Nigeria’s terror outfit, Boko Haram, is said to have commenced the recruitment of women for the movement of arms and ammunition in the North Eastern geo-political zone.
It was learnt that the leadership of the JTF had informed operatives of the special task force during a briefing in Maiduguri, that the sect was recruiting women into its fold as couriers.
An officer of the JTF, who pleaded anonymity, told our correspondent on Friday, that the group also planned to use women to get the addresses and locations of some prominent politicians and businessmen considered to be enemies of the sect.
Prior to the revelation that the sect was recruiting women for intelligence gathering and operational information, women were often ignored during searches by JTF operatives.
Operatives of the JTF who had initially avoided the screening of women in order to avoid whipping up religious sentiments had since embarked on the screening of women.
The source said, “Boko Haram now recruits women to help them carry their arms and ammunition.
“Before now, JTF operatives don’t search women here. If you see three women and two men in a car, only the men are asked to come down and frisked. You don’t do that to women; the women were hardly searched.
“But we got the information that they want to use women to get information they need for launching their attacks; they want to use them to lure prominent politicians and people that are not supporting them and kill them.”
Source added that the sect also planned to use women to monitor locations of JTF operatives in order to carry out sudden attacks.
“But since we got that information, our operatives have started searching everybody. If operatives find three men and a woman in a car, all of them are asked to come down for searches to be conducted unlike before. It is not being done to hurt or molest anybody,” he added.
The reported moves to co-opt women into the sect’s activities is coming on the heels of an offer for ceasefire by Boko Haram last week.
While reacting to the offer for ceasefire by the sect, the Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral Ola Ibrahim, said the Federal Government could only take the sect seriously if after one-month ceasefire, there is no violence in the North.
Ibrahim said, “You see, we must treat with a lot of caution.
Meanwhile, the JTF has apprehended some suspected terrorists who fled Mali for Borno State.
It was learnt that the terror suspects were being held at the headquarters of the JTF in Maiduguri.
However, the Director of Defence Information, Col. Mohammed Yerima, said he was not aware of the arrests and referred our correspondent to the Spokesman of the JTF, Sagir Musa.
When one Sunday Punch contacted Musa, he said he was not aware of it and promised to brief our correspondent on the development later.