This is the first incident of a suicide attack, where the bomber concealed a suicide vest and belt and detonated it on board.  The facts gathered so far indicate that the attacker and an accomplice were among the 52 passengers who boarded Swift Safari’s Bus, under registration number, UAU989T, from Kisenyi Bus Terminal, heading to Ishaka, Bushenyi.

The bus leftKampala at around 4pm, and made a first stop over at Maya checkpoint. Then proceeded, but shortly after a distance less than two kilometers, one of the passengers who is suspected to have accomplice asked the conductor to allow him disembark from the bus and go back to Kampala,claiming he was needed to process documents to travel abroad. The bus stopped and the conductor allowed him to disembark. It was after a distance of 8 to 10kms, at a place identified as LungalaLC1, Maziba Ward Mpigi Town Council, in Mpigi District, that the bomb exploded in the bus.The suicide bomber identified as Matovu Isaac, a 23-year-old, male adult and resident of Kamuli “A” Zone, in Kireka, died on the spot. He was on the wanted list by security for being a member of the ADF sleeper cells, as “MUZAFALU”.

The immediate neighbor of the suicide bomber, escaped without any serious injuries however, a passenger who was seated behind the suicide attacker sustained critical injuries. He was identified as Superintendent of Police, Adrian Kwetegyerezathe Acting Regional Police Commander, Greater Bushenyi, who was traveling from Kampala to Bushenyi. He was given first aid by the Red Cross team and rushed to one of the major hospitals in Kampala, for further treatment.Our joint team of bomb and forensics experts, established after locating remnants of the bomb on the deceased, a detonator near his seat, metallic bearings and several wire gadgets on him. He detonated the bomb that took his life and also critically injured an officer. Out of the 52 passengers, the remaining 50, did not sustain any serious injuries.Both the conductor and the driver are being interrogated on how the suspected bomber smuggled into the bus. The remaining passengers also recorded statements about the incident.

We have established from the hallmarks of the attack and the bomb materials recovered, a connection with the attack that occurred 3 days ago in Komamboga, suggesting that the IEDs, could have been prepared in one place or by the same group of attackers. This, therefore, implies that the attackers are using different strategies of suicide vests and belts, armed assailants on bodabodas or motorcycles, physical bomb attacks, and also targeting soft spots.

We strongly, believe the attackers are part of the sleeper cells in the country, inspired by ADF in close collaboration with the Islamic State.  From our analysis they are attacking soft targets, which are many and quite difficult to defend.  They have plans of targeting civilians at easily accessible locations such as eating sports, public transportation like buses, taxis, places of worship, pedestrian areas, bars operating stealthily and any other crowded areas.
We have further established that they have been recruiting, radicalizing and researching   on how to build improvised explosive device, and how to carry out attacks in Uganda.  Their motive is clearly ideological and out of hatred by the ADF, that could be harboring plans of a bigger plot.The group has been active, since August, 2021 and is strongly coordinated by one of the ADF Commanders based in the DRC, identified as MeddieNkalubo aka Martin MD aka Benjo aka Benjamin Franklin aka Meddie Lee aka Punisher.  He has been hiding in the DRC for the last 6 years.

He coordinated the terror incident in Pader district, targeting mourners at the burial of the late DIGP Lt. Gen. Paul Lokech, on the 27.08.202, but our task teams managed to foil that attack.  Two members of  the suspected group of terrorists, including an IED expert, Abdul Rashid Katumba, and a courier identified as Hassan Rwangabo, were arrested. A third suspect identified as Nsubuga Hamid aka Young Midu, the would-be suicide bomber, escaped from Pader, but was surveilled and put out of action, in Kyebando, while on VIP assassination mission in Kampala on the 4.10.2021.

In addition, he coordinated failed attack on Kawempe police station, the deadly attack at Komamboga, where a 20-year-old, Nyinaneza Emily was killed and 3 others injured. As well as the suicide bomb attack on SWIFT Bus that occurred on the 25.10.2021 at Lungala in Mpigi.

We are in addition, tracking down several operators involved in money laundering and terrorist financing.  So far two have been arrested and these include AbdulahamWaibi and SanyuNakitende, who have so far received USD114.000 and distributed it to their recipients on behalf of the ADF. One of the recipients called Aisha Katushabe,  who received money to facilitate acts of terrorism, was arrested on the 25.10.2021, from Hoima district.  Funding has also been channeled through selected petroleum companies and real estate dealers. About US$400000 found its way through the petroleum companies.

During the same period, we rounded up 13 rebel collaborators, 11 of whom were part of the hostile rebel group of the Uganda Homeland Liberation Movement/Front (UHLM/F), that has been active since 2016.  The arrested suspects include; Openjuru Howard, Openjuru John,Jaker James Micheal, OburatumJuventino,Oweka Bob Patrick,Olinga Simon Peter, Okweny David and Ngabijalatho Peter.  Other rebel collaborators include MutumbaMuhamud, Warom Felix and Bamusingire Robert.  We also arrested two suspected Mai-Mai rebels on the 8.10.2021, after they crossed into the country, through an ungazetted area.  They include Bwambale Moses and Byakumbhagare James.

The UHLM/F rebel group was responsible for the attacks on the UPDF detach at Opit in 2016, on Gulu CPS in 2016, on the UPDF detach in Zombo in 2020, the attack on the UPDF detach at Koch in Nebbi on the 15.04.2021, the attack on the UPDF detach at Zeu, in Zombo on the 16.07.2021.  They were successfully countered in all these attempts, by the UPDF.

We want to assure Ugandans, that despite these cowardly acts of terrorism from existing sleeper cells inspired by the ADF, we remain committed with an unwavering resolve to protect Ugandans and visitors in the country. We are using strategies under the national security contingency and response plan, and our decade of experience and capabilities, to counter all perpetrators of terror in our country. We are also tracing for the person who disembarked from the bus, after the Maya checkpoint and will continue to work with our partners across the country, in our commitment to counter and disrupt terrorists, who seek to harm our country.

CP Enanga Fred
Police Spokesperson
26th October 2021