Insurgency: DSS arrests spiritualist, 18 other high ranking terrorists

The Department  of State Services (DSS), on Monday, announced the arrest of one “Buhari General’’ believed to be a notorious cattle rustler, a Boko Haram spiritualist and the mastermind of the 2013 massacre of the Potiskum Secondary School students in Yobe State.

In addition, the department said  it arrested  18 other high ranking terrorists, in furtherance to its ongoing tactical and counter-terrorism operations to degrade the capabilities of criminal gangs/syndicates in their hide-outs across the federation.

This was contained in a statement signed by one Tony Opuiyo, on behalf of the service and made available to newsmen in Abuja, on Monday.

According to the statement, “following recurring attacks by cattle rustlers in Zamfara State, this service conducted series of operations, in collaboration with the military, to degrade the criminal network of one “Buhari General” in the state.

“Sequel to these operations, this service arrested one Abdullahi Haruna aka Douglas, a bread seller on  August 13, 2016, at Hayin Buba area, in Gusau Local Government  Area of Zamfara State. Haruna was intercepted while using the cover of his petty business to monitor security bases and movement of security agents in the state, in a bid to facilitate counter-attacks against security personnel deployed to the state.’’

It stated that “the service also arrested one Mudasiru Jibrin aka Namakele/Alarama on  July 17, 2016, at Sauna quarters, Yankaba area in Kano, the spiritual leader to a newly-uncovered Boko Haram cell in Kano and which preliminary investigation so far conducted revealed that he was also the mastermind of the shooting of some students at Government Secondary School (GSS), Mamudo village near Potiskum, Yobe State, in 2013.

The statement added that  “following threat messages against some members of the Diplomatic Corps in Abuja and Lagos, the service responded and subsequently apprehended one Aikhoje Moses, on  August 19, 2016, at Azagha By-pass, off Benin–Asaba Expressway, in Edo State.

According to it, “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.”

It said: “Similarly, on  July 8, 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 four suspects were said to have been apprehended while perfecting arrangements for major coordinated attacks on selected targets and locations in Kaduna State.

According to the service, “In a related development, on  August 12, 2016, in Auchi, Edo State, three members of the Ansaru terrorist group hibernating in Kogi State were apprehended.

“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 stated.

It also stated that, “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 Service and that 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 this Service.

It explained that prior to his arrest, Sani was also spying on the movements of security agents in Zamfara State and that the same  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.

It also revealed that “following the spate of gruesome killing and kidnap incidents in Benue State, on  August 8, 2016, the Service 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.”

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

“In a follow-up operation, one Terungwa Abur aka was trailed to Port-Harcourt, Rivers State, where he was eventually picked up on  August 16, 2016

“Abur is the second in command to Agwaza and a key member of the kidnapping gang of Terwase Agwaza aka Ghana, which operates from Benue State. He acts as a courier for the underworld gang and was the negotiator of the N4million ransom paid to the gang for the release of two Indian national staff of Dangote Cement Company, Yander-Gboko, who were kidnapped on  July 29, 2016, in Markudi.”

The Service declared  that the arrests of major criminal masterminds in Benue and other adjourning states would continue until the criminal gangs were routed and made to face justice.

It, however,  urged the general public to remain vigilant and alert to developments in their immediate environs, and to support security and law enforcement agencies, with critical information on suspicious persons and groups, for the sustenance of relative peace across the federation.