JOHANNESBURG – A former university librarian on Thursday said he wanted to kill as many Americans as possible in bomb attacks that killed 76 people in the Ugandan capital last month.
In a public confession at a news conference in Kampala arranged by Ugandan military intelligence, Issa Ahmed Luyima said he planned the July 11 attacks and roped his younger brother and others into the plot.
His motive was a deep hatred of Americans, the 33-year-old Ugandan said.
“My rage was with the Americans whom I deemed responsible for all the suffering of Muslims around the world,” he was quoted as saying by news agency reports. “I targeted places where many Americans go.”
One American died in the bomb blasts in Kampala at a rugby club and an Ethiopian restaurant, locations where people had gathered to watch the soccer World Cup final.
The four suspects at the news conference all confessed to involvement and said they were sorry for what they had done. One of them wept.
“We have apprehended all those responsible for the planning and execution of these cowardly attacks,” said the head of military intelligence, James Mugira.
Issa Luyima said he had joined al-Shabab, the Somali rebel group linked to al-Qaida, last year and had fought with the militants alongside other foreign fighters.
Al-Shabab last month claimed responsibility for the attacks, saying they were in revenge for Uganda’s role in the African Union peacekeeping force backing Somalia’s fragile government.
It was the first time the group managed to mount an attack outside Somalia.