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Civilian JTF Member Masterminded Foiled Borno IDP Camp Bomb Attack
By Umar Yila, Maiduguri
A prominent member of the youth vigilante group, otherwise known as Civilian JTF, was the brain behind the bombs discovered at an Internally Displaced Persons, IDP, camp in Maiduguri, Borno State, last Saturday, the icirnigeria.org can authoritatively report.
The bombs were discovered at the Government Girls Secondary School, GGSS, Maiduguri and defused by soldiers of the 7 Division of the Nigerian Army, also in the city, following arrests made at a bomb making factory in the Borno State capital.
This website reported last Monday that the arrests followed a tip off and that among those arrested was a young man suspected to be a member of the Boko Haram sect, who had been living in the IDP camp posing as a displaced person.
The youth, whose name was not given, was believed to have masterminded the planting of the explosive devises in the camp, ostensibly with a plan to blow them up at an opportune time.
The latest information gathered by our reporter, however, indicates that the mastermind of the foiled bomb attack is actually a member of the Civilian JTF simply identified as Abdulrahman.
He was arrested with eight others, including the suspected Boko Haram member who resided in the IDP camp who led soldiers to the site of the bombs, and they are all being detained at a secured location by the military.
According to a senior security source, who cannot be named because he is not authorised to speak to the media, Abdilrahman, a member of the vigilante group in Bama, was known to have been a member of the Boko Haram insurgency group before he renounced the terrorist group.
However, he had left the group and its violent activities and had joined the Civilian JTF in Bama and was responsible for some of successes recorded by the military in the fight against insurgency.
“We did not know much about him until Bama came under frequent attacks,” the security source said, adding that the authorities “worked with him and he was instrumental in the military’s raid of more than 30 Boko Haram camps.”
Abdulrahman, it was learnt, attended a security meeting involving the Civilian JTF a day before he was arrested and his arrest was shocking to many people, including Nigerian soldiers, because of his popularity with the military JTF.
“The last time I saw him was on Friday when we had a security meeting, a day before he was arrested, our source said in Maiduguri a few days ago.
“The information I have is that he was with Boko Haram before he decided to join the Civilian JTF and it was as a result of his link with the group that we recorded a lot of success,” he added.
The icirnigeria.org also learnt that this is not the first arrest of Civilian JTF members on suspicion of having links with insurgents.
According to another source close to the JTF, who also cannot be named due to safety concerns, security operatives in the past were able to identify some persons pretending to be members of the vigilante group but who were actually working for the insurgents to gather information for the sect.
“Some Boko Haram members joined the Civilian JTF when it started. We discovered that some of them joined for the sole purpose of monitoring our activities and mode of operation, which would make it easier for them to attack us.
“We worked with them because they gave us very useful intelligence, while we monitored their moves,” the source said adding, however, that “lot of them were picked up after we gathered enough intelligence on them,” the source said.
Andulrahman, it was learnt, is currently being interrogated by the military in Maiduguri, along with the others arrested with him.
Read our earlier story here.