Uganda raises security on threat assessment from U.S. Embassy
KAMPALA, Uganda — The U.S. Embassy in Uganda warned on Thursday of a specific threat by an unknown terrorist group to attack the country's only international airport.
The Entebbe International Airport could be attacked on Thursday in the hours leading up to midnight, the embassy said on its website, citing information obtained from Ugandan police. The statement urged U.S. citizens traveling through Entebbe around that time to “review their plans in light of this information.”
There is a “continued threat of potential terrorist attacks in the country,” with targets ranging from nightclubs to government offices, the statement said.
The airport, south of Kampala, the capital, was the scene in 1976 of a successful Israeli military operation to rescue dozens of hostages held by pro-Palestinian hijackers.
The warning from the embassy came the day after the U.S. government called for tighter security measures at foreign airports that have direct flights to the United States. There are no direct flights from Uganda to the United States. Most flights connect through Europe.
Ignie Igundura, the spokesman for Uganda's Civil Aviation Authority, said there were no plans to temporarily close the airport over a terror threat. He said the airport had since taken some security measures that he declined to talk about.
Ugandan police have issued several terror alerts in recent times, warning that the Somali Islamic extremist group al-Shabab may be plotting a major attack on Ugandan territory.
Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for deadly attacks in July 2010 that targeted restaurants and bars showing World Cup games on giant screens in Kampala. The group was also behind an attack on an upscale mall in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, in which scores were killed.
Both Uganda and Kenya have sent troops into Somalia to battle the militants under the banner of the African Union.