Culled from Punch
The Joint Task Force on Thursday said it had uncovered a Lebanon-based Hezbollah armoury and terror cell in Bompai, Kano State.
The force, which said it found large cache of arms and ammunition, also confirmed the arrest of three persons in connection with the armoury and the cell.
A Lebanese national currently out of the country reportedly owns the premises where the armoury and the cell were found at No 3, Gaya Road, Off Bompai Road in the ancient city.
A statement by the JTF spokesman, Captain Ikedichi Iweha, said the JTF operatives, comprising officials of the 3rd Army Brigade in Kano and the State Security Service conducted the operations.
The operatives, he said, uncovered an underground bunker in the premises where large quantities of assorted weapons were hidden.
Iweha, who said the construction of the bunker was special, listed anti-tank weapons, rocket propelled guns and anti-tank/personnel mines as some of the dangerous weapons found in the premises.
He added that the weapons and ammunition were concealed in coolers, drums and bags.
According to him, the latest recovery followed an ongoing robust counter-terrorism investigation by the SSS.
Confirming the existence of a Hezbollah cell in the country, Iweha noted that the SSS had arrested one Mustapha Fawaz, co-owner of Amigo Supermarket and the Wonderland Amusement Park, in Abuja.
The arrest of Fawaz, Iweha said, led to the arrest of another Lebanese terror suspect, Abdullah Tahini, at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport with over$60,000
He added, “Thereafter on May 26, 2013, one Talal Roda, also a Lebanese with a Nigerian Passport, was arrested in the same house.
“All those arrested have confessed to have undergone Hezbollah Terrorist Training and further implicated one Fauzi Fawad, also a co-owner of Amigo Supermarket and Wonderland Amusement Park.”
When one of our correspondents contacted the Director of Defence Information, Brig. Gen. Chris Olukolade, he described the discovery of the arms and the arrest of the Lebanese importers as “a major breakthrough.”
The action of the JTF operatives, he said demonstrated the commitment of security agencies to riding the country of illegal arms.
Meanwhile, the SSS said the weapons were intended for use against “Israeli and Western interests”.
“This is the handwork of Hezbollah,” Bassey Ettang, director of the SSS said in Kano.
“You can also be sure that if a group like this is existing, then it may even lend support to some of the local terrorists we have on the ground.”
Hezbollah is a Shia military and political movement based in Lebanon considered by the United States to be a terrorist organisation.
The sect was conceived by Muslim clerics and funded by Iran following the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, and was primarily formed to offer resistance to the Israeli occupation.
Its leaders were inspired by former Iranian leader, Ayatollah Khomeini, and its forces were trained and organised by a contingent of Iranian Revolutionary Guards.
Hezbollah’s 1985 manifesto listed its four main goals as “Israel’s final departure from Lebanon as a prelude to its final obliteration.”