Nigeria’s Department of State Service (DSS) has announced the arrest of an ISIS recruiter and other terrorists in the country.
He named the recruiter as Abdussalam Enesi Yunusa, who was arrested in Kano on January 17, adding that his arrest was sequel to available intelligence which indicated his terrorist antecedents and covert drive to indoctrinate and recruit susceptible youths in the country.
In a statement signed by Tony Opuiyo, DSS said that its successes have significantly degraded the key extremist groups and kidnapping gangs, that were terrorizing innocent citizens, particularly in the South-West, North-West and Middle-Belt regions.
“Prior to his arrest, Yunusa had completed arrangements to embark on a journey to join an ISIS terrorist training camp in Libya, with other Nigerians whom he recruited for the ‘Islamic State’,” the statement said. He named those recruits as including the trio of one Muhammed Rabi’u, Yahaya Momoh Jimoh and a female, Zainab Sunday.
DSS described Yunusa as a 400 level undergraduate student of the Federal University of Technology, Minna, Niger State, where he was studying for a degree in Information and Media Technology.
“He was subsequently radicalized and became a member of an extremist cell, comprising of one IBRAHIM (fnu) and Abubakar LIGALI, whom he revealed are currently undergoing terrorist training in Libya. He listed one AMINU (fnu) and Ibrahim JIHADI (Nigeriene), as other ISIS agents operating in Nigeria and the West African sub-region. The cell was being funded by one Abu-sa’ad Al Sudani, a media expert with the extremist group using Western Union money transfers to fund the terrorist cell agenda.”
During the same period, between December 2015 and February 2016, DSS said it also destroyed a network of syndicated kidnap gangs spanning different regions of the country, especially Kebbi, Zamfara, Niger, Nasarawa, FCT, Oyo and Osun States, and arrested five kidnappers.
The five, arrested on February 3, were identified as Abubakar Hassan, Usman Musa, Usman Adamu and Idrisa Babangida Ahmadu. A sixth member of the gang, Saidu Isyaku, was arrested on February 5 at Ojo area, Oyo State.
“Another breakthrough in the fight against kidnapping was the killing of Abubakar MOHAMMED (aka BUBA), and an unidentified member of his group, on 8th February, 2016 close to Jebba Medical Centre, Jebba, Kwara State by security operatives as they tried to escape during a shootout with security operatives,” DSS said.
It noted that Mohammed was a notorious kidnap kingpin known for his brutality and various acts of lawlessness. “It is disheartening that this criminal and his men had terrorized, to no end, residents of the South West zone. He was also linked to the kidnap of the elder statesman, Chief Olu Falae, in Ondo State.”
Other recent successes highlighted by DSS are:
The interception on January 16 in Daura township, Daura LGA, Katsina State, of another budding extremist cell affiliated to ISIS, and the arrest of one Ibrahim Mohammed Daura, Zaharadeen Salisu and five other elements of the proscribed extremist group, Ansaru.
“This group was discovered in an active stage, as its members were already co-ordinating themselves for attacks in Katsina and Kano States,” it said.
The arrest on January 22 in Kano while migrating to Libya with their immediate families including infants, to join ISIS, of Obansa Salami; Ejide Tijani, aka Abu Uwaise II; Mohammed Rabiu, aka Ubida II; Zainab Mohammed; and Abdulqadir Salisu Ahmad.
“This group was apprehended after painstaking monitoring of its network and plans,” DSS said.
The arrest in Kwara State on January 29 of Mohammed Aliyu Ndako, a 17-year old undergraduate student of a tertiary institution in the State.
His arrest was “sequel to credible intelligence on his plans with one Abdulkadir Salisu Ahmad, a.k.a Daddy Tall, another student in Kano State, to carry out coordinated lone-wolf attacks on selected populated targets in Nigeria, preferably worship centres or recreation venues,” the DSS statement said.
It noted that Ndako had previously been communicating with foreign extremist elements, while sourcing online terrorist training and support.
DSS also announced the arrest on January 27 of Nengi Samuel Ikiba, aka Kockman Abula, a notorious pipeline vandal, in Bayelsa State following recent incidents of deliberate vandalism of oil pipelines by criminal elements in the South-South region.
“IKIBA confessed to vandalizing several pipelines in the State, including the 24” Agoda/Brass Oil pipeline at Idema community in Ogbia LGA of Bayelsa State,” the Service said.
DSS also announced the arrest of a group of fraudsters which had concluded plans to hack the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) of the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation in order to steal Four Billion, Five Hundred Million Naira (N4.5b) from the Treasury Single Account (TSA).
“The gang was led by one Sunny Okoh, a hacker who worked in collaboration with the trio of Uwem Udo EKPO, a Chief Program Analyst in the OAGF, Maxwell EKENE, a retired security operative and Dozie EGWU, based in Malaysia and who is now at large,” the statement said.
“The suspected fraudsters intended to use a software they had sourced and codes released to them by EKPO to hack Government accounts in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and defraud the Government of this huge sum. It is instructive to note that a credibility problem would have arisen over the TSA policy if these hackers had succeeded in their plan and thus lend credence to the critics of the policy that it ought not to have been introduced and implemented. For the avoidance of doubt, the suspects have been handed over to the EFCC for further investigations and prosecution.”
Acknowledging that these successes were recorded as a result of proactive and credible intelligence offered by members of the public, sister security agencies and other stakeholders, DSS pledged to continue to deploy every means necessary within its statutory mandate, and ambit of the law to ensure the security and safety of all law-abiding residents and citizens wherever they reside.
It urged all citizens to be extra-vigilant, and to report any suspicious persons/groups or activities to relevant security agencies, for the sustenance of relative peace in the country.