KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — Hunting for suspects in the killing of a prosecutor who pursued Islamic extremists, Ugandan authorities arrested a Ugandan man who had previously been held by the United States at its prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, before being released in 2006.
Jamal Kiyemba was arrested with three others in a Kampala suburb Tuesday, Ugandan police spokesman Fred Enanga said on Wednesday. Enanga said U.S. officials helped track down Kiyemba.
U.S. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf confirmed that U.S. government personnel supported "a Ugandan operation that successfully apprehended several individuals suspected as being involved in the assassination of the senior principal state attorney."
She said the support was provided at the request of Ugandan authorities and confirmed one of those detained was a former Guantanamo detainee who was released in 2006, but didn't give any more details.
Enanga said there was no conclusive evidence tying Kiyemba to the killing on March 30 of Ugandan prosecutor Joan Kagezi, but that detectives were questioning him about his possible role and about other offenses. Kagezi had been a prosecutor in the ongoing trial of 12 suspects accused of being involved in the July 2010 bombings here in which more than 70 people were killed while watching the soccer World Cup final on TV. The attack was carried out by al-Shabab, the Somali Islamic extremist group.
A U.S. military file signed by the then commander of Joint Task Force Guantanamo, Brig. Gen. Jay W. Hood, said Kiyemba was arrested by Pakistani police near Peshawar as he attempted to enter Afghanistan after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the company of a probable al-Qaida operative, a suspected al-Qaida operative and a "low-level jihadist."
The 2004 document said Kiyemba had received training in the use of the AK-47 assault in Peshawar but concluded, in recommending that he be transferred to another country for continued detention, that his threat level was "medium" and his intelligence value "low." Allegations in such documents are often obtained from unreliable third parties and are not 100 percent reliable.
Kiyemba is a convert to Islam who once lived in Britain before he traveled to Pakistan, Enanga said.
Ugandan police on Tuesday arrested at least six suspects.
Kagezi was shot twice by gunmen after she left her car — in which she was traveling with two of her children on the way home from work — to buy groceries in a Kampala suburb. After shooting her in the head and neck, the gunmen fled on a motorcycle, according to police.