Determined to stop terrorists from having a foothold to wreak havoc in any part of Nigeria, Department of State Services (DSS) has arrested 61 suspected terrorists, bomb making experts as well as kidnappers.
Announcement of the arrest of the suspected terrorists came few months after the federal government received intelligence of the infiltration of the Benue Valley by the Islamic State of West Africa (ISWA) terrorists.
It also came following a report by The Sun of UK that Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) had been sneaking battle-hardened jihadists from Syria into Nigeria to train terrorists.
The newspaper also reported that fanatics from Nigeria were also being sent to the Middle East for training in a chilling “exchange programme.”
The spokesman for DSS, Mr. Tony Opuiyo, said in a statement in Abuja that among those arrested were three suspected members of ISWA who were said to have perfected plans to attack the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Bauchi State, and their contiguous territories.
He also said two ISIS commanders – Bashiru Adams and Rufai Sajo – were arrested in Kukuntu village, Gwgwalada, Abuja.
Two experts in improvised explosive devices (IEDs), Adamu Hassan, aka Bale and Abubakr Abubakar aka Alhaji or Buba, were also arrested following intelligence reports.
“Determined to continuously thwart the budding cells of ISWA and Boko Haram, the Service conducted special operations on identified targets.
“This led to the successful arrest of Bashiru Adams and Rufai Sajo, commanders of the group on May 5, 2018 at Kukuntu Village, Gwagwalada Area Council, FCT, Abuja.
“Relatedly, the Service had, on April 28, 2018, at Muda Lawal Market, Bauchi, Bauchi State, arrested another member of the ISWA, Umar Dogo.
“The suspects were discovered to have concluded plans to not only perpetuate the ideals of the movement in the area, but to, in collaboration with Boko Haram, carry out heinous violent attacks on innocent persons,” said DSS.
The DSS said the arrests were made during operations undertaken by its specially trained operatives who, in some instances, undertook a joint onslaught with elements of the military and the police.
“The DSS wishes to apprise the public of its successes in its determination to rid the country of crime.
“It is to this end that the Service singularly, or in conjunction with sister security agencies, embarked on series of operations aimed at degrading or eliminating the capabilities of unscrupulous elements, including suspected kidnappers, cultists, fraudsters, militia members and terrorists,” said DSS.
It further disclosed that the successful counter-insurgency operations were executed in Benue, Cross River, Kogi, Ondo, and Lagos states.
Among suspected kidnappers arrested were Ada Kajo James, Tikaa Ornen Desmond, and Joseph Ikpa.
They were said to have links with wanted suspected kidnap kingpin, Terwase Akwaza (aka Gana).
“Between 9th and 29th May 2018, several associates of the dreaded kidnapper, Terwase Akwaza (aka Gana) were arrested at various locations in Benue State. “During the discreet operations, the service noted that two IEDs experts were apprehended.
“Following intelligence reports, Adamu Hassan (aka Bale) and Abubakr Abubakar (aka Alhaji / Buba), experts in IEDs assembly, were arrested. “Also on 12th and 19th April 2018, at Gassol and Ardo local government areas of Taraba State, Mohammed Saleh (AKA Azrak) and Iliyasu Abubakar (aka Ruwa), Boko Haram members and cattle rustlers were respectively apprehended. “During the period under focus, 14 suspected cultists operating on Kogi State University were taken in. “On June 6, 2018, at the Boys’ Hostel of Kogi State University (KSU), Anyingba, 14 suspected cultists were arrested over repeated cult clashes at the institution.
“On June 17, 2018 at Karu Village, Abuja, two members of the dreaded Basakube kidnap group, namely Uaman (aka Siddi) and Ibrahim Muhammed (aka Ganaja) were apprehended.
“It will be recalled that the duo had been involved in several kidnap activities, notably those of Senator Ayodele Arise on December 5, 2017 in Kogi State and a Portuguese National, Emmanuel Machada (late) earlier on October 24, 2017 during which two policemen were killed in Kogi State. “On March 27, 2018, at Calabar town, Cross River State, five members of a kidnap syndicate were arrested.
“With these arrests, it is envisaged that calmness will return to otherwise volatile areas where these criminals had held sway,” said the DSS.
Items recovered from the operations, according to the statement, include: 1 AK-47 rifle; 3 empty AK- 47 magazines; 38 rounds of live ammunition; 2 live rounds of 9mm ammunition; 1 Mossberg pump action rifle; and 15 live cartridges of ammunition. Others were: 2 AK-47 Rifles, 1 G3 rifle, 3 dane guns, 2 cutlasses, and 4 motorcycles, 1 locally made pistol, 1 Browning pistol, 1 shot gun, live cartridges; an axe, a machete and GSM phones.