Boko Haram: Plot to shoot down President Jonathan’s plane foiled

It would have been a national tragedy had it occurred. But, according to intelligence sources, security agencies saved the situation.

President Jonathan in Borno

The story is that insurgents allegedly planned to attack the plane of President Goodluck Jonathan while flying into Maiduguri, Borno State capital, on Thursday for his two-day visit.

Borno is the hotbet of the Islamist group, Boko Haram.

The alleged recovery of three anti-aircraft guns, two technical vehicles mounted with anti-aircraft stands and 10 rocket propelled grenades, in a cache of arms, in Maiduguri, on Friday, lent credence to the claim of the plot to attack the president’s plane.

Besides the anti-aircraft guns and rocket propelled grenades, the massive arms the Joint Task Force (JTF) in Maiduguri, the day the president left the state capital after the visit, include 17 AK rifles, general purpose machine guns, three G3 rifles, 20 RPG bombs, 12 RPG chargers, 1 x 36 ,hand held grenades, one tear gas rifle, 33 AK 47 magazines, 11 FN magazines, three G 3 magazines and 11,068 assorted ammunitions.

The twist to the story, however, is the claim by some security sources that the Islamist group had hoped that the entire security apparatus in Borno would be diverted for the president’s visit, to enable it deploy the massive arms to also attack the facilities where its members are being held in the state with a view to setting them free.

Whatever may have been the Islamist group’s plan, security agencies alleged that close monitoring foiled it.

Spokesman for the JTF in Borno State, Lt. Col. Sagir Musa, in a statement emailed to journalists, yesterday, hinted that intelligence by informants led to the foiling of the insurgents alleged plan.

The statement listed the cache of arms recovered during the Friday operation while saying it was one of the JTF’s operations to combat insurgents in the last ten days. The statement reads: “Based on information and intelligence report, series of operations were conducted by the Joint Task Force Operation RESTORE ORDER in the last ten days in Borno State.

The latest was the one conducted at Bulabulin, Bayern Quarters and Jajeri in Maiduguri metropolis between 3 – 8 pm yesterday Friday, 8 February, 2013. During these operations under the period stated, there were exchange of fire that led to the death of 52 Boko Haram members including ten commanders of the sect. 70 terrorists were also arrested. In the period under review, the JTF lost two men, three were wounded and no civilian casualty was recorded. The under listed weapons, ammunition, uniforms and other items were recovered in yesterday’s (Friday) operation:

3 anti aircraft guns; 10 rocket propelled grenade tubes; 3 general purpose machine guns; 17 AK47 rifles; 3 G3 rifles; 1 pistol (lama);

20 RPG bombs; 12 RPG chargers; 1x 36 hand held grenade; 1 teargas rifle; 33 AK 47 magazines; 11 FN magazines; 3 G3 magazines; 11,068 assorted ammunitions;

2 technical vehicles with mounted anti aircraft stands; 1 box of weapons cleaning kit; 4 swords and two knifes; 5 walking talkies; 4 VHF hand held sets; 1 multi links router; and assorted uniforms and kits.

“The task force wishes to thank members of the public particularly our moles in the Boko Haram’s camp for giving us the information that assisted in the successes so far recorded. Thus, members of the public are reminded to continue to give credible and timely information to security agencies to combat insecurity.”

Sunday Vanguard learnt, yesterday, that security agencies have launched investigations into how the weaponry which, in size, quality and quantity, were capable of waging a full scale war either against air or land opposition and with which targets kilometers away could be successfully taken out, were assembled.

“The fact that assorted uniforms of security agencies, especially those serving in the Joint Task Force were recovered in the Friday operation, is fueling the intelligence that there was indeed a plan by the group and their sponsors to breach the security of the president”, a source added.


  1. concern nigerian Reply

    Africanspotlight do more of investigative jounalism than sitting back and fed with lies and deceite,what u are reported is rubbish,the bh could not fire a single shot but 7 bombs exploded hours after mr president,s departure,in your wisdom what went wrong?from wednesday till the day he GEJ left,no body dare ventured out but yet a ghost planted those explosives,the jtf should be querried,they are responsible,we have seen how they operate in other places whenever a call is made for withdrawal,one must hear gun shots and explosions preceeding the demand infact one can see how they extort money out of motorist with bulging pockets,if mr president claimed bh is faceless,how do u explain his claims earlier that there are members of bh in his cabinet?or where is the self acclaimed bh representative that announced a ceasefire?abdulazeez.An article written by ahmed salkida further confirmed that abdulazeez is a paid govt agent or else is he also faceless?food for thought for the likes of fani kayode.

  2. Bright Avalong Reply

    This is a coke and bull story, all these weapons listed, who supply them? Is it JTF that gave them to “Boko Haram?” With all the heavy presence of security in Maiduguri, yet all this weapons are able to reach this group? Please JTF or African Spotlight should stop deceiving people by trying to tell people that they (JTF) recorded huge success, the story is too exaggerating to be believed.

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