Uganda blast: FBI to assist investigation

US has send a team of FBI officials to assist the Ugandan authorities in probing the Kampala blast that killed 74 people.

Updated: Jul 13, 2010, 11:01 AM IST

Washington: US has send a team of FBI
officials to assist the Ugandan authorities in probing the
Kampala blast that killed 74 people.

The FBI will assist in the investigation of the bombings,
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said.

Earlier, US President Barack Obama, called his Ugandan
counterpart Yoweri Museveni and expressed his sincere
condolences for the loss of life and offered to provide any
support or assistance that the Ugandan government requests.

"The leaders reaffirmed their shared commitment to
working together to combat terrorist organisations that
threaten innocent civilians around the world," Gibbs said.

"We have today a three-person FBI team on the ground in
Kampala collecting evidence," State Department spokesman, P J
Crowley, told reporters at his daily news conference.

"Two Diplomatic Security officers will arrive later today
to assist the Government of Uganda in its investigation, and
we have an additional FBI team standing by in the US ready to
assist if needed," he said.

US will continue to do everything in its power to assist
Uganda in bringing the perpetrators of these attacks to
justice, he said, adding that at least one US national died in
this attack, while five others have been hospitalised.

The terrorist attack, he said, showed the "cowardice and
destruction" espoused by Al-Shabaab, which used the
celebration of the World Cup in Kampala to commit cold-blooded
murder of innocent civilians.

"Al-Shabaab has made a public claim of responsibility.
Obviously, the investigation itself is ongoing, but the
preliminary information that we have, certainly would confirm
that link," he said.

"In terms of the evidence that we are aware of at the
attack scene would seem to suggest and confirm an Al-Shabaab
connection," he added.

US is encouraged by the response of the Ugandan
Government, he said. "We?ve been very encouraged by what
(Ugandan) President Museveni has told us. He has indicated to
us that Uganda remains committed to the mission in Mogadishu,
and that probably is the strongest retort to Al-Shabaab, that
we are going to continue to support those who want to
responsibly govern in Somalia and we’ll resist those who have
a narrow, brutal, violent vision of the future in that
country," he said.

Responding to a question, Gibbs said Al-Shabaab is a
group that has made threats to the Ugandan people, and to the
Ugandan government based on its support of African Union
peacekeepers in Somalia.

"That is not to say that there’s been a definitive
conclusion on who is responsible, but this is certainly a
group that has threatened Uganda in the past," he said.