Abuja - Secret police on Saturday said they had arrested a dozen suspects linked to the discovery of "sleeper cells" operated by Boko Haram Islamists in and around the capital Abuja.
The Department of State Services said those arrested had travelled from the northeast to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and were planning on staging attacks in Abuja during the year-end festivities.
"Boko Haram... has continued to establish and operate sleeper cells whose (sole) mandates are to conduct surveillance and carry out subsequent attacks in the FCT," the DSS said in a statement.
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The statement listed the names of 12 suspected Boko Haram members, including a Niger national, who were arrested in Abuja and neighbouring towns between October 29 and December 1.
The suspects hid in plain sight, often working in legal jobs while carrying out surveillance to "map out soft targets for attacks", the statement added.