|Al Qaeda terror suspect held in Kampala|
|Monday, 24th March, 2008||
|By Patrick Jaramogi
SECURITY authorities in Kampala are holding a London-based Somali suspected to be linked to al Qaeda. Ali Abdi Hassan was arrested on arrival at Entebbe International Airport on February 12.
“We suspected he had some links with al Qaeda based on the list of persons wanted for terrorism activities. We handed him over to the relevant security authorities for interrogation,” said a Joint Anti-Terrorism official who declined to be named.
Abdi, who holds a British passport, sought asylum in the UK following the turmoil that engulfed Somalia after the death of President Siad Barre.
He has lived in the UK for the last four years where he works at a chain supermarket. His wife and two children are also based in the UK.
Abdi, who has relatives in Mengo Kisenyi, a Kampala suburb which houses many Somalis, had come to Uganda for a one-month holiday.
He was briefly held at Entebbe Police station before being transferred to an unknown detention centre in Kampala.
A security source attached to military intelligence said: “We are holding him for questioning. Once we are through with our investigations and discover that he is innocent, we shall release him.”
The chairperson of the Somali community in Uganda, Hussein Hassan, said he had talked to Abdi shortly after he was arrested.
“When he was arrested, I was contacted. I drove to Entebbe where I met him and was told he is being held for questioning,” said Hussein.
Abdi’s relatives, speaking on phone from London, expressed dismay over the arrest.
“Abdi acquired a visa from the Ugandan embassy here in London and left the next day.
“He was due to travel back to the UK on March 17 but we have not heard from him since he left,” said his brother, Hayle Abdirahim.
If Abdi has a case to answer, he should be taken to court and charged, he argued.
“We need to know why our brother is being held. We shall get him lawyers to defend him in court. He should not die in a cell. For how long should a suspect be