December 4, 2012: In the northeastern city of Maiduguri the Boko Haram war against Christians has caused over 30 churches to close and over 20,000 Christians to flee the city. At least half the Christians in surrounding Borno state have fled. Some 170 Boko Haram attacks in the last three years have killed nearly a thousand people. Most of the violence occurs in the northern states of Borno and Yobe, especially Maiduguri city (in Borno). There are only a few gangs of armed Boko Haram men operating in the north but they are mobile and adept at avoiding checkpoints or patrols. These terrorist cells set off bombs and attack with firearms (and sometimes knives and machetes). They have terrorized Borno and Yobe states. While police have arrested or killed hundreds of Boko Haram members this year, the key leaders are still out there recruiting and training new men. The hated corruption (in business and government) is still out there and the Boko Haram explanation (it’s all the fault of the West and Christianity) resonates with many northern Moslems.
In the south oil thefts have increased over the last year, despite more efforts by the navy to find and seize the small tankers that collect the crude oil from the thieves and take it to neighboring countries to be sold to brokers, who will arrange for the stolen oil to enter legitimate commerce. Nigeria has the dubious distinction of being the only oil-producing nation suffering from large scale theft of crude oil. Not only is this costing the government $7 billion a year in lost revenue but much of the oil from the plundered pipelines (the thieves just punch a hole to steal the crude) flows into the Niger River delta waterways, polluting the delta and the fishing waters off the coast. The government had hired former local rebels to provide pipeline security but these lads appear to have gone into business with the oil thieves or joined the theft themselves. Naval officers are suspected of taking bribes from tanker owners, who can afford to pay large sums to avoid seizure.
December 2, 2012: In the northeastern city of Maiduguri troops cornered and killed wanted Boko Haram leader Abdulkareem Ibrahim along with two of his associates. Weapons and documents were recovered. Near the Borno border with Cameroon, Boko Haram gunmen attacked a police station, killing five policemen.
December 1, 2012: In Borno state Boko Haram gunmen invaded the village of Chibok and killed ten Christians.
November 30, 2012: In northern Bauchi state Boko Haram gunmen killed a local Islamic leader who was opposed to Boko Haram. Religious leaders like this are considered particularly dangerous by Boko Haram because they point out that Moslem politicians and businessmen are as corrupt as their Christian counterparts and it has nothing to do with foreign influences (if only because Christian foreigners tend to be more honest than Nigerians).
November 29, 2012: In a 39 minute video released on the Internet, the head of Boko Haram praises global Islamic conquest and names the United States, Britain, Israel, and Nigeria as the main enemies of Islam and Boko Haram.
November 28, 2012: In the north (Borno State) Boko Haram men on motorcycles attacked the government compound of Rann town with gunfire and bombs. Five policemen were killed and the Boko Haram men left after destroying some cell phone towers and stealing three rifles. In the northeastern city of Maiduguri, troops clashed with Boko Haram leaving one soldier and three terrorists dead (31 others were arrested).
November 26, 2012: Boko Haram leaders have officially asked for peace talks. The government earlier said it wasn’t interested just yet. The government believes they can eventually crush the Islamic terror group and don’t believe the religious fanatics would, or could, negotiate in good faith.
November 25, 2012: In central Plateau state Moslems attacked a convoy of vehicles and killed ten Christians. This was not Boko Haram but local Moslem tribesmen feuding with their Christian rivals. This has been going on in Plateau state for generations. In northern Kaduna state Boko Haram got a car bomb onto a military base and detonated it near a Christian church during services, killing ten soldiers and wounding 30. This was an embarrassing failure of security for the military.
November 24, 2012: The government is offering $1.8 million in rewards for the capture of the top 19 Boko Haram leaders. The largest individual reward (over $300,000) is for Boko Haram supreme leader Abubakar Shekau.