Insurgency: Army Arrests Boko Haram Terrorist’s spies, including Madalla Church spy.
The Nigerian Army’s 33 Artillery Brigade, said yesterday that it has arrested 4 persons suspected to be Boko Haram terrorist’s spies that include the one that carried out surveillance on the Madalla church before it was bombed.
According to a statement signed by Col. SK Usman, “The men Victor Moses, Abubakar Shettima, Salisu Mohammed Bello and Umar Sadiq Madaki have been carrying out surveillance mission for the Boko Haram terrorists on target for suicide bombings or attacks.
He said “Luck ran out for them when Victor Moses went to a mosque in Bauchi and pretended that he wanted to be converted to Islam and the people suspecting that he was not genuine, promptly reported the matter.
“On interrogation he confirmed that he was working for an Islamic cleric in Gombe (now at large) and that their point of contact was Abubakar Shetima based in Jos.
“He confessed to casing targets for suicide bomb attacks including that of the Catholic Church Madalla, Suleja, Niger State on Christmas day, 25th December 2011.
“The accused persons are currently undergoing further interrogation, were paraded by the Commander 33 Artillery Brigade, Brigadier General Abraham Dusu at the Brigade’s Headquarters, Shadawanka Barracks, Bauchi on Monday.
Commander of the Brigade, Brig-General Abraham Dusu, confirmed that Moses “confessed to conducting surveillance for Boko Haram” from a shop near the St Theresa Roman Catholic Church in Madalla, near Abuja where about 44 worshippers were killed when a bomb ripped through the chuch on December 25, 2011 in what was Boko Haram’s deadliest attack on Christian places of worship.
The Islamist group later claimed responsibility for the Christmas Day attack, which was one of several over the festive period.
Kabiru Sokoto, the mastermind of the bombing, was arrested and later sentenced to life in jail.
Continuing Brig-General Dusu told the Chief of army staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai, during a visit that Moses was from the central state of Benue.
He aroused suspicion among locals in Bauchi, who in turn alerted the military. “Our troops on duty arrested Victor Moses after receiving a report from people in the area that the suspect had been loitering around the mosque claiming he was a Christian and wanted to convert to Islam but since he was not from the area, they suspected him and reported to our men”.
Boko Haram, which wants to create a hardline Islamic state in northeast Nigeria, has attacked Christian churches as well as government buildings in its nearly seven-year insurgency.
It has also hit schools, markets, bus stations and mosques in an apparently indiscriminate targeting of civilians of all faiths that has left at least 17,000 dead since 2009.