Thought and Ideas
The five forms of terrorism
Posted Sunday, October 6 2013 at 01:00
After attacks on Kenya and Uganda by suspected al-Shabaab terrorists, Angualiga Mahmoud Salim looks at the ways radicals may use to hit their targets.
The terrorist attack on Westgate Mall in Nairobi in which about 70 people were killed and hundreds others injured has prompted many questions. For me, the foremost question remain: Is Uganda’s security pre-paired enough to defend Ugandans against terrorist attacks of the magnitude we witnessed in Nairobi and elsewhere around the world?
The answer is both YES and NO!
But first, perhaps we need try to understand terrorists. Terrorists fall in five broad categories:-
Mission of no return: These are usually suicide. It is this type that carried out the July 11, 2010 bomb attack at the Kyadondo Rugby Club at Lugogo and Ethiopian Restaurant at Kabalagala. Their mission normally is to carry out the act and get killed alongside their targets/victims.
Vengeance/Revenge mission: These usually carry out deadly attack with possibility of getting away if there is security lapse, like the case at Westgate Nairobi – Kenya. Remember 11 of the suspected attackers were intercepted at Jomo Kenyatta Airport on their way out. Hostage takers mission: These carry out missions with an objective to get a ransom, a political solution or revert/force a decision. These are the types that have been operating off the coast of Somalia seizing ships and demanding a ransom for it.
Destruction mission: These plant/set bombs in buildings, bridges, targeted personnel vehicles as means of war or to settle a dispute. Snipers/Assassins mission: These target identified persons and kill them from a distance or discretely among crowds.
Back to the Question
Yes, Uganda as a Sovereign Independent State could defend its citizens and other residents against terrorist attack, it has an army, police and several security agencies including internal/external intelligence organisations, who have undergone the necessary trainings in their fields locally and some discriminately chosen few proceed for specialised training abroad/overseas.
These are mainly persons originating/coming from the tribe/ community/district/region where the person of the president originate/come from, there is no doubt in this; one needs to visit any police station, Army Units and Intelligence organs like ISO, ESO or GISO’s across Uganda to ascertain for oneself and to believe that this is more of a one tribe/community managed force other than an all Ugandans inclusive managed force.
Ordinarily, if such a force had a national character both in its management, men and operatives, it would perfectly defend Ugandans against any attack. No, there is no national character in Uganda’s security setup. There can never be a team work in a force/organisation whose personnel/members are disillusioned/divided, especially when it is one tribe/community/region which are the majority and with the might to call shots.
The officers and men serving in Uganda’s forces suffer from discrimination right from the time of recruitment/ basic training, both locally & overseas, in deployment, housing, promotion and other benefits.
This is a clear manifestation that those chosen few (from one tribe/ community) are the beneficiaries in these forces and since they are the ones provided with the necessary training, they plan for the force, but expect the other lot (who cannot benefit from specialised training abroad/overseas) to implement the plan, which, therefore, attract complaints resulting into very easy outflow of secret security plans to the enemy like al-Shabaab.
The 2010 attack in Lugogo Rugby Club and Ethiopian Restaurant in Kabalagala - Kampala, during the World Cup soccer finals where more than 75 people were killed caught the security unawares. These security organs could not detect these terrorist accessing these venues or failed to get intelligence information on suspected areas where the attack could happen; they just kept warning citizens and residents to be vigilant about an impending attack without a clue where about.
I do hope my arguments, which I believe to have been tabled in good faith, will be considered as one of the ways of pre pairing a competent force with a national character in its officers, men and operatives….
Mr Salim is the former deputy secretary defence and security, FDC