Security agencies change strategy to target sponsors of the radical sect

As part of its bid to quell terrorism in the country, the federal government has decided to beam its searchlight on strategists and financiers of the Boko Haram sect.

This approach, according to a government source, is targeted at ending the spate of bombing which has rocked the Northern region of the country.

Security agents have reportedly been directed to focus on individuals believed to be inciting the sect into violence through the spread of hate messages in certain parts of the country.

“The focus of the search is gradually shifting from the sect?s foot soldiers, who merely go on suicide missions, to the financiers, intelligence class and those who indoctrinated the bomb-throwers,” said a source who did not want his name published.

The government source confirmed that some form of negotiation was ongoing between leaders of the sect and government but declined to give further details.

It was gathered that the recent listing of three Boko Haram leaders as terrorists by the United States had made some members of the group to seek dialogue, apparently to avoid being designated as a foreign terrorist organisation.

Activities of the Boko Haram sect have attracted condemnation from political and religious leaders in the North. A prominent northern leader, Junaid Mohammed, warned people to stop associating the sect with any religion, as its activities did not have anything to do with any of the religious groups in the country.

“As far as I am concerned, Boko Haram is a terrorist group; it has nothing to do with Islam or Christianity,” he said. “Let those who are ignorant stop associating it with any religion and face the reality on the ground.”

About 1,000 Nigerians have so far been killed in various parts of the country since the sect began its bombing activities in 2009, according to Human Rights Watch.

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