Nigeria: Afghanistan Terrorists Captured


August 28, 2009: In the Niger Delta, the military has retreated from most of the territory it had occupied earlier this year, as remote camps used by rebels and oil theft gangs were raided and closed down. Meanwhile, the army set up 27 camps in the delta, to process rebels who would surrender and accept amnesty. This sort of thing was tried in 2004, and failed.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC, the anti-corruption organization) recovered $320 million, and convicted 70 people, in the last year. Another 40 politicians are being prosecuted. But the EFCC has been weakened, as has its work. Much of the recovered money gets stolen again, and many, if not most, of those convicted, manage to bribe their way to freedom. The most recent corruption scandal involves five large banks, which nearly went bankrupt because they allowed lenders to steal billions via bad loans. The government put up $2.5 billion to keep the banks alive. The EFCC recovered $170 million in these fraudulent loans and has arrested 16 bank officials and 60 people who got over $5 billion in fraudulent loans. EFCC is also going after the auditors working for these banks, who are supposed to spot criminal activity and report it. Interpol is assisting in finding, arresting and returning some of the bank officials who managed to flee.

In western Nigeria, police have arrested and questioned 3,900 members of another Islamic conservative group; Darul Salam. After than 300 members of Daryl Salam were deported to neighboring Niger. Meanwhile, police continue to round up members of Boko Haram, and at least 30 of those arrested have confessed to having received terrorist training abroad (in places like Afghanistan.)

August 23, 2009:  Although a thousand MEND members have turned in their weapons and equipment (including 16 speedboats.). But most MEND leaders insist that the amnesty program is a fraud, will not work, and that the fighting will resume soon (after the ceasefire expires on September 15th).  

August 16, 2009: In the Niger Delta, a small passenger boat was attacked by pirates, who robbed the passengers. The pirates said they were hungry, as the recent military offensive in the area had destroyed their homes and businesses.




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