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Uganda parades 4 who confessed to terror bombings

Working for Somali group Al Shabaab, they set bombs that killed 79.

KAMPALA, Uganda — Just over a month after the July 11 terrorist bombings that rocked Uganda’s capital city, the prime suspects were paraded before the public at a government press conference last week.

The explosions killed 79 people, including one American.

The four young men, all Ugandans, confessed to planning and carrying out the bombings at the Kyadondo rugby grounds and the Ethiopian Village Restaurant in Kampala. They said they carried out the bombings for Al Shabaab, the Somali Islamic extremist group.

Al Shabaab claimed responsibility for the deadly explosions, saying the violence was to punish Uganda for providing troops to the African Union peacekeeping force that is supporting the Somali president, Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed.

Edrisa “Issa” Ahmed Luyima, 33, admitted to being a member of Al Shabaab and the mastermind of the attacks. He said he recruited his brother as well as the Somali and Kenyan suicide bombers.

In his emotionless statement, Issa apologized to Ugandans.

“I am very sorry for the loss of life. I was hesitant to pick on Ugandans. My target was the Americans, who I think are responsible for the suffering in the world. I am very sorry to the people, who knew me ... my rage was against the Americans ... our aim was to kill Americans.”

Haruna “Hassan” Luyima, 27, the younger brother of the alleged leader, was a Kampala businessman. He confessed to taking the Kenyan suicide bomber to the Ethiopian restaurant and a fourth, un-detonated bomb to Makindye, a Kampala suburb.

Through tears, Hassan said, “I went with the other bomb to Makindye but I did not detonate it ... I realized my mistakes and changed my mind.”