Nigeria: Calling For Predators

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June 7, 2012: Boko Haram mocks the government for the ineptitude of the police and army, as well as the general inability to crush the Islamic radicals. While all that is largely true, Boko Haram is itself not very rational, killing many civilians and attempting to trigger a civil war between the Christians (who occupy the oil fields) and the Moslems (largely in the more arid north). While most Nigerians agree with Boko Haram on the need to eliminate corruption and incompetent government, few Nigerians, even among the Moslems, believe Boko Haram has the solution. This is especially true in light of Boko Haram's insistence on imposing Islamic law (Sharia) on all Nigerians. Boko Haram causes chaos and disrupts the economy in the north, which creates more popular anger at the group. The police and army are trying to operate in a less brutal and callous fashion but old habits are hard to change. Boko Haram is already seeking to limit civilian (at least Moslem civilians) deaths but is not having much success. Long-term, Boko Haram seems headed for defeat. But to get there thousands will die and the economic damage (mainly in the north) will be enormous.

The government has asked the U.S. for help in dealing with Boko Haram. Major assistance (UAVs, Special Forces) can't be provided unless the U.S. can declare Boko Haram a Foreign (international) Terrorist Organization (or FTO). The U.S. is still debating that. So far, the only foreign nation Boko Haram has operated in is Mali. Since northern Mali is on its way to becoming another terrorist sanctuary, this may be all that is required to bring American counter-terrorism forces to Nigeria.

Meanwhile, many foreign nations are assisting Nigeria to upgrade its security and counter-terror forces. This includes donations of equipment and providing training.

June 5, 2012: In the northeastern city of Maiduguri, troops raided a neighborhood used as a base for Boko Haram and killed at least 16 of the Islamic terrorists.

June 3, 2012:  In the north (Bauchi State) a bomb went off in a church, killing 21 and wounding nearly 50. Boko Haram later took credit for the attack. Boko Haram has long pledged to drive all Christians out of the Moslem north and eventually conquer the Christian south and force everyone there to convert to Islam.

June 2, 2012: Tribal violence in central Nigeria (Nasarawa State) has left at least 20 dead and over 50 wounded.

May 31, 2012:  In the northern city of Kano, a police effort to rescue a German man being held for ransom for five months failed, with the hostage, as well as four other people dying. The German was being held by a group affiliated with al Qaeda. The German government complied with one of the kidnapper's demands and freed a convicted Islamic terrorist in April. But this was not sufficient and al Qaeda demanded more.

 

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