THE Department of State Services has arrested a dreaded commander of Boko Haram, Mohammed Usman, who is believed to have masterminded several acts of terror in different parts of the country.
The DSS further disclosed that Usman, who is also known as Khalid Al-Barnawi, operates under different aliases, which include Kafuri, Naziru, Alhaji Yahaya, Mallam Dauda and Alhaji Tanimu.
Usman was arrested on April 1, 2016, in Lokoja, Kogi State where he was hiding under a false cover. His arrest is major breakthrough and milestone in the counter-terrorism fight of the Service as Usman was a founding member of the Jama’at Ahl as-Sunnah lid Da’wah Wa’l-Jihad (Boko Haram) and later the Amir of the breakaway faction, Jama’at Ansarul Muslimim Fi Biladi Sudan (JAMBS).
In a statement signed by Tony Opuiyo, the DSS alleged that Usman is “a trained terrorist commander, who has been coordinating terrorist activities in Nigeria, while talent-spotting and recruiting vulnerable young and able Nigerians for terrorist training by Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) in North African states and the Middle-East.”
The statement further explained that the suspect was involved in many terrorist attacks in states of the federation, including Bauchi, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Sokoto and FCT-Abuja. “This resulted in the killing and maiming of innocent citizens of this country. Al-Barnawi is also responsible for the bombing of the United Nations building in Abuja, on August 26, 2011; the kidnapping of two European civil engineers in Kebbi State in May, 2011, and their subsequent murder in Sokoto State; the kidnap of a German engineer, Edgar Raupach in January 2012, the kidnap and murder of seven expatriate staff of Setraco Construction Company at Jama’are, in Bauchi State in February, 2013, the attack of Nigerian troops at Okene in Kogi State, while on transit to Abuja for an official assignment,” the statement added. While reiterating the resolve of the DSS to bring perpetrators of terrorism and their sponsors to justice, working in collaboration with other sister security agencies, the Service said that the suspect would soon be charged to court to face charges, when investigation is completed.