Force hqtrs bombing: Suicide bomber was a foreigner — Interim report

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By KINGSLEY OMONOBI, ABUJA

Police Interim Report submitted to the Inspector General of Police, Hafiz Ringim by the investigating Police team looking into the bomb blast of last Thursday, showed that the suicide bomber was not a Nigerian but possibly a Sudanese or a Somali national and that the bombs that exploded, twin bombs tied together, were foreign made explosives.

The suicide bomb attack which was also captured by CCTV cameras of the Federal Capital Police Command Operations Centre, also showed that there was  eight minutes interval between when the Inspector General drove into the force headquarters and when the suicide bomber drove into force headquarters.

The implication is that the suicide bomber wanted the Inspector General of Police to be in his office before carrying out his mission which was to blow up force headquarters and kill as many police officers as possible including the IGP.

President Goodluck Jonathan listening to the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Hafiz Ringim (r) during the inspection of the bombing of the Police Headquarters at Louis Edet House, Abuja. Photo by Abayomi Adeshida

The CCTV footage which is already being analyzed, showed that contrary to widely held belief, the bomb that exploded may have been a twin bomb tied together with the aim of having a heavy and massive collateral impact.

The interim report also revealed that the vehicle was waiting for the IG’s convoy to arrive force headquarters, at the Total Filling station, some 100 meters away before it made its move.

Saturday Vanguard gathered that at exactly 8 minutes after the IG entered force headquarters, the occupant of the car, a Mercedes Benz 190 salon car, ash colour, having seen there was less traffic at the gate of force headquarters, sped towards the gate, was stopped by the officers on duty but he refused to stop and made for the IG’s car park.

At that point, some police officers ran after the vehicle and accosted it as it made to park, close to the IG’s space. When he was stopped, an argument was said to have ensued leading to ASP Nangor Dantim arresting him and asking him to move to the general car park. It was at the general car park while interrogation of the suicide bomber was going on that the blast went off killing both the officer and the bomber.

It was further gathered that foreign bomb investigation experts are arriving the country this weekend to partake in the investigation being handled by the FCT Police Criminal Investigations Department in conjunction with the FCT Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), under the headship of Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge CID, Alkali Baba Usman.

Saturday Vanguard also gathered yesterday that foreign bomb investigation experts are being expected from the United States of America this weekend, to help in the investigation especially as it regards the source of the bombs, where it may have originated from, so that security agencies would know where to beam their searchlight.

“The reason for the Police to know the source of the bombs, is that the Police and other security agencies are aware that some foreign nationals particularly from countries like Sudan, Somalia, etc have infiltrated the country”, the source said.

Giving an accurate report of the number of death, the interim report said, “3 persons died at the scene including the ASP, the bomber and an unidentified person; 32 vehicles were burnt to ashes while 42 cars were damaged.

Meanwhile, the IGP’s security escort team had been asked to write a statement of what transpired on the day of the incident as they were still at the car park when the incident started unfolding. The police officers at the gate were also asked to write their statements on what transpired.

At the Force headquarters, the atmosphere was still one of shock and sadness as the officers and men that reported for work wore solemn looks. A lot of officers whose cars were razed in the fire that was precipitated by the blast resigned themselves to fate noting that it was better their cars went with the blast than for them to have lost their lives.

The massive security cordon that was in place yesterday that was jointly carried out by the Army, Civil Defence, Police, Federal Road Safety Corp and NEMA had been relaxed. All vehicles except that of senior officers of the rank of Assistant Police Commissioners upwards, were the only ones allowed into the premises.

The shattered windows of the force headquarters building starting from the 1st floor to the 7th floor were still visible while officers were seen making emergency alternative arrangement to get office furniture and recover some electronics.

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