Boko Haram spiritual head and school terror attack leader arrested

The spiritual leader of Boko Haram and alleged mastermind of the 2013 terror attack on Government Secondary School, Mamudo in Yobe State has been captured, the Department of State Service (DSS) announced monday.

A statement signed by its spokesman, Tony Opuiyo, said Mudaisiru Jibrin, the spiritual leader of the Islamist sect, was arrested in Kano on August 17, three years after he allegedly coordinated the killing of 42 people, mostly students and teachers, of the secondary school.

The operation was in furtherance of ongoing tactical and counter-terrorism operations to degrade the capabilities of criminal gangs and syndicates in their hideouts across the federation, the DSS said.

The DSS said Jibrin was arrested in the Yankaba neighbourhood in Kano, where he was operating as a spiritual leader for a new Boko Haram sleeper cell.

“Similarly, on 8th July, 2016, at Kinkinau area in Unguwar Mu’azu of Kaduna metropolis, the Service arrested one Mukhtar Tijani, a notorious Boko Haram fighter and three of his accomplices namely, Isiaku Salihu, Abdullahi Isah and Hindu Isah,” the DSS said.

The four suspects were apprehended while perfecting arrangements for major coordinated attacks on selected targets and locations in Kaduna State, the security agency added.

It also disclosed that on 12th August 2016, at Auchi in Edo State, three members of the Ansaru terrorist group hibernating in Kogi State were apprehende.

“Usman Abdullahi, Abdulmumuni Sadio and Ahmad Salihu were arrested while making arrangements to launch attacks on some selected targets in Edo and Kogi States, before escaping to join ISIS in Libya,” it said.

The DSS also announced the apprehension of one Aikhoje Moses, a suspected criminal who allegedly threatened violence against some foreign diplomats and missions in the country.

DSS said: “Following threat messages against some members of the diplomatic corps in Abuja and Lagos, the DSS responded and subsequently apprehended one Aikhoje Moses on August 19, 2016, at Azagha by-pass off the Benin–Asaba expressway in Edo State.”

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It revealed that before his arrest, Moses had threatened the diplomatic community in Nigeria, particularly the consular-generals of Switzerland and Denmark and their embassies in Nigeria, warning them to leave the country.

In addition, DSS said it apprehended cattle rustlers in Zamfara State, stating: “Following recurring attacks by cattle rustlers in Zamfara State, the Service conducted a series of operations in collaboration with the military to degrade the criminal network of one ‘Buhari General’ in the state.

“Sequel to these operations, the DSS arrested one Abdullahi Haruna, aka Douglas, a bread seller, on August 13, 2016, at Hayin Buba area in Gusau Local Council Area of Zamfara State.

“Haruna was intercepted while using the cover of his petty business to monitor security bases and the movement of security agents in the state in a bid to facilitate counter-attacks on security personnel deployed to the state.

“Also, on August 12, 2016, at Aliero town in Aliero Local Government Area of Kebbi State, one Hussaini Alhaji Sule, aka Yellow, was apprehended by the DSS.

“His arrest was facilitated by an earlier operation of July 29, 2016, when one Hafizu Sani, a spy and criminal associate of ‘Buhari General’, was apprehended by the DSS.

“Prior to his arrest, Sani was also spying on the movements of security agents in Zamfara State. Sani, in concert with other elements, had been terrorising local communities in Kaduna, Katsina and Zamfara States respectively, engaging in cattle rustling and kidnap activities.”

Also, following the spate of gruesome murders and kidnappings in Benue State, DSS said that on August 8, 2016, it arrested one Terfa Jirgba and two of his accomplices, namely Terzungee Kwaghaondo and Mathias Aende, at Badagry Street, off Esther Aka road in Makurdi, Benue State.

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“Jirgba is an active ally and gang member of Terwase Agwaza, aka Ghana, a notorious kidnapper who runs a kidnapping and criminal network in the state.

“In a follow-up operation, one Terungwa Abur was trailed to Port Harcourt in Rivers State. He was eventually arrested on August 16, 2016. Abur is the second-in-command to Agwaza and a key member of the kidnapping gang of Agwaza which operates from Benue State.

“He acts as a courier for the gang and was the negotiator of the N4 million ransom paid to the gang for the release of an Indian staff of Dangote Cement Company, Yander-Gboko, who were kidnapped on July 29, 2016, in Markudi.

“He also participated in the killing of one Ortin in Gboko Township on August 1, 2016.”

DSS stressed that the arrests of criminal masterminds in Benue and other adjourning states will continue until these criminal gangs are routed and made to face justice.

The security agency also stated that the DSS, in its move to address the activities of various criminal syndicates that have in recent months terrorised residents of Calabar and some parts of Akwa Ibom State, had on August 15, 2016, in Oron council area, apprehended one Benjamin Emomotemi and his accomplices, namely, Gabriel Ambrose, Godbless Taliboth Mattias, Blessing Sunday, Simeon Blessing Sunday, Edet Effiong Asanagasi and Rose Williams.

It said the suspects were part of a kidnap ring which masterminded the abduction of one Mr. Rufus AKV on May 31, 2016, and Senator Patrick Ani on July 6, 2016, in Cross River State.

DSS urged the public to remain vigilant to developments in their immediate environment, and support the security and law enforcement agencies with critical information on suspicious persons and groups for the sustenance of relative peace across the country.

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But as the DSS rolled out its list of accomplishments in recent months, it did not stop Boko Haram from killing yet another 10 persons and abduction 13 others from a village near Chibok in Borno State, locals told APF yesterday.

Armed jihadists on motorcycles invaded Kubrrivu at dawn last Saturday, firing on the residents as they were sleeping and looted and burnt homes before fleeing into the bush with 13 women and children seized from the village.

“The Boko Haram attackers rode on four motorcycles, three on each, and opened fire on the village as residents slept,” said Luka Damina, a resident of nearby Kautikeri village where Kubrrivu residents fled to for safety following the attack.

“They burnt down the whole village after looting food supplies and livestock and taking away women and children,” Damina said.

Ayuba Alamson, a community elder in Chibok, some 20 kilometres away, confirmed the attack, saying 13 people were abducted in the raid.

“After killing 10 people and burning the entire village, the gunmen made away with 13 people, including seven women, five boys and a girl,” Alamson said.

In 2014, Kubrrivu was burnt down in a deadly Boko Haram raid which forced residents to flee.

A year later, they returned and rebuilt their homes after Nigerian troops recaptured swathes of territory from the Islamists in a series of military successes against them.

Boko Haram, which seeks to impose strict Islamic law in northern Nigeria, has been blamed for some 20,000 deaths and displacing more than 2.6 million people since 2009.

The audacious mass kidnapping of 276 schoolgirls from Chibok in April 2014 provoked global outrage and brought unprecedented attention to Boko Haram’s brutal tactics.

A total of 218 girls are still missing.

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