One down: JTF nab another Boko Haram mastermind

by Stanley Azuakola

Amidst all the gloom in the country as a result of Boko Haram’s continued assault in the North, there are still signs that little progress is being made. On Thursday June 21, the Joint Task Force recorded a breakthrough in the fight against the sect, when it arrested Habeeb Bama, a man suspected to be one of the pillars of the sect.

Bama, who is an ex-soldier, is believed to be the mastermind behind the bombing of the Nigeria Police Headquarters in Abuja on June 16, 2011; United Nations Abuja headquarters on August 26, 2011; and St. Theresa’s Catholic Church, Madalla, Niger State on December 26, 2011.

It will be recalled that on January 14, security agents had arrested another suspected mastermind of the Madalla bombing, Kabiru Sokoto, at the Borno State Government Lodge, Abuja. Sokoto escaped however from police custody a few days later, but was re-arrested in February in Taraba State.

The JTF Commander, Col. Dahiru Abdullsalam, who broke the news of Bama’s arrest on Thursday, said the arrest followed a tip-off from some residents in Damaturu and Potiskum. Abdullsalam disclosed that Bama was arrested in his hideout in Yobe State after a gun battle between Boko Haram militants and security agents.

Bama was one of the Boko Haram men placed on a most wanted list by the state Security Service.

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