From New Vision Uganda by way of TROP
We are sorry, say 7/11 suspected bombers Thursday, 12th August, 2010
By Herbert Ssempogo
FOUR key suspects who confessed to involvement in the bomb blasts were paraded before journalists yesterday.
Two of them, Edris Nsubuga and Haruna Hassan Luyima, cried over the pain their actions caused. Issa Luyima and Haruna Hassan Luyima are brothers, while Nsubuga is their friend. The fourth suspect was identified as Mohamood Mugisha.
“I am very sorry for the loss of life. I was hesitant to pick on Ugandans. My target was the Americans, who I think are responsible for the suffering in the world. I am very sorry to the people, who knew me,” Issa Luyima, described as the mastermind of the blasts, said without emotion.
“I am a peace-loving person but that is the nature of war. It has got many dimensions,” he asserted.
Nsubuga’s eyes welled with tears and his voice cracked as he spoke.
“I was used. Issa was so calculative in using me. To you all, I am a monster but I had emotional problems and this is what they capitalised on,” he said.
Handcuffed and dressed in jeans, T-shirts and jackets, the healthy-looking men aged between 24-33 years, narrated their role in the attacks, which killed 79 people, the Police said.
Ironically, Nsubuga’s auntie Margaret Nabankema, was also killed in the attack in Kyaddondo Rugby Club grounds in Lugogo, Kampala as revelers watched the World Cup final.
Haruna, who sobbed before the news conference began, and Mohamood Mugisha, said they were sorry for not reporting the crime.
They said they were not paid any money, except a reward in heaven.
The suspects were produced by the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence boss, Brig. James Mugira.
They said they were speaking voluntarily. Mugira said this reflected how professional the probe had been.
Security, Mugira stressed, was on high alert, adding that another attack was “very unlikely”. “If people think that they can attack Ugandans and get away with it, they are wrong because we have the capacity to hunt them down,” he said.
“We promised the public that we would hunt down the perpetrators of this cowardly and barbaric act and bring them to justice,” Mugira stated. “We have kept our promise.”
The hunt for more accomplices was still on, according to Mugira. He was flanked by army spokesperson Felix Kulayigye.
“If your children are getting involved in such activities, getting radicalized, inform us immediately,” Mugira stated. He hailed Kenyan and other countries’ security agencies for assisting Uganda to arrest suspects.
Haruna Hassan Luyima, 27
He is a businessman based at Majestic Plaza in Kampala. Speaking in Luganda, he said he took the Kenyan suicide bomber to Kabalagala and a bomb to Makindye House in Kampala. On July 9, Issa Luyima called me and said he wanted to show me where I would put a bag he had showed me earlier. He came with Edrisa Nsubuga (the other suspect).
On July 10, he took me to his home in Namasuba and I met a Somali and a Kenyan. Issa showed me a bag that I was to take to Makindye House. On July 11, along with the Kenyan suicide bomber, we took a boda boda to Kabalagala.
The bomber proceeded to the Ethiopian Village Restaurant. I went with the other bomb to Makindye but I did not detonate it. I dumped it in a shrub and left.
Edrisa Nsubuga, 30, businessman at Pioneer Mall in Kampala and a Bachelor of Commerce student of Makerere University:
Speaking in English, he said he took the Somali bomber to Lugogo and detonated the second bomb and studied the scenes. On July 11, we took a boda boda to Lugogo. I put a laptop bag that contained one of the bombs on a stool under a table. When a scuffle ensued over a phone, we used the opportunity to get in. Before the Somali joined other revellers, he showed me his clock, which had the time 11:15pm when the bombs were to go off.
I got out and later, a blast went off. I used the phone I had to set off the second bomb. Asked why he did such a thing, he said: “I was unemployed. I was emotionally distressed. I had problems. A lot of misunderstandings with my wife.”
Issa Luyima, 33, the key suspect and “foot soldier” in al-Shabaab fought with the militants in Somalia.
He studied at Brilliant and Kawempe High School in Kawempe before working at Kampala International University.
Speaking in English, he said he recruited his brother (Haruna Hassan) as well as the Somali and Kenyan bombers and he examined the target places. My rage was against the Americans whom I deemed were responsible for all the sufferings of Muslims around the world. Our aim was to kill Americans.
I did not want to work with my brother but recruiting other people was very risky, so I manipulated him.
Mohammed Mugisha, 24
The man, who looks older, is alleged to have links with al-Shabaab. Speaking in Luganda, he said: “I joined al-Shabaab in 2008, they were coordinating with al-Qaeda. I was sent here to rent a house in which the bombs were to be planned. I got a house in Nakulabye (a city suburb).
However, when an al-Shabaab team inspected it, they did not like it because they saw soldiers nearby.
I went back to Kenya where I was reprimanded for the mistake as we could easily be arrested.
The order to kill was from Abu Zubair, the al-Shabaab boss in Somalia.