The Department of State Services (DSS) said yesterday that it had foiled a plot by terrorists to kill and maim innocent Nigerians across the country during this year’s Eid-el-Fitr.
Official confirmation of the Eid day is still being awaited.
The terrorists, according to the DSS, planned to bomb Sallah prayer grounds and other soft targets, including markets, motor parks, public processions and recreation centres in major cities.
Three suspects have been arrested in connection with the alleged plot.
Found in their possession and seized by the agency are 27 hand grenades, eight AK-47 rifles, 20 fully loaded AK-A7 magazines,793 rounds of live ammunition, one gas cylinder, three laptops, manuals, a printer, one motorcycle and a GSM handset.
One of the suspects, Bashir Mohammed, was arrested at Unguwar Barnawa in Kumbatso Local Government Area, Kano State on Tuesday.
It was from him the agency recovered the hand grenades and exhibits, according to the acting spokesman for DSS, Nnana Nnochi.
The DSS described Basir, who is in his 20s, as an explosive expert and co-ordinator of the planned attacks.
His accomplices, according to the security agency, include Yusuf Adamu and Abdumuminu Haladu, both of who were picked up in Sokoto yesterday.
The agency said their arrests were a confirmation of the terrorists’ plans to cause mayhem in Kano, Sokoto, Kaduna and Maiduguri.
Nnochi said: “In the past few weeks, this service has uncovered a sinister plot by terrorist elements to stage series of coordinated attacks, using explosives on different cities across the country.
“Their aim was to hit soft targets such as markets, public parks, public processions, recreation centres as well as worship centres, especially the Eid praying grounds and other densely populated areas during the forthcoming Eid-el-Fitr celebration.
“The latest plan by the terrorists was to unleash mayhem on Kano, Sokoto, Kaduna and Maiduguri.
“Consequently, the Service wishes to announce that the planned terrorist attacks in Kano and aforementioned states have been nipped in the bud.
“This followed the arrest of Yusuf Adamu and Abdumuminu Haladu in the early hours of today (yesterday) in Sokoto.
“Adamu and his accomplice were to command the operation in Kano.
“However, the Service had earlier arrested the facilitator of the Kano attack, an explosive expert by name Bashir Mohammed, at Unguwar Barnawa, Shekar Madaki, Kumbatso LGA, Kano State on 20th June, 2017.
“Their plan, together with others now at large, was to assemble the explosives and use them on select targets during the Eid-el-Fitr celebrations.”
Nnochi asked Nigerians not to panic, saying that the agency was working in concert with other security agencies to ensure that no part of the country is attacked during and after the period.
He also urged members of the public to complement the efforts of DSS and other security agencies through prompt report of suspicious movements and faces as well as unusual activities of criminals and terrorists around their neighbourhoods .
He said: “The public is encouraged to disregard the antics of these terrorist extremists to cause a breakdown of law and order and instill fear in the populace. The Service is working.
“Law abiding citizens and residents are not only assured of their safety but enjoined to go about their normal businesses without fear of attack.”