FRESH ALERT OVER SUICIDE BOMBERS
Security alert heightened in Abuja at the weekend over the infiltration of three bombs-laden sport utility vehicles (SUVs) by Boko Haram.
Sources said their targets are the aviation industry, among other public places.
The vehicles were smuggled into the federal capital last Wednesday. There are also fears that the security agencies may have been infiltrated as well. Details of the vehicles, including their makes and registration numbers, have been circulated among the various security agencies in the country for their possible arrest.
Security sources said that the vehicles, had initially been programmed to attack their targets by the weekend but for the heightened security alertness within and around the FCT since the August 26 bombing of the UN building. The attack left 23 dead with scores seriously injured.
A top security chief who would not want his name mentioned in print, said the bombers' targets were the aviation industry and other places.
He said security agencies had uncovered plots to attack the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, using unsuspecting trolley boys who would take the explosives-laden luggage to designated points before detonating them. There are also fears that Boko Haram sympathisers may have infiltrated the security apparatus in the country as the agencies are said to be finding it difficult tracking them down each time they go out for operation.
Sources said that the Boko Haram men usually get information about security operation in advance each time the agencies plan an attack on them. This, according to a source, is one reason why the group seems to have over-whelmed the military and the security agencies in their bid to track them down and curb their menace.
Top security sources told Daily Sun that although the military and other security agencies are working tirelessly to fight terrorism, the porosity of our borders had made it possible for terrorists to enter the country.
The security source also noted that some heads of security apparatus were hoarding reports on the Islamic fundamentalists instead of divulging such information to the authorities for action.
Apart from planning to bomb the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation's (NNPC) headquarters in Abuja, some five star hotels, government buildings and public places in the FCT, the suicide bombers were also said to be targeting military formations in Abuja, a development that has forced the military hierarchy to tighten security in all its formations across the country including its officers mess and mammy markets.
It has also tightened security at the NNPC corporate head office in Abuja by blocking one of the drive-ways along the busy Herbert Macaulay Way, where the building is located.
The security agencies have also taken steps to flush out streets traders in the FCT, especially along the Nyanya/Mararaba/ Keffi Road, following security reports that the Boko Haram men plan to use the traders to attack locations in the satellite towns.
Before now, Boko Haram men have been finding it difficult to operate in the FCT as soldiers mounted several roadblocks in all the entry and exit points into the territory. During that period, several arrests were made, especially along the Nyanya/ Marraba/Keffi Road. But that operation stopped after residents of the area, staged a protest, calling on government to withdraw the soldiers from the road as their presence was causing a serious traffic jam along the road, which happens to be the only road linking Abuja and the North Eastern part of the country.
It is believed that Boko Haram men may have been among those calling for the withdrawal of soldiers from the road. The decision to withdraw them, according to a security source, may have given rise for the Islamic militants to infiltrate the FCT. Security reports have it that the Abuja-Keffi Road is one of the major highways preferred by the sect.