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Man With al Qaeda Links Planned UN House Bombing, Says DSS


LAGOS, August 31, (THEWILL) - An infamous member of local Islamic Sect, Boko Haram, with links to Al-Qaeda, the frontline militant Islamic group, has been fingered to have planned last Friday’s bombing of the Abuja headquarters of the United Nations (UN), which has, so far, claimed the lives of nine non-UN workers, 10 Nigerians, one Norwegian, and three unidentified others.

A statement from the Department of State Services said that ongoing investigations revealed that a certain Mamman Nur, working in concert with two suspects, masterminded the attack on the United Nations building in Abuja. It also stated that the two suspects have since been apprehended and are in detention, but made no comments on leads that prompted the conclusion beyond saying that there was “valuable evidence.”

"We implore ... the general public to cooperate with security agencies by providing useful information that could lead to the arrest of Mamman Nur, who is hereby declared wanted," the statement said.

The Friday bombing goes down history as one of the deadliest on the United Nations, in fact, deadlier than the 2003 blast on its Baghdad offices, which gulped 22 lives. It razed a floor, smashed almost all the windows, wounded 76 people and killed another 23.

The Boko Haram sect, which name implies that “western education is sinful" had immediately claimed responsibility for the attack and warned that more were in the offing. The group has steadily grown to become President Goodluck Jonathan's biggest security nightmare, organising sporadic shootings and attacks against security services and civilians in the remote northeast with homespun bombs. On Tuesday, Jonathan assured Nigerians, as he had done after previous attacks, that he was upping security to curtail further blasts.

The latest bombing is testament to the rising sophistication of Boko Haram, with more lethal explosives, and a recent shift in operational dimension from local to international targets. Suggestions are already making the rounds that the sect is nursing global ambitions and may have connected with the North African wing of al Qaeda as well as Somali jihadists.