The ongoing war against terrorism in the country recently witnessed the arrest of an alleged recruiter for the terrorist organisation, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), by operatives of the Department of State Service (DSS) in Kano.
The DSS Media Officer, Tony Opuiyo, said that the ISIS agent identified as Abdussalam Enesi Yunusa, was arrested on January 17. The names of his three recruits, who were to join him on a trip to Libya before he was picked up, were given as Muhammed Rabi’u, Yahaya Momoh Jimoh and Zainab Sunday.
The DSS has also burst a terror cell affiliated to ISIS in Daura, Katsina State, and arrested eight agents of the proscribed extremist group, Ansaru. The agency said the suspects were nabbed while perfecting plans to launch attacks on Kano and Katsina states.
Yunusa’s arrest was sequel to intelligence which indicated his terrorist antecedents and covert drive to indoctrinate and recruit susceptible youths in the country. The former 400 Level Information and Media Technology student of the Federal University of Technology, Minna, was said to have completed arrangements to join an ISIS terrorist camp in Libya with his recruits before he was nabbed. He was identified as a member of an extremist cell, which has some of its members already undergoing terrorist training in Libya. He was also said to have disclosed that his cell was funded by a certain Abu-sa’ad Al Sudani, a media expert with ISIS, with the group using money transfers to fund its agenda in the sub-region. Yunusa reportedly confirmed that other ISIS agents were operating in Nigeria and other parts of West Africa.
The DSS also arrested other suspected terrorists in Kano and Kwara states who were allegedly planning attacks on some parts of the country.
We commend the DSS operatives for the timely arrest of the ISIS recruiter and other terrorists in different parts of the country. Hopefully, these arrests will help to discover more terrorists, their major sponsors as well as foreign backers.
We urge the DSS to do more on intelligence and not rest on its oars. Its officers should be on the alert always. This security agency should be on top of the problem of terrorism in the country. Its proactive deployment of intelligence has nipped in the bud another wave of terror attacks in the country. It is through this type of deployment of intelligence that the war on terrorism can be won.
All those arrested by the DSS should be properly investigated to determine the extent they have gone in their efforts to recruit members for their terrorist organisation. The DSS should also determine their sponsors, sources of funding and the way they procure expensive vehicles, sophisticated arms and ammunition. Nothing should be done to sweep this matter under the carpet. Let the suspects be diligently prosecuted in the law courts and those found guilty given appropriate punishment.
The government should also properly secure all our borders to make them difficult for recruitment agents of terrorist organisations to enter the country. The war against insurgency cannot be won if foreigners walk into the country freely without any attempts by our security agencies to ascertain their mission.
We implore all Nigerians to be vigilant and report suspected terrorists to security agents for prompt action. It is also necessary to sensitise our youths to the dangers of terrorism. They need to be advised, through their schools and the various organs of the mass media, to be wary of attempts to lure them into terrorist organisations which can only ruin their lives.