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Borno Attacks: How Intelligence, Community Effort Turn The Table



The persistent suicide bombings and killing of innocent citizens in the North East by Boko Haram terrorist group have enforced a new thinking of sharing intelligence with security agencies to mitigate the situation. The efforts have started paying up with the recent arrest of several terrorists in Maiduguri by security agencies. FRANCIS OKOYE (Maiduguri) writes.

The recent exploits by the Nigerian Police Force on the activities of Boko Haram terrorists in Borno State and environs which resulted in what could be described as triumph of good over evil has been viewed as a clear message that the days of the insurgents are numbered.

The breakthrough which saw the capture of dozens of Boko Haram members, recovery of weapons, as well as killing of scores of them, further depicts the complementary efforts of the police to the Nigerian military and other security agencies in the insurgency war in Borno State and North-East in general.

Following the degrading of the terrorists and their displacement from their enclaves, the Boko Haram members resorted to guerrilla pattern of fighting by attacking soft targets through the use of suicide bombers and other cheap means to gain relevance.

But with the realisation and consciousness of the Borno and North-East residents of the pranks of the insurgents, the game changed to the benefit of the people who began to share information with the security apparatus in the region in a bid to restore total peace to the troubled region recovering from the over nine year menace of Boko Haram devastation.

Prior to the recent successes against the terrorists , there has been outcry from the various security agencies of the infiltration of the capital city of Maiduguri and environs by the dreaded group with calls on residents to expose the Boko Haram members living in their midst.

LEADERSHIP Weekend recalls that in one of his remarks on infiltration of the terrorists within the populace, the Theatre commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj Gen Rogers Nicholas, noted that the insurgents wouldn’t have been striking without the knowledge of some locals.

He said there was no way the terrorists would pass through a village without being noticed, but yet nobody ever raised alarm of such movements until damage was done.

“Some of them are known by us, they are with us, and they are also our brothers. Avail us of their presence in your midst so that necessary action could be taken before the damage is done,” Nicholas said while reopening Maiduguri-Bama road ahead of return of Bama Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

Similarly, the Borno State commissioner of police, Mr Damian Chukwu, had also at various occasions called on residents to expose Boko Haram terrorists harboured in their surroundings to the security agencies for appropriate action, noting that synergy between the security agencies and the general populace on intelligence sharing is a sure way to end the insurgency.

Also, the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 7 Division of the Nigerian Army, Brigadier General Abdulmalik Bulama Biu, had while hosting members of various associations operating in Borno state which included members of Food Producers Association, members of Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria ( RTEAN)  among others called on them to cooperate with the Nigerian Army and other security agencies through sharing of vital information that will assist counter insurgency operations in Borno and the North-East.

He made them to understand that as critical stakeholders their collaboration was vital towards ending the insurgency.

These words of the three security chiefs in Borno were corroborated some days ago with the arrests and subsequent parade of 22 Boko Haram suspects including their commanders who masterminded the kidnap of the Chibok Schoolgirls, as well as coordination of suicide bombs attacks in Borno and environs.

The revealing point of the operation which lasted for two weeks was the arrest of 10 out of the 22 Boko Haram members within the capital city of Maiduguri.

According to Abba Kyari, the commander, IGP Intelligence Response Team (IRT), who led the special operation that smoked out the Boko Haram members lurking around the capital city of Maiduguri and environs, even the Boko Haram commander in charge of suicide bombings in Borno State, Ba’adam, was arrested in Maiduguri, thus depicting presence of the terrorists among the populace.

He urged residents of Maiduguri and environs to be on the alert and report any Boko Haram member sighted in their midst for appropriate action, saying that more members of the terrorists organisation who were not paraded along others would be paraded after their investigation was concluded.

Kyari noted that in one of the camps overrun during the operation, over 15 improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were recovered, saying that the terrorists confessed to have been making the explosives while in Sambisa forest.

On the exact period the operation began before the present success, the crime buster, who coincidentally is an indigene of Borno State, said they had been monitoring the terrorists for the past one and half years before tracking them down, adding that the operation’s mandate was to ensure that all those fomenting trouble in Borno State were brought to book.

DCP Kyari said, “In one of their camps we overrun, we discovered a lot of IEDs. We used our explosives experts to explore them. We recovered more than 15 different IED.

“Since we are public servants serving the public, we urge members of the public to expose any suspicious movements or behaviours to us on time to serve them better,” he added.

Speaking to reporters after parading the suspected Boko Haram terrorists at the Borno police command headquarters in Maiduguri, the commissioner of police, Mr Damian Chukwu, said irked and worried by the persistent suicide bombings and killing of innocent citizens in the North-East by the Boko Haram terrorist group, the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Kpotum Idris, equipped and deployed the Special Operatives of the IGP Intelligence Response Team ( IRT ) with enough credible technical intelligence to Maiduguri, to trace and arrest all the terrorists responsible for the suicide bombings and other attacks in the geopolitical zone.

Chukwu added that after a lot of planning and use of advanced technology, between July 4 and 9, IRT Special Teams With Support from SARS/CRACK team of Borno State command swung into action and eventually succeeded in arresting 22 confirmed Boko Haram terrorists who confessed to several suicide bomb explosions within Borno and Adamawa states,

He said the suspects narrated various roles each of them played, adding that amongst them were the commanders and coordinators of suicide bombings in Borno State, coordinator and members of the Chibok schoolgirls kidnapping, ambushes on security agents, logistics suppliers and their receivers of gold, international currencies, cows among others.

Continuing Chukwu said, “Suspects arrested are; Mayinta Modu aka Abor, 23,  from Bama LGA of Borno State: He confessed to being one of the Boko Haram commanders who coordinated and led the kidnapping of the Chibok School Girls in 2014 and several attacks on Bama, Gwoza and Mubi towns in Borno and Adamawa states. Adam Mohammed, 20, also from Bama LGA Borno: confessed to have participated in Chibok schoolgirls kidnapping and coordinating suicide bombings.

“Gujja Jidda, 21, from Bama local government area of Borno State: confessed to have participated in the Chibok School Girls kidnapping and coordinating suicide bombings

“Others are: Mamman Wardi, 25, from Bama LGA of Borno State: Confessed to have participated in the Chibok School Girls kidnapping and coordinating suicide bombings. Alhaji Modu Jidda, 29, from Bama LGA of Borno State: Confessed to have participated in the Chibok School Girls Kidnapping and coordinating suicide bombings. Ajiri Bulama Dungus, 22, from Bama LGA: confessed to have participated in the Chibok schoolgirls kidnappings and suicide bombings.

“Mohammed Abba 20years from Bama LGA of Borno State: Confessed to have participated in the Chibok School Girls kidnapping .Fannami Mustapha 22 years from Bama LGA of Borno State: Confessed to have participated in the Chibok School Girls kidnapping and coordinating suicide bombings.

“Adam Mustapha (AKA ) Ba’Adam 20yrs native of  Kalabalge LGA: Overall coordinator and kingpin of suicide bombings in Maiduguri and Adamawa State who conveys female and male suicide bombers from Sambisa Forest to different locations in Maiduguri and Adamawa States to detonate their Bombs, he also confessed to be mastermind of the suicide bomb blasts in Baga road, Bulunkutu, Custom, Post Office, 333 Army Brigade Mammy Market, Muna among others in Maiduguri that led to the destruction of lives and prosperities.

“Mustapha Kanimbu (AKA) Aaramma, 20yrs native of Mobbar Borno State: He is one of the Boko Haram terrorist commander who supplies logistics to the group members in Sambisa and also confessed to have participated in several attacks and killing of hundreds of people in Maiduguri; Ibrahim Mala 48yrs native of Gwoza LGA of Borno State: He is one of the BHT commanders who lives in Dalori karekere, MMC Borno State and supplies food and logistics to his members in the Sambisa Forrest.

“Abdullahi Mohammed Gawi 23yrs from Bama LGA of Borno State: confessed member; Maina Adam 35yrs from Bama LGA of Borno State: confessed member

Wano Musa 27yrs native of Bama LGA of Borno State: confessed member and coordinating suicide bombings

(15) Ishaka Musa 26yrs from Bama LGA Borno State: Confessed member and coordinating suicide bombings.

“Abubakar Mohammed 28yrs Native of Nganzai LGA Borno State: Confessed member and coordinating suicide bombings. Usman Umar 28yrs Native of Bama LGA Borno State: Confessed member and coordinating suicide bombings. Maina Abba 27yrs native of Ngazai LGA Borno State: confessed to be member. Maina Gambo 24yrs native of Nganzai LGA Borno State: Confessed member.

“Abubakar Kori 25yrs native of Nganzai LGA Borno State: Confessed member and coordinating suicide bombings. Bukar Abatcha 39yrs Kanuri by tribe from Marte LGA Borno State, also a confessed member and major logistics supplier to Boko Haram terrorists’ commanders living in the bush. Muhammad Bashir AKA Kalijango 35yrs from Gambaru Ngala, a civilian JTF aiding and assisting BHT to supply logistics,” CP Chukwu added.

He further said that all the terrorists were arrested in different locations within Borno and Yobe States.

Continuing he said, “All suspects arrested have confessed to be masterminds of several attacks and suicide bomb blasts in Baga Road, 333, Custom, Bulunkutu, Post Office, Muna, Kasuwan Shanu, Dalori IDPs camp among others in Maiduguri and many suicide attacks in Adamawa state; killing of thousands of innocent Nigerians including ambush on security agencies and civilians in many parts of North-East Nigeria.

“Suspects are helping the operatives with useful information to arrest the other fleeing Boko Haram commanders,” said the Borno police commissioner.

In consolidation of the previous successes recorded by the IGP’s Intelligence Response Team (IRT) over Boko Haram, the Borno State police commissioner, Damian Chukwu, narrated how his men with the support of members of the Civilian Joint Taskforce (CJTF), and local hunters killed two terrorists and arrested two, while five others fled during an encounter with the insurgents at Nganzai local government area of Borno State last week.

Parading the two arrested Boko Haram suspects, Babagana Mohammed and Abba Goni Saleh, before reporters in Maiduguri, Chukwu said efforts were ongoing to track down the fleeing terrorists.

However, speaking to reporters, one of the arrested terrorists, Babagana Mohammed, who was paraded alongside his fellow Boko Haram member, Abba Goni Saleh, said that they began their journey by 2am from Sambisa Forest and arrived Galte village in Nganzai by 4am early to rustle cows before their encounter with the police.

The dreaded looking terrorists confessed to be members of the Boko Haram terrorists group, and said they had lived in Sambisa for five years before their failed mission.

On what have kept them in Sambisa this long, he said they and other members there engaged in recitation of the Qua’ran, adding that the number of their members in the Sambisa was uncountable.