Nigerian security agencies put on red alert as ISWAP plans more suicide bombings

Nigerian security agencies put on red alert as ISWAP plans more suicide bombings
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Indications have emerged that Nigeria’s security and intelligence agencies are preparing for possible suicide bombings from the Islamic State of West African Province (ISWAP).

This development comes about 12 days after suicide bombings were recorded in Gwoza, Borno State.

On June 29, suicide attacks coordinated by a Boko Haram faction resulted in the deaths of at least 20 people. Boko Haram is a rival group from which ISWAP broke away.

Although the public has not been officially alerted to the ISWAP threat, Premium Times has confirmed that the government has instructed all security agencies to prepare against it.

The security agencies believe ISWAP is planning to attack prisons and oil and gas facilities.

An intelligence memo dated July 10, alerted personnel of a security agency about possible attacks by ISWAP and called for increased vigilance.

The memo indicates that ISWAP is targeting prisons, including Kuje Correctional Centre in Abuja, Kaduna Central Prison, Port Harcourt Maximum Prison, and Kirikiri Correctional Center in Lagos. The Ajaokuta–Kaduna–Kano (AKK) pipeline is also mentioned as a potential target.

Security agencies have been asked to extend their vigilance beyond the potential targets identified in the memo.

On June 29, female suicide bombers detonated improvised explosive devices (IEDs) at various locations in Mararaban Gwoza and Pulka.

The use of female suicide bombers, a tactic previously used by Boko Haram, was last employed about three years ago before the recent Gwoza incidents.

ISWAP has recently intensified its offensive against Nigerian troops fighting insurgency in Northern Nigeria.

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In recent times, ISWAP has claimed responsibility for major attacks on national infrastructures and facilities. In 2022, the group claimed responsibility for the attack on Kuje prison, where inmates were freed in Abuja.

The terrorists claimed responsibility in a video released following the attack, showing their members entering the prison and shooting indiscriminately before gaining access. The Nigerian Correctional Service reported that four inmates died and 879 escaped during the attack, with the majority still at large.

On March 28, 2022, terrorists suspected to be ISWAP/Boko Haram attacked the Abuja-Kaduna bound train and abducted some passengers.

The terrorists had planted explosive devices along the rail track, causing the train to derail and resulting in the deaths of eight passengers.

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