No fewler than 40 foreigners were said to have been arrested when the Nigerian Army over ran Boko Haram fortress, Sambisa Forest.
Though the identities of the foreigners are yet to be disclosed, they are said to be undergoing profiling at the moment to determine whether or not they were fighting on the side of Boko Haram insurgents.
A military source said the identities of the foreigners and their missions in Sambisa Forest will not be revealed untill after a thorough screening has been completed but it is believed that the foreigners were providing “back-up” for Boko Haram.
”In the last one week since we launched massive operations in Sambisa Forest, we have arrested over 40 foreigners.
“We will come up with the details later after the profiling of these suspects. They are all being debriefed. But we discovered that there were so many foreigners in the midst of Boko Haram.
“We have also rescued a lot of people who are being screened too.”
Speaking further, a source said that recovering the forest from Boko Haram was no easy feat.
“As for the operations in Sambisa Forest, our gallant troops have successfully taken over Camp Zero and Camp S (Shape) which are the headquarters of Boko Haram.
“The success of the operations is significant because there is no habitation beyond these areas in Sambisa Forest. The area is about 66,000 sq kilometres and there are so many parts uninhabited.
“Many insurgents, including their leaders, were killed and many were captured. Many insurgents are now fleeing. The situation now is that Boko Haram insurgents have been dispersed and dislocated.”
On the fate of the remaining Chibok girls, the source said: “The fleeing Boko Haram insurgents must have relocated them from Sambisa Forest but we are already hunting for them.”
But a Department of State Security (DSS) source said the invasion of Sambisa Forest had entered the second phase, which is the pursuit of the fleeing insurgents.
The source said the operations in Sambisa were both intelligence-driven and military onslaughts has resulted to the elimination of the insurgents from the forest.
“We have finished almost 90 per cent of the job with Boko Haram. We are now in the second phase which is the most difficult. We are pursuing the fleeing Boko Haram insurgents.
“The good thing is that we prepared for this fallout (the fleeing of the insurgents) long before the takeover of Sambisa Forest. We are trained professionals to curtail the effects of Boko Haram insurgency, especially the fallout of routing them out.
“We are apprehending the fleeing insurgents. Even yesterday, we took some of them in,” the security chief stated.
Meanwhile, DSS has arrested the third most wanted terrorism suspect in the world. The suspect was not named because he is still “undergoing profiling”, the source added.
The source stared further that the terrorist suspect has been accused of killing expatriates in the country between 2012 and 2013 across the world.
Security agencies from various parts of the world have been trooping into Nigeria to interact with the suspect, it was gathered.
“He is still in our custody. This suspect was responsible for the killing of some expatriates in the country between 2012 and 2013.”
The source also confirmed how DSS intercepted a plot to carry out a deadly terrorist attack on the United States through its active intelligence alert.
“About six months ago, we burst a terrorist attack that was to happen in the United States. This earned the service a letter of commendation.
“In fact, President Barack Obama placed a call to President Muhammadu Buhari to acknowledge what we did.
“We did not make it a media issue because before you know it, there will be editorials asking us whether we had addressed security challenges in Nigeria before helping the US.
“But the speed with which things are changing and expanding around us, I can tell you that security challenge is becoming more globalised.
“We have been taken into confidence as a nation better than what it was before.”
The arrest is seen as a significant break through in anti terrorism war.