13 arrested for conspiring to commit terror attacks

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On Friday, October 1, the Rwanda National Police (RNP) and the Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) displayed 13 members of the same cell who were reportedly plotting and preparing to carry out terrorist attacks in Rwanda.

Commissioner of Police (CP) John Bosco Kabera, a spokesperson for the Rwandan National Police (RNP), stated that Rwandan police collaborated with other security agencies to destroy a terror cell that was preparing strikes mostly in Kigali.

“Police collaborated with other security agencies and the public to locate and capture terror cell members. They were apprehended separately in the City of Kigali, Rusizi, and Nyabihu districts with a variety of improvised explosive devices (IEDs), including wires, nails, phones, explosives, and videos for radicalization,” CP Kabera said.

He also urged anybody with further information that might assist hunt down anyone related to the terror group to come forward.

Suspects of terrorism speak up

Members of the terror cell detained include Ismael Niyonshuti and Hassan Mbaraga. They described how they became members of the terror group in order to destabilize Rwanda.

They said that they were recruited by their coworkers and taught by a Kenyan national who was a member of the IS-linked terrorists in Cabo Delgado, where they were apprehended by Rwandan and Mozambican authorities.

“I was apprehended on August 31, a week after I was linked to a Kenyan citizen traveling via Mozambique. He was the one who taught us how to use explosives to target specific structures as retaliation for Rwanda’s participation in Cabo Delgado,” Niyonshuti explained.

“The goal was to carry out an explosives assault on KCT (Kigali City Tower) through an electronics shop on the ground level and a gas station in Nyabugogo,” he explained.

Mbaraga, for his part, stated that Niyonshuti had recruited him and that they had intended to blow bombs in Kigali and other parts of the nation.

Conspiracy to conduct terrorism, joining a terrorist group, engaging in acts of terrorism, encouraging others to commit acts of terrorism, unlawful use of explosives, and establishing a terror group are among the accusations that the accused face.

If convicted, they will face charges under Counter-Terrorism Law No. 46/2018, which carries a maximum term of 25 years in jail.

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