The Joint Task Force (JTF) in Kano said it has scuttled plans by “terrorist elements” to carry out fresh attacks in the state at the forthcoming Sallah celebration, during a “preemptive” operation Saturday morning.
Items recovered in the raid, according to JTF, include 36 IEDs of various calibres, five guns, four smoke guns, 739 rounds of various calibre of ammunition, 2.5 litres of nitric acid and seven bags of ammonia fertilizer.
Muslim faithfuls are preparing for the Ed el-fitr festival billed for next week to mark the end of this year’s Ramadan fast.
Addressing newsmen today at the headquarters of the 3 Brigade Nigerian Army in Kano, the JTF through the state Director of State Security Service, Mr. Bassey Eteng, disclosed that it had recovered large quantities of arms and ammunition, as well as explosive devices that were to be used in the said attack.
JTF also said it arrested three persons in connection with the foiled attack.
According to the task force, the weapons were uncovered during a raid around 6am on a suspected hideout of the “terrorist elements” inside a bush in Tudun Bayero in Gadan Tamburawa suburb of Kano. The hideout, which is located about 10 kilometres from Kano city off Zaria road, was initially used as a poultry house, said JTF.
Eteng said the raid was based on security information.
“From intelligence available, the materials and ordnance were to be used on innocent persons during the forthcoming Sallah celebration,” he said, and added that the place was also being used for production of propaganda materials by the group.
Also recovered were, three face masks, military uniforms, banners with Arabic inscriptions, 90 packs of fire crackers, 55 medical syringes and hand gloves, among others.
Meanwhile, the SSS director has confirmed the arrest of the owner of Al-Amir restaurants chain, Alhaji Muktari, over suspected links with the Boko Haram sect. Mr. Eteng, who confirmed the arrest of the businessman while fielding questions from newsmen, however disclosed that the suspect had been released by the JTF after being questioned.
“He was released the very day he was arrested after he was interrogated,” he said.
It would be recalled that the owner of the popular restaurant which has outfits across the country, was picked on Thursday evening by men of the JTF at his residence in ‘Yan Majalisa Estate in Gwammaja quarters.