Nigerian authorities have uncovered a terrorist cell at the international airport in the capital, Abuja, the country's intelligence agency DSS says. A 14-year old boy was arrested for allegedly spying for Boko Haram.
The spy ring at Abuja airport was apparently working on selecting targets for attack, according to Nigerian Department of State Services (DSS).
The security service captured a 14-year old boy, who admitted he was ordered to pass on "information in respect of travelers' movement including passenger screening, boarding procedures and other processes in the departure and arrival halls," the agency's spokesman Tony Opuiyo said in the statement late Friday.
The undercover cell was "mounted by Boko Haram terrorists," and the agents were still hunting the militant who directed the boy, according to Opuiyo.
"The service is working closely with major aviation stakeholders, especially the Aviation Security Department, to forestall any possible attack and to ensure adequate security at the airports," the statement added.
Hitting the capital
The Boko Haram jihadists are waging their insurgency in the northeast of the African country, and conduct most of their terror attacks in the region.
However, the terror group has also targeted Abuja on several occasions since the start of the rebellion in 2009. Most notably, the militants detonated a car bomb at the UN headquarters in Abuja, killing 23 people four years ago.
Nigeria and its neighbors formed an international coalition against Boko Haram, which has taken back most of the territory controlled by the insurgents in the northeast. In response, the group has boosted its attacks on so-called "soft targets," such as markets, bus stops and places of worship.
dj/sgb (Reuters, AFP)