U.S.: Tanzanian ISIS Commander Planned Kasese School Attack

The U.S. Department of State has sanctioned Ahmed Mahamud Hassan Aliyani also known as Abu Wakas, a Tanzanian national and ISIS-DRC commander.

The U.S. said Aliyani “led attack planning for ISIS-DRC, including the June 16, 2023, attack on the Lhubiriha Secondary School in Uganda and the January 15, 2023, attack on a Pentecostal church in Kasindi, DRC.”

The statement added: “Hassan Aliyani oversees the facilitation of foreign fighters travelling into the DRC to join the group.”

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On Thursday 16 June, Uganda witnessed a horrific and cowardly attack on Lhubiriha secondary school in Mpondwe in western Uganda, which borders the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Government of Uganda confirmed that 42 people were killed, of whom 37 were students from the school.

Six people were injured. Reports showed that a further five to seven people, which included children from the school, were abducted.

The Ugandan authorities said the perpetrators were from the Islamic State-affiliated armed group the Allied Democratic Forces, or ADF, which operates in the DRC.

According to the EU, Aliyani’s responsibilities include “command of a camp, training of recruits, production of bombs, online outreach, and rapprochement” with Islamic State (IS) central leadership.

The Ugandan military has pursued the attackers.

The U.S. also sanctioned Nkalubo, a Ugandan national, who is an ISIS-DRC senior advisor and deputy to ISIS-DRC’s overall leader, Musa Baluku.

Nkalubo served as a communication conduit to ISIS-Core senior leaders and is responsible for disseminating ISIS propaganda in central Africa.

The U.S. says Nkalubo oversees ISIS-DRC attack planning and training and has personally participated in numerous attack operations.

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