Eight militants jailed over Olympic plot in Brazil

Eight militants jailed over Olympic plot in Brazil

A judge in Brazil has jailed eight men for plotting attacks during the 2016 Rio Olympics last year and for using the internet to promote the Islamic State (IS) militant group.

The men were arrested shortly before the beginning of the Games, in August, after the FBI alerted the Brazilian authorities.

They are all Brazilian nationals.

The ringleader, Leonid El Kadre de Melo, has been given a prison sentence of 15 years.

His lawyer said her client was on hunger strike.

The other men have been jailed for five to six years. All say they will appeal.

The group had been sharing extremist material online and via messaging apps pledging alliance to IS, said judge Marcos Josegrei da Silva, in Parana state.

El Kadre de Melo was “without a shadow of a doubt the person who took over the role of leader amongst the accused,” Mr Silva wrote in his ruling.

Eight militants jailed over Olympic plot in Brazil

The eight men were not IS members but had tried to make contact with the group, officials said.

Their activities had been monitored by the FBI.

Two weeks before the Rio Games the FBI alerted Brazilian authorities, who later said the men had been trying to buy weapons and had shared bomb-making videos.

Federal police launched Operation Hashtag in July and arrested a total of 15 people.

Seven of the suspects were later released but the other eight were tried under Brazil’s new anti-terrorism legislation for planning to carry out chemical attacks during the Olympics.

The six men jailed for six years are: Alisson Luan de Oliveira, Oziris Moris Azevedo, Levi Ribeiro de Jesus, Israel Pedra Mesquita, Hortencio Yoshitake and Luis Gustavo de Oliveira.

Fernando Pinheiro Cabral, has been sentenced to five years in jail.

(BBC)

‘Militants’ attack FIRS officials at Patience Jonathan’s hotel in Bayelsa

Aridolf-Militants attacked FIRS officers in Yenagoa

Suspected militants numbering over 50 on Wednesday attacked officials of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) at Aridolf Resort Wellness & Spa in Yenagoa, Bayelsa state.

Patience Jonathan, former first lady, is the owner of the facility.

The FIRS team was said to have gone to the hotel in respect of tax liabilities of over N10 million, but were attacked by the suspects said to be loyal to Jonathan’s wife, whom they reportedly addressed on the phone as “mummy”.

An official of the service said when the team arrived at the hotel, they went straight to the reception desk and requested to see the most senior staff of the hotel, but the two receptionists said they were the only ones at the hotel.

“We demanded that they should phone the manager to inform him of the team’s presence and mission, but they ignored the demand,” a FIRS official said.

“The FIRS team, however, read the warrant of distraint to them… After over 30 minutes of argument, militants believed to have lodged in the hotel came out and threatened to kill FIRS officials, claiming that the enforcement exercise was illegal.

“When one of the directors of the hotel, Mr. Victor, arrived the scene, we showed him the warrant of distraint and told him that the hotel owed three months VAT.”

The official said a man, who identified himself as Chief Anthony, arrived and threatened some of FIRS officials would be shot.

He argued that the operation was illegal and that the warrant was not properly signed.

According to the official, the man said the FIRS chairman should have signed with a seal.

“He claimed that the visit was a plot to ridicule Mrs. Jonathan, and that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, sent FIRS officials to plant cash in the premises,” the official said.

“Anthony ordered the militants not to allow them leave the premises until ‘Mummy’ comes.

“He ordered them to arrest the team leader and some other officials. The armed militants forced the FIRS officials to remove the seal already placed at entrance of the hotel’s salon and gym as well as to unlock the hotel entrance.

“The militants forced a newspaper reporter and an NTA camera man that accompanied the team into a room, where they were beaten up. Their phones were also seized and images on them deleted.

“They also deleted items stored in the camera.”

The official said the divisional police officer in charge of the area arrived the scene and made attempts to intervene, but was rebuffed.

He said it took the intervention of Asuquo Amba, the state police commissioner, before the cameraman was released, but that the attackers refused to let go of his camera.

The former first lady is yet to react to the incident.

Source: TheCable

Soldier, militants’ leader killed during clash in Ondo

Soldier, militants’ leader killed during clash in Ondo

A yet to be identified soldier was killed in the early hours of Monday during a clash between members of a militant group and the men of the Nigeria Army  at Ajakpa town in Ese Odo Local Government Area of Ondo State.

The soldier was attached to the Operation Delta Safe in Delta State. It was gathered that many other soldiers were injured in the clash.
A member of the militant group identified as a Ossy Ibori was also killed by the soldiers. He was suspected to be the leader of the group which had been terrorising the riverine areas of Ondo, Edo, Delta and Lagos States in recent times.

According to a source, the clash occurred at about 1am on Monday while the soldiers were on patrol in the creeks to flush out the armed militants from their hideouts.
The source said, ” Immediately the militants saw the soldiers from their hideout, they opened fire on them. During the gun duel, a soldier and a member of the militant group were killed, while many soldiers and the militants were injured.”

The incident was also confirmed by the army in a statement issued by the Coordinator, Joint Media Campaign Center of the military , Major Abubakar Abdullah.
He said the army lost one of his men and three others were injured, noting that the body of the late militant leader was identified by the residents of the community.

He stated that the hoodlums had also carried out several attacks at some other communities like Safarogbo and Balowo areas of the Ese Odo council area of Ondo State. .
The statement read in part, ” Troops of Operation Delta Safe, in line with its mandate to rid Niger Delta of all criminal acts of militancy and kidnappings, in a special operation repelled an attack on troops location around Ajakpa community in the creeks of Southern Ondo State last night.
“The attack was led by one notorious gang leader, Ossy Ibori, with a hideout at Ajakpa, Ese-Odo Local Government Area of Ondo State.

” The leader was gunned down during the gun duel, along with some of his gang members. His body was identified by some of the locals in the area. While search for other criminals who jumped into the water with gunshot wounds is ongoing, troops had recovered one AK-47 Rifle and 4 Magazines.”
Abdullah added that the injured soldiers had been taking to the military hospital medical attention.
The Public Relations Officer of the Ondo State Police Command, Mr. Femi Joseph  said the indecent had not been reported officially at the command but he was aware of it.

The PPRO said, ” We learnt about the incident but it has not been officially reported at the command. We also learnt that the sister security agents are already there to restore nomalcy in the area.
” We were told that gunboats have been taken to the area and I believe peace has been restored.”

Militants kill three policemen, four others in Ogun

Militants kill three policemen, four others in Ogun

At least three policemen and four residents of the Ogun Waterside Local Government Area of Ogun State lost their lives during encounters with some gunmen suspected to be militants.

PUNCH Metro learnt that the three policemen, attached to the Lagos State Special Anti-Robbery Squad, lost their lives last Thursday after the gunmen abducted a Chinese expatriate.

The operatives had engaged the gunmen in a shootout when the three policemen were killed.

Another resident was also hit by a stray bullet and died on the spot.

Our correspondent learnt that the assailants on Friday attacked the home of a businessman, identified as Chief Rafiu Daramola, where they reportedly carted away N4.7m.

They were said to have shot dead three residents while escaping from the scene.

A community leader, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the three policemen and one resident were killed in Odi Omi, a boundary community between Lagos and Ogun states.

He said, “Last week Thursday, the militants kidnapped a Chinese expatriate. As they were leaving with their victim, the operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad engaged them in a gun battle. The gunmen, however, shot dead three policemen and an indigene. The corpses were later removed and deposited in a morgue by the police.”

PUNCH Metro gathered that around 8pm on Friday, the militants attacked the home of the businessman in the Iwopin community.

A family member of the victim said the suspects entered the house through the bathroom and ceiling.

He said, “Our father had gone to turn on the generator when the men entered the house. Some of them entered through the bathroom and others came in through the ceiling.

“They gathered all his wives and children together and asked for our phones, which we surrendered to them. They asked for our father and searched everywhere for him.

“When they could not find him, they asked for where the safe was. They broke into the room where he kept the safe and damaged it. They took N4.7m and left.”

Our correspondent was told that the money were proceeds of sales from the bakery and filling station owned by the businessman.

It was gathered that there was no bank in the community due to the activities of the gunmen, who usually move around in  groups in the day time.

PUNCH Metro learnt that as the men were driving back, their operational vehicle broke down and efforts to make it work were abortive.

A resident said the gunmen abandoned the bus and trekked back into the community.

He said, “The community is usually deserted from 8pm when most residents will be on bed. As a result, there was no vehicle for them to hijack as a getaway.

“They trekked back and started shooting continuously from around 1am till the early hours of Saturday. The three victims heard the gunshots and came out to know what was happening. But they fell into the hands of the gunmen who shot them dead.”

The victims were identified as a 25-year-old motorcycle rider, Yusuf Ogunse; a 68-year-old retired local government worker, Omotayo Onokoya; and a farmer from Edo State, one Ajapa.
A resident said when the police were alerted to the incident, they refused to respond, saying it was still dark.

“The militants, in a bid to guarantee their own safety, continued to shoot till 7am. They called their colleagues on the telephone and asked them to bring a speedboat, through which they eventually escaped,” he added.

A source said when community youths approached the abandoned vehicle, it was discovered that the number plate had been removed.

However, some documents were said to have been found, through which the owner was identified.

“We called the people at the motor park where the driver worked and they said he went for a business trip. When he finally returned, they apprehended him and handed him over to the police. The suspect, an Ijaw youth, was the insider who gave them the information,” he said.

The Ogun State police spokesperson, Abimbola Oyeyemi, confirmed the killing of the three residents, adding that the slain policemen were not from the state command.

He said, “They invaded the businessman’s house, but our policemen were able to repel them. At the end of the encounter, we arrested one of the suspects, while their operational vehicle was recovered.

“The suspect is helping with investigation. The state Commissioner of Police, Ahmad Iliyasu, has deployed some special units of the police, including men from the Federal SARS, Mobile Police Force, Anti-Kidnapping Unit, and other conventional policemen, in the scene to ensure security of lives and property.”

The Chairman, Ogun Waterside LGA, Femi Onanuga, confirmed the killing of the policemen, adding that they were from the Lagos State Police Command.

He said, “The three policemen and another man were killed during the shootout to free the Chinese expatriate. It was after that encounter that the militants attacked the businessman and stole the money.

“Earlier, they had kidnapped another settler, Mrs. Shittu. She was held in captivity for two weeks, until her husband paid a ransom of N1.4m.

“We are calling on the state and federal governments to come to our rescue. These militants must not overwhelm us.”

The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer,  Olarinde Famous-Cole, said he would call back to react to the incident.

He had yet to do so as of press time.