Ansaru Militants Resurface in Northern Nigeria, Abduct Aid Worker

Ansaru Terrorists Resurface in Northern Nigeria, Abduct Aid Worker (News Central TV)

News Central have gathered that Ansaru Militants on Saturday abducted a Kaduna State Government aid worker in Northwest Nigeria with a demand for Police and other Security Forces to vacate the areas. 

The assailants kidnapped the victim around 3pm on Saturday afternoon in the Birnin Gwari area of the State

This is coming 48 hours after the terrorist group denied responsibility for the train attack on the Abuja-Kaduna train on March 28, 2022.

The group distanced itself from the train attack in a statement distributed to residents and motorists on the Birnin Gwari road on Thursday, titled “Message to the Nigerian Government and the Citizens” in Hausa, a copy of which was obtained and translated into English.

The group noted that its main goal is ‘to work for Allah by defending Islam and Muslims who have been cheated and oppressed’.

They also stated that they do not kill or abduct people except they are certain they are an infidel or an oppressor.

Ansaru noted that Abu Barra is not their leader, and that at the appropriate time, the name of their leader would be made public.

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Ansaru has been an outlier on the terrorism threat landscape for much of the last decade. However, the group has made a comeback in Nigeria and is now more dangerous than ever.

It claims to be defending Islam’s interests in communities where its presence has been largely contained. After a disagreement between ‘moderates’ and ‘hardliners,’ it formed as a breakaway Boko Haram faction in 2012.

There are three concerning signs of Ansaru’s resurgence: its increased involvement in abductions and banditry, its ties to other violent extremist groups, and its ability to win over local communities through its ‘hearts and minds’ campaign.

These activities are increasing regional instability. To counteract the group, governments must improve security and services for local residents.

Ansaru is particularly active in Nigeria’s North-West and North-Central zones, where banditry and kidnappings have increased in recent years. The organization is suspected of providing weapons and other support to bandits behind attacks in the North West.

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This claim is supported by reports of police raids on a bandit camp in Kaduna State’s Kuduru forest, where Ansaru is linked. Kidnappings are another important tool that the group employs to sustain and expand its operations.

Proliferation of weapons is already a problem in the country. Former President Abdulsalami Abubakar told a meeting of the National Peace Committee in Abuja in 2021 that there were over six million weapons in circulation last year.

Former Nigerian Head of State Abdulsalami Abubakar

In contrast to Boko Haram, which is primarily based in Borno State in northeastern Nigeria, Ansaru operated in and around Kano State in north-central Nigeria, the Hausa-Fulani heartland. Despite being a rival, Ansaru worked closely with Boko Haram throughout its insurgent activity in Nigeria. This was mostly due to necessity, as the two factions couldn’t risk weakening themselves by fighting.

Ansaru claimed responsibility for a prison break at the Special Anti-Robbery Squad headquarters in Abuja in November 2012, a convoy of Nigerian troops on their way to participate in the Northern Mali conflict in January 2013, and a 23 May 2013 attack on a French-owned uranium mine in Niger in collaboration with Mokhtar Belmokhtar.

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The group also carried out a number of kidnappings in Nigeria, including the kidnappings of a Briton and an Italian in Kebbi State in May 2011, a French engineer, Francis Collomp, in Katsina State in December 2012, and seven foreigners (four Lebanese, a Briton, an Italian, and a Greek) from a construction site in Bauchi State in February 2013.

Following what it claimed were failed rescue attempts by the British and Nigerian governments, Ansaru executed the hostages taken in May 2011 and February 2013.

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