Update: Nigerian Bomb Raid Uncovers Terrifying Arsenal

Weapons could have inflicted appalling casualties

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Quentin Leboucher / AFP / Getty Images

Weapons seized by the Nigerian forces from Islamist extremist group Boko Haram weapons in Borno state are displayed for the press on June 5, 2013.

Detail are emerging of the horrific weapons uncovered in a raid by Nigerian troops on a militant group’s bomb-making factory on the outskirts of Kano on Wednesday. The Islamist militant members of Boko Haram abandoned the village house before the troops had arrived, leaving behind a backpack primed with explosives, three improvised explosive devices, 18 empty cylinders not yet packed with explosives, 24 detonators, fertilizer, automatic weapons and hundreds of rounds of ammunition — an arsenal with the potential to inflict hundreds of civilian casualties.

(MORE: Four Things You Need to Know About Nigeria’s Boko Haram)

An army commander said the militants planned to use the weapons and explosives on an upcoming public celebration of a Muslim holiday.

Worryingly, this could just be the tip of the iceberg. The leader of Boko Haram, who has a $7 million U.S. bounty on his head, has released a video in which he warns Nigerians to “prepare for a big war” — with the camera panning over yet more weapons and explosives under his command.