Who is Jamil Mukulu and is why is he such a threat?

From a local boy he weaved his way into terror networks and unleashed terror on Ugandans. Born on the first of January 1964, Jamil Mukulu embarked on his journey into Islamic extremism as as a member of Salaf Sect in the 1990’s.

Born Daniel Steven, a Catholic, Mukulu later converted to Islam and quickly got involved in terror and built contacts with other terrorists in the world. While in training in Khartoum, he became close to the leader of Al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden before he shifted base to Afghanistan. He later also established contacts with Al Shabaab as soon as it was aspiring to become Al Qaeda’s arm in East Africa.

The main aim of Islamic leaning terror groups is to replace secular governments with Islamic ones.

In 1992, Mukulu was part of the Muslim youths who clashed with police at Old Kampala Mosque which left four policemen dead. Although this was seen as an isolated incident in reality it was the start of the Allied Democratic Forces which Mukulu would head in the future.

Years later security forces spotted a rebel training camp in Buseruka, Hoima district. It was raided and believed to have been decimated but survivors escaped to the Democratic Republic of Congo from where they regrouped, trained and received supplies from terror sponsoring states like Sudan. It is from DRC that they launched their first attack on Uganda in Kasese, 1996.

From then on, UPDF fought the terror group. To contain them UPDF had to cross into Congo in 1998 only to get ensnared in the Congo crisis. From its  save havens, ADF  set up cells in Kampala which it used to set and detonate bombs in entertainment places wreaking havoc killing tens and injuring hundreds.

Efforts to eject them from the thick jungles were futile but at least Uganda security staved more attacks from 2000.

In February 2011, Interpol released a red notice for the arrest of Jamil Mukulu in connection with the June 1998 Kichwamba Technical Institute massacre, in which about 80 students perished.

Their mode of operation is highly clandestine.

Their activities have since been on the low, because they have been fighting more of defensive battles in Congo against the UN and Congo forces.

Mukulu who was Jamil has been imprisoned in the national prison, in Luzira at one point has managed to keep the army and police on their toes by disguising with many faces.

He has several passports and permits from different countries. He has a British passport as a British national under the name Kalagire Pantaguli. He has a Kenyan driving permit, a Tanzanian passport and over four Ugandan identities.

From December 2014 and early 2015, the ADF has been named in rampant killings of leaders of Muslim sect leaders in the central region and businessmen. These are said to have been killed because they refused to co-operate with the rebel group.

Jamil Mukulu was also named to be behind the rumours that spread early this year on whatsapp claiming that the minister of Kampala Frank Tumwebaze had been fired.

Currently, it is still a speculation that Mukulu was arrested last week in Tanzania.

World-wide terror groups have in recent years suffered major setbacks after their top leaders are killed or arrested. It has happened to Al Qaeda, Hezbollah and Al Shabaab. From these examples the merchants of terror become less effective after the death of the top commander. Though they survive under new leadership their vision is blurred in effect scaling down on attacks. But as one terror group is about to be written off another and a more lethal one springs up. The ISIS became a threat almost immediately after the death of Al Qaeda boss Osama bin Laden and groups like Boko Harama are allying with it. Unless totally whipped out ADF remnants can also mutate into something else.


Leader of the ADF