Chris Steven, Abuja
The Department of State Services (DSS) has said that it has uncovered cells of Boko Haram members in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja planning to unleash attacks on the nation’s capital during the Yuletide period.
According to the DSS, the terrorists group has continued to establish and operate sleeper cells whose mandates are to conduct surveillance and carry out subsequent attacks in the FCT.
A statement issued by Tony Opuiyo of the DSS on Saturday said that the discovery followed arrests of the sect’s members who migrated from various conflict theaters in the North East to the FCT in order to enable them capitalize on the excitement of the yuletide season to launch attacks in the city.
The statement said that the duo of Muhammed Hassan Idris, a Nigerien and Baba Abdul Maina were arrested at Panteka area of Apo, Abuja on October 29 , 2015.
This was followed by the arrest of Sanni Mohammed (aka Kakase) and Ahmed Umaru (aka Mallam; Mallam Hamdi Garne; Ahmed Daubi) in Lafia, Nasarawa State.
“Sanni, who hails from Potiskum, Yobe State, fled the area following his involvement in coordinated suicide attacks in Yobe, Plateau, Kano and Kaduna states” DSS said in the statement
It further disclosed that two other suspected members of the terrorists group were arrested on November 19, 2015 at different locations in Abuja.
“Mohammed Shiwar ABUBAKAR and Musa TA’ADA were arrested at Shoprite junction, Apo, Abuja. ABUBAKAR hails from Borno State and operates as a taxi driver in Abuja. He is of an unknown address but claims that he sleeps in his Volkswagen Golf car at the Honda line, Apo mechanic village, Abuja. The Gwoza-born TA’ADA also operates under the cover of a suya seller at Apo Primary School along Kabusa Road, Abuja.” it said
The DSS added that it operatives also on November 23, 2015, arrested one Ahmed HASSAN while carrying out surveillance on a high-profile hotel in the city.
The suspect who hails from Katagum, Bauchi state admitted using the cover of a beggar to sustain surveillance on his targets. This was as one Bulama Ali, had previously been arrested in Karu, Nasarawa State, on November 22, 2015.
The DSS said preliminary investigations revealed that the suspects and others still at large may have adopted their respective trades as plausible covers to infiltrate the city and its environs in their bid to carry out attacks on soft targets.