Security Agencies Raise Alarm Over Influx Of ISWA Fighters In Nigeria
Fighters believed to be members of the Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA) are reportedly gathering in Benue, Kogi and Edo states.
In a security report submitted to President Muhammadu Buhari by the Department of State Services (DSS), it said that the group had been operating within some North Central and South-South states, using foreign terrorists.
They are also believed to be recruiting young men into their fold and killing innocent people, thereby creating tension along ethnic, religious and regional fault lines.
A source within the Presidency who confided in the press noted that the terrorists mostly speak in French, and are operating as a unit in Nigeria.
His words: “It is understood that the cell, which has members in different parts of the country concentrates on recruiting young men to fight for the Islamic State in West Africa by unleashing the cold-blooded murder of innocent citizens.
“There was intelligence that they had planned attacks in the country, before and during Christmas and the New Year festivities. Their bombing targets included fuel depots, foreign missions, the police and military establishments.
“Their network is very wide. But so much was achieved by the DSS, which made a significant number of arrests in the last two months that helped to preempt those attacks. This helped to save Nigeria from the spate of major terrorist attacks witnessed elsewhere that were syndicated by ISIS worldwide.”
The reports submitted to the Presidency, he said, also revealed that security officials now fear an influx of other ISIS members into many parts of the country.
“We are learning more and more about this complex and sophisticated network. This is the main reason why the secret service is not parading those suspects so far arrested. It has become clear to us, by now, that the challenge facing this country is a serious one.”