11 charged with terrorism

By Sania Babirye

Eleven people have been charged with aiding and abetting terrorism, belonging to a terrorist organization (ADF ) and rendering support to a terrorist organization.

The 11 have been charged by the High court International crimes Division Justice David Wangutusi.

He has further remanded them to Luzira prison until the 1st of December 2020 for further mention of the case.

Prosecution’s Joseph Kyomuhendo states that the group led by Abdu Shakur Musoke and others still on the run, between the years 2010 and 2017 in the divers districts of Kampala, Wakiso, Mukono Jinja, Busia among others aided terrorism by mobilizing commodities and harboring recruits of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF ) knowing or.having reason to believe that the support rendered could be used in preparation of acts of terrorism.

Court further heard that all the accused persons between the year 2010 and 2017 in diverse districts in Uganda rendered support to ADF a terrorist organization to wit the recruitment, training and transportation of ADF recruits from Uganda to Democratic Republic of Congo.

The court has also issued an order directing prison authorities to allow lawyers accessing their clients in prison to enable them prepare their defense before trial.

DPP drops terrorism charges against 2010 terror suspects

By Sania Babirye
The five former 2010 terror suspects that were re-arrested in 2016 and charged afresh have been set free by the  international crimes division of the high court.
On the 26th of August, the group was charged afresh with  terrorism and conspiracy to commit terror acts by the director of Public Prosecutions.
However on Tuesday, state senior prosecutor Lino Anguzo informed justice Margaret Oguli Oumo that the Director of Public Prosecutions has decided to discontinue any criminal proceedings against the accused.
Anguzo has also presented a deportation  letter that was signed on the 28th of August this year by the minister of internal affairs Jeje Odongo deporting  three Kenyan nationals Omar Awadh Omar, Muhammad Hamid Sulaiman and Yahaya Suleiman Mbuthia.
However, one of the deported Kenyan National  Omar has filed an intention to appeal against his deportation saying he can not leave Uganda since his family lives Kampala.
Justice Oguli has however ordered him to stay with his mother in Masaka  until his application is had and disposed off.
The five are led by the  former Imam of Ntinda mosque  Dr. Ismeal Kalule, Abubakar Batemyeto, a Kenyan Human Rights activist Owadi Omar Wadi and 2 brothers ; Yahaya Mbuthia Suleiman and Muhamad Hamid Suleiman  whose  brother; Suleiman Nyamandondo was convicted of transporting the bombs to Kampala .
According to the dropped charges , the five  men while in custody at Luzira prison were found in possession of literature and other material which is aimed at promoting terrorism .
The DPP had  further stated that the suspects committed the offenses between  the months of  February 2012 and March 2016.
In 2016  the then Kampala high court judge  now deputy chief justice Alifonse Owinyi Dolo dismissed murder and terrorism  charges against the suspects in the 2010 twin bombings at Ethiopian village and Kyadondo Rugby club in Kampala that left over 70 people dead  and many injured as they watched the world cup final.
However their freedom was short-lived when they were re arrested within the  court premises and remanded to Luzira prison.
The international crimes division of the high court convicted the other nine suspects and are serving punishments ranging from life imprisonment, 35 years and community service.

Kamoga’s bail hearing date set

By Sania Babirye
The Court of Appeal has set 18th of May 2018 to rule on the bail application filed by the convicted a d jailed for life  Tabliq muslim sect leader Sheikh Muhammad Yunus Kamoga.
This is after justice Christopher Madrama concluded hearing of the bail application this afternoon in which 66 year old Sheikh  Kamoga wants to be temporally released pending hearing if his appeal in which he is challenging both his conviction and life sentence on verbal terrorism charges.
His lawyer Roberts Kagolo has told court that his client is  of an advanced age of 66 and needs special palliative care for severe Hypertension,  Ulcers and gross obesity which can expose him to cardiac complications.
Kagolo further submitted that  has added that those conditions can not be managed by Luzira prison and there is  a likely hood of delay in the court of Appeal to dispose off his client’s appeal because the courts arr too busy.
Kagolo also claims that says his client’s appeal has a high chance  of succeeding because  state failed to place him at the murder scenes of both since none  of the prosecution witnesses placed  his client at the scenes of murder of the 2 sheikhs; Mustapha Bahiga and Hassan Kirya  and therefore its fair and just  to temporarily release Kamoga  from prison.
Sheikh Kamoga has presented 7 surities including Former Makindye west MP Hajji Hussein Kyanjo, Imam  Iddi Kasozi a lecturer at IUIU, Sheikh Suleman Kakeeto a Muslim scholar and a one Musa Nanfumb his brother  as an assurance that he will return back to court and prosecute his appeal .
However the DPP through state attorney Lillian Omara has opposed Kamoga ‘s bail application on grounds that his old age can not withstand prison conditions, there is a likely hood that the sheikh will abscond because he is charged with a grade offense and he is serving a grave a punishment .
The bail application comes  after Kamoga challenged both his terrorism conviction and life time imprisonment that was handed to  him by the international crimes division of the high court in july 2017

In July 2017, three justices of the international crimes division of the high court led by justice Eziekel Muhanguzi setenced Kamoga and 5 others to life imprisonment and 30 years in Luzira prison after convicting each of them of verbal terrorism.

The group was however acquitted of murdering rival sheikhs Mustapha Bahiga and Hassan

Kamoga and two other face life imprisonment

By Sania Babirye

The international crimes division of the high court has handed a life imprisonment sentence to the Tabliq sect leader Sheikh Yunus Kamoga  , his brother Multabh Bukenya, Siraje Kawooya and Fahad Kalungi.

This is after the court convicted them of Terrorism Monday.

While sentencing them the three justices led by Eziekel Muhanguzi, Percy Tuhaise and Jane Kiggudu ruled that Kamoga and his other convicts   should spend the rest of their lives in prison because they  committed  terrorism and yet they should have developed communities since they were  religious leaders but instead they chose to  orchestrate the crime.

Other convicts Yusuf Kakande,  Fahad Kalungi and Sekayanja Abdul Salam have been sentenced each  to 30 yrs in prison after the court ruled that they  were just followers

The six  were convicted on acts of terrorism against a group of other Muslims with whom they had religious wrangles.

These acts include verbal murder threats and attack on  their reputation such as in the case of Buganda Prince Kasim Nakibinge and Deputy Supreme mufti Muhammod Kibaate whose names and photographs were printed on fliers and distributed to  various  mosques arguing  Muslims to shun them.

On Monday  the same court acquitted the six and 8 others on the charge of murdering fellow  Muslims sheikhs; Mustafa Bahiga and Ibrahim Kirya over luck of evidence .

The justices ruled that all the 36 prosecution witnesses failed to directly link the 14 suspects to the murder charges and attempted murder of sheikh Haruna Jemba.

KIU denies connection with student Terror suspects

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.


Twitter takes a step against terrorism,suspends 125,000 accounts

Twitter says it has suspended more than 125,000 accounts since mid-2015 “for threatening or promoting terrorist acts”.

In a blog, the US-based firm said the accounts “primarily related to ISIS” (the so-called Islamic State group).

“We condemn the use of Twitter to promote terrorism,” it said, adding that it had increased its report reviewing teams to react faster.

Twitter has more than 500 million users around the world.

“We have already seen results, including an increase in account suspensions and this type of activity shifting off of Twitter,” the company said.

It added that it was co-operating with law enforcement bodies “when appropriate” as well as other organisations.

Governments around the world – including the US – have been urging social media companies to take more robust measure to tackle online activity aimed at promoting violence.

The negative way of looking at this situation is that Twitter’s problem with terrorism-related posts is a lot worse than we thought.

A study towards the tail-end of 2014 estimated that around 46,000 accounts had been used to post extremist material, and so in just over a year that number has rocketed.

But of course, the positive way of looking at it is that Twitter is seemingly on top of the issue and taking it seriously. It’s doing what it can to make sure the public knows this, at a time when many in government are hitting Silicon Valley companies with large doses of “surely something can be done” rhetoric.

The big question is what happens next. Terrorists will carry on making more accounts, as well as migrating to other platforms.

And questions will be raised about the removal process. Who decides? Who’s keeping watch? The definition and perpetrators of terrorism can change depending on your geography and political views.

Twitter will now be asked: why not fascist tweets? Or anti-Israel? Anti-Palestine? Anti-women? Anti-[insert cause here]?

In December, US politicians put forward a bill that would force such companies – including Twitter and Facebook – to report any apparent terrorist activity they find.

EU officials have also been calling for talks with major social media firms to discuss the issue.

In March, Facebook revamped its “community standards” to include a separate section on “dangerous organisations”.

It said it would ban groups promoting “terrorist activity, organised criminal activity or promoting hate.”