Friday, 28 August 2015

Nigeria-bound terror chief coming on invitation

According to a report by Daily Trust, wanted terrorist, Ahmed Al-Assir, who was arrested in Lebanon on his way to Nigeria, was coming on the invitation of a foreign company operating in the country.  Sources in Nigeria’s security circles, who spoke to Daily Trust on condition of anonymity, said the visa was issued by a Foreign Service official in Beirut based on that invitation.

According to the sources, without a letter of invitation the hate preacher’s visa application would not have been approved. Discussions within the security circles in Nigeria centred on a popular middle-eastern company operating in Nigeria as the originator of the invitation letter for the issuance of the visa. A source said allegations that a bribe of about $8,000 was paid by Al-Assir to obtain the visa has not been confirmed. Security sources however said even if a bribe that big was offered, it was highly unlikely that the official who issued the visa received such money alone. It was hinted that the intelligence report of the plans of Al-Assir to visit Nigeria was given to the Lebanese authorities by Hezbollah. He pointed out that the lack of an active Foreign Service liaison with security and intelligence organization at the Nigeria embassy in Beirut made it difficult to share such intelligence operations with Nigeria directly.

It is suspected in security circles that Al-Assir is coming to Nigeria to link up with Boko Haram leaders to lend support. Sources emphasized that Nigeria needs to improve its foreign service liaison  in Beirut and other embassies abroad ´so as to obtain vital intelligence of security concerns, because apparently non-existed.”

Foreign Service officials are supposed to liaise with intelligence and security organizations of host countries and share intelligence information in the tradition of “give and take,” the sources added.

President Buhari has ordered an investigation into how the ISIS leader secured a valid Nigerian visa in Lebanon.