The Nigerian military has confirmed that more terrorists have been arrested while other Boko Haram members have also surrendered to the security agencies.
Prominent among those presently in custody is leader of al-Qaeda-linked Islamist group, Ansaru, Khalid al-Barnawi, who was captured on Friday in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital.
Ansaru is a splinter group of Boko Haram, known for kidnapping foreigners. Its ideology is aligned to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and notorious for killing a number of Westerners.
To underscore the value of al-Barnawi, the US had placed a $5m (£3.5m) bounty on his head after branding him one of three Nigerian “specially designated global terrorists” in 2012.
The Director of Defence Information, Rabe Abubakar, in a statement by PRNigeria, disclosed that: “With ongoing aggressive military operations in the North-East, some Boko Haram terrorists have surrendered to the Nigerian troops just as some top commanders were arrested while fleeing from the theatre of war”.
Mr. Rabe, a Brigadier General, attributed the laudable achievements of the Nigerian military in the ongoing war against insurgency to improved synergy and inter-agency collaborations, which he noted, have enhanced the various operations towards the massive arrest of members of the terrorists’ groups.
He continued: “We are conducting series of investigation including background checks on some of those arrested and those that surrendered to the security agencies for proper identifications…. So far most of the operations are going on smoothly.
“Our concern is for Nigerians to support the military and other security agencies with useful information especially now that most of the Boko Haram camps have been destroyed; while the stubborn members may be fleeing to new locations.
“We urge Nigerians to report any strange movement and people, including suspicious objects in their localities to ensure that suspects do not have new haven to hide where they may later disrupt such communities”.