Uganda Police Force and sister security agencies have said they can neither confirm nor deny claims that Islamic State terrorist group was responsible for the Saturday bomb blast at Komamboga, a Kampala suburb.
The terrorist group claimed it had masterminded the attack that left one dead and three others injured as some of its members detonated an explosive device in a bar where “members and spies of the Crusader Ugandan government were gathering” in Kampala.
Addressing journalists on Monday, Police Counter Terrorism director, AIGP Abas Byakagaba said at this stage, there is no evidence to prove or deny the claims but said investigations will inform them of the group behind the attack.
“We don’t work with Islamic State. What they want is what they say. We can’t come out with information before carrying out thorough investigations. Only investigations will tell us who did the act,” Byakagaba said.
“We can’t say things when we have no evidence. Even if they (IS) say they attacked, we will have to investigate to come out with a report.”
Police spokesperson, Fred Enanga said since no arrest has been made, it is too early to attribute the incident on any terrorist group.
“We don’t want to rush into sentimental claims by these groups. Why does it come after almost 48 hours? We want to assure Ugandans that despite claims by IS, there is no evidence so far to prove or disprove such claims. No suspects arrested so far. We can’t determine the motivation of the attackers without getting suspects. We can only get into details after arresting some suspects. We continue to build on leads we have,” Enanga said.
Enanga said that preliminary investigation indicates that the three attackers were speaking the local Luganda dialect and that one of them had ever appeared at the targeted joint.
He noted that it is only after arrests are done that security will determine who was behind the attack and the reason behind the same.
“At this stage we continue with our investigations but we can’t come to any conclusions now.” On Sunday, police said the attack was an act of domestic terror but when asked whether the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebel group is among the domestic terror groups that are investigated, AIGP Byakagaba said they are casting the net wide to get to the bottom of the matter.
“Investigators will come out with information on who did it. ADF is among the domestic and internationally recognized terror groups. We therefore can’t leave out ADF as one of the perpetuators,” he said.
The Police counter terrorism director urged the public to always be vigilant of any suspicious persons and items. “All suspicious items and persons should be reported to police and other security agencies. Watch out for suspicious abandoned items whereas there should be access control measures to places frequented by many people,”Byakagaba said.
“Landlords should identify and watch out for suspicious tenants that they should report to police.”
According to police, it is the work of both the public and security to ensure they prevent occurrence of similar attacks.