The International Police has joined the hunt for terror suspects suspected to be in Uganda.
By Steven Candia
The International Police (Interpol) has joined the hunt for terror suspects suspected to be in Uganda.
At least four suspected terrorists are believed to have sneaked into Uganda recently, prompting the security agencies to issue security alert.
The Police have circulated photographs of the suspected terrorists and heightened security in the Capital City as well as other urban areas including Mbarara where the national Heroes' Day celebrations will be held this weekend. The measures include manning security at some of the shopping centres and high-rise buildings.
The terror suspects, some wanted in Kenya, include Martin Muller alias Ahmed Khaled Andreas; Emrah Erdogan Alias Imraan AL-Kurdy Alias Salahaddin AL-Kurdy and another who is believed to have sneaked into the country on board a Kalita bus from Kenya. Whereas Muller is German, Erdogan is German of Turkish origin.
Last weekend, the security agencies arrested another terror suspect only identified as Hussein, who was described as a high value target.
The director Interpol and International relations, Asan Kasingye said Interpol has sought for vital information including the finger prints of top Al-Shabaab terror suspects, wanted by Uganda.
A formal request by the Lyon based body was made on Wednesday to the Uganda National Central bureau, recently turned into a directorate.
"Internationally they are wanted and Lyon (Interpol headquarters) has made a formal request for their finger prints," the director Interpol and International relations Asan Kasingye said.
Kasingye said they were working with other the security agencies in the region to gather the necessary data on the wanted terrorists.
Another suspected terrorists security agencies are seeking for is Abubarker Nur Hussein, a top commander of the Somalia based militants who travelled through Entebbe International Airport undetected by airport security. Kasingye said even though Abubarker Nur Hussein's passport was seized by AMISOM forces in Somalia, getting his finger prints has proven an odious task.
The passport was recovered early this year from Al-Shabaab hideouts in Al fitri, 12kms, north of Mogadishu by the UPDF and indicates that Abubarker Nur Hussein, a Somali national, aged 61 entered Uganda in July last year. However, there is no evidence in the form of a Uganda visa to show that he exited the country.
Kasingye said that although Nur Hussein claims to have been born in 1951 he looks younger than 61 on his passport picture.
Uganda, Kasingye said, has not requested Interpol to issue red notices for the terror suspects, because they are not Ugandan nationals.
"If the suspect is not a Ugandan but has been committing cross border crimes, it is the country from which the suspect hails to write to Interpol requesting for the notice to be issued," he said.
A red notice is issued for arrest or provisional arrest of wanted persons with a view to extradition.
Kasingye said they have also acquired more equipment to reinforced their unit to send out pictures of the suspects to all 12 members states in the Eastern Africa arrangement so as to shrink the space for the suspects, with the view of having them arrested.
Meanwhile, Police have taken over the security of high rise buildings in the city in the wake of renewed threats from the Somali outfit-the Al-Shabaab. Police took over the security of many of the buildings in the city centre on Monday.
"We have reinforced security on high rise buildings and vital installations in the city," Deputy Kampala police spokesperson Ibin Ssenkumbi said yesterday. "Where security was not reliable we reinforced and where it was no there at all we took over," he added.
The deployments, he said, will remain in place until such time when the management of the buildings improve the security of the structures.
Interpol joins Uganda hunt for terrorists