Thursday, 3 July 2014

United States warns of 'Specific Terrorist Threat' to Uganda's Entebbe Airport

The United States warned its citizens in Uganda on Thursday about a "specific threat" of an attack within hours on Entebbe International Airport, which serves the capital Kampala.

A message posted on the U.S. Embassy website said information from Uganda's police indicated that the attack could take place between 9 p.m and 11 p.m. local time, adding that citizens planning to travel at that time might consider reviewing their arrangements.

As one of the countries that contributes forces to an African Union peacekeeping mission battling the radical group Al-Shabab in Somalia, Uganda has suffered attacks in recent years, with the feared armed group threatening more.

Ignie Ugundura, a spokesman for Uganda's Civil Aviation Authority, confirmed the authority had issued an alert on Wednesday that "informed the airport community,” but did not offer more details.

A Ugandan police spokeswoman said security had been stepped up at Entebbe, but that the police were not aware of a specific threat to Uganda.

The U.S. Embassy message said it had "received information from the Uganda Police Force (UPF) that according to intelligence sources there is a specific threat to attack Entebbe International Airport by an unknown terrorist group today, July 3, between the hours of 2100-2300.”

The warning came a day after American authorities said they would require increased security at overseas airports with nonstop flights to the United States. U.S. officials cited concerns that Al-Qaeda operatives in Syria and Yemen were developing bombs that could be smuggled onto planes.

There are no nonstop flights from Uganda's Entebbe airport to the United States.