Monday, September 5, 2011

Two Boko Haram suspects held for UN bombing

Two men described by security agents as "notorious leaders of the Boko Haram extremist sect" are being held in connection with last Friday's bombing of the United Nations House in Abuja, the Department of State Services [better known as the State Security Service, SSS] announced in Abuja yesterday.

It said Babagana Ismail Kwaljima, alias Abu Sumayya and Babagana Mali alias Bulama are being held in a military detention facility. The service also declared a third Boko Haram suspect, Mamman Nur wanted in connection with the UN building attack.

It described Mamman Nur as "a notorious Boko Haram element with al-Qaeda links who returned recently from Somalia." It also identified him as the main mastermind of last Friday's blast.

The DSS statement signed by its Assistant Director, Public Relations Marilyn Ogar said, "Owing to various speculations and misrepresentations in the media arising from the bomb attack on the United Nations (UN) building on 26th August, 2011 in Abuja. The Department of State Services (DSS) on behalf of other security agencies wishes to state as follows:

On 18th August, 2011, precise intelligence was obtained by this Service that some Boko Haram elements were on a mission to attack unspecified targets in Abuja in an ash-coloured Toyota Camry vehicle with registration number AA539GBL.

Babagana MALI (a.k.a Bulama). Following their arrests, security was further beefed up in Abuja and its environs. Meanwhile the suspects have made valuable statements and are being held at a military facility.

Investigation has revealed that one Mamman NUR, a notorious Boko Haram element with Al-Qaeda links who returned recently from Somalia, working in concert with the two (2) suspects masterminded the attack on the United Nations (UN) building in Abuja.

Further investigation has also revealed that the car used for the attack was a Honda car with Kano State registration number AV38NSR. It was purchased on 3rd September, 2002 and registered on 3rd December, 2002. The vehicle identification number is 1HGCBA7400A100748, Engine number, F22A72000540.

The security services wish to reiterate their commitments to ensuring that we have a safe, peaceful and secure environment. We want to reassure Nigerians that we have no other country and we must all strive to maintain its unity which is currently being threatened.

We implore all Nigerians to be more security conscious and vigilant, while urging the general public to cooperate with security agencies by providing useful information that could lead to the arrest of Mamman NUR who is hereby declared WANTED. Any person with useful information which could lead to the arrest of the suspect and other accomplices should report to the nearest Police station, military formations or any other security agency."

Police Inspector General Hafiz Ringim hinted while addressing members of the diplomatic community last Tuesday that a breakthrough had been made in the case, although he did not give details. He said President Jonathan would make a broadcast to the nation on developments in the bombing saga, but no such broadcast was made.

On Friday last week, a suspected suicide bomber rammed through two security gates at the UN Building in Abuja, hit the main building and then set off a blast which killed 23 people and injured more than 70 others. The Boko Haram sect, which had claimed responsibility for a similar attack on Police Headquarters last June, also claimed responsibility for the latest bomb attack.

Daily Trust

Related stories: Bomb explosion at UN office in Abuja leaves several dead

Video - Suicide blast kills 18 at UN in Nigeria

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