Security Operatives in a joint operation launched by the Department of State Services, the National Intelligence Agency, the police and other security agencies have conducted armed missions in different locations in Abuja, Mararaba and other satellite towns in the Federal Capital Territory and successfully dismantled a terror cell and arrested five Islamic State West Africa Province commanders and 30 fighters.
Metronetworknews gathered that the suspects were being held at a DSS facility.
It was further learnt that the intelligence agencies had been on the trail of the insurgents.
A security source disclosed that the detained fighters were providing useful information which had led to the arrest of some of their members masquerading as artisans, cart pushers and security guards in the city.
Another security source revealed that the terror suspects were planning a big attack in Abuja before they were nabbed.
A senior officer disclosed, ‘’A massive counter-intelligence operation is going on to disrupt, neutralise and destroy the ISWAP terrorists in the FCT.
“Many commanders and their foot soldiers have been arrested and they are currently helping us in our investigations.
“About five commanders and 30 fighters have been apprehended but we expect to capture more suspects as we widen our dragnet.’’
The security sources explained that the ISWAP members relocated to the FCT following the heavy bombardment of their enclaves and camps in the North-West by the Nigerian Air Force.
The arrests were made amid heightened tension in the nation’s capital as the popular Jabi Lake Mall shut its doors to shoppers and visitors on Thursday, citing the security situation.
When contacted the DSS spokesperson, Peter Afunanya said he had not been briefed on the arrest of the terrorists.
It would be recallled that security operatives on Monday arrested two terror suspects at Trademore Estate in Lugbe area of Abuja.
Also, it would be noted that the US Embassy in Abuja had issued an alert for “an elevated risk of terror attacks” in the city, saying that possible targets include government buildings, places of worship and other public places.
The US State Department in its updated Nigeria travel advisory on Tuesday evening said, “On October 25, 2022, the Department authorised the departure of non-emergency US government employees and family members due to the heightened risk of terrorist attacks.’’
The British High Commission in Nigeria also took a similar step and restricted entry to its premises in an updated terrorism alert.
In another update on Wednesday, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office again restated its warning of an increased threat of terrorist attack in Abuja.
Despite the assurances of the Federal Government that the security agencies had a handle on the security situation, the British Government cautioned its nationals against travel to the FCT and 14 other states in the country.
The travel advice was made available to newsmen in Abuja, underscoring the gravity of the state of affairs.
The statement was titled, ‘FCDO updates travel advice to British nationals travelling to the Federal Capital Territory, including Abuja.’
It read, ‘’FCDO has updated its travel advice on 26 October to British nationals. The FCDO now advises against all but essential travel to the Federal Capital Territory, including the city of Abuja.
‘’The updated advice outlines that there is an increased threat of terrorist attack in Abuja. British nationals are advised to stay alert, avoid non-essential travel within the city and follow the local news and the advice of security authorities.
“The British High Commission remains open for essential services. The travel advice will constantly be reviewed to make sure it reflects the current situation in Abuja and Nigeria. FCDO travel advice exists to inform British nationals so they can make decisions about travelling abroad.