Terror Alart! US warns Lagosians
The United States has warned of likely terror attacks in Lagos during the Eid-el-Fitr holidays. The warning, posted on the US embassy’s website yesterday, said the attacks would be against expatriates and foreign visitors in Lagos.
The statement added that groups associated with terrorism might be planning attacks against hotels in Lagos frequented by international visitors, including those located on waterfronts, during the Eid-el-Fitr holidays.
“The U.S. Mission in Nigeria advises that groups associated with terrorist activity might be planning attacks against hotels in Lagos frequented by international visitors, including those located on waterfronts, during the Eid-el-Fitr holidays. “The U.S. Mission in Nigeria reminds you to review your personal security plans, remain aware of your surroundings, including local events, and monitor local news stations for updates. Be vigilant and take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security,” the statement stated
. The warning is coming just as Muslim faithful ended their fasting and prayer in the country.
The warning didn’t mention any particular group, but urged American citizens to review their personal security plans, be conscious of their surroundings, including local events, and to monitor local news stations for updates.
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Dolapo Badmos, said it was not out of place for US Embassy to place alert for its citizens.
She said: “But the Lagos State Command has put up operational strategies to combat any form of crimes and criminalities in Lagos State. We have been on that. So, if they come out now to say that, we are saying it is not out of place for them to say it. But we are on ground to ensure that all citizens and residents in Lagos State are safe.
There are strategies already in place to safeguard citizens. “We have beefed up security in Lagos State, not because of only bomb or threat, but it is our duty to beef-up security. We are doing that. Lagosians should go about their lawful duties. There is no cause for alarm.”
Also, security has been beefed up around a critical infrastructure in Abuja, to forestall a planned attack by suspected terrorists. New Telegraph gathered from highly placed security sources, that there had been ’round-the-clock surveillance’ around the massive infrastructure, which cost millions to construct. It was gathered that for over three weeks now, the national edifice has been under discrete security cover. Investigations revealed that a relevant para-military agency responsible for fire control was also deployed around the area.
The heightened security in the area is being carefully coordinated to avoid panic and apprehension. “I can tell you that we got actionable intelligence of plans by suspected terrorists, to bomb a national centre in the nation’s capital city, Abuja. “But, as a result of increased intelligence and synergy, we mobilised our operatives to the area, and we have
been around for a while now.
“To tell you how broadened our scope has gone, we alerted a certain paramilitary agency, which presence since then, we appreciate,” the dependable source said. Meanwhile, the Lagos State government has ordered a beefed up of security in the state.
The order is fallout of intelligence gathering that some groups are planning to bomb major hotels, Mile 12 Market, Third Mainland Bridge and the Computer Village. Not leaving anything to chances, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, according to a security source, had a brainstorming session with the police, Army and Department of State Services (DSS) on measures to put on ground. “We have also beefed up security around the Third Mainland Bridge.
The Niger Delta Avengers are threatening to blow up the bridge,” a senior police of ficer said. On Saturday, DSS operatives and other law enforcement agents swooped on Computer Village, after news filtered out that members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) might attack the market. It was gathered that some arrests were later made. Another law enforcement agent said: “Yes, there is security beefed up in Lagos.
The first security beefed up was in Computer Village. Although some people are insisting that IPOB will never attack Computer Village, authorities said security should be beefed up there. There is also an order that security should be beefed up in major hotels. Army and police have taken over most of the major hotels like Oriental Hotel, Sheraton Hotel and others.” It was also gathered that Governor Ambode ordered a raid on all criminal hideouts.
The source said: “The governor said that street trading should be stopped. He said some of the traders were criminals, pretending to be hawkers. Each area commander had been instructed to raid criminal hideouts in his jurisdiction.” Last Friday, hideouts in Elemoro and Ajah areas of Lagos were raided. An uncompleted building at Elemoro was raided and a locally made gun, cartridges and several handsets were recovered. “The directive is from the governor because of threat of bomb.
The intelligence gathering says that some major areas would be bombed in Lagos. Places like Computer Village. The intelligence gathering didn’t say IPOB was targeting Computer Village. What we got was report of major hotels, Computer Village and Mile 12 Market,” a senior security agent said.
The security beef-up has extended to coastal areas where militants, otherwise known as pipeline vandals, have taken over. Soldiers, mobile policemen and DSS operatives have been deployed in some areas within Lagos and Ogun states, perceived to be crowded with criminals.