Nigeria: The Al Qaeda Connection

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September 9, 2011: The army continues to have problems controlling its troops. For example, when a civilian, usually Boko Haram, shoots a soldier, and is not caught, local troops will often go to the town or village where it happened and shoot civilians while looting and burning property. The army sometimes threatens to unleash this kind of mayhem as a weapon. Such is the case in the central Nigerian town of Jos, where Moslem violence against Christians is out of control.

The inability of the government to quickly and accurately collect information on Boko Haram, and other Islamic radical operations, is apparently due to morale problems inside the main intelligence gathering agency; the Department of State Security. Poor leadership at the top, and what appears to be corruption are major factors. Intelligence agents complain that much of their pay (bonuses, vacation pay and clothing allowances) has disappeared without explanation. This sort of thing is all-too-common in government agencies. Plundering payroll funds is a favorite scam of corrupt officials and politicians. Recent wikileaks revelations detailed how many of the first Boko Haram members arrested for terrorism 3-4 years ago, were released because of political pressure from northern politicians (who wanted to conceal the outbreak of Islamic radicalism in the Moslem north.) Now, many of those who were released are under arrest again, or being sought, for more recent attacks and terrorism deaths. In addition, one of the Boko Haram leaders being sought was believed to have returned from Somalia recently, and played a key role in the UN compound bombing last month. Somalia has become a base for many al Qaeda members chased out of Pakistan and Arabia. Boko Haram has taken credit for that UN bombing, and says it was done because the UN oppresses Moslems worldwide. This is a favorite al Qaeda theme.

Government efforts to halt oil thefts in the Niger River delta has also exposed the fact 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 ten percent of oil production each year.

September 8, 2011: Police in the capital have found a Boko Haram bomb building workshop, and arrested six people associated with it. One of those arrested was from Niger. However, this operation apparently had nothing to do with the bombing of a UN compound last month.

September 7, 2011: The government said it had arrested 300 of 500 known Boko Haram members, and was pursuing key members (leaders, fund raisers, bomb builders) of the Islamic radical organization.

September 6, 2011: In the northeastern city of Maiduguri, two bombs went off. There were no deaths.

September 5, 2011: Religious violence around the central Nigerian city of Jos in the last week has now killed more than fifty people, most of them Christians.

September 4, 2011: Moslem mobs began attacking Christian churches in central Nigeria (around Jos). The Moslems claim that some of them were attacked at recent end-of-Ramadan celebrations, but Christian leaders deny this. The attacks went on for several days, causing over fifty casualties, most of them Christian and fourteen of them fatal.

In the northeastern city of Maiduguri, someone shot to death an Islamic scholar. Boko Haram is suspected, as these Islamic terrorists often murder religious leaders who preach against terrorism.

 

 

 

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