by Ibrahim Faruk
The Department of State Security Service (SSS) announced yesterday in Abuja that it has arrested and is holding in its custody two suspected Boko Haram members allegedly connected with the bombing in Jaji, Kaduna State on November 27, 2012.
The November bomb attack targeted the St. Andrews Protestant Military Church located in the Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji, Kaduna State, and destroyed the building, killing many worshippers.
The suspects were paraded and journalists were briefed by the Service Deputy Director (Public Relations) Marilyn Ogar, who said Ibrahim Mohammed, aka Alilullah (age 18) and Mohammed Ibrahim Idris (age 50) were both arrested in Kaduna State “following a thorough investigation that was initiated by the service and the military.”
Ogar said Mohammed, an indigene of Ilobu village in Ilobu Local Government Area of Osun State was allegedly indoctrinated into the
Boko Haram sect by one Bashir Madalla (late), who also trained him in the use of fire arms and priming of Improvised Explosive Devices (IED). She also revealed that Mohammed participated actively in several attacks in Kaduna, including the attack on St. Rita’s Catholic Church, Badarawa, and St. Andrews Catholic Church at the Armed Forces Command and Staff College.
The deputy director explained that one Bashir Madalla (late) sent Mallam Lawal (late), one of the suicide bombers to Damaturu, Yobe State, to retrieve some military uniforms and weapons from the Boko Haram cell located there.
Ogar noted that Lawal personally wore the military uniform with the rank of a Captain, which afforded him free access into the military formation in Jaji. She hinted that the Jaji attack was carried out by one Tasiu and Mallam Lawal (both late), who assumed leadership of the sect in Kaduna following the death of Bashir Madalla.
“Lawal volunteered to carry out the Jaji suicide attack personally since no suitable person could be sourced for the assignment due to time constraint. Mohammed accompanied the two suicide bombers up to the gate where he bade them farewell,” Ogar informed newsmen.
Ogar added that Idris, a yam hawker from Jalingo, Taraba State, was also indoctrinated into the sect’s ideology by one Mallam Lawal, a fellow yam hawker in Jalingo in August 2012 after which he was relocated to Kaduna by Lawal and given a two bedroom flat in Rafin Guza which served as the sect’s
Ogar pointed out that Idris served as a motivational preacher and a father figure for members of the sect as well as conducting surveillance on selected targets using the cover of a yam hawker.
While speaking to the press, Mohammed admitted that he is a member of the sect and that his first assignment for the sect was to go to Zaria to collect a bag of fertilizer that was be used for making IED. The 18-year-old mechanic confessed that he dropped out of school in year 3 and went to stay with his uncle in Kaduna. He said a Toyota Matrix was used for the Jaji bombing and it was his first involvement in terrorism.
He further revealed that before he joined Boko Haram, he was unhappy with the sect’s activities, saying he became satisfied with the sect’s onslaughts when he finally became a member.
Speaking further, the deputy director said the suspects would be handed over to the military immediately for further investigation, stressing that other suspects apprehended along with them were still being investigated.