DSS foils ISIS, Boko Haram plot to attack UK, U.S. embassies
• Military chief tasks soldiers on final combat
• ‘117 child terrorists used in Nigeria, others’
The Department of State Services (DSS) has foiled a plot by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)-linked Boko Haram militants to attack British, American embassies and other western interests in Abuja. Five suspected members of the group based in Benue State and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have been arrested in connection with the plot.
The proactive measure of the DSS has prevented the loss of lives, property and the mockery of the nation’s security system before the international community. It has also saved the nation from a tragedy that would have discouraged the inflow of foreign investments.
A statement yesterday by Tony Opuiyo for the DSS said between March 25 and 26, 2017, the secret police smashed the plan orchestrated by Isa Jibril, Jibril Jibril, Abu Omale Jibril, Halidu Sule and Amhodu Salifu.
He noted that on March 22, at Fika, Yobe State, a 20-year old Boko Haram member, Adamu Datti, was also arrested and confessed to the sinister activities of the group.
Opuiyo continued: “On April 4, two suspected Ansaru kingpins, Ahmed Momoh and Al-amin Mohammed Jamin, who were confirmed associates of Abu Uwais, a main Ansaru kingpin terrorising residents in Kogi and Edo states, were arrested at Igarra in Akoko Edo Local Council of Edo State. While these terrorists are already undergoing detailed investigations, the service stepped up its efforts at stamping out the menace of kidnapping.
“In Rivers State for instance, Daniel Dibiamaka was arrested on March 24 at Obio/Akpor Local Council for his complicity in the kidnap of one Emmanuel Orji Ukah on January 20. On that same day, Godsgift Isioma was arrested over his plan to kidnap one Dr. G.N Douglas.”
He noted that on March 23, at Bangaji, Gboko, Benue State, operatives of the DSS arrested Daniel Lorve, a member of the Terwase Akwaaza (aka Gana)-led notorious kidnapping and terrorist group.
“Further investigation in this regard prompted a joint military/police/service operation which resulted in the raid on a farm suspected to have housed the armoury of Akwaaza known for terrorising Katsina-Ala, Logo and Ukum council areas of the state. Sophisticated arms and ammunition were recovered from the scene notably one General Purpose Machine Gun, three AK-47 rifles and one SMG rifle with large quantities of ammunition.
“In Kogi State, the service on March 29, arrested Abdulmojid Momoh and Ahmed Tijani Dodo at Adavi council area for their involvement in kidnapping. In a similar vein, the duo of Salau Yakubu Ontinwa (aka General) and Abdulmajeed Musa were arrested on March 30 at the same Adavi council area for similar kidnap crimes. Preliminary investigation showed that the suspects are key members of the dreaded gang terrorising innocent citizens and other travellers across the state,” he added.
In a related development, the Acting General Officer Commanding (GOC) 7 Division of the Nigerian Army that incorporates Operation Lafiya Dole, Brig-Gen. Victor Ezugwu, has charged troops to destroy the remnants of the terrorists hibernating within their areas of responsibility.
Addressing men of the 114 Task Force Battalion of 26 Task Force Brigade yesterday at Tokumbere, Borno State, he noted: “The main task before you now was to destroy any fleeing insurgents from Sambisa Forest, as it has been captured last year.”
He observed that a few living terrorists were still infiltrating the adjourning communities of the once dreaded forest.
Ezugwu, therefore, charged them to fortify the liberated communities, as more displaced persons return to their ancestral homes.
Also yesterday, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said 117 children had been deployed to carry bomb attacks in public places across Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Cameroun since 2014.
The global agency, in its report, entitled ” Silent Shame: Bringing out the voices of children caught in the Lake Chad crisis”, clarified that four children were used in 2014, 56 in 2015, 30 for 2016 and 27 in the first three months of this year, with girls constituting a majority.
The organization, therefore, called on parties to the conflict to commit to end grave violations against children by Boko Haram, including the recruitment and use of kids in armed conflicts as so-called ‘suicide bombers’ as well as relocate them to a civilian environment as quickly as possible.
UNICEF’s Regional Director for West and Central Africa, Marie-Pierre Poirier, regretted that the number of children used in bomb attacks in the first quarter of this year was nearly the figure of the whole last year.
She noted that the increase reflected an alarming tactic by the insurgents, stressing that as a consequence, girls, boys and even infants had been viewed with increasing fears at markets and checkpoints as carriers of explosives.
She stressed: “These children are victims, not perpetrators. Forcing or deceiving them into committing such horrific acts is reprehensible.”
Meanwhile, former governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswam, is to remain in custody after almost two months of detention.
The secret service, which gave the indication, noted that his case was “typical” and as such, investigations must be concluded.
The former governor was arrested in February for allegedly being in possession of unauthorised firearms.
Though he is due for trial next month on the strength of a court ruling, the DSS has, however, insisted that it would not “fold its arms and watch people in pursuit of their selfish agenda disturb the peace of the country.”