British monarch Queen Elizabeth was targeted by al-Qaida-linked suicide terrorists posing as TV crews at November’s Commonwealth Heads of Government summit in Uganda, but the plot was discovered by authorities and “neutralized” before it could be carried out, an Ugandan official has confirmed.
Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, the Uganda minister of internal affairs, told the London Sunday Express a local terrorist group had planned to smuggle explosives into the summit area by hiding them in the large broadcast vans used to uplink coverage of the international meeting to the rest of the world.
“We received information that a terrorist group linked to al-Qaida, the Allied Democratic Forces, was planning to carry out terrorist activities at the Commonwealth meeting. The security services in Uganda neutralized these threats.”
The broadcast vans belonged to the Uganda Broadcasting Corporation. Because of the disruption, UBC was not able to transmit live pictures of key summit events, including the queen’s address to Uganda’s parliament.
In 2003, WND reported intelligence warnings of a possible al-Qaida plot against the queen during the monarch’s visit to Nigeria for the same Commonwealth conference. Then-Prime Minister Tony Blair was scheduled to travel with the queen to the summit.
Rugunda did not reveal details of the planned attack or confirm reports a speedboat carrying ADF insurgents and loaded with arms and homemade bombs had been seized by the Ugandan military.
“A number of suspects have been arrested but I cannot comment on the specifics of this case,” said Rugunda.
“What I can say is that we stepped up security because of the al-Qaida threat, but it was neutralized by our security services. In the end the summit was incident free and Uganda was happy to receive such distinguished guests, led by Her Majesty the Queen.”
Ayman al Zawahri, al-Qaida’s No. 2, threatened the queen in a video communique issued last July following her knighthood of Salman Rushdie, author of the 1988 novel “Satanic Verses.”
“I say to [Queen] Elizabeth and Blair that your message has reached us and we are in the process of preparing you for a precise response,” Zawahri threatened.
“The Queen’s security arrangements are very sophisticated,” a former head of royal protection said. “There would have been thorough advanced planning ahead of the trip to Uganda, an exit strategy would have been worked out, and so on.
“At the end of the day, the Queen is a great pragmatist – she’s a great believer in what will be will be. But she has absolute faith and trust in her protection team.”
The ADF was set up in East Africa with al-Qaida support in the 1990s when Osama bin Laden was living in Khartoum, Sudan’s capital. Its leader, Jamil Mukulu, trained at al-Qaida camps in Afghanistan.
Get inside the terrorists’ minds: A Jewish reporter schmoozes with members of some of the most dangerous groups in the world