A 15-year-old former Boko Haram bomb maker, Ali Goni, said he has made over 500 underwear Improvised Explosive Devices, IEDs, used by insurgents for suicide missions on soft targets in the last five years.
Goni was only 10 years old and in primary six when he was kidnapped in Bama. The military authorities described the teenager as the most deadly Boko Haram member, who had mastered various techniques that can cause maximum destruction of lives. Army intelligence sources disclosed that the suspect is the most innovative bomb maker to emerge in recent years.
The military did not allow journalists to photograph him because of his age. Goni, who is undergoing rehabilitation at a military detention camp in Maiduguri, recently disclosed that he assembled IEDs with fragmented materials and configure them for suicide missions. He said he introduced the use of padlock to IEDs, which can hardly be demobilised or detected by bomb detectors.
Goni continued: “I was kidnapped along with my mother in Bama’s Kawuri Street by Baba Kaka, a dreaded Boko Haram commander. They took us to Sambisa Forest and kept us in a camp called Kwalfata.
“We underwent various training in the camp. During the course of our induction training, I was selected to be trained on bomb-making techniques, bomb detection as well as identifying and demobilising explosives. “I refused initially, but they said they would kill my mother the way they killed my father when they stormed Bama.
So I eventually agreed. During the training, many of my colleagues died while trying to make bombs. In the end, I emerged the best of all. “My job was to make many bombs that would be used for suicide missions.
I was working under the supervision of Baba Musa, a 70-year-old man. Musa also taught me the new technique of making underwear IED with a padlock.
“At some point, I was the only bomb maker when all those I was trained with were killed by the military during several attacks. So they took me from camp to camp to make IEDs for suicide missions.
“I was in Kangarwa, Pulka, Banki and other camps. I managed to escape when the military bombed our camp in Baga. I ran to Cameroon where I surrendered to the Cameroonian forces.
I was later handed over to the Nigeria military.” Goni said he hoped to be a soldier in the future to help the military in identifying IEDs.