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Nigeria: The Circle Of Misery And Death
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May 17, 2012:  Intelligence efforts have found Boko Haram to be in regular contact with other Islamic terror groups in the region. One reason for this is fund raising, as the al Qaeda and Algerian Islamic groups have more money and Boko Haram has received large donations (several hundred thousand dollars so far). Boko Haram also raises cash by extortion (imposing "Islamic taxes") and sometimes outright theft. But Boko Haram tries to avoid anything similar to the criminal behavior Nigerians face every day when dealing with gangsters or, to many, the biggest criminal organization of all, local and federal government. The federal government is considered the biggest thief because they control the oil income. Very little of that oil money has been applied to the general welfare and Nigerians are fed up with decades of stealing and abuse of power. While there are major efforts underway to reduce corruption, those families that have stolen all that money are ready to spend a lot of it to defeat the prosecutions against them. This includes bribing judges, witnesses, and doing whatever it takes to make Nigeria safe for corrupt politicians.

The battle against rampant crime is crippled by the corrupt police. A major reason for this corruption is the poor, and very corrupt, leadership in the police. The rot begins at the top and moves down the chain of command.

Government efforts to halt oil thefts in the Niger River delta led to the discovery that a lot of these oil thefts (from tapping into oil pipelines) are carried out under the protection of military and political leaders (who get a cut of the proceeds). All forms of oil theft are believed to account for about five percent of oil production each year. That's half of what it was a few years ago, and the oil theft is still a major activity for the criminal gangs in Niger Delta.

May 13, 2012: In the northeast, near the Cameroon border, a tribal feud left twelve dead (including one policeman) and most of a village burned down.

In the northern city of Kano, Boko Haram gunmen killed three men who were playing cards. Boko Haram is trying to impose a strict Islamic lifestyle, which means no cards, music, video, booze, and so on.

May 12, 2012: In the northeast Boko Haram gunmen attacked a police station and burned it down, killing two policemen and a civilian in the process.

May 11, 2012: In the northeast police arrested the Boko Haram commander (Suleiman Mohammed) for Kano along with his wife and five children during a raid. Suleiman Mohammed was then flown to the national capital for interrogation. The raid was made possible by a tip from a local and also led to the seizure of explosives and other bomb making materials.  

May 10, 2012: In the northern city of Kano, Boko Haram gunmen killed a local Shia leader. Many Sunni (over 80 percent of Moslems) believe Shia (about ten percent of Moslems) to be heretics and to be converted or killed.

Tribal violence continued in the Central Nigerian city of Jos, leaving seven dead in several incidents.

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