Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, says a cell of a Boko Haram affiliate – Muslim Brotherhood in Kogi state – is acquiring bomb-making chemicals and high-calibre weapons to perpetrate “acts of terror”, including attacks on banks, arms depots and prisons in the country.
In a statement issued by Segun Adeyemi, media aide of the minister, in Abuja on Friday, Mohammed said intelligence monitoring showed that the cell was making frantic efforts to advance its IED-making capability through the acquisition of such chemicals as sodium azide (for producing improvised detonators), potassium chlorate (alternative to ammonium nitrate used for producing IEDs) and aluminium powder (a fuel source for amplifying explosions).
“One Usman, an IED apprentice, left the cell some time back to join Islamic State in Libya. The new desire to acquire IED precursor chemicals could suggest that Usman or other persons may have returned from Libya and have acquired IED-making skills intended to increase the activities of the group,” he said.
The minister said intelligence also revealed that the group was making serious efforts to acquire sophisticated arms, including shoulder-fired rocket launchers.
“Further intelligence monitoring has revealed that members of the Muslim Brotherhood are planning to forcefully free their members who are in detention in Kogi, Abuja and Kaduna, including one Bilyaminu, an IED expert for the group who is now at Kuje prison,” he said.
Mohammed appealed to Nigerians to be vigilant and to report any suspicious persons or movements to the appropriate authorities.