Thursday, May 3, 2012

State Security Service arrest Boko Haram bomb maker

The State Security Service (SSS) has arrested a man who allegedly supplies explosives to Boko Haram, which has stepped up its attacks in the last one week.

Ayuba Usman was arrested on Tuesday at his shop in a market in Kano following information from suspected Boko Haram members arrested in raids, the SSS Director in the state, Mr. Nelson Eteng, told reporters Wednesday.

"Based on statements by high profile suspects... Ayuba Usman has been providing combustible chemicals used in the manufacture of IEDs (improvised explosive devices) for attacks on innocent people in the city," Eteng said. "The suspect is found to be linked with extremist elements."

The SSS displayed 35 drums of chemicals of 240 litres each and a dozen bags of combustible items said to have been recovered during the raid on the suspect's shop.

According to Eteng, the suspect was apprehended at one of the markets in Dala Local Government Area of the state.

"The chemicals are controlled. But when we find individuals selling such materials to individuals who turn to harm innocent people, the security will be concerned and that is why we are concerned," he said.

He said the SSS operatives in the state would go deeper into the case in order to know their network with a view to tracking down their accomplices, adding that investigation would continue until the perpetrators were arrested and punished.

Eteng said: "We are closing on very many suspects who are on the run, and the intelligence networking is working closely to get them very soon."

He said the people of Kano are so tired of what is happening and are helping with information.

Last Sunday, gunmen attacked two church services at Bayero University Kano (BUK), throwing bombs and opening fire on worshippers as they sought to flee, leaving dozens dead.

A high-calibre time bomb was also discovered at another of the university's campuses in Kano and defused by a bomb squad the following day.

Dozens of IEDs were recovered on Tuesday in a military raid on an alleged Boko Haram hideout in the city which left one suspected militant dead.

Meanwhile, police authorities yesterday reacted to the threat by Boko Haram to attack more media houses by beefing up security around them.

Acting Inspector General of Police (IG) Mohammed Abubakar said the force was aware of the threat and that he had directed commissioners of police across the country to tighten security.

He advised media houses to contact commissioners of police in their states if their outfit is vulnerable.

The IG however reiterated that the police and other security agencies were working hard to overcome the security challenges and blamed their underperformance on underfunding, lack of training and ill equipment.

But the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Wednesday in Abuja issued a "final warning" to the Federal Government that any failure on the part of government to halt the incessant attacks by the Boko Haram would leave the body with no choice than to defend its members.

Addressing a press conference at the Ecumenical Centre, Abuja, CAN President, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, said the body's position was based on the inability of Boko Haram sponsors to be reasonable.

"You will recall in our last press conference, we told the nation that the bombings and killings of innocent Nigerians may be termed senseless but that is not without sense for those sponsoring the acts. Their plan is to instil fear with the subsequent aim of eradicating religious freedom, democratic liberties with the church and Christianity as is primary target," he said.

Oritsejafor explained that "the Nigerian nation and the global community have been witnesses to the step-by-step escalation of violence against innocent citizens with the Christians and the church suffering the greatest loss."

The association stated that given the continuous launch of attacks by Boko Haram, it is immaterial to discuss the source.

"At this point in the unfolding insecurity challenges, it has become irrelevant whether the root cause is political, religious, ethnic or ideological. The fundamental issues are that the intimidation, killings, bombings and wanton destruction of lives and property must stop immediately," CAN maintained.

Speaking on the next line of action, CAN president said though, "I am aware that the greater part of the overall design is to instil fear in the populace, I will now make a final call to the Nigerian government to use all resources available to it to clearly define and neutralise the problem as other nations have done."

The Youth Wing of the Christian Association of Nigeria (YOWCAN) has called for an immediate overhaul of all security agencies.

YOWCAN said since the spate of bombings in the country is difficult for them to stop, there was need for immediate shake-up in the nations' security system.

This Day

Related stories: Video - 120 killed in bomb blasts in Kano, Nigeria

Video - Anti-bomb squad member gets blown up by Boko Haram IED

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