Details have emerged on why the United States ordered the immediate evacuation of its diplomatic staff after issuing its terror alerts last week.
Informed sources in the Federal Government confirmed that some United States Embassy staff lived close to some of the suspected terrorists fingered and arrested by the Department of State Services (DSS).
This created apprehension in the US Embassy with fears that the Americans might have actually been targeted by the terrorist suspected to be linked to Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP).
This resurrected the ghost of the Benghazi US embassy attacks by terrorists that claimed the life of the then American Ambassador in 2010.
A security expert, Dr. Kabiru Adamu, speaking with Channels TV’s DATELINE ABUJA over the weekend said the US embassy advisory is “a consequential order” which came with “mandatory evacuation to their staff and family members because … the capacity of the host country [in this case, Nigeria] to protect them is no longer guaranteed. And, that had consequence on other embassies [UK, Canada, Dutch, etc] in Abuja although most of them did not order a mandatory evacuation.”
He said a lot of Nigerians took the US terror alert seriously than that of the Nigerian government because “we believe they have the capacity to gather intelligence in a cycle from collection to dissemination. Through that cycle, there are processes of verification; there are processes of identification. Within though processes, there are components. And you can get it wrong. Let’s not forget that.”
He noted that the panic caused by the terror alert may have political undertones. He said Nigeria is vulnerable to attacks from “political actors [in the election season], ethnic militias, secessionist groups, or even foreign governments.”
Another commentator, US based Nigerian lawyer Emmanuel Ogebe, suggested that there were at least two immediate incidents that triggered the post-haste departure of Americans from the largest US embassy in Africa.”
“The first incident was the detection of an IED (Incendiary Explosive Device) which had been successfully deployed at a US diplomatic compound. Fortunately for the occupants, the bomb failed to detonate and so there was no casualty.”
Ogebe in a Facebook post also disclosed that in another instance, sufficient alarm raised was that terrorists were able to actually identify an unmarked US diplomatic compound and tactically deliver a bomb thereto, adding that the US alerted the Nigerian government “to take serious action”, while forensic evaluation was in progress.
“Subsequently Nigerian authorities busted a terror cell proximate to yet another larger US diplomatic compound in Abuja. That terror cell had reportedly stockpiled bombs in readiness for the destruction of four churches also within its radius. By this time, the forensic experts had concluded that the first IED recovered was lethal and that only poor construction had kept it from exploding,” he noted.