The terrorist sect, Boko Haram, is believed to have dispatched no fewer than 80 of its members to join forces with the ISIS extremists fighting in Libya, an agency report said yesterday.
Boko Haram insurgents are also suspected to be fighting in Niger Republic in what is being interpreted as the strengthening of its ties with the Islamic State Group.
The sect pledged allegiance to IS’s in March. In June Boko Haram was declared its West African province.
About two weeks ago, two young Nigerians from Kano were arrested in India as they made to cross into Pakistan at the border of both countries.
Their destination was Iraq where ISIS is waging a war against the authorities.
Similarly, the Lebanese authorities on August 15 arrested hard-line IS’s cleric Ahmad al-Assir at Beirut airport while attempting to fly to Nigeria on a forged Palestinian passport with a Nigerian visa.
The development has sparked a security alert in the country with President Muhammadu Buhari ordering an investigation into how the Nigerian Embassy issued al-Assir the visa.
The Sentinel magazine of the Washington-based Jamestown Foundation in an article estimated that between 80 and 200 Boko Haram fighters are currently in the Libyan city of Sirte.
It also said that Algerian security forces believe that Boko Haram fighters have joined other militants in northern Niger.
“The openness of migration routes from Nigeria through eastern Niger to Libya makes travel … fairly straightforward, and the Islamic State can easily afford to pay smugglers to carry militants (and weapons) along that route,” it said.
The Nigeria Immigration Service claimed to have barred 23,472 people from leaving the country between January 2014 and March 2015.
“There have been reports in recent times of some Nigerians departing to join terrorist groups especially in the Middle East and North Africa,” said PR Nigeria, which publishes government news.
Source: The Nation