Nigeria’s war against terrorism took what seemed to be another turn on Thursday as authorities announced the arrest of three Lebanese citizens in the northern part of the country on suspicion of being members of the Hezbollah group. The incident is coming at a time the Nigerian army is battling Boko Haram insurgents in the Nort Eastern part of the country. A raid on one of the homes of the Lebanese nationals incidentally revealed a stash of heavy weapons.
Spokesman of the Joint Task Force in Kano, Captain Ikedichi Iweha disclosed that the suspects were arrested between May 16 and May 28 in Kano, the commercial centre of Northern Nigeria.
Iweha disclosed that on interrogation, they all admitted that they were members of the Hezbollah group, known for violence around the Middle East. Items recovered from the residence of one of the suspects included 11 60 mm anti-tank weapons, four anti-tank landmines, two rounds of ammunition for a 122 mm artillery gun, 21 rocket-propelled grenades, seventeen AK-47 rifles with more than 11,000 bullets and some dynamites.
“The arms and ammunition were targeted at facilities of Israel and Western interest in Nigeria,” Iweha disclosed.
Mustapha Fawaz was the first suspect to be arrested. He was picked up on May 16 at his supermarket in Kano. His interrogation led to other suspects, including Abdullah Tahini, who was later arrested at Kano airport with $60,000 in undeclared cash. The third suspect, Talal Roda, was arrested in his house on Sunday. The deadly weapons were discovered in the house two days after.
Giving details, Iweha said “the search team uncovered an underground bunker in the master bedroom where a large quantity of assorted weapons of different types and caliber were recovered, All those arrested have confessed to have undergone Hezbollah terrorist training.”
He also disclosed that possible links of the Lebanese nationals with the Boko Haram sect are being investigated.