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Thursday, June 1, 2023

ISWAP prepares to use drones for attacks, says security institute

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The Institute For Security Studies (ISS) has disclosed that the Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) is planning to use drones for terror attacks in the Lake Chad Basin. The terrorists are reportedly planning to deploy unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) loaded with improvised explosive devices (IEDs) to strike targeted locations in Nigeria and neighbouring countries. The ISS report says that the Nigerian military’s successful campaign against Boko Haram factions, Jama’atu Ahlis-Sunna Lidda’Awati Wal-Jihad (JAS) and ISWAP, has forced the terrorists to re-strategize.

The research findings indicate that ISWAP’s media team, led by Abba Yusuf, son of the late Boko Haram founder, Mohammed Yusuf, is using sophisticated communication technology, including drones, social media, high-speed printers, laptops, cameras, Wi-Fi, clip-on microphones, walkie-talkies, and data compression and archiving software. Former fighters who volunteered information recalled how staff were recruited from within the sect and taught how to position themselves and take photos and videos during attacks.

ISS researchers, who analysed propaganda materials and interviewed former combatants and associates, advised security agencies to sustain surveillance on supply routes through checkpoint searches, which have proved successful in curbing drone attacks. The security policy think-tank also recommended that security forces collaborate in the four affected Lake Chad Basin countries. It further advised that the authorities liaise with community leaders and relevant groups to identify and disrupt networks assisting terrorists.

The research called for increased government investment in technology and partnership with tech companies to tackle the insurgents likely to engage in cybercrime. The ISS also emphasised the importance of curtailing access to technology to prevent terrorists from using it to plan and execute attacks, spread propaganda and recruit.

In a related development, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) warned Non-Profit Organizations (NPOs) against terrorism financing and money laundering. EFCC Maiduguri zonal commander, Oshodi Johnson, advised NPOs to remain committed to humanitarian work and shun acts that violate Nigerian laws

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