Boko Haram is trying to expand its activities beyond Nigeria’s mainly Muslim north, to include the commercial capital Lagos, as well as other parts of the country,
Nigerian officials say.
Twelve members of the Islamist militant group have been arrested in Lagos, Nigeria’s intelligence agency says. It is not possible to independently verify details of the statement.
Boko Haram has waged a six-year insurgency in Nigeria, mainly confined to the north-east of the country.
Reports say that more than 50 people were killed in a suspected Boko Haram attack in north-eastern Borno State on Friday, about 100km (62 miles) north of the state capital Maiduguri.
ABOVE PHOTO: The Nigerian army has mainly been fighting Boko Haram in the country’s north-east
The Department of State Services’ (DSS) said over the weekend they have arrested 20 suspected leaders of the sect across the country indicating that many members of the terrorist group, Boko Haram are now resident in Lagos and other states because of the intense pressure being put on them in the northeast of the country by the Nigerian military.
Some of the group’s members in Lagos and Enugu and other states around the country have been arrested.
They are; Usman Shuaibu, a.k.a. Money, Ahmed Mohammed, a.k.a. Abubakar, Adamu Abubakar, a.k.a. Baba, Ibrahim Musa, Mustapha Yusuf, a.k.a. Mohammed Sanni, Bakura Modu, Mustapha Ali Jamner, Abuji Sheriff, Babagana Ali, Babagana Soloye, Abba Modu Sagma, Grema Abubakar, and Tijani Bagudu.
Others are; Baba Alhaji, Abbas Ibrahim, Ibrahim Audu, Ibrahim Haruna, Mallam Ali Mohammodu, Adam Waki Abdul Jilbe, and Mohammed Usman.
Accordng to a release signed on behalf of the DSS by one Tony Opuiyo, this followed the rounding up of notable commanders and frontline members of the notorious group from different parts of the country.
In a statement released today, the DSS said there is a sudden influx of Boko Haram members in Lagos, adding that some of them are also present in states like Plateau, Gombe and Enugu states.
The statement read: “In line with the Department of State Services’ (DSS) re-strategised counter-terrorism measures to combat the menace of the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria, the service has continued to make significant breakthroughs in this direction.
“This followed the rounding-up of notable commanders and frontline members of the notorious group from different parts of the country. It should be noted that the group’s new pattern of movement and spread is necessitated by the pressure being put on them in their core areas of strength in the north east.
“Consequently, a number of them have been arrested in Lagos, Kano, Plateau, Enugu and Gombe States between 8th July and 25th August, 2015. Of particular note was the arrest on 8th July, 2015 in Gombe State of those responsible for the coordination and execution of the suicide attacks in Potiskum, Kano, Zaria and Jos.”
According to the DSS, one of the suspects Usman Shuaibu revealed that he coordinated the attacks under reference with the sum of N500,000, which was provided by his Amir, one Isa Ali.
“He claimed that the said Isa Ali has links to the leader of the Boko Haram sect, Abubakar Shekau, from where he collects monies to fund operations undertaken by their Markaz. Also, he revealed that he has participated in several Boko Haram attacks, including the attacks at Gwoza divisional police station in 2014.
“Shuaibu admitted being the leader of the team of nine sect members that was dispatched from Sambisa forest to carry out the attacks. He disclosed that four out of the nine of them were used as suicide bombers in executing all the (suicide) attacks,” the statement further revealed.
The DSS also revealed that the arrest of Usman Shuaibu and the core members of his cell, triggered the spate of bombings by the terrorist group as a revenge.
“It would be recalled that Money and his group were arrested on their way to Bauchi State where they had planned to execute another heart-rending bomb attack and this was frustrated by the arrest.
“Furthermore, the sudden influx of Boko Haram members into Lagos State points to the determination of the sect to extend its nefarious terrorist activities to the state and in fact, other parts of the country. The arrest of these confessed terrorist elements has however helped in no small measure to avert devastating attacks in the area. However, the service is making efforts to conclude its investigations and commence prosecution of the suspects.
“Drawing from the above, the DSS reiterates its avowed determination to work with other stakeholders in the fight against terror and other forms of criminality in our country. Citizens and residents are therefore called upon to rise to the occasion by volunteering useful information to the Service and relevant security agencies,” the statement said.