihadist militant group. It has demanded that Muslims across the world swear allegiance to its leader – Ibrahim Awad Ibrahim al-Badri al-Samarrai, better known as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi – and migrate to territory under its control. IS has also told other jihadist groups worldwide that they must accept its supreme authority.