WikiLeaks: Addis Ababa bombings the work of Meles government – WikiLeaks
Classified By: CHARGE VICKI HUDDLESTON FOR REASONS 1.4(b)AND(d).
1. (S) SUMMARY A series of explosions were reported in Addis Ababa on September 16, killing three individuals. The GoE announced that the bombs went off while being assembled, and that the three dead were terrorists from the outlawed Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) with links to the Oromo National Congress (ONC). An embassy source, as well as clandestine reporting, suggests that the bombing may have in fact been the work of GoE security forces. END SUMMARY
2. (U) On September 16, three bomb explosions were reported in the Kara Kore area of Addis Ababa. The explosions were heard at 4:45 a.m., 7:00 a.m., and 10:00 a.m. The National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), together with the Federal Police Anti-terror Task Force later reported that the bombs were “part of a coordinated terror attack by the OLF and Sha’abiya (Eritrea) aimed at disrupting democratic development.” The NISS said that the intended terror plot had failed and the bombs had mistakenly gone off while the suspects were preparing them while hiding out at an illegally built house. Two of the suspects died immediately, while another died on the way to the hospital. One other is in critical condition. The police task force reported having others in custody related to the plot and that evidence shows the terrorists had ties to Oromo groups – the Mecha and Tulema Association (MTA) and the ONC. They also said that the bombs used contained parts sourced from Eritrea and were consistent with bombs used in previous terrorist attacks.
3. (S) On September 20, Dr. Merera Gudina (strictly protect), the former leader of the ONC (and a typically reliable information source), contacted Post to report that the deceased had not died not while constructing a bomb, but rather at the hands of GoE cadres. Dr. Merera said that the men had been picked up by police a week prior, kept in detention and tortured. He said police then left the men in a house and detonated explosives nearby, killing 3 of them. He did not indicate whether the men were ONC or OLF affiliated.
4. (S) Clandestine reporting indicates that the bombs did not explode inside the structure, but rather appear to have been placed outside and detonated. HUDDLESTON