The Nigeria Immigration Service has a syndicate as the mastermind of the recruitment of young Nigerians for the terrorist group, Islamic State of Syria and Iraq.
The service stated that the syndicate processed travelling documents and visas for those it had recruited for ISIS, noting that Nigeria is a catchment area for the militant Islamic group on account of the high number of jobless youths in the country.
It stated that it was working with other security agencies to apprehend members of the syndicate.
Two Nigerian youths suspected to be on their way to Iraq to join the IS were arrested by the Indian security service a few days ago after scaling a barbed wire fence near the international border.
The two youths from Kano, identified as Imran Kabeer and Sani Jamiliu were being detained by the Punjab Police in India.
Reacting to the arrest of the duo on Saturday, the NIS Public Relations Officer, Emeka Obua, said the service had started intense profiling of travellers as part of measures to deter radicalised citizens planning to join terrorist groups abroad.
According to him, despite the measures by the NIS, some Nigerians still managed to escape the dragnet of the agency, adding that the recruits were often attracted by the mouth-watering financial rewards offered by the IS.
Obua noted that porous borders and inadequate immigration personnel, which he put at 23,000 had not helped matters.
He said, “Nigeria is a catchment area for recruiters because of the high number of jobless people in the country. The terrorist group has a syndicate that arrange travel documents, visas, ticket and money for their recruits. To counter this, the NIS now engages in intense profiling of travellers. We have always had problems of Nigerians going abroad for greener pasture. We look at the age of the intending traveller and the person he is travelling with, put them by the side and profile them thoroughly. What are their intentions for going abroad? Where are they going?”
When contacted, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman, Ogbole Ahmedu-Ode said he has yet to get official communication on the arrest of the two Nigerians from the Nigerian embassy in Delhi.