(Reuters) – Nigerian troops have arrested a businessman suspected of being at the head of a Boko Haram intelligence network that helped plan the abduction of more than 200 school girls in the northeast, the military said on Tuesday.
The man had helped the Islamist militant group plan several attacks, including the killing of traditional ruler the Emir of Gwoza, it said in a statement.
Two women were also arrested as part of the investigation, one of whom was accused of coordinating payments to other “operatives”.
A year old intensive military operation against Boko Haram has so far failed to crush the rebels, whose struggle for an Islamic state in largely Muslim northern Nigeria has killed thousands since it was launched in 2009.
The insurgency has destabilized much of the northeast of Africa’s top oil producer and biggest economy.