JTF bans Thuraya phones in Borno, others, says Boko Haram use them for attacks

 States under emergency rule witness another setback in communication.

The Joint Task Force, JTF, on Wednesday banned, indefinitely, the use of thuraya phones in all states under emergency rule.

Thuraya phones are based on satellite technology and do not rely on any of the existing GSM networks in Nigerian to function.

The Islamic fundamentalist sect, Boko Haram, have reportedly resorted to using thuraya phones to coordinate attacks since mobile communication was largely suspended by the military.

The ban on thuraya may worsen the communication challenges being faced by residents in the affected states as GSM networks have been largely shut for about five weeks since the emergency rule declaration.

The Spokesman of the Joint Task Force, Sagir Musa, said in a statement made available to journalists that the ban on thuraya became necessary as military intelligence revealed that terrorists now coordinate their attacks using the device.

The JTF said recent attacks on schools and killing of students by Boko Haram were carried out using thuraya devices.

“The attention of the JTF has been drawn to the use of Thuraya phones by Boko Haram Terrorists to coordinate their recent assassination of civilians especially schools and some Imams”.

“Therefore, with effect from 19 June, 2013, the JTF impose ban on the use and sale of Thuraya phones and accessories including Thuraya recharge cards in Borno States, Anyone seen with Thuraya phones, recharge cards and accessories will be arrested.

“The JTF seeks for the continued cooperation and understanding of the public on this ban in order to enhance security of lives and property in Borno State,” the statement read.


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