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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Family Denies Iranian Terrorist In Nigeria

Members of Berende family of Ile Eleran at Eruda tuntun, Ilorin West Local Government Area of Kwara State, on Friday, disowned a terror suspect, Abdullahi Berende, who claimed to be a member of the family.
50-year-old Abdullahi and two others, Sulaiman Saka and Saheed Adewunmi were accused by the State Security Service of operating an Iranian terror cell and also gathering information about Isrealis and Americans living in Nigeria.
When our correspondent visited the Berende family on Friday, all the members of the family denied knowing the suspect.
Two women, Mrs. Fumilayo Berende and Mrs. Bilkis Berende, who said they were in their 70s, insisted there was no such name in their family.
An elderly member of the family who identified himself as Garuba, also denied knowing the terror suspect.
Garuba said, “We do not know anybody by that name.  We have many members of Berende family but none of them is Abdullahi and none of them has been accused of any misconduct.”
The University of Ilorin, where Berende claimed to be a master’s degree student did not confirm or deny Berende’s claim.
UNILORIN’s Deputy Director, Corporate Affairs, Mr.  Kunle Akogun in an interview with our correspondent on Friday, said the officials of the varsity were still cross-checking the records to ascertain the suspect’s status.
“We cannot confirm whether Berende  is a registered student here or not. We are still checking our records,” Akogun said.
Meanwhile the Chairman, Committee of Muslim Organisation, Kwara State, Prof. Shehu Jimoh, has said the involvement of Abdullahi in terrorist activities was condemnable.
He stated that Islam abhorred terrorism and wondered why a Muslim scholar would engage in terrorism.
Jimoh said, “It is un-Islamic, unethical and unfair to this country that any reasonable Muslim particularly from Ilorin, would get involved in a terror act, whether he is being paid or not. This is most unfortunate.
“I think the  act should be condemned in its totality. Kwara has enjoyed peace and anybody that will contribute to insecurity in the country should be condemned.”
Abdullahi was paraded by the SSS along Saka and Adewunmi on Wednesday by the Deputy Director, Public Relations, SSS, Marilyn Ogar.
Abdullahi, a leader of the Shiite sect, was accused of making suspicious trips to and fro Iran where he interacted with some Iranians known to operate a high-profile international terrorist network.
Ogar said, “Berende confessed that he was recruited by some Iranian elements when he returned to Iran for further studies in 2011 and was subsequently trained in the use of AK47 assault rifle, pistols, production and detonation of Improvised Explosive Devices and after he returned to Nigeria, he was invited by his handlers at Dubai for further briefing in April 2012. He was tasked to establish a terrorist cell in the South-Western part of Nigeria with particular emphasis on Lagos.”
She added that the Iranian sponsors requested Abdullahi to identify and gather intelligence on public places and prominent hotels frequented by Israelis and Americans in Western Nigeria.
Abdullahi who was said to have confessed to receiving money running into millions of naira had allegedly relocated from Ilorin to Lagos to commence terrorist activities.


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