US Intel on Al-Qaeda infiltrating northwest Nigeria not new says Nigerian Army

The defence headquarters says the US intelligence on the incursion of Al-Qaeda militants into the north-west is “as old as maybe five or ten years”.

At a briefing earlier in the week, Dagvin Anderson, commander of the US special operations command, Africa, drew the attention of the Nigerian government to the activities of the group.

But in a statement on Thursday, John Enenche, coordinator of defence media operations, said it is not the first time the US would raise such alarm, adding that the armed forces are conscious of it.

Enenche said the army’s intelligence agency has been providing information about the infiltration of insurgents.

He said it was the Nigerian military that raised the alarm on movement of “terrorists from the middle east to West Africa”.

“Our attention is being drawn to the fact that terrorists from other zones are coming here, I think it would be good for us to be keeping records of events as they unfold,” he said.

“For me, this is not the first time they are raising such an alarm, the alarm is as old as maybe five or ten years ago and the armed forces and the country is conscious of it.

“When the conflict in Libya was declared officially that it ended, which did not end what happened? It was we, our NIA, state service and all that raised the information that these people are moving.

“Have we not captured foreigners among the people that have been terrorizing us in this country? So it is just like a call to keep doing what you are doing, so the general public should know that the security agencies are on top of that one.

“Why do we have ISAWP here now, was ISWAP indigenous to Nigeria, No! So it’s just like telling you the obvious and I want to take like an advice to continue to ensure you have measures in place to continue checking them.”

Eneche added that the army recently captured some of the insurgents in Niger state “from our neighbouring country”, asking  “where are they coming from?”

He asked Nigerians not to get worried over the activities of the militant groups, saying strategies have been put in place to halt them.


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