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Friday, October 29, 2010     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

Nigeria intercepts major Iran weapons shipment

CAIRO — Nigeria said it has seized a shipment of weapons, munitions and explosives believed sent by Iran.


The shipment was said to have contained Iranian-origin rockets, launchers, grenades and explosives.

"The federal government will not jump into conclusion until everything that has to do with containers of arms is verified," Nigerian National Security Adviser Maj. Gen. Andrew Azazi said on Oct. 28, Middle East Newsline reported.

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Officials said the containers were listed in documents as construction material. They said the containers, transported by an Iranian ship, reached the Nigerian port of Lagos and was unloaded in late October.

"Upon opening the first container, the service operatives discovered rocket launchers, grenades and other explosives," Nigerian State Security Service spokeswoman Marilyn Ogar said.

Officials said the ship that contained the weapons, identified as MV CMA-CGM Everest, came from Iran. They said the weapons on board appeared similar to those used by Taliban and Al Qaida in Afghanistan.

Israel has been working with Nigeria in examining the shipment. Israeli security sources said the Iranian shipment was believed destined for the Hamas regime in the Gaza Strip.

"This marks a new smuggling route after other routes through Sudan have been closed," an Israeli source said.

Hamas has not acknowledged the seized weapons shipment. On Oct. 28, Hamas Foreign Minister Mahmoud Zahar said the Islamic regime would continue to develop and acquire weapons to confront Israel.

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