The man who allegedly perpetrated the bombing of the United Nations (UN) building, Abuja in August 2011 has been arrested by the Department of State Services (DSS).
According to the DSS, Mohammed Usman, popularly called Khalid Al-Barnawi, who also operates under various aliases, was arrested on April 1 in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital.
Mohammed Usman, who is the suspected leader of ANSARU, a breakaway faction of Boko Haram, was also responsible for the kidnapping of two European civil engineers in Kebbi State in May 2011, and their subsequent murder in Sokoto State. He also carried out the attack on troops in Okene, Kogi State, while in transit to Abuja.
According to a statement released yesterday in Abuja by the DSS, 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 break-away faction, Jama’at Ansarul Muslimim Fi Biladi Sudan (JAMBS).
Part of the statement read:
“He is a trained terrorist commander, who has been coordinating terrorist activities in Nigeria, while talent-spotting and recruiting vulnerable young and able Nigerians for terrorist training by Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) in North African States and the Middle-East.
“He 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 26th 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 DSS said the arrest was a major milestone in the counter-terrorism fight, adding that the suspect would soon be charged to court after investigations.
“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,” the statement added.