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Terrorism suspects arrested in Entebbe

By Vision Reporter

Added 21st August 2008 03:00 AM

Two South African men suspected to be terrorists were arrested minutes after they landed at Entebbe International Airport on Monday.

Two South African men suspected to be terrorists were arrested minutes after they landed at Entebbe International Airport on Monday.

By Steven Candia

Two South African men suspected to be terrorists were arrested minutes after they landed at Entebbe International Airport on Monday.

The Muslim men, one of them a cleric, had just landed from Kenya when they were picked up by Ugandan security along with two Ugandans, also Muslims, who had turned up to receive them.

Airport sources said the men, who arrived at about 2:00am, were held briefly at the airport before being transferred to Kampala.

The sources said the men were arrested by the Joint Anti-Terrorism Task Force.

Army spokesman Major Paddy Ankunda said: “Security had interest in them and picked them up. They are with us and helping with investigations.”

He would not identify them or say where they were being detained.

But a New Vision contact in Lenasia, South Africa, yesterday identified the two South Africans as Mufti Hussain Bhayat and Haroon Saley, said to be working for Crescent Hope, an Islamic relief organisation.

The source said the men are in their late 50s. The South African foreign affairs ministry also identified the men as Mufti Hussain Bhayat of Lenasia and Haroon Saley from Azaadville.

Attempts to get comment from the South African High Commissioner in Kampala, Chiliza Thandiyise, failed.

The men’s mission in Uganda is unknown but sources said they were due to meet “associates.

The two were supposed to have returned home yesterday morning.

Mufti Bhayat owns a bicycle shop in Johannesburg and has four grown up children. Little is known about Haroon Saley.

Early this month, internal affairs minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda warned of the presence of suspected Al-Qaeda terrorists, the group responsible for a number of deadly attacks across the globe.

Rugunda’s statement came just a day to the 10th anniversary of the twin bombings in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam in 1998 and days after the prime suspect, Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, eluded Kenyan police.

Fazul has eluded arrest for the last 10 years and is believed to be the East African Al-Qaeda linkman.

Following the incident, Kenyan police widened the search for him and alerted Tanzania after the man slipped away at the coastal town of Malindi.

Fazul is said to have arrived in Malindi from Somalia. Anti-terrorist police stormed his hideout and seized two passports and a laptop.

Terrorism suspects arrested in Entebbe

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