The Department of State Service, DSS, has in an intelligence report presented to the Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, stated that the killings in Benue state and other states allegedly perpetrated by some Fulani herdsmen is in fact an act by the Islamic State in West Africa network operating within some North Central and South-South sections of Nigeria.
According to reports from Punch, a government official told journalists on Sunday that the security organisations in the country including the DSS, told the President that the ISWA network is using foreign terrorists and recruiting young men to fight and kill innocent persons
The government official added that the act is “ostensibly to exacerbate tensions along the county’s ethnic, religious and regional fault lines.”
The source further added that this would be the first time security officials in the country would be confirming the role of the ISWA members in the crisis ongoing in some states in Nigeria.
The presidency source added: “A good number of the Islamic State terrorists have been arrested not only in the Benue valley but significantly in several towns in Edo State, specifically in Akoko-Edo, Okpella and Benin as well as in Okene, in Kogi State.
“It is understood that the cell which has members in different parts of the country concentrates on recruiting young men to fight for the Islamic State in West Africa by unleashing the cold-blooded murder of innocent citizens.
“There was intelligence report that they had planned several attacks here, before and during Christmas and the New Year. Their bombing targets included fuel depots, foreign missions and police and military establishments.
“Their network is very wide. But so much was achieved by the DSS which had made a significant number of arrests in the last two months that helped to preempt those attacks.”