The Islamic State (Isis) terror group might soon carry out an attack in Nigeria given its allegiance with Boko Haram terrorists, an international security expert has warned. Ona Ekhomu, president of the Association of Industrial Security and Safety Operators of Nigeria (AISSON), urged the Nigerian government to call on citizens to help prevent attacks in the nation.
Nigeria's north-east has been ravaged by a six-year-long insurgency by Boko Haram, which has killed between 17,000 and 20,000 people since 2009. The insurgents fight to establish an Islamic caliphate in the occupied territories and are renowned for kidnapping civilians and forcing them to participate in terror attacks.
Boko Haram - now Iswap - is believed to have killed more than 6,000 people in Nigeria and neighbouring countries in 2014, and has recently been deemed the world's deadliest terror group. In March, Boko Haram pledged allegiance to IS, which controls large swathes of Iraq and Syria and has claimed responsibility for several attacks across north Africa, the Middle East and Europe.
Some analysts have warned the world not to ignore the allegiance between the two groups, which could mean the terrorists can easily travel to territories controlled by both outfits and could share intelligence as well as weapons.
Ekhomu said Nigerians should participate in the fight against terrorism to avoid multiple attacks, such as those which recently occurred in Paris and Mali. He told The Punch: "Isis could use its Nigerian affiliate, Boko Haram, to wreak havoc here in order to signal its capability to carry out worldwide terrorist attacks and add to its stocks of fear.
"Having millions of Nigerians on the lookout for terrorists, reporting suspicious activities to the authorities, is better than 400,000 police and military personnel searching for terrorists," Ekhomu continued. "With proper enrolment, citizens can become the arrow-head in the search for terrorists as citizens are everywhere. With trained eyes, they can recognise Terrorist Attack Pre-incident Indicators in order to spot suicide bombers, bomb planters and active-shooters."