Dar es Salaam. The Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court has dismissed five terrorism cases and set free 12 accused persons , who were facing charges of conspiracy to commit terrorism.
The move comes after the Director of Public Prosecutions in Tanzania (DPP) informed the Court that he had no intention of proceeding with the charges against them.
The accused who were set free are Seif Mwishehe, Yusuph Rajabu, Buheti Buheti, Juma Athuman, Ally Nassoro popularly known as Omary Swala, Hassan Mnele and six others.
The decision to dismiss the cases was handed down today, March 1, 2022 by five different Magistrates, namely Chief Resident Magistrate Evodia Kyaruzi, Huruma Shahidi and Yusto Ruboroga, after the prosecution filed a motion to dismiss the charges against the accused.
A panel of four prosecuting attorneys led by Senior State Counsel, Waziri Magumbo, assisted by Ramadhani Kalinga, Ashura Mzava and Yusuph Avoid, told the court that the cases were called for mention but the DPP decided to not proceed with the case against the defendants.
Magumbo claimed that the accused had their charges dropped under section 91 (1) of the Criminal Procedure Act (CPA), chapter 20, which was amended in 2019.
Defendants are alleged to have committed offenses on December 23, 2015 and 2016 in various regions in the country including, Dar es Salaam and Manyovu area in Kigoma region.
On Tuesday 11 September 2001 suicide attackers seized US passenger jets and crashed them into two New York skyscrapers, killing thousands of people.
The attack remains one of the most traumatic events of the century, not only for Americans but also for the world.
What were the targets?
Four planes flying over the eastern US were seized simultaneously by small teams of hijackers.
They were then used as giant, guided missiles to crash into landmark buildings in New York and Washington.
Two planes struck the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York.
The first hit the North Tower at 08:46 Eastern Time (13:46 GMT). The second crashed into the South Tower at 09:03.
The buildings were set on fire, trapping people on the upper floors, and wreathing the city in smoke. In less than two hours, both 110-storey towers collapsed in massive clouds of dust.
At 09:37 the third plane destroyed the western face of the Pentagon – the giant headquarters of the US military just outside the nation’s capital, Washington DC.
The fourth plane crashed in a field in Pennsylvania at 10:03 after passengers fought back. It is thought the hijackers had meant to attack the Capitol Building in Washington DC.
How many people died?
In all, 2,977 people (not counting the 19 hijackers) lost their lives, most of them in New York.
All 246 passengers and crew aboard the four planes were killed
At the Twin Towers, 2,606 people died – then or later of injuries
At the Pentagon, 125 people were killed
The youngest victim was two-year-old Christine Lee Hanson, who died on one of the planes with her parents Peter and Sue.
The oldest was 82-year-old Robert Norton, who was on another plane with his wife Jacqueline, en route to a wedding.
When the first plane struck, an estimated 17,400 people were in the towers. Nobody survived above the impact zone in the North Tower, but 18 managed to escape from the floors above the impact zone in the South Tower.
Citizens of 77 different countries were among the casualties. New York City lost 441 first responders.
Thousands of people were injured or later developed illnesses connected to the attacks, including firefighters who had worked in toxic debris.
Who were the attackers?
An Islamist extremist network called al-Qaeda planned the attacks from Afghanistan.
Led by Osama Bin Laden, al-Qaeda blamed the US and its allies for conflicts in the Muslim world.
Nineteen people carried out the hijackings, working in three teams of five and one of four (on the plane which crashed in Pennsylvania).
Each group included someone who had received pilot training. This was carried out at flying schools in the US itself.
Fifteen hijackers were Saudis like Bin Laden himself. Two were from the United Arab Emirates, one was from Egypt and one was from Lebanon.
How did the US respond?
Less than a month after the attacks, President George W Bush led an invasion of Afghanistan – supported by an international coalition – to eradicate al-Qaeda and hunt down Bin Laden.
However, it was not until 2011 that US troops finally located and killed Bin Laden in neighbouring Pakistan.
The alleged planner of the 9/11 attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, was arrested in Pakistan in 2003. He has been held in US custody at Guantanamo Bay since then, and is still awaiting trial.
Al-Qaeda still exists. It is strongest in Sub-Saharan Africa but even now has members inside Afghanistan.
US troops left Afghanistan this year after nearly 20 years, stoking fears from many that the Islamist network could make a comeback.
The legacy of 9/11
Flight safety was tightened around the world in the years following 9/11.
In the US, the Transportation Security Administration was created to beef up security at airports and on planes.
It took more than eight months to clean up “Ground Zero” – the site of the fallen Twin Towers.
A memorial and a museum now stands on the site, and buildings have risen up again, to a different design.
The completed centrepiece – One World Trade Center, or “Freedom Tower” – stands even higher (1,776ft (541m) than the original North Tower, which was 1,368ft.
Reconstruction at the Pentagon took just under a year, with staff back in their offices by August 2002.
The Tanzanian government on Sunday suspended a private newspaper for 30 days after it linked a “terrorist” gunman who killed four people to the country’s ruling party.
Police said the assailant who had shot dead three police officers and a private security guard in a rampage in the diplomatic quarter of the commercial capital Dar es Salaam last month had been radicalised through the internet.
But on Friday, the Raia Mwema newspaper linked the gunman — named as Hamza Mohamed — to the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party of President Samia Suluhu Hassan.
Government spokesman Gerson Msigwa said in a statement the paper was suspended for publishing misleading stories and violating the law and journalistic ethics.
“This is a violation of licence conditions and a threat to national security by promoting stories that create hatred among the communities,” he said.
Last month, the government suspended a newspaper owned by CCM for 14 days for publishing a “false” story about Hassan which said she was not considering running for president in elections in 2025.
After Hassan took office in March, there were hopes she would turn the page on the increasingly autocratic rule of her late predecessor John Magufuli, also of the CCM.
But concern about the state of democracy in Tanzania has heightened after the arrest in July of the leader of the main opposition Chadema party, Freeman Mbwowe, who faces trial on charges of terrorism.
The saga involving the Chadema national chairman, Mr Freeman Mbowe, took a new turnyesterday when the police said it was holding the opposition leader for questioning over allegations of terrorism and a plot to kill government leaders.
The police said in its statement yesterday that Mr Mbowe was being held in connection with the allegations that were also made against six other people who have already been arraigned in court in court.
The statement, signed by the police spokesperson, Mr David Misime, said the law enforcers had been compelled to issue a statement on why they were holding Mr Mbowe after realising that his party was releasing misleading statements regarding the reasons behind the arrest of the party’s national chairman.
Chadema had said that Mr Mbowe was being held for interrogations for organising a forum in Mwanza that was meant to deliberate on demands for anew constitution. Police had however aborted the forum that was to be held at a hotel in Mwanza.
Police said yesterday that Mr Mbowe was aware that he was being investigated even before he left Hai in Kilimanjaro for Mwanza where he was later arrested.
In the meanwhile, the management of a tourist hotel that was to host the aborted forum said yesterday that it was counting losses, emanating from the decision by police to temporarily turn the place into a crime zone on Tuesday
On Tuesday, police with guns and tear gas closed entrance and exitto and from the Tourist Hotel inthe Kitangiri area where the Katiba Mpya (new consdtitution) forumorganiszed by Chadema was to take place.
To render the area impenetrable, the entrance to the hotel was also ‘ring-fenced’ with a caution tape (scene barrier) to prevent people from gaining access while the road from Kona ya Bwiru to Kitangiri where hotel is situated was also closed by police vehicles.
The hotel’s manager, Mr Simon Lemamba, told The Citizen yesterday that they had registered a loss amounting to in the region of Sh1.8 million because customers were unable to access the facility for drinks, food and other services on that eventful day.
Chadema only managed to makean advance payment of Sh100,000 out of the agreed Sh600,000 for conferencing at the hotel.
“As we are talking, my employer is asking me if I have received the remaining Sh500,000, but unfortunately, my calls are not being replied to,” said Mr Lemamba.
He said when he met with the national chairman for Chadema’s youth wing (Bavicha), Mr John Pambalu, the agreement was that it would be a mere internal meeting which would be attended by 200 participants.
“Unfortunately, when the day of the meeting arrived (Wednesday), I received a call from a person who identified himself as a government official, informing me that the hotel was surrounded by police because it was hosting a political rally,” said Mr Lemamba.
It has however taken time before the police finally made it open that they were holding Mr Mbowe and 15 party other members, claiming that they were being interrogated over several offences.
Mwanza Regional Police CommanderRamadhani Ngh’anzi said Mr Mbowe and his accomplices were arrested at dawn July 21. The opposition leader was arrested at the Kingdom Hotel located at Ghana street in Mwanza Region.
Commander Ngh’anzi said Mr Mbowe and his associates were being held on allegations of conspiracy to commit crimes and disturbing peace by organiszing a ‘New Constitution’ conference without seeking permission from the law enforcers.
“The Mwanza Regional Commissioner (Robert Gabriel) announced a ban on unnecessary gatherings due to the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“However, Chadema leaders organised the so-called conference to demand a new constitution by mobilising and holding rallies at the Tourist Hotel at Kona ya Bwiru,” said Commander Ngh’anzi.
He said the decided to arrest the leaders after they defied the legitimate order of authorities in Mwanza.
He said the arrest of Mr Mbowe followed intelligence information that he was about to engage himself in a plot to commit crimes and breach of the peace.
“After his arrest, our Dar es Salaam colleagues told us that they were also looking for him for other offences that he is alleged to have committed there,” said Mr Ngh’anzi, noting that this was why how the opposition leader had to be sent to Dar es Salaam.
He said after completion of interrogations with the police in Dar es Salaam, Mr Mbowe would be returned to Mwanza to answer the charges that the police will determine after completing the exercise.