By Steven Candia
THE second-in-command of the East Africa al-Qaeda terrorist cell, Omar Awadh Omar, is among the twin bomb suspects charged and remanded to Luzira Prisons, according to new intelligence information.
Awadh was charged in court last week alongside a Muslim human rights activist, Al Amin Kimathi, for the murder of 79 people in the July 11 twin bomb blasts in Kampala.
It emerged yesterday that Awadh, a Kenyan citizen, is high in the hierarchy of the terror cell and is second to the region’s al-Qaeda boss Harun Fazul, according to The Nairobi Star, a Kenyan newspaper.
Details filtering in indicate that Awadh coordinated the horrid July attacks at the Ethiopian Village Restaurant in Kabalagala and at the Kyadondo Rugby Club in Lugogo, which also left more than 50 people injured.
Both Awadh and Al Amin were charged in court after being arrested in a city hotel on September 15. They were arrested alongside Mbugua Mureithi, a Kenyan defence lawyer, who was later released and flown back to Kenya.
Kenyan intelligence and police sources point at Awadh, also known as Abu Sahal, as the top logistician of the East African al-Qaeda cell and the al-Shabaab terrorists in Somalia.
After the twin attacks in Kampala, the two were reportedly planning a similar attack in Kenya, sources said.
Sources intimated that the planning of the Kampala attack dates back to 2008. This followed the killing by the US of Saleh Nabhan, the then number two to Fazul. The network then started the mission, dispatching several key players to Somalia for training and indoctrination.
Regional intelligence sources say Awadh, a second-hand car dealer, recruits youth from Kenya and neighbouring countries into the terror cells, which have spread their activities to Uganda and Tanzania.
The details lend credence to remarks by Police chief Maj. Gen. Kale Kayihura in August that the cell was operating bases in the country and recruiting from countries in the region.
Sources added that Awadh facilitates the travel and training of the recruits in Somalia, usually coordinated by a cell in Nairobi.
According to the network structure, Omar Badrudin (head of al-Qaeda intelligence) and Bilal el Berjawi report directly to Fazul. Below Omar is Hussein Hassan Agade, Jabir, Mohammed Ali and Hahim Mohammed Suleiman, alias Abu Zeinab (the head of the Nairobi cell).
About 34 suspects, including Hassan Agade, have been charged with the killings. The arrest of Awadh and Agade means that Uganda now has two top commanders of the terror cells of al-Shabaab and al-Qaeda.
How the Kampala twin bombing was planned
July 6, 2010: JABIR travels to Uganda for the final arrangements, which include the final assembling of bombs in vests and bags. He also teaches a Somali boy how to fix detonators and to test to confirm if they are operational.
Jabir advises Issa Luyima to find someone who will execute the mission in the third target, since they are short of a third suicide bomber. It is than that Issa brings Hassan Luyima on board. Issa tells Edris Nsubuga and Hassan Luyima that the mission will be executed on July 11 during the second half of the World Cup finals as the places would be most crowded.
JULY 8, 2010: Jabir leaves Uganda using Gateway bus. It is suspected that during this time, Jabir gave Issa an unknown amount of money for the upkeep of the suicide bombers, purchase of the two extra handsets and to vacate the safe house.
JULY 9, 2010: Hassan Luyima, Issa Luyima and Edris Nsubuga visit the three targets to assess the level of security alertness.
JULY 10, 2010: Issa Luyima takes Hassan Luyima to a safe house and introduces him to the suicide bombers as the brothers who will execute the mission. Issa gives Hassan money to purchase two extra handsets, transport, food for the shaheeds and for clearing the safe house.
Issa, Hassan and suicide bombers pray together before Issa leaves for town where he meets with Edris. Issa informs Edris that he has left instructions with Hassan.
He informs Edris that Kakasule (a suicide bomber said to be a Kenyan) spoke some English and would be working with him. He gives Edris a copy of the key to safe house and stating that he was leaving because he needed an alibi for what was about to take place.
In the evening, Hassan takes Edris to the safe house for introduction to the suicide bombers. Hassan informs Edris that he has changed the initial plan of escorting the bombers. He tells Edris that he would go with the Somali, while Hassan will accompany Kakasule.
July 11, 2010: Issa arrives in Nairobi and holds a meeting with Jabir who was with Mohammed. He briefs Jabir that the bombers are fine and that everything is on course. Jabir tells him that Mugisha was still in custody and it was his duty to ensure his release. Issa leaves for Mombasa at about 1300 hours and puts up at his mother in law’s house in Tononoka.
1100 hours: In Uganda, Edris meets with Hassan at Kenjoy restaurant and purchases food for the bombers.
1800 hours: Edris and the suicide bombers hold prayers and later the Somali suicide bomber starts testing the trigger mechanisms of the bombs to be detonated by Hassan and Edris.
2115 hours: Hassan and Kakasule, using a boda boda, head to Ice link discotheque and Ethiopian Village restaurant respectively. Shortly afterwards, Edris and the Somali suicide bomber proceed to Lugogo Rugby Club
2200 hours: At the Rugby Club, Edris heads to the bar where he leaves the bag with the bomb on top of a metallic cable roller used as a table. Edris then leaves the bar, while the Somali boy sits in the midst of the crowd pretending to watch the ongoing game.
2200 hours: Hassan drops Kakasule off at Ethiopian village and restaurant. Kakasule walked to the restaurant where he sat down to watch the game.
2215 hours: Kakasule detonates the suicide vest killing about 11 people.
2230 hours: Hassan places the bag with the bomb next to a flower pot at Ice Link discotheque. He tries placing a call but the bomb fails to detonate. Hassan takes a boda boda to his home and disposed off the two handsets in his pit latrine.
2315 hours: The Somali boy detonates himself killing about 58 people at the Rugby club.
2317 hours: Edris places a call to the detonating device igniting the second explosion. After the explosion Edris boards a boda boda and heads for his house where he dismantled the phone that was used as a trigger and throws it in a pit latrine.
0020 hours: Issa sends a message text to Edris asking if the team he was routing for had won. Edris confirmed the same, an indication that everything went on as earlier planned.
July 12, 2010: Mission successful. Planning for twin bombings in Kenya begins. Omar Awadh Omar, alias Abu Sahal briefed by Jabir who then is allowed to escape to Somalia. Kenyan suspects of the cells are refused to escape to Somalia as only the Somali suspect Jabir is allowed by al Qaeda to go back.