NORTHERN NIGERIA INTERNAL SECURITY SITREP- Week Ending 19 July 2014

Situation Friendly Forces

14 July

The Nigeria Army opened a 4 day conference to review their performance during the current counter insurgency operations at the Army HQ Command Officers Mess ASOKORO, ABUJA

15 July

One of the two main suspects in the NYANYA bombing Aminu Sadiq OGWUCHE was extradited from SUDAN by escorted by Interpol on an NAF aircraft.

The NPF state they have detained an alleged senior Boko Haram member Mohammed ZAKARI along the DARAZO-BASRIKA Road, while fleeing from security forces in BALMO Forest, BAUCHI State. Described as a 30 year old male from KAIGAMARI Village, DAPTCHARI, DARAZO LGA.

President Goodluck JONATHAN requested that the National Assembly approve a N165bn loan to purchase military equipment.

Situation Enemy Forces

13 July

Boko Haram released a video in which the person currently referred to as Abubaker SHEKAU claimed responsibility for the 25 June IED attacks in ABUJA, he also claimed the explosion at a fuel depot in APAPA, LAGOS, LAGOS State was a deliberate VBIED attack. The video that shows SHEKAU in front of 4 vehicles with several other gunmen, he also mocked the #BringBackOurGirls effort as well as adding Adams OSHIOMOLE to his list off harangues ,misidentifying him as the LAGOS state Governor and expressing support for ISIS in the 16 minute video.

Gunmen attacked MADAFUMA Village, BIU LGA, BORNO State with small arms and IEDs around 2.00am injuring 1 person, destroying property and blowing up the MADAFUMA Bridge on the MAIDUGURI-BIU-GOMBE Road causing severe damage in parts. The bridge linked BORNO State with GOMBE and YOBE States

14 July

Gunmen mounted on pickup trucks and motorcycles attacked DILLE Village, ASKIRA UBA LGA, BORNO State around 6.00am with IEDs, RPGs and small arms killing 57 people and wounding 38. The attackers burnt 3 churches and other buildings, stole foodstuffs, 2 young girls were also reported missing. Security forces counter attacked with 2 aircraft around 8.00am killing an unknown number of attackers

Nomadic gunmen attacked GIDANDAWA District, MARADUM LGA, ZAMFARA State around 5.00am killing 50 approximately people

Gunmen attacked ZAMA DEDE Village, PIL GANI District, LANGTANG NORTH LGA, PLATEAU State killing 7 people and GANLANG Village killing 3 people respectively

15 July

Gunmen attacked HUYIM Village, ASKIRA UBA LGA, BORNO State around 5.00am with small arms killing 9 people

Gunmen attacked RAKUN Village, BARKIN LADI LGA, PLATEAU State killing 3 people. 2 of the attackers were killed

Gunmen attacked of SABONGARI Village, DAMBOA LGA with small arms and IEDs around 2.00am killing 20 people

16 July

Gunmen attacked around 6.00pm while villagers were burying their dead and clearing up from the previous days attack in SABONGARI Village, DAMBOA LGA killing 7 people.

19 July

Gunmen mounted on motorcycles and pickups attacked SAHA and BULABULI-PEGI BARAWA, GWOZA LGA,BORNO State around dawn with small arms and IEDs killing 6 people in SAHA and burning property

Approximately 10 gunmen mounted on motorcycles abducted a German teacher at a Government Technical College, Mr FISCH around 7.00am as he left his home in ANGUWAN FARANSA District, GOMBI, ADAMAWA State. The victim was described by locals as a teacher and philanthropist.

15 July: Berom youths allegedly killed a Fulani man and stole his at RAKUM, BARKIN LADI, LGA, PLATEAU state. Fulani leaders allege soldiers from the Special Task Force (STF) also attacked and burnt 16 houses in TAFAWA, an allegation the STF denies.

17 July

Gunmen attacked the residence of former FCT Minister Gen Jeremiah USENI in LANGTANG NORTH LGA

Gunmen mounted in two Toyota Hilux pickup trucks abducted 2 businessmen from the market square in GAMBORU around 7.30pm.

Gunmen attacked DAMBOA Town, DAMBOA LGA, BORNO State, around 6.30pm with small arms, RPGs and IEDs killing over 46 people, blowing up homes and burning parts of the town including markets in an 11 hour attack resistance by vigilantes was futile.

18 July

Gunmen attacked FADAN KARSHI, SANGA LGA, KADUNA State around 5.00am with small arms killing 5 people

Gunmen again attacked DAMBOA Town, DAMBOA LGA, BORNO State, around 4.00pm with small arms, RPGs and IEDs allegedly looting food stores and raising their flags over the town. Casualties are reportedly in the 100s. The security forces are using air strikes against the insurgents.

19 July

Villagers from DILLE, HIYUM, LASSA, MURTAVU, RIMIRGO and 4 others in ASKIRA UBA LGA, are evacuating due to a letter reportedly sent by Boko Haram threatening to attack them

Herdsmen attacked UBAFU, UMUFU and ATAMAKA Villages, EHAJE Ward, OGBADIBO LGA, BENUE State following a dispute with locals over grazing and water rights. Several houses destroyed, clothes and electronics stolen and an unspecified number of people injured

Situation External Forces:

15 July

Approximately 10 suspected Boko Haram gunmen attacked the home of Bieshair MOHAMAN the traditional ruler of LIMANI and kidnapped his 2 teenage children from LIMANI, EXTREME NORD REGION, CAMEROUN.

Insurgent Incidents  IED Vehicle IED Suicide IED Small Arms Small arms+IED Other weapons Theft Kidnapping Foreign attacks
0 0 0 6 7 2 0 3 1

 

Analysis:                                   

Shekau’s Southern Strategy: In the latest video Shekau (in his current incarnation) claims to have ordered an attack in Lagos.

The official account of the Apapa incident is that there was a gas cylinder explosion (or ‘tanker spark’) at the Folawiyo Depot, Creek Road, Apapa, around 9.00pm that caused an explosion and subsequent fire, causing 4 deaths and at least 2 injuries.

Several other sources have used eyewitness accounts and analysis off photographic evidence to allege the incident bears the hallmarks of a VBIED attack. Pictures of the damaged vehicle show significant damage to the rear of the vehicle, areas where Boko Haram typically loads explosives. An explosion external too the vehicle would have blown the vehicle in, not out.

Eyewitness accounts indicate that there were two explosions, the first around the gates of the Folawiyo Depot and the second from a vehicle parked next to a tanker. It is unclear whether the first explosion was caused by a device contained on a person or left in situ.

The incident bears many hallmarks of an attack:

Decoys/ Secondaries: the use of an initial device to cause casualties and draw attention followed by a second more powerful explosion situated nearby where rescuers or emergency services would congregate has been a hallmark of this current IED campaign.

Methods of detonation: the mix of timed and command detonated devices are another Boko Haram characteristic.

Device characteristics: packing the devices in the vehicle boot and back seat fits with Boko Haram methodology

Target selection: in previous video messages Shekau has clearly threatened to attack not just Lagos and other southern cities but oil facilities. A fuel depot in Apapa ticks all those boxes and would have the desired strategic effect that slaughtering hundreds in Borno can never hope to achieve

However conversely there are many aspects of this that do not correspond to Boko Haram attacks

Professionalism: the timing (and World Cup) meant that the facility was not as busy and thus direct casualties from the blast were less, it is unclear whether at normal times there would have been greater density but a skilled team could have attacked such a poorly defended target at their discretion.

Target selection: Boko Haram generally picks crowded public spaces for their attacks, relying upon social media and word of mouth to assist in spreading the terror, an isolated industrial estate in the middle of the evening would not make a spectacular target.

Video evidence: an attack in Lagos against the oil industry is not just a game changer but propaganda of the deed of the highest degree yet there appears to have been no effort to either record the attackers or the attack itself for propaganda. The announcement rather than following almost immediately as it did with the Nyanya bombings comes several weeks after the fact. Is this a function of disruption of their normal networks or evidence of an opportunistic attempt to claim credit for something they are not involved in?

If one considers that on the balance of probability that this was a planned terrorist attack, then it begs several interesting questions. Is there an IED cell in Lagos or was a cell or the device moved to Lagos specifically for the attack. Who were the attackers, were they locals duped or coerced or a specialist team?

If this was an attack then it would indicate a strategic step change for Boko Haram. The effect of an attack on Lagos economically and politically would be severe.

If they tried it once they will try again.

Damboa: Boko Haram despite just about every sane military analysis appears to have pushed the security forces out of Damboa and cut the town off. By destroying the bridge at Madufuma, they have isolated the town from the south, and prevented reinforcements from reaching by road in all directions. It is fairly incomprehensible that a conventional military force with armour, airpower and artillery is stymied by an insurgent force that is actually kind enough to stand and fight but that appears to be the situation in Damboa

They have also using a mixture of threats and force pushed civilians to of huge swathes of Damboa, Gwoza and Askira Uba LGAs.

Taken in conjunction with the latest video in which Shekau praises ISIS leader el Baghdadi, Al Qaeda’s el Zawahiri and others, it can be reasoned that having enjoyed the brief moment of notoriety that #BringBackOurGirls elicited, Boko Haram is going for the next big thing in jihadi circles; taking and holding territory.

One cannot see in the long term that this will be a winning strategy but it is possible that Boko Haram calculates that they can not only defeat Nigerian forces in and around Eastern and Southern Borno but defend the area long enough to possibly declare and Emirate and attempt to gain the publicity and notoriety this will afford

Possibly they believe this will bring about a direct US or western intervention or a total collapse of the Nigerian security forces, which is unlikely but as Shekau’s inability to distinguish between the Edo and Lagos State governors demonstrates he obviously is not necessarily conversant with the realities in Nigeria or the rest of the world.

One would hope this is Boko Harams intent as it presents an excellent opportunity to destroy a large amount of enemy men and material

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About peccavi

A Nigerian with interests in defence, security, geopolitics, the military particularly small unit tactics, COIN, stabilisation and asymmetric warfare
This entry was posted in Counter insurgency, Defence, Nigeria Defence, Nigeria Strategy, Stabilisation, Terrorism and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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