By The Telegraph
A British-born “ringleader” of the Islamist group responsible for the kidnapping of hundreds of school girls in Nigeria was radicalised while studying at a UK university, according to friends.
Aminu Sadiq Ogwuche, 29, was arrested on Wednesday in connection with two recent bombings carried out by Boko Haram in the Nigerian capital Abuja that killed nearly 100 people.
He is suspected of co-masterminding the attacks – one in the suburb of Nyanya that killed 75 people on April 14 and a second attack just yards away which killed 19 people earlier this month.
Interpol put out an international arrest warrant for Mr Ogwuche, who was discovered after a reward of £100,000 led to his discovery in Sudan.
Mr Ogwuche, the son of a retired Nigerian colonel, was said by fellow students at University of Glamorgan in Wales to call himself “The Lion of God” and threatened to cut the hands and feet of non-believers while living in Britain.
The Nigerian, who studied business science from 2007 until he dropped out in 2010, was a member of the university’s debating society and wrote on an online profile: “I used to be in the military back at home and my goal now is to be a successful businessman.”
While living in South Wales his posts on his social media page became more extreme.
In early 2010 he said on Facebook: “Those who strive in the path of Allah love death like the kuffar (non-believer) love life, hahaha. Let them know, we are always ready to meet our lord anytime he wills.”
Mustafa Ja told Wales Online he met Mr Ogwuche several times in the prayer room on campus.
“He didn’t seem to have any extremist views then – police officers would come and visit the prayer room regularly, so I don’t see how he could,” he said.
A spokesperson for the University of South Wales said: “Aminu Ogwuche was a student at the former University of Glamorgan between 2007 and 2010 but didn’t go on to complete his studies at the university.
“There were no reported indications of extremist behaviour during his time as a student.”
Nigeria’s state security officers are expected to question him over the bomb attacks, as well as Boko Haram’s abduction of more than 200 girls from a school in Chibok, north-east Nigeria a month ago.
More than 100 of the girls are still being held, with the group holding out for a hostage swap agreement, which the Nigeria government has rejected.
It is understood that Mr Ogwuche originally served in an intelligence unit of the Nigerian army before deserting in 2006. He visited Britain as recently as 2011, and was previously questioned on suspicion of terrorism links upon his return to Abuja in November that year. However, he was then released on bail to his father.
News of his arrest is the first indication of a direct link between Boko Haram and Britain, which has a large Nigerian diaspora community.