WITNESSES say Boko Haram’s abduction of more than 100 schoolgirls in Dapchi was a “well-planned attack” that specifically targeted the state-run boarding school.
The raid last Monday shows the militant group still has the ability and means to stage major attacks.
“If they kidnapped more than 100 girls, that shows they have sizeable means at their disposal and a secure place to take them,” said Yan St-Pierre, a counter-terrorism specialist with the Modern Security Consulting group.
Also, a Dapchi resident, who asked not to be identified, said he was concerned that Boko Haram sympathizers had secretly infiltrated the town.
Another worrying indication, according to the Yobe Gov. Ibrahim Gaidam is that soldiers stationed at strategic checkpoints in Dapchi, were redeployed last month. That left ordinary uniformed police as the town’s only defense.
“I believe informants tipped them off that the troops had withdrawn that allowed them to come in because this is the first time that we have come under attack from Boko Haram.”
Last week’s attack was claimed by the Boko Haram faction headed by Abu Mus’ab Al-Barnawi, whose leadership is recognized by Daesh.
Some analysts said Barnawi, rather than Shekau, was behind the Dapchi attack and may have taken hostages as human shields to mitigate military operations against them.