Nigerian Base Stations Attacked by Terrorist Group
Published on: 6th Sep 2012
Note -- this news article is more than a year old.
A Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram which roughly translates as "Western education is a sin" has launched attacks against mobile phone base stations in Northern Nigeria.
The masts belonging to both MTN and Airtel were attacked by gunmen reported to be members of the terrorist group. In addition, a local office belonging to MTN was sent on fire in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.
Targetting the mobile phone towers may be related to a recent raid on the home of a suspected high-ranking member of the group, who had a number of mobile phones in the house.
It has long been a common accusation by terrorist groups that their positions are tracked by the mobile phone companies. They still use mobile phones though, then enact revenge on the networks when they suspect collusion.
A total of 24 masts have been damaged in the recent wave of attacks which started earlier this week.
The mobile networks in Nigeria hire local security staff to protect base stations in sensitive areas.
Earlier this year, another terrorist organisation, The Movement of the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) attacked MTN Nigeria base stations in revenge for the trial of its leader, Henry Okah which was taking place in South Africa.