Security: US Congress Sets Up Panel on Boko Haram

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SSS Arrests 7 For Sending Threat SMS -To forestall potential attack, the Congress of the United States (US) has set up a panel to look at the likely threat which the dreaded Boko Haram sect poses to its security.

This is coming just as experts are lobbying the State Department to consider the possibility of imposing additional screening on Nigerians travelling to the US in view of the upsurge in violent activities of the sect in recent times.

An on-line diplomatic website, www.huffingtonpost.com, quoted diplomatic sources in Washington saying that the move is coming on the heels of series of attacks embarked upon by the sect in Nigeria which is giving state officials the thinking that Boko Haram is an “emerging threat to the U.S. homeland.”

The panel, an offshoot of the House Committee on Homeland Security’s subcommittee on counterterrorism and intelligence headed by Rep Patrick Meehan, began hearing yesterday to ascertain whether the sect has the capabilities to inflict the same level of damage as the al-Qaeda on American soil.

Meanwhile, the Department of State Security Service (SSS) has arrested seven members of four groups allegedly specialised in sending threat text messages to members of the public, including government officials, foreign embassies and other strategic corporations in the country.

Addressing journalists at the SSS headquarters in Abuja yesterday, the deputy director, Public Relations, Ms. Marilyn Ogar, said that some unscrupulous, unpatriotic and criminal elements have capitalised on issues of national interest to exploit, threaten and stir apprehension amongst members of the public.

According to Ogar, the suspects are Stanley Ochuwa; Emmanuel Chinonyerem; Onyedikachi Akpasue, Mathias Akuegbo, Alhaji Hassan, Maurice Efe Lawrence and Chinwendu Josiah.

When the suspects were paraded, members of the first group who took turns to speak to journalists confessed to the crime pointing out that they did not have specific location and address as they often spoke with people they did not know.


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