By Sadiq Umar – The Department of State Services (DSS) has disclosed that, Khalid Al-Barnawi, a founding member and prime Boko Haram commander arrested last week, was responsible for talent-spotting and recruitment of vulnerable young Nigerians for terrorism training by Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb in North African states and Middle East.
A statement by DSS’ Tony Opuiyo, released on Saturday, also named Al-Barnawi as responsible for the 2011 bombing of the United Nations (UN) building in Abuja.
“This service wishes to inform the general public that further to its efforts to stem the tide of terrorism in the country, it has recorded another major breakthrough in the arrest of one Mohammed Usman, widely known as Khalid Al-Barnawi, Alias Kafuri/ Naziru/ Alhaji Yahaya/Mallam Dauda/Alhaji Tanimu,” the statement read.
“Khalid Al-Barnawi was apprehended by this Service on 1st April, 2016, in Lokoja, Kogi State, while hiding under a false cover. Al-Barnawi was a founding member of the Jama’at Ahl as-Sunnah lid Da’wah Wa’l-Jihad (Boko Haram) and later the Amir of the breakaway faction, Jama’at Ansarul Muslimim Fi Biladi Sudan (JAMBS),”it added.
According to DSS, “Subject was involved in many terrorist attacks in states of the federation, including Bauchi, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Sokoto and FCT-Abuja. This resulted in the killing and maiming of innocent citizens of this country.”
“Al-Barnawi is also responsible for the bombing of the United Nations building in Abuja, on 26 August, 2011; the kidnapping of two European civil engineers in Kebbi state in May 2011, and their subsequent murder in Sokoto state; the kidnap of a German engineer, Edgar Raupach, in January 2012, the kidnap and murder of seven expatriate staff of Setraco Construction Company at Jama’are, in Bauchi State in February 2013, the attack of Nigerian troops at Okene in Kogi state, while on transit to Abuja for an official assignment.”
The statement said Al-Barwani would soon be charged to court to face his charges, once investigations have been concluded.
“This arrest is a major milestone in the counter-terrorism fight of this service,” it further stated. Adding that, “This arrest has strengthened the Service’s resolve that no matter how long and far perpetrators of crime and their sponsors may run, this Service in collaboration with other sister security agencies, will bring them to justice.”