KAMPALA – Makerere University, Uganda's largest institution of higher learning, announced Wednesday that it had been the target of a foiled plot by an unknown group of terrorists who had planned to bomb the university as students sat for their final exams.
"We at the College of Computing and Information Sciences are under a serious security alert from the Internal Security Organization about a student who was in touch with one of the most feared terrorist organizations in the region," college administrative secretary Resty Kirungi said in a statement to students and staff.
According to the statement, terrorists promised to pay the student in question almost $6000 to plant a bomb inside the college during upcoming exams.
Approximately 6000 students are enrolled at the college.
"The mission was supposed to be accomplished on Monday, but police intercepted [it] in time," Kirungi said. "The police have… apprehended the student in question and investigations continue."
Students were cautioned to be on guard against suspicious individuals and unattended luggage.
Invigilators and custodians have been instructed to thoroughly inspect the examination venues, including bathrooms and adjacent corridors, before every exam.
Uganda police spokesperson Fred Enanga confirmed the report.
"The person we arrested is cooperating with the police. However, we were not able to arrest the [student] suspect," he told Anadolu Agency, adding that the informer had apparently managed to alert the suspect.
"We had planned to set the trap so that he [the student] goes to pick up the package and we trail him up to the time he gets payment," Enanga said.
"We have a few leads to look at. The little information won't be of much help in our investigation," he added.
Both the Ugandan police and the U.S. have issued several terror alerts this year.
The U.S. embassy in Kampala recently warned American citizens of a possible terror attack in June.
Al-Shabaab, a Somali militant group, currently represents East Africa's premier terrorist threat.
The group, which carried out several bombings in Uganda in 2010, has also been blamed for a series of recent attacks in neighboring Kenya.
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