An American man, Nate Henn, has died in the Uganada terrorist bombing during a World Cup watch party. The bombers are believed to be members of Somalian al-Shabab, an al-Qaeda-aligned organization. Three bombs went off within a 50 minute period killing 64, and maybe a dozen more.
Mr. Henn, 25, was a resident of Delaware and a volunteer for Invisible Children, an organization trying to free “child soldiers” in African wars, and also trying to tell their stories through film.
The radical Islamist movement al-Shabab which has implemented sharia law across large swathes of Somalia, said today the attacks were revenge for the presence of Ugandan soldiers in the Somali capital. “We are not afraid to say that we are behind the Uganda attack,” al-Shabab spokesman Sheik Ali Mohamud Rage said in a phone interview from the Somali capital Mogadishu. “We have made the [Ugandan] government to feel the pain that they are causing us in Mogadishu.”
Al-Shabab says they are seeking revenge for Uganda’s participation in peacekeeping missions in Somalia, and Ugandan officials quote Sheik Yusuf Sheik Issa, a Shabab commander saying “Uganda is a major infidel country supporting the so-called government of Somalia.”
Henn was at the Kyandondo Rugby Club bombings along with 3,000 others, when the second or third of the three blasts exploded. Mr. Henn had been with Invisible Children for about 18 months, arriving in Uganda on July 3rd, 2010.
Despite being in Uganda for such a short time, Henn had won the admiration of his pupils, many of who had been abducted as children and enlisted in the rebel Ugandan group, the Lord’s Resistance Army.
“Our Ugandan students … fell in love with Nate’s wit, strength, character and steadfast friendship,” the eulogy read. “They gave him the Acholi name ‘Oteka,’ which means ‘The Strong One.'”
Several Ugandan students were with Henn at the time of the explosion. It is not known if any died in the attack.
Six members of a church group from Pennsylvania, were wounded in the blast in the Ethiopian restaurant. One of the wounded was 16-year-old American Emily Kerstetter. Three Ugandan members of the group were killed.
Mr. Henn was an alum of University of Delaware.