Nigeria Busts Iran Backed Terror Cell Planning To Attack Israelis
Nigeria’s secret police said Wednesday they broke up a terrorist group backed by “Iranian handlers” who wanted to assassinate a former military ruler and gather intelligence about locations frequented by Americans and Israelis.
The State Security Service, responsible for domestic spying in Africa’s most populous nation, offered no details about who actually controlled and bankrolled the group. However, it said it had arrested three suspected terrorists, including the group’s leader, before they could launch attacks.
The leader’s “lieutenants successfully conducted surveillance and gathering relevant data … (for) possible attacks,” secret police spokeswoman Marilyn Ogar said, reading from a statement. “He personally took photographs of the Israeli culture center in Ikoyi, Lagos, which he sent to his handlers.”
The service identified the leader as Abdullahi Mustaphah Berende, a 50-year-old leader of a local Shiite sect in Ilorin. Ogar said Berende was arrested along with two other suspected members, while another remains at large.