ABUJAâ€” A TERRORIST suspected to belong to the Al-Qaeda network, Ibrahim Haman Ahmed, who was extradited to the United States of America by Nigerian government officials had been on the wanted list of the United States Central Intelligence Agency for more than two years, security and diplomatic sources in Abuja told Vanguard, yesterday.
The man who was allegedly trained by Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan and working for the Al-Shabaab group in Somalia, was said to be the most senior figure of the terrorist organization in Nigeria. He was said to be trying to recruit young Nigerian Muslims to join the terrorist organization.
Ahmedâ€™s arrest and extradition to the United States was, however, said to be connected to his role in fighting the government of Somalia where he was said to have spent eight months.
He was extradited from Nigeria to the United States through the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja. Before then, he was said to have hiden somewhere in Sokoto and moving around the north western states of Kano, Katsina, Kebbi and Zamfara states where he was said to have been targeting western educated youths for recruitment.
According to Vanguard sources, Ahmed was arrested by security officials in Sokoto following intelligence provided by American security organizations, the Central Intelligence Agency, CIA, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI.
A special jet, ostensibly provided by the CIA was flown into Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport in Abuja, Friday night and where parked till Saturday morning when the terror suspect was moved in.
According to security sources at the airport, Ahmed was driven through the tarmac to the foot of the aircraft where he disembarked and was handed over to the waiting American security operatives.
A source told Vanguard: â€œHe was hooded, handcuffed and had leg shackles and was led by two men into the aircraft. He did not pass through normal entry at the airport but was driven though the tarmac right to the foot of the aircraft where he was led into the awaiting American jet. Airport staff were prevented from going near them by both Nigerian and American security men.â€
It was gathered that his extradition was part of security cooperation between the United States government and her Nigerian counterpart in tackling growing terrorist threat in Africa.
The December last year attempt by Nigerian born Faruk Abdulmutallab to bomb a jetliner destined for Detroit, USA, Nigeria has attracted closer scrutiny from the American security apparatus which has listed Nigeria as a country of interest on terrorism.
The arrest of the terror suspect who is suspected to be from Eritrea has, however, heightened American concerns about Nigeria which is seen as an emerging haven for Muslim terrorists around the world.
A western diplomat in Abuja told Vanguard yesterday that with this development, it was becoming increasingly difficult for Nigeria to be de-listed from the American list of countries of interest, stressing: â€œNigeria has to do more than protest for it to be de-listed from the American list.â€
Repeated attempts by Vanguard to get official reactions from the State Security Services were unsuccessful as repeated calls to the spokes person of the service, Mrs. Marylyn Ogar were abortive.