Nigerian investigators have uncovered a plot by terrorists to attack Israeli and American tourists and businesspeople visiting the country. The group was also responsible for murdering a former top military official. Among their targets was a Chabad House, officials said.
The gang of three terrorists were arrested Wednesday night, among them the leader of the group. A fourth suspect is being sought. Authorities said they were stopped before they were able to carry out any of their plans.
According to officials, the group had connections to Iran. A spokesperson for the Nigerian State Security Service said that the leader of the group, Abdullahi Mustapha Berende, was “local leader of the Shi’ite sect in Ilorin and was observed to have made several suspicious trips to and from Iran where he interacted with some Iranian elements known to operate a high profile international terrorist network."
The officials said that Berende was trained by Iran in using weapons and producing bombs, and was tasked with finding targets where Jews and Americans were found. Among the places the gang staked out was the Chabad House Jewish community center in the city of Lagos, officials said.