Iranian militants send Nigerian terrorist after Americans, Israelis in Lagos; target ex head of state – SSS

Marilyn Ogar, SSS spokesperson
Marilyn Ogar, SSS spokesperson

The suspect was recruited to target hotels and offices frequented by Americans and Israelis

Iranian extremists trained and equipped a Nigerian accomplice to go after American and Israeli interests in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital, in a broad-based plot that would have killed many, the State Security Service said on Wednesday.

The proposed attacker, Abdullahi Mustapha Berende, from Kwara State, south-west Nigeria, was tasked by the Iranians with setting up a terrorist cell in Lagos, spying and striking multiple targets, including hotels frequented by Americans and Israelis, the SSS said.

The US aid organization, USAID, organizations such as Max, Zim international shipping company, A. A. consulting, Peace corp. and the Jewish cultural centre, Chabad at Ikoyi, were all targeted.

“Lagos was preferred because his handlers believed that the Israelis have an intelligence facility there that is used in spying on Iran,” spokesperson for the service, Marilyn Ogar said on Wednesday at a news conference.

To aide his operations, Mr. Berende recruited Sulaiman Saka, Saheed Adewumi and Bunyamin Yusuf.

Mr. Berende and Messrs Saka and Adewumi have been arrested, the SSS said.

Part of the arrangement, Ms. Ogar said, was for Mr. Berende to target Nigerians he believed if attacked, could “unsettle” the West. He named former military ruler, Ibrahim Babangida, and the former Sultan of Sokoto, Ibrahim Dasuki, for that onslaught.

How attacks on the two former leaders could potentially pose such threat, remained unclear. The SSS said it quoted from Mr. Berende’s confessional statement, and did not provide further details.

As usual with many investigations by Nigeria police and the SSS, no forensic highlights, or analysis establishing the indictments were cited, beyond confession.

Still, the audacious plot, as narrated by the service’s spokesperson, seemed to highlight the potentials of Nigeria’s domestic terrorism thriving to provide a platform for subjects of intense international dispute.

Ms. Ogar said the confessions had provided “conclusive evidence” that Mr. Berende, in collaboration with Iranian handlers, were involved in grievous crimes against Nigerian security.

“Accordingly, Berende and his accomplices will be charged to court soon,” she said.

Mr. Berende, a 50-year-old man, was tracked through six months of investigation.

His contact with the Iranians, the service said, began after he was observed to have made several “suspicious” trips to and from Iran, where he interacted with known leaders of high profile international terrorist network.

A leader of the local Shiite sect in Ilorin, his home town, Mr. Berende said he gained admission for a six-month programme in Modern Shi’a Islamic Teaching (Da’awa) at Imam Khomeni University, Iran.

After his contact with the foreign extremists, he returned for studies there in 2011 during which he received training in weapons handling and the use of improvised devices.

He received specific mandate to establish a cell in Lagos, and coordinate attacks within the south west region under the cover of running a business in Lagos.

To help start a business as a cover, he received three tranches of payments in foreign currencies, namely $4,000, €3,500 and $20,000.

Before his arrest, he admitted to having taken photographs of the Israeli cultural centre Ikoyi and sending same to the Iranian gang.

The Iranian Embassy is yet to react to the claims by the Nigerian security officials and could not be reached on the telephone lines on the Embassy website.

  • Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa

    no wonder they have been voted the biggest exporter of terror in the world. Iran is a cancer to the world.

  • obinna

    i think, just my opinion , to get iranian intrest out of nigeria-two years ago, a ship loaded explosive with high caliber assault weapons, , now spomsoring terror in our city, what is their embassy still doing in abuja. what thehell istheir companies and citizens still doing in abuja. wasnt it last year that SAMBO was seenside by side that animal called iranian president. take this to the bank, they are also sponsors of boko haram.

  • igbiki

    Banana Republic police work???

  • Ayemi

    I don’t think we need to blame the Iranians so much, but the bastard, Berende and his group members who sold their country (inheritance) for 27,500 dollars should be the focus. You can see why Jonathan and the SSS have to work hand-in-hand to get rid of this fucking Boko Haram before other stupid groups begin to use them( BH) as a cover up to kill innocent Nigerians.This is the right time for actions against these terrorists. Let us all rise up and wage war against them. Get surveillance to track them down. If you do not have, get from America or Europe. Jonathan, you need to do this before they come to attack Aso Rock under your watch. You know they bastards, and you don’t underestimate bastards!!! Besides, you know Nigeria is so porous that both dogs and goats can come in and go out at any time they like. Something has to be done about that too for security purpose. Eh!!! WE NEED PEACE.

  • ArewaBoy

    I am of the opinion that the SSS whose top management are all from the south-south are just concocting lies to entertain us. or they are presently using the art of selective justice to expose a few elements of our society in other to gain favor n support support from Western powers (their imaginary friends and heroes) as part of their master agenda of heating up the polity to carry out their break up agenda.. We have bigger security issues to deal with like who is perpetrating some terror acts and why? or do they think that these activities will just end after their mission is accomplished? i believe looking for the masterminds of those who are in power presently n those that have publicly threatened our existence through successionist threats which was gladly given audience by irresponsible journalists who are supposed to be guardians of truth and advocates of a patriotic Nigeria. The SSS should through the art of security vigilance and knowledge sharing carryout its duties given that it is what is most urgent. A lot of Nigerians travel n study in more suspicious countries like Israel, Russia amongst others. why are they not profiled or investigated? Sometimes i wonder why the SSS even holds press briefing? they r suppose have stealth in our society….

    • Daddy

      ArewaBoy,
      Please Stop polarizing the issue of security by bringing dichotomy in the case of the Iranians sponsoring terrorist in Nigeria. Remember that if Iran can sponsor terrorists in the countries of the Middle East that are mostly Muslims then why are you disputing it if it is now happening in Nigeria? Kindly stop being sentimental and let us joint hands together and do away with this menace called terrorism (Boko Haram). Get it in your mind that the National Security Adviser is a Northerner and as well a Muslim then why are trying to bring sentiments into the efforts of the Security Agencies to curb this menace? Are you one or a sympathizer?

  • Ndottijo

    Kwara state is not designated as South-west Nigeria,in current Nigerian parlance it is said to belong to the North-central,and formerly it was a part of the Northern region,let us not confuse fact with the wishes of some very vocal interest from those outside the region.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/4GOATPXWZLQK7EQQ3GPFO6JEIE JubrilA

    somebody should please explain to me, because i really don’t know how hitting these purported targets (Gen. IBB and Dazuki) will unsettle the west.