June 22, 2012; Updated 23rd
The prompt intervention of the anti-bomb squad drafted from Bompai Police headquarters averted what could have been the most deadly attack in the ancient city of Kano as police arrested three suspected terrorists for planting explosives inside a mosque on Friday.
The suspected terrorists had concealed the high volume Improvised Explosive Device (IED) in a plastic bag and neatly planted it inside the Fagge Mosque which has a capacity of about 15, 000 worshipers.
Speaking on the incident on phone, Kano State Commissioner of Police, Ibrahim K. Idris, confirmed that three people suspected to be terrorists were arrested within the mosque premises.
“The person that planted the explosive came inside the mosque before the prayer time. He concealed the explosive in a plastic can, dropped it, sat down, picked a Qu’ran and pretended to be reciting the Qu’ran.
“After some minutes, he went outside, came in again, sat in the same position and pretended to be reading the Holy Book. After a while, he went outside, abandoned the plastic can and never returned. At this point, the mosque committee suspected the plastic can and alerted the police.
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“When the anti-bomb squad arrived the mosque, they brought the plastic can outside, checked the content and discovered it was an explosive; and they immediately detonated it,” he stated.
The police boss, however, advised residents to be vigilant and report any suspicious movement or strange item dumped anywhere to the police, pointing out that, “people should be very careful even in the mosques and churches.”
“Worshipers should not be allowed to come inside places of worship with strange materials,” Idris advised.
Alhaji Kabiru Isah, who worshiped at the mosque, gave a graphic account of the incident.
“It was by Allah’s grace that we were saved. People were already rushing into the mosque as prayer time was fast approaching when one of the mosque committee members observed a polythene bag abandoned inside the mosque.
“He was so suspicious of the content of the polythene bag; and he immediately raised alarm. The police was informed. At this point, three men outside the mosque who thought the bomb had exploded shouted Allahu Akbar (God is great). They were immediately identified as the masterminds of the evil act and the police arrested them with the help of the worshipers.
“I thank Allah for saving the lives of his servants. It would have been another tragic story; and only God knows what their motive and mission were. I believe they are detractors who simply want to cause confusion and commotion in the state, but Allah exposed them,” Isah told our correspondent.
Update- 4 arrested for attempt to bomb mosque
Sat, 23/06/2012 – 4:16am | SALISU IBRAHIM; Leadership
The Kano Command of the Nigeria Police has arrested four persons for allegedly trying to plant a time bomb at Waje Friday mosque in Fagge local government area of Kano.
It was gathered that the incident which resulted in the arrest of the suspects had earlier caused panic among worshippers who converged at the Jumu’at Mosque to pray.
An eye witness told our correspondent that the bomb was believed to have been planted by one of the suspects within the premises of the mosque leading to pandemonium in the mosque when information about the incident filtered.
Another source however said that, some people believed to be Igbo by tribe masterminded the placing of the suspected bags and some people who were at the mosque for prayers quickly raised an alarm thereby leading to the arrest of the suspects.
Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) DSP RilwanuDutse confirmed the arrest to journalists and said the suspects are now undergoing interrogation from the police.
Dutse said that the suspects were apprehended around 1:30 pm around the time prayers were to be said after they were suspected to have abandoned the explosives concealed in a polythene bag.
He said, ‘’the suspects are now in our custody and the bomb has since been defused by our bomb disposal experts’’.