‎Nigerian security agency announces arrest of suspects plotting to attack U.S., UK embassies

US Embassy, Abuja
US Embassy, Abuja

The State Security Service announced on Wednesday that five Boko Haram suspects with links to the Islamic State terror group were arrested in a nationwide operation last month.

In a statement circulated to the media on behalf of the SSS by Tony Opuiyo, the agency said the suspected terrorists were plotting to attack the United States and the United Kingdom embassies in Abuja.

The suspects, identified as Isa Jibril, Jibril Jibril, Abu Omale Jibril, Halidu Sule and Ahmodu Salifu, were arrested between March 25 and 26, 2017.

The statement further stated that SSS operatives arrested other suspected Boko Haram members and kidnappers in different operations across the country.

“Between 25th and 26th March, 2017, the Service busted a ring of ISIS linked Boko Haram members based in Benue State and the FCT.

“The group had perfected plans to attack the UK and American Embassies and other western interests in Abuja. During the operation to thwart this plan, five (5) key suspects, namely: Isa JIBRIL, Jibril JIBRIL, Abu Omale JIBRIL, Halidu SULE and Amhodu SALIFU, were arrested,” the statement said.

In another similar operation, operatives arrested a 20-year-old suspect in Yobe state, on claims bordering on his “involvement in executing the sinister activities” of Boko Haram.

He was identified as Adamu Datti.

On April 4, two persons suspected to be affiliated to the Ansaru terror group were also arrested in Igarra, Akoko-Edo, Edo State.

The SSS said the suspects confirmed their alleged membership of the terror group and were confirmed as associates of Abu Uwais, the alleged kingpin of Ansaru who had allegedly terrorised Kogi and Benue States.

The agency also said it recorded successes in the war against kidnappers around the south-south, south-east and north-central.

On March 24 in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State, Daniel Dibiamaka, a suspected kidnapper, was arrested for allegedly kidnapping a citizen identified as Emmanuel Ukah.

The incident reportedly took place on January 20, 2017.

Another suspect, Godsgift Isioma, was arrested for allegedly plotting to kidnap a doctor who was identified as G.N. Douglas.

In Benue State, operatives arrested Daniel Lorve, named as a member of kidnapping syndicate, Terwase Akwaaza, a.k.a.: Gana. He was arrested in Bangaji, Gboko, on March 23, 2017, the SSS said.

Mr. Lorve’s arrested later resulted in a joint military, police and SSS raid of a farm said to have been used as an armoury by Akwaaza.

“High calibre arms and ammunition were recovered from the scene notably; one (1) General Purpose Machine Gun, three (3) AK-47 rifles and one (1) SMG rifle, with large quantities of ammunition,” the statement said.

In Kogi State, the SSS, on March 29, 2017 arrested AbdulmojidMomoh and Ahmed Tijani Dodo in Adavi Local Government Area over alleged involvement in kidnap activities.

In a similar vein, the duo of Salau Yakubu Ontinwa (aka General) and Abdulmajeed Musa were arrested on March 30, 2017 in the same local government area for alleged kidnap crimes.

The SSS said preliminary investigation showed that the three are key members of the dreaded gang terrorising innocent citizens and other travellers across the state.

Prior to these operations in the Kogi State, a gun runner simply identified as Kareem was arrested on March 27, 2017 for allegedly supplying weapons to criminals, especially Abu Uwais, the Ansaru kingpin and notorious kidnapper, the SSS said.

InEbonyi State, the secret police arrested Chukwujioke Igbru in Ikwo during in a joint military and SSS operation on April 7, 2017.

The suspect was alleged to be one of the masterminds of the clashes between his Ojenakpa community and neighbouring Isobo community in Obubra Local Government Area of Cross River State.

Mr. Igbru was alleged to be in “possession of a G3 rifle” at the time of his arrest.

In Abia State, Freeborn Chisom Innocent from Ikeduru, Imo State, was arrested at Nzaocha Street, Aba for allegedly engaging in subversive activities against public servants.

Mr. Innocent was identified as an ICT expert and social media user who allegedly used blogs to launch negative campaigns against the persons and offices of top government officials.

“He also used his platform to incite one ethnic group to violently attack another, thus creating tension and social disharmony,” the SSS said without stating Mr. Innocent’s platform.

The SSS also uncovered a network involved in the issuance of certificates or letters of indigeneship to persons from neighbouring African countries.

“The Boko Haram terrorist group has become part of this network and uses it to buoy its membership in Nigeria,” the SSS said.

The SSS said on April 10 in Damaturu, Yobe State, it arrested a person simply identified as Jalo, a Guinean descent who lived in Jos and allegedly has ties to Boko Haram.

The service said it discovered that these non-Nigerians use their new indigene status to seek privileges including admissions into the country’s tertiary institutions.

In order to check this ugly development, state and local authorities are advised to be more circumspect in the issuance of these certificates and letters of indigeneship, the SSS sad.

The secret police urged Nigerians to remain vigilant and raise alarm whenever they witness suspicious activities.

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