A man suspected of being behind the manufacture of explosives used in a series of Boko Haram suicide attacks has been arrested in northeast Nigeria, a senior police officer told AFP on Tuesday.
The man, identified only as Ba’na, was held in the Arikime area of Potiskum after several weeks of surveillance, said the officer, who was involved in the Sunday arrest.
Potiskum, the commercial capital of Yobe State, has been hit by a wave of bombings in recent months, including a suicide attack on a secondary school in November 10 in which 58 people were killed.
On January 18, at least four people died in an attack on a bus station, while the previous weekend two women wearing suicide vests killed six people at a market and two died in a car bombing outside a police station.
The police officer, who asked not to be identified because he is not authorised to speak to the media, said Ba’na was in his mid-thirties and had admitted making the bombs.
“He confessed to being responsible for the manufacture of the explosives used in at least three suicide attacks and the car explosion outside the divisional police station,” he added.
Nine alleged accomplices were also arrested in a hideout in the town hours after Ba’na’s arrest.
Ba’na allegedly made the explosives used in the November school attack, the January 10 car bombing and January 11 market blasts, the source said.
He was said to have moved to Potiskum from the state capital Damaturu three years ago and worked as a stonemason and water vendor before getting married.
“He was quite good at his disguise and his mason and water vending jobs gave him perfect cover,” the officer said.