Al-Qaeda suspect, Mohammed Ashafa linked to Boko Haram

Marcy 7, 2012 – Al-Qaeda suspect, Mohammed Ashafa linked,  to Boko Haram

The State Security Service on Wednesday told an Abuja Federal High Court it would file fresh charges alleging Mallam Mohammed Ashafa has links with Boko Haram. Ashafa was also arrested in 2006 for allegedly having connection with the Al-Qaeda terrorist network.

He was released on bail after his arrest over the alleged links with Al-Qaeda, but he has since been re-arrested by the SSS, which is preparing to arraign him for allegedly being a member of Boko Haram.

The suspect is facing five counts of allegedly receiving funds from al-Qaeda operatives of the Tabliqh headquarters, in Lahore, Pakistan, for the purpose of recruiting and training terrorists to attack Americans living in Nigeria.

At a hearing on the matter on Wednesday, Ashafa, told the court  that the SSS unlawfully detained him in an underground cell for seven months without arraigning him.

However, Ashafa’s claim was denied by an official of the SSS.

Ashafa, who was not represented by any counsel, pleaded with Justice Adamu Bello to remove him from the custody of the SSS and instead send him to prison.

He said, “They (SSS) arrested me about seven months ago and they have kept me in underground cell in SSS office.

“They should take me back to prison.

“They don’t have any evidence against me.

“They arrested me at the National Mosque on the 15th of August, 2011.

“They will not allow my lawyer to see me. Please take me to prison.”

However, an SSS official, who only gave his name as Idoko, denied Ashafa’s claims.

Idoko told the court that Ashafa was initially arrested, detained and charged for having a connection with al-Qaeda but has since been released on bail.

Idoko said, “He has been charged for the current offences of having connection with Boko Haram.

“It’s not been up to seven months since he was arrested.

“We initially charged him for having a relationship with Al-Qaeda, but now we arrested him in connection with his relationship with Boko Haram.

“Arrangement is being made to arraign him.”