BOKO HARAM SHEKAU FACTION REPAIRS DAMAGE WITH ISWAP IN PLANNED CHRISTMAS ATTACK ALLIANCE
Jihadist Units loyal to the embattled Abubakar Shekau faction from the southern flanks of BORNO and Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) units from the North Eastern Lake Chad Basin ( LCB) have agreed to form a battlefield alliance against the Nigerian army and regional LCB security forces by end of year and beginning of 2020 ( December 2020-January 2021 respectively).
In another instance of a patchy strategic alliance, the two rival factions have agreed to plan and launch coordinated attacks in the LCB region in collaboration with active foreign mercenaries. The mission objective has been described as; to disrupt regional security forces and consolidate diminished battlefield capabilities lost in the recent past state offensives.
Impeccable sources with knowledge of the joint jihadist alliance plan disclosed that some of the military hard and soft civilian targets include; in the North of BORNO — Baga, Mile 4, Monguno, Malamfatori, and Damasak. In the South of Borno ; Damboa, Chibok, Konduga and Bama.
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To acquire battlefield capacity, the leadership agreed to deploy a combined unit of young fighters from both factions, weapons, RPGs, fuel, ammunitions conveyed in 50 liters Jerry-cans, other logistics and food items- logistics routes cited were Kwatan Chikka and Bulgaram waterways around the Niger Republic border to Sabon Tumbu for inward deployment to the camps of Tarauwa, Abuja, Fururu, Doron Naira and Karaurawa - and ISWAP coordinating camp around the axis of Baga. An urgent need to survey these locations.
In the axis of Abadam, a number of jihadist special forces dressed in black; Azwaj Mercenaries and ISIS fighters will be placed on standby at Tumbun Karfe, Tumbun Murfu, Tumbun Jaki - waiting for immediate deployment.
The jihadist have purchased 8 new flying boats with 45ph and 75ph horse power engines. Sources say these boats have been used to ease smuggling of arms, food and fuel from Bakkassi and Darak towns —border axis of Cameroon and Nigeria.
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The jihadist cynical plans and movements should be investigated through frequent aerial surveillance missions by the Nigerian military and regional Air Forces- especially around the axis of Marte LGA bordering Cameroon. Proactive action will prevent the jihadist from reinvigorating fighting capacity.
An intensified intelligence led counter insurgency (COIN) ground and aerial offensives by the Nigerian Army; Nigerian Air- Force and regional states Chad , Niger and Cameroon must be sustained on identified Boko Haram and ISWAP hideouts to deny the jihadist further grounds for resurgence and successful collaboration with Shekau’s JAS faction or any other ISWAP or Al-Qaeda terrorist mercenaries. Plans to frustrate the resettlement of IDPs particularly in Baga must be thwarted to restore community confidence and trust in the state security services.
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David Otto is the Director for Stepped In – Step Out UK Ltd and a Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime Expert. He is a Certified Anti -Terrorism Specialist (CAS), a Certified Master Anti -Terrorism Specialist (CMAS) and a programme trainer with the Anti -Terrorism