*Confirms capture of al-Barnawi, world’s 3rd most wanted terrorist
*Foils major terrorist attack in US
*AMAC marshal nabs fleeing Boko Haram member in Abuja
By Soni Daniel, Northern Region Editor
ABUJA— Details of how the Nigerian security agencies dismantled the leadership and stronghold of the dreaded Boko Haram insurgents emerged last night, with confirmation that the Nigerian leader of the sect, Abu Musab al-Barnawi, had been captured three months before the fall of Sambisa forest to Nigerian troops.
A top security official confirmed to Vanguard that Abu Musab al-Barnawi, a top Boko Haram and ISIS leader, was rated by the United States as the world’s third most wanted terrorist and a major threat to world peace.
Al-Barnawi, who was spokesman for the Nigerian-based Islamists, was declared Nigerian leader of Boko Haram last August and had been featured in the latest issue of an IS magazine.
Al-Barnawi arrested 3 months ago
The source revealed that the Nigerian security agency successfully arrested the terrorist and took him into custody about three months ago, paving the way for the sacking of the Boko Haram stronghold in the Sambisa forest.
The source said: “The suspect, who was responsible for major killings, kidnap of locals and foreigners between 2012 and 2015, is in our custody.
“In fact, when the rest of the world got to know that the key terrorist had been captured by us, they had been sending their officials to come and interrogate him in our custody.
“We had prepared adequately for the arrest of the suspect, who is the third most wanted terrorist in the world, before the takeover of the Sambisa forest by the Nigerian troops.’’
The source also confirmed that unspecified Boko Haram leaders and fighters were fleeing into other parts of Nigeria to escape the fire power of the military who vowed to fish them out wherever they might be hiding.
“We will smoke them out wherever they may be fleeing to,” the official vowed.
How DSS foiled major terrorist attack in US
According to the official, it is such a high level of professionalism and coordination that enabled the DSS to foil a major terrorist attack in the United States of America about six months ago, which saved lives and property in that country.
“It was such a feat that the US President had to send a commendation message to his Nigerian counterpart, Muhammadu Buhari,” the official said, pointing out that the DSS was a notch ahead in terms of expertise and professionalism.
“We can say without equivocation that we are high up there in terms of professionalism in the intelligence community and we have made a significant impact in nipping in the bud major incidents that would have posed major threats to the country,” the official said.
He pointed out that because of the excellent work being done by the DSS under the present administration, major countries of the world now turned to the agency for information and accord it more respect and acceptance than in the previous years.
No in-fighting among security agencies
The official repudiated the notion that the DSS and other security agencies in the country are at war, pointing out that there was nothing of such.
The official said: “We work together for the common interest of the nation and its people. There is no in-fighting among the security agencies even though there may some misunderstanding at times.
“But it must be made clear that we are properly coordinated and united to the extent that every action to be taken by the government is intelligence-based.”
AMAC marshal nabs fleeing Boko Haram member in Abuja
Meanwhile, personnel of a security outfit recently established by Abuja Municipal Area Council, known as AMAC Marshal, have apprehended a middle-aged man suspected to be one of the fleeing members of the Boko Haram sect, in Abuja.
A statement by spokesman of AMAC, Marshal Kingsley Madaki, last night in Abuja, said the suspect, who gave his name as Usman, was nabbed at 4:30pm in Utako market shortly after he arrived the premises “with a Qur’an and a chaplet on his neck, while trying to lobby people in the market.”
The statement said the suspected Boko Haram member had, however, “confessed that there are so many of his colleagues out there in the city to unleash mayhem on innocent residents.”