The Joint Task Force, JTF, has arrested some officials of Nigerian security services who are believed to be members of the Boko Haram terrorist group, the BBC has reported.
According to a BBC report published Saturday evening, Sagir Musa, a colonel and spokesman of the JTF confirmed that “a number of officials” had been arrested for “carrying out attacks for an Islamist militant group”.
Although no details were given as to which arm of the security forces the suspects belong, their arrest followed the capture of an immigration officer who confessed to being a member of Boko Haram.
The BBC said the immigration officer, Grammah Mohammed, was arrested last month while Impersonating an army officer.
Mr. Mohammed is believed to have made far reaching confessions which led to the arrests of other serving officers in the security services in Northern Nigeria who had carried out attacks for the Islamist militant group.
The number of those arrested was not given.
“He confessed to being an active member of the Boko Haram terrorist group” Col. Musa is quoted as saying.
“He also confessed to having been trained alongside 15 other members of the sect on weapon handling, assassination and special operations in Niger,” Mr. Musa further disclosed.
The Boko Haram sect is believed to have infiltrated both government and the security forces and secret service for a long time. It is also believed that this fact is partly responsible for the failure by the government to deal with the group’s insurgency.
President Jonathan admitted this much in January, to the shock of many Nigerians, when he said that there were members of the Boko Haram in all arms of the government, including the judiciary, as well as the armed forces.
Mr. Jonathan made the shocking confession in January during an inter-denominational service to mark the 2012 Armed Forces Remembrance Day
“Some of them are in the executive arm of government, some of them are in the parliamentary/legislative arm of government while some of them are even in the judiciary,” he said.
“Some are also in the armed forces, the police and other security agencies. Some continue to dip their hands and eat with you and you won’t even know the person who will point a gun at you or plant a bomb behind your house.”
The Boko Haram insurgency started in 2009 and the members of the sect, who are said to abhor western education, have carried out attacks in Northern Nigeria and Abuja, the Nigerian capital.
Their targets have included the United Nations House and the Louis Edet House headquarters of the Nigerian Police as well as several churches and mosques.
Thousands have so far been killed in these attacks. Reported meetings and negotiations between the government and members of the sect have been stalled many times, with members of the group accusing government of insincerity.
Lately, however, a renewed military clampdown on the sect, particularly in the Maiduguri area has led to the arrest of scores of the group’s members and affected its activities.