Nigeiran President Goodluck Jonathan may have set up a probe committee primarily of Israeli and the United States of America (USA)-recommended intelligence officers to examine the entire Nigerian security apparatus.
The joint operation known as MOSSAD and the CIA, led by the Israeli Ambassador to Nigeria, Moshe Ram, is also to oversee the MOSSAD probe of the Nigerian security agencies against the suspected infiltration of sympathisers of Islamic terrorism.
The acronym, MOSSAD is derived from the Israeli Institute for Intelligence and Special Operations.
This is consequent upon the incessant attacks of the extremist Islamic sect, Boko Haram in the northern part of the country, especially that of the Friday, August 26 United Nations’ building bomb explosion in Abuja.
The president’s action, we learnt was informed by the security reports that the various security apparatus of the country might have been infiltrated at top levels by the terrorist sect.
Presidencial sources said that the decision was reached after its awareness of the infiltration of the Middle Eastern-sponsored international terrorism, which appeared to have found new roots among the countries of the sub-Saharan region of Africa, especially Nigeria.
Information sourced from a highly-placed official of the State Security Service (SSS) said foreign intelligence operatives have been concerned over the trend of violence in the country, particularly in the northern region among the Boko Haram.
It is believed that Boko Haram has links with the Afghanistan/Pakistan-based terrorist group, Al Qaeda.
Two security experts, however expressed divergent views of the development.
Abubakar Tsav, former Lagos State Police Commissioner, is of the opinion that engaging foreign security experts to unravel security problem in the country is a waste of money.
American-trained safety officer, Rotimi Aromolaran said no money is too much in ensuring proper security in the country, adding that the country’s security system has failed the nation.
Tsav said ‘One feels bad because first of all, these people do not know the security terrain of Nigeria. They don’t know who and who to interrogate. The assignment will be difficult. It’s a waste of money and the government is showing that our own security outfit in this country is incompetent. That is what it means.
‘After the bombing in Abuja, they brought specialists from US to come and help in investigating. Up till now we have had no report from them. So it’s waste of time and an attempt to pass a vote of no confidence on our security outfits. It’s bad. We have competent people in this country who can investigate cases very well, that are versatile,’
As for Aromolaran, ‘There is nothing bad in calling the FBI or others to help. Globally, there is no way you can do the work of security when it comes to terrorism alone. If we call the FBI, there is nothing bad in that but we have to be technical, we have to know what we are doing.’
According to our source, the heightened alert on Nigeria as possible breeding ground for new Afro-Islamic terrorism initially became a concern to the government of United States of America and its allies especially Israel in the Middle East immediately after the Yom Kippur War in 1973.
The Yom Kippur war was a period followed by the global oil crisis, when most of the sub-Saharan countries severed diplomatic ties with Israel due to two prime factors. These include promises of cheap oil and financial aid and compliance with the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) resolution, sponsored by Arab countries, calling for the severing of relations with Israel.
Nigeria was among these countries and consequently, official cooperation and development projects between Nigeria and Israel were stopped.
In September 1992, 19 years later, shortly after the termination of General Ibrahim Babangida’s quest to remain the head of state of Nigeria perpetually, the diplomatic ties were mended and in April 1993, a Nigerian embassy was opened in Israel for the first time.
Intelligence operatives of the United States of America (USA) and of Israel since the mending of diplomatic relations have remained cautious of the religious tensions in the northern region of Nigeria and its connections to the Arab/Israeli unrest in the Middle East.
Against their cautiousness, the two countries opened far-reaching channels through a joint operation of the MOSSAD and the CIA to monitor the links/activities between Islamic groups in Nigeria and Islamic agitation in the Middle East.
Ambassador Ram began his public service career in 1963 as a soldier at the Israeli Defence Force and has remained in the foreign service of the Israeli government. Between 1992 and 1994, he taught at the College of National Defence, where would-be MOSSAD agents receive academic training. Between 2001 and 2005, the Israeli ambassador was attached to the intelligence gathering operation in Chicago, USA during the period following the September 11, 2001 attack in USA.
Ram doubles as the Israeli Ambassador to Nigeria and Ghana and also serves as the Israeli Ambassador to ECOWAS.