Al-Qaeda infiltrates Nigeria thru North-West – U.S warns

The United States of America has raised the alarm that Al-Qaeda terrorist group has started penetrating the Nigeria through the North-Western region.

This was disclosed, yesterday, by the Commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command, Africa, Dagvin Anderson, during a press briefing, according the US Department of State

He said the dreaded terrorist group was also expanding to other parts of West Africa.

In the briefing obtained by an online media, Anderson assured that the US would continue to partner with Nigeria in sharing intelligence.

We have engaged with Nigeria and continue to engage with them in intel sharing and in understanding what these violent extremists are doing,” he said.

“And that has been absolutely critical to their engagements up in the Borno State and into an emerging area of northwest Nigeria that we’re seeing al-Qaida starting to make some inroads in.

He said intelligence sharing is vital and that the US will stay fully engaged with the Nigerian government to provide the country with the understanding of what these terrorists are doing.

However, Governor of Katsina State, Aminu Masari has assured that  government would not allow the insecurity in the North West and North Central escalate to the status of Boko Haram terrorism in the North East.

He gave the assurance when he spoke to State House Correspondents, after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday.

Bandits have struck severally in Katsina leaving 57 people killed in a string of attacks on villages in June.

Over 150 gunmen on motorcycles opened fire on residents before looting shops and stealing cattle in a series of assaults in six remote communities in Katsina state, it was reported.

Bandits had laid ambush in July in the state killing at least 16 soldiers and officers and 28 others wounded.

The governor had earlier in the week lamented the insufficiency of police officers and security operatives to challenge the attacks by bandits in the State.

In the State House, Abuja Masari disclosed that serious efforts were on to ensure that banditry, kidnapping and all sorts of other criminal activities currently giving the North West and the North Central sleepless nights were brought to an end.

The governors expressed confidence that though some communities in nine council areas of Katsina State had been affected negatively by the activities of bandits and other criminals, agricultural yields would still come out well.

While assuring citizens that government is determined to contain the situation, Masasri said: “Currently the military are in Katsina for their annual super camp so over 2000 of them are gathered in Katsina in order to really send a signal to the bandits that the military is ready and willing and they have the capacity to deal with the situation.

“The hope is that the military including the police and other security agencies have been given a marching order by the President to control the situation by all means and it is a task that must be done because we cannot allow the situation in the North-West to develop to a worrisome stage like it is in the North-East.”

The governor said people living in the rural communities will testify that actions are on-going and the displaced persons are being well taken care of.

Masari stressed that although the rainy season has set in and could pose a challenge to the fight against bandits, government was determined to conquer them.

He said state governments in the affected areas were waiting for the military to take total control of the forests and other affected areas before they could roll out their good plans for the people affected by banditry.

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