The State Security Service has alerted of the presence of Boko Haram terrorists in the Federal Capital Territory, who, it said, are creating sleeper cells to carry out surveillance and later, attacks on the city.
The Service, in a statement signed by one Tony Opuiyo on Saturday, said the development came to light following the arrests of some 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 on the city.
“For instance, on October 29th, 2015, the duo of Muhammed Hassan Idris (a Nigerien) and Baba Abdul Maina were arrested at Panteka area of Apo, Abuja. 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.
“In a related development, on 19th November 2015, 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.
“Still, on 23rd November, 2015, one Ahmed HASSAN was arrested while carrying out surveillance on a high-profile hotel in the city. He hails from Katagum, Bauchi State. Suspect admitted using the cover of a beggar to sustain surveillance on his targets. Bulama Ali, had previously been arrested in Karu, Nasarawa State, on 22nd November, 2015,” the statement said.
The agency also said it arrested the duo of Hassan Abubakar and Mohammed Gwale at Madalla, in Suleja local government area of Niger State on December 1, following intelligence that they were planning to commence attacks in the FCT after a successful surveillance of the city.
It said before his arrest, Mr. Abubakar was working with other sect members in different parts of the country notably Borno, Yobe, Taraba and Adamawa States.
The statement said Mr. Abubakar was arrested at the home of Mohammed Gwale who claims to be a Federal Civil Servant from Niger State.
“He (Gwale) has made useful statements which are helping with further investigation,” DSS said.
The service added that so far, preliminary investigations revealed that the suspects and others still at large appear to be engaging in businesses or trades as covers to infiltrate the city and its environs in their bid to conduct successful surveillance and map out soft targets for the sect’s attacks.
“The DSS’ operations are, therefore, aimed at preempting any attacks by the terrorist elements against the backdrop of the upcoming festive period and beyond,” the statement said.
“It is in this regard that the Service wishes to advise residents and all law-abiding Nigerians to remain vigilant especially at this yuletide season and promptly report to security agencies any suspicious movements and persons in the FCT and even other parts of the country.
“The Service also assures the general public that it will continue to carry out its responsibility of ensuring peace and security in Abuja and beyond?”