The Department of State Services (DSS), says it has detected Boko Haram Cells around the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
The DSS, in a statement issued by its spokesman on Saturday said that; “This is to inform the general public that the Boko Haram terrorist group has continued to establish and operate sleeper cells whose (sole) mandates are to conduct surveillance and carry out subsequent attacks in the FCT.
“The disclosure has become necessary following the arrests of the sect’s members who migrated from various conflict theaters in the Northeast to the FCT in order to enable them capitalize on the excitement of the yuletide season to launch attacks in the city”, it read.
The statement further read that on October 29, 2015, the duo of Muhammed Idris and Baba Maina were arrested at Panteka area of Apo, Abuja.
This was followed by the arrest of Sanni Mohammed, Ahmed Umaru, and Hamdi Garne in Lafia, Nasarawa State.
“Sanni, who hails from Potiskum, Yobe State, fled the area following his involvement in coordinated suicide attacks in Yobe, Plateau, Kano and Kaduna States.
“In a related development, on November 19, Mohammed Abubakar and Musa Ta’ada were arrested at Shoprite Junction, Apo, Abuja. Abubakar hails from Borno State and operates as a taxi driver in Abuja.
“He is of an unknown address but claimed that he sleeps in his Volkswagen Golf car at the Honda line, Apo mechanic village, Abuja. The Gwoza-born Ta’ada also operates under the cover of a suya seller at Apo Primary School along Kabusa Road, Abuja.
“On November 23, Ahmed Hassan was arrested while carrying out surveillance on a high-profile hotel in the city. He hails from Katagum, Bauchi State.
“Suspect admitted using the cover of a beggar to sustain surveillance on his targets. Bulama Ali, had previously been arrested in Karu, Nasarawa State, on November 22”, the statement read.
Similarly, on December 1, Hassan Abubakar and Mohammed Gwale were arrested at Madalla, in Suleja LGA of Niger State following intelligence that they were planning to commence attacks in the FCT after a successful surveillance of the city.
“Before his arrest, Abubakar was working with other sect members in different parts of the country notably Borno, Yobe, Taraba and Adamawa States. Abubakar was arrested in the house of Gwale who claimed to be a Federal Civil Servant from Niger State. Gwale had made useful statements which are helping with further investigation”, it read.
So far, preliminary investigations revealed that the suspects and others, still at large, may have adopted their respective trades as plausible covers to infiltrate the city and its environs in their bid to conduct successful surveillance and map out soft targets for the sect’s attacks.
The DSS’ operations are, therefore, aimed at preempting any attacks by the terrorist elements against the backdrop of the upcoming festive period and beyond.
“It is in this regard that the Service wishes to advise residents and all law abiding Nigerians to remain vigilant especially at this yuletide season and promptly report to security agencies any suspicious movements and persons in the FCT and even other parts of the country”, the statement added.
The DSS also assured the general public that it would continue to carry out its responsibility of ensuring peace and security in Abuja and beyond.