Hezbollah cell ‘connected with Boko Haram’ arrested in Nigeria

Weapons cache discovered in KanoBy JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
Nigerian authorities have announced the arrest of three alleged members of Lebanese group Hezbollah, following the discovery of a large weapons and explosives cache in northern Nigeria. Representatives of the West African country’s military and the State Security Service said on Thursday that three Lebanese nationals had been arrested between May 16 and 28. They were identified as Mustapha Fawaz, Abdullah Tahini and Talal Roda, with the latter being a dual Nigerian-Lebanese citizen. They are accused of being members of Hezbollah, the militant Shiite group that controls large swathes of Lebanese territory. All were reportedly arrested in Kano city, northern Nigeria’s most notable commercial center, which is home to a substantial Lebanese community of merchants. Nigerian security forces raided a warehouse adjacent to a residence belonging to a Lebanese national, where they discovered a hidden underground bunker below the master bedroom. In there they found and confiscated large quantities of assorted weapons, including a dozen anti-tank rockets, a rocket-propelled grenade launcher with 21 missiles, 19 AK-47 and submachine guns, as well as 76 grenades. Nigerian government representatives told local journalists on Thursday that the cache was “a Hezbollah armory” belonging to “a cell of Hezbollah”. A few hours later, officials of Israel’s Counter Terrorism Bureau (CTB) said Tel Aviv was aware of the Nigerian government’s operation. According to the CTB, which operates under the country’s National Security Council, and is supervised by the Office of the Prime Minister, the alleged Hezbollah cell had been operating in Nigeria for several years and planned “numerous attacks against Western and specifically Israeli targets”. A CTB spokesperson told reporters that the cell was “part of the Shiite terror campaign against Israeli targets throughout the world” and had members “in other African nations as well”. Nigerian media said on Friday that all three arrestees had admitted under interrogation to being members of Hezbollah. Some observers, however, told the BBC on Friday that caution should be exercised before any operational connections were drawn between Boko Haram, a Salafist Sunni Muslim group operating in northern Nigeria, and Hezbollah, which is almost exclusively Shiite. A high degree of cooperation between a Sunni and a Shiite militant group would be highly unusual, and there is little evidence of such collaboration in recent times anywhere in the world, including Nigeria. The latter is home to just a few thousand Shiite Muslims.

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7 Responses to Hezbollah cell ‘connected with Boko Haram’ arrested in Nigeria

  1. Kidd says:

    someone from boko probably turned them in because the cache looks to be dated, been buried for years and mostly duds. even hezbo wouldn’t use them and tried to make a buck off some desperate group.

  2. The timing is suspect. Both Israel and the USA would have a vested interest in a ‘public relations’ operation at this particular time, demonizing Hezbollah. Insofar as Sunni and Shia cooperation, you likely won’t see that outside of the secular dictatorships in the best of times and these are certainly not the best of times with widening sectarian warfare from Pakistan to Syria and a recent history of sectarian warfare in Lebanon, barely swept under the rug. I expect the caveat expressed at the close of your article is sound advice…

  3. Pete says:

    Dear Ronald

    I am under suspicion that you no likee spies and their boss-bwanas.

    For they are apparatchiks of Big Brother

    Just like any other.

    Am I right?

    Pete

  4. Tunde says:

    More questions than answers. As has been rightly pointed out, the arms cache seems rusted beyond use. When was the cell operational ? How many members were there because such a large cache would eventually, on discovery, prompt a detailed investigation. Nigeria is awash with small arms (Libya, corrupt officials in LE and military whom traffic in arms etc). It makes no operational sense to cache such a large amount. Reports claim a naturalized Lebanese man is the main source for the cache. To me, this looks like a little side business of arms trafficking. They just happen to be Lebanese.

  5. @Pete. I never used ‘child slang’ when raising my kids, it just doesn’t seem like it is conducive to human dignity. BUT … then I discovered a penchant for satire, there must have been a reason for it. Probably it dates to my 19 months in Vietnam, the corruption, inclusive of eye witnessing CIA heroin trafficking to my fellow soldiers. So, it is true, I do not appreciate the ‘under-belly’ of ‘democracy’ where democratic principles are not only unknown, but absolutely undermined with a wink and a nod from those rarified personalities that know what is good for the rest of the world with nary a concern for how their ties to corporate boards and filthy lucre enriching the class of people they surround themselves with. Left, center or right, they are in my crosshairs ..

    Presuming you are British, I propose this satire for your enlightenment on my point of view in politics:

    http://ronaldthomaswest.com/2013/05/17/bozos-handcock-u-speech/

    It is a theory of proto-anglo-saxon-chauvinism. Please limit any resultant explicative reactions to French language ;)

  6. Pete says:

    @Ronald

    Yes satire and contacting you was my intent. I know some who were passengers on Air America in Vietnam who found the seating on great bundles of strange looking vegetation to be a bit lumpy. But it was the pilots smoking reefers behind veils of secrecy for surreal bosses that exited the passengers – very quickly.

    Yes the CIA dreamed up its own effort to liaise with private army warlord-drug lords including the over lords of Saigon – too much like Kabul now? Just one set of ways secrecy allowed the CIA to skate around its democratic mandate – and I won’t even go into the Phoenix Program.

    I’m hoping I’m a bit improved on them thar British being Australian (making us fellow former colonials) but I like Monty Python and Co.

    To that end I’ve being studying the philosophy of Bozo and placed your site on my blogroll. On Ignatius I agree he’s sailing too close to CIA PR of late. His “Agents of Innocence” was his classic but what followed have tried to appeal too much to Hollywood’s need for spy shoot-em ups.

    Cheers

    Pete

  7. @Pete

    Yes sir (and my profound apologies for the POM insinuation) Saigon and Kabul indeed would appear to be ‘sister cities’

    http://ronaldthomaswest.com/2013/05/08/heroin-bags-of-cash-the-cia/

    The study of which has been my hobby for quite some time.

    My kindest greetings

    Ronald

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