Lagos, Nigeria (PANA) - Nigeria's secret police said it had unearthed evidence showing that politicians are behind the Islamic militant group Boko Haram, which has carried out a campaign of terror mostly in the capital city of Abuja and in the northern part of the country in recent times.
In a statement released in Abuja, the State Security Service (SSS) said its arrest of the Boko Haram 'spokesman', Ali Sanda Umar Konduga, known as Usman Al-Zawahiri, confirmed his links to a serving federal lawmaker, who was not identified.
''On 3rd November, 2011 about 2030 hours at Gwange area, Maiduguri, (Nothern) Borno State, a joint security operation led to the arrest of Ali Sanda Umar KONDUGA, acclaimed spokesman of the Boko Haram sect, widely known in the media as Usman AL-ZAWAHIRI.
''He was a former political thug operating under a group widely known as ECOMOG. His arrest further confirms the Service position that some of the Boko Haram extremists have political patronage and sponsorship,'' the SSS said in a statement obtained by PANA here.
An online Nigerian website later identified the serving lawmaker as a Senator from Borno state (name with-held).
According to the SSS, the confessions by Konduga showed he was recruited by a political party stalwart in Borno state, the home base of Boko Haram which is not under the control of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and that a serving member of the National Assembly later took over the running of his activities after one of his benefactors died.
The security agency also said he (Konduga) confessed that he was behind the spate of threat messages sent to many, including officials of the state electoral petition tribunal, apparently with the aim of intimidating them into sacking the (opposition) governing party in the state.
SSS said an analysis of Konduga's phone has confirmed constant communication between him and the legislator.
Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the bombing of the UN house in Abuja in August that left 24 dead and many more injured.
In its most recent attacks this month, the Islamists bombed several targets in northern Yobe states, killing dozens.
-0- PANA SEG 22Nov2011