Nigerian Terror Metastasizing

Arnold Ahlert is a former NY Post op-ed columnist currently contributing to JewishWorldReview.com, HumanEvents.com and CanadaFreePress.com. He may be reached at atahlert@comcast.net.


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About a year ago, Boko Haram re-emerged and began a campaign of assassinations carried out by motorcycle-riding gunmen toting Kalashnikov rifles hidden under their traditional robes. The mayhem has resulted in at least 361 deaths this year alone, according to AP. In response, motorcycles have been banned from the street in Maiduguri, but the killing continues. Government officials, police officers, soldiers in the region, and clerics who speak out against Boko Haram are routinely targeted. On Sunday another such assassination was carried out against a local police inspector on his way to pray at a mosque with his family. Gunmen separated the man from his family, ordered them to leave, and then murdered him.

Khalifa Dikwa, a professor at the University of Maiduguri, notes that a region beset by grinding poverty, as a well as a level of perceived corruption and injustice, makes for a fertile breeding ground for recruitment by the Boko Haram. While the rich and well-connected get justice, he contends, “somebody who was incarcerated for stealing just a chicken will be behind bars for six years without trial. Again, it boils down to injustice, alienation, arm-twisting of the law, corrupting the entire system.” He further notes that such injustice, coupled with a 70 percent unemployment rate and few opportunities for youths who lack access to good education, makes the terrorist group an attractive alternative to the status quo. “Anybody who feels cheated is Boko Haram,” he added.

On Saturday, the U.N. Security Council condemned the attacks. “The members of the Security Council reaffirmed that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations is criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of its motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed and should not be associated with any religion, nationality, civilization or ethnic group,” a statement read. “The members of the Security Council reaffirmed the need to combat by all means, in accordance with the charter of the United Nations, threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts,” it added. On Sunday Pope Benedict XVI also called for an end to the violence in Nigeria.

A spokesman for the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (SCIA) who wished to remain anonymous condemned the killings, but insisted that Muslims could not be responsible because they were perpetrated during a holy month and on the eve of Eid. The Eid al-Adha celebration, or the “Festival of Sacrifice,” is a three-day affair centering around the slaughter of sheep and cattle in remembrance of Abraham’s near-sacrifice of his son by command of Allah. Allah allowed the boy to live after Abraham demonstrated his willingness to submit to the command. The holy month is a reference to the Hajj, the Fifth Pillar of Islam, which requires every Muslim make a pilgrimage to Mecca, if one is able-bodied and can afford to do so. This year the pilgrimage occurs in November.

Hence the skepticism. “I am very doubtful that the people that did this are Muslims,” said the SCIA spokesman. “If they are, what kind of Islam are they practising? No sane Muslim would do this. If you are fighting for God, you must first obey him and observe his commandments. The holy month must be kept holy.”

Maybe not. On Sunday the U.S. embassy issued a statement warning of more to come. “The U.S. Embassy has received information that Boko Haram may plan to attack several locations and hotels in Abuja (this week) …Targets may include the Nicon Luxury, the Sheraton Hotel, and the Transcorp Hilton Hotel,” it read. As for the rest of the year? A decade of attacks outlined here suggests that with respect to “fighting for God,” anytime may be the right time for Islamic terrorists in Nigeria.

Yet for the most part, terrorism in Nigeria has remained under the radar despite the fact that the country has been victimized by more attacks in the last two years than any country in the world except Somalia–and despite the fact that the fruits of that terrorist-inspired unrest have already been exported to the United States: Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who tried to detonate a bomb hidden in his underwear aboard a Northwest Airlines flight in December of 2009, was Nigerian.

An isolated incident? Maybe not. Attacks with large bombs may indicate that Boko Haram is receiving training from al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). Furthermore in August, Gen. Carter F. Ham, head of the United States Africa Command, contended that both groups were attempting to establish a “loose partnership” with Shabaab, the Somali-based terror group responsible for the bombings at the World Cup soccer matches in Uganda last year where more than 70 people were killed. Ham characterized the development as one that “would be the most dangerous thing to happen not only to the Africans, but to us as well.” That same month the Obama administration stated that Nigeria was incapable of fighting terror within the nation’s borders.

It is worth remembering that Americans knew very little about al Qaeda and Afghanistan prior to 9/11, and those who did were loath to believe such a relatively “insignificant” development could blossom into a force capable of carrying out the worst domestic attack in the history of the nation. Precious few Americans have heard of Boko Haram. Every reasonable effort possible should be undertaken to prevent them from becoming a household name.

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  • BS77

    Nigeria, Sudan, Somalia, Afghanistan…..barbaric violence, terror, oppression, enslavement, brutality……..sickening. Westerners better wake up and smell the coffee!

  • Questions

    It's not as if this carnage couldn't have been predicted. Nigeria is black. And the northern part of the country is Muslim. Black + Islam = violence.

  • skai

    No matter where the muslims are they are nothing but problem. see http://www.thereligionofpeace.com Wake up America.

  • LindaRivera

    “Whomever we kill, we kill because Allah says we should kill."

    For 1,400 years, from the beginning of Islam, Islam has been at war with the Holy One – Master of the Universe, and at war with G-D's Holy Laws:

    YOU SHALL NOT MURDER

  • LindaRivera

    "Attacks with large bombs may indicate that Boko Haram is receiving training from al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb."

    United together in JIHAD, US/NATO, Al-Qaeda and Hezbollah triumph over Libya.

    Admiral James Stavridis, NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, and the commander of the U.S. European Command told the U.S. Senate that Al-Qaeda and Hezbollah fighters are among the Libyan rebels currently receiving support from the US and its NATO allies. This was confirmed by one of the Libyan rebel officers, Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi, who leads one of the Al-Qaeda units.
    (US Aid to Israel’s Enemies, Oct 13th, 2011, frontpagemag.com)

    U.S/NATO joined with Al-Qaeda and Hezbollah terrorists to wage relentless war for months. Bombing Libya back to the stone age.

    Barbaric Al Qaeda and Hezbollah who MURDER our troops in Iraq were considered desirable for placing in power in Libya. US/NATO have great guilt in making the world a far more dangerous place.

  • LindaRivera

    There is mostly silence about the horrors taking place against Libya’s blacks.
    STOP the GENOCIDE of Blacks by the U.S. backed cruel Libya rebels!

    The Obama-supported rebels left in charge are now conducting a “large scale cleaning in the areas under their control with the extermination of all blacks in the capital”, according to The Independent.

    Barbaric atrocities, kidnappings and ruthless genocide of blacks in Libya by US/France/NATO backed Al-Qaeda/Hezbollah rebels has been going on for months.

    US/NATO who have waged war for months for Hezbollah and Al-Qaeda
    who MURDER our troops in Iraq-are RESPONSIBLE for stopping the genocide.

    US/NATO are also responsible for rescuing the many terrified blacks kidnapped by the rebels, including the kidnapped black children who have been horrifically abused by the black-hater Muslim rebels.

    Blacks must have human rights!

    STOP THE GENOCIDE!

  • LindaRivera

    "Attacks with large bombs may indicate that Boko Haram is receiving training from al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb."

    Before the war began, Libyans had Africa’s highest standard of living. David Blundy and Andrew Lycett’s book titled, “Qaddafi and the Libyan Revolution.

    Libya’s Great Man-Made River (GMMR) was developing an ocean-sized aquifer beneath the desert for irrigation, human consumption, and other uses. At 2007 consumption rates, it could last 1,000 years. Gaddafi called his Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System (NSAS) the “Eighth Wonder of the World.”

    Under Gaddafi’s 1999 Decision No. 111, all Libyans got free healthcare, education, electricity, water, training, rehabilitation, housing assistance, disability and old-age benefits, interest-free state loans, as well as generous subsidies to study abroad, buy a new car, help couples when they marry, practically free gasoline, and more.

    Gaddafi used Libya’s oil money to take care of the Libyan people and also gave enormous financial help to other African nations. Now that US/NATO/France/UK waged ruthless war for several months and won the war for Al-Qaeda, Hezbollah and other Muslim terrorists, the oil money will NOT be used to help Libyans and other African nations. The oil money will be used to wage global jihad.