Nigeria: Hope Springs Eternal


October 18, 2011: Islamic terror group Boko Haram continues to carry out terror attacks. Despite a massive military and police response, Boko Haram has plenty of new recruits. That's because Boko Haram is against the corruption and inept government that has gotten worse every year for decades. While many Nigerians are repelled by the doctrine (Islamic dictatorship) and tactics (terrorism) of Boko Haram, many young Moslem men are drawn to the organization anyway.

In the northeastern city of Maiduguri, police are accused of attacking innocent civilian and destroying property as the security forces seek out Boko Haram members.

October 16, 2011: In northeastern Borno State, Boko Haram apparently assassinated a member of parliament. Earlier in the day, in neighboring Gombe State, a police barracks was attacked with bombs and gunfire, with three attackers and one policeman killed. This was also attributed to Boko Haram.

October 15, 2011: In the northeastern city of Maiduguri, Boko Haram murdered the head of a pro-government vigilante group.

October 14, 2011: In the northeastern city of Maiduguri, Boko Haram is believed responsible for the murder of a policeman.

October 13, 2011: In the northeastern city of Maiduguri, Boko Haram is believed responsible for the murder of a prison guard. By intimidating prison guards, it becomes easier to break Boko Haram men out of jail.

Pirates released a 35,000 ton tanker, and its crew of 20, that was taken on the 8th. It's unclear if ransom was paid, because, unlike Somalia, there is no safe place for Nigerian pirates to park a stolen ship while ransom is negotiated. What exactly went on here is murky. Normally, pirates board ships, carry off whatever is portable and take a few senior officers to hold for ransom. But in this case, the pirates may have offloaded some or all of the 30,000 tons of oil the ship carried before the police and navy were aware that the tanker had been taken.

October 9, 2011: Outside the northeastern city of Maiduguri, Boko Haram is believed responsible for setting off a bomb outside a church. There were several wounded. Anti-Christian violence has been growing in the Islamic north, along with anger against government corruption. Islamic conservatives insist that Islamic (Sharia) law would solve the corruption problem. This has not worked elsewhere, but hope springs eternal.

October 7, 2011:  Three former state governors were arrested for stealing over $600 million. The accused will use a lot of that money to defend themselves, and this strategy often works.



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