Arrested Boko Haram deputy leader moved to Abuja

Khalid al-Barnawi is the leader of Nigeria's Ansaru jihadist group and was listed by Washington in 2012 as "specially designated global terrorists" (AFP Photo/Str)

Khalid al-Barnawi is the leader of Nigeria’s Ansaru jihadist group and was listed by Washington in 2012 as “specially designated global terrorists” (AFP Photo/Str)

The recently arrested deputy leader of Boko Haram Khalid Al-Barnawi has been moved to Abuja under tight security last night and kept in a secret location by operatives.

A source told The Guardian that the suspected kingpin who has been on the international wanted list was preparing to establish a formidable terrorists’ cell in Kogi State before his arrest.

The arrest of Al-Barnawi, the leader of Ansaru terrorist group, was said to have been effected by a joint operation involving the Department of State Security (DSS) and the Nigerian Army and other security agencies.

Reports say on the day Barnawi was arrested , a combined team of heavily armed soldiers and operatives of the DSS stormed the house which was said to be surrounded by adherents he had recruited and was training.

The operatives had to warn them to avoid being caught in the cross fire, as they, though poorly armed, were prepared to prevent the arrest of their leader.

They surrendered to the army, which led to the statement that several suspected insurgents gave up themselves.
It was further gathered that during surveillance by the DSS, Barnawi was training the recruits in the Okene hills and they in turn were engaging in armed robbery attacks on travellers for sustenance and financial support for their logistics.

Their place of operation, usually was concentrated on commuters plying the Abuja-Lokoja-Okene road leading to Edo, Delta and the Eastern part of the country as well as the Lokoja-Okene-Ibillo road leading to South West, which led the Inspector General of Police to direct the Commissioners of Police in the FCT Command and his Kogi counter-part to shore up security patrols on the federal road.

Speaking on the arrest, Director Defence Information (DDI) Brig-Gen Rabe Abubakar said: “With ongoing aggressive military operations in the North-east, some Boko Haram terrorists have surrendered to the Nigerian troops just as some top commanders were arrested while fleeing from the theatre of war.

“The improved synergy and inter-agency collaborations have enhanced the various operations towards the massive arrest of members of the terrorists’ groups.

“Our concern is for Nigerians to support the military and other security agencies with useful information, especially now that many of the Boko Haram camps have been destroyed; while the stubborn members may be fleeing to new locations.”

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