Intelligence operatives investigate Nigerians Boko Haram in the UK
British security agencies are investigating Nigerians living in the United Kingdom for possible links with fundamentalist Islamic sect, Boko Haram.
Investigators were seeking to determine if the sect had sleeper cells or members that could launch attacks on the UK, particularly, during the forthcoming Olympic Games.
The number of Nigerians living and working in the UK is not currently known because of the presence of thousands of illegal Nigerian immigrants on British soil. However, experts say that the Nigerian community in the UK is a little over 250,000.
A source in the British security establishment who pleaded for anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the case told the a Nigerian press that the UK domestic intelligence agency, the M15, had commenced the investigations recently.
The source added that the British were determined not to leave anything to chance, preparatory to the influx of tourists during the Olympics.
In the British intelligence community there are suspicions already that operatives of the sect could travel to the UK under the guise of attending the event.
“It is certainly the case that Britain’s security services are concerned about Boko Haram and the possibility that it might link up with Nigerians living in the UK.
The fear is that Boko Haram could find supporters here to ignite an attack on the UK,” the source who is familiar with the investigations said.
The source further told that immediately after Boko Haram’s attack on the United Nations office in September last year, the UK took steps to better understand the sect and protect its cities against terror attacks.
“I think the threat to the UK is seen as medium term amid fears that Boko Haram is proving highly active and will probably develop,” the source said.
Already, Britain has pledged to help Nigeria tackle the Boko Haram menace.