The Department of State Services said it had uncovered a sinister plan by suspected terrorists to stage series of coordinated attacks using explosives in different cities across the country during the Eid-el-Fitr.
It said the aim of the suspected terrorists was to Hit Soft Targets such as markets, public parks, public processions, recreation centres, as well as worship areas during the Sallah celebration.
The agency said that the terrorists’ plan was to unleash mayhem on Kano, Sokoto, Kaduna and Maiduguri.
A director in the agency, Mr. Nnana Nnochiri, who briefed journalists in Abuja on Friday, however, said Nigerians should not worry about the planned attacks, saying they had been nipped in the bud.
Nnochiri said, “In the past few weeks, this service has uncovered a sinister plot by terrorist elements to stage series of coordinated attacks using explosives in different cities across the country.
“Their aim is to hit soft targets such as markets, public parks, public processions, recreation centres, as well as worship centres, especially the Eid praying grounds and other densely populated areas during the forthcoming Sallah celebrations.”
Consequently, Nnochiri said that the service had arrested two suspects in connection with the foiled planned attacks.
He mentioned the names of the suspects as Yusuf Adamu and Abdumuminu Haladu, who he said were arrested in the early hours of Friday in Sokoto.
He said that Adamu and his accomplice were to coordinate the operation in Kano.
However, he said the service had earlier arrested the suspected facilitator of the Kano attack, Bashir Mohammed.
Nnochiri, who described the suspect as an expert in explosives, said that he (Mohammed) was arrested at Unguwar Barnawa, Shekar Madaki, Kumbatso Local Government Area of Kano State on Tuesday.
“Their plan, together with others now at large, was to assemble the explosives and use them on select targets during the Eid-el-Fitr,” Nnochiri added.
He said when the service conducted a search at the residence of Mohammed in Kano, different arms and ammunition were found.
He listed the items as eight AK-47 rifles, 20 fully loaded AK-47 magazines, 27 hand grenades, 793 rounds of live ammunition, one gas cylinder and three laptops.
Others are one phone, one Lifan motorcycle, one Honda Civic Car and one printer.
Nnochiri said that the service had also uncovered plans by the terrorist elements to infiltrate the ranks of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, also known as the Shi’ites.
He said this was an attempt to assume a formidable cover to unleash violence and evoke a complete state of chaos in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, during the group’s Qudus Day Procession/Rally scheduled for Friday in Abuja and several states in the northern parts of the country.
He called on the members of the sect to desist from staging any form of procession or demonstration as “the terrorists will seize the opportunity to unleash mayhem.”
He also called on the members of the public to disregard the antics of “these terrorist extremists to cause a breakdown of law and order and instil fear in the populace.”
Nnochiri assured the public that the DSS was working in concert with other security agencies to ensure that no section of the country was attacked during and after the Sallah celebrations.
He called on law-abiding citizens and residents to go about their normal businesses without fear of attack, adding that the service would engage all stakeholders to ensure a hitch-free Eid-el-Fitr festival across the country.