- West Africa
- Conflicts - Terrorism
Nigeria: Independence-day attack was from outside
A small terrorist group based outside Nigeria, but under the auspices of some Nigerians have been identified as the perpetrators of the independence-day attacks in the capital city of Abuja. The terrorist group carried out the bombings under the name of the Niger Delta militia group known by the acronym MEND.
According to Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, investigations revealed that MEND members had no knowledge of the independence-day attacks.
Intelligence report as revealed by the president showed that the bombings had been carried out by a small group based outside Nigeria, sponsored by certain Nigerians.
The Nigerian police made one arrest and declared two other men — named as Chima Orlu and Ben Jessy — wanted in connection with the attacks.
"It is a small terrorist group that resides outside Nigeria that was paid by some people within to perpetrate the dastardly act. We are on their trail and I promise Nigerians that the matter will be investigated to the last. Until everybody is brought to book, we will not rest," Jonathan was quoted from an official statement, by AP.
After two car bombs exploded; killing at least 10 people and injuring 36 near a parade marking Nigeria’s 50th anniversary of independence, Nigeria’s main militant group, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) was immediately suspected.
However, reports claim that a foreign-based terrorist group had carried out the attacks under MEND’s identity.
President Jonathan’s special adviser on the Niger Delta, Timi Alaibe, told reporters that MEND’s leaders were cooperating with the government and knew nothing about the attacks.
MEND’s leaders believe that its former leader Henry Okah was using the group’s name.
Okah, who accepted a government amnesty last year after gun-running and treason charges against him were dropped — was arrested in South Africa on Saturday under counter-terrorism laws.