Boko Haram, the Muslim terrorists of Nigeria 0

We have shown pictures of the mass slaughter of Christians by Muslims in Nigeria. (See Christians slaughtered by Muslims in Nigeria, October 17, 2011; Acts of religion in Nigeria revisited, October 16, 2011; Christians murdered by Muslims, March 9, 2010.)

One picture (see Acts of religion, November 6, 2010) was questioned as a true illustration of these massacres, but the rest are authenticated. The wrong ascription of one picture is not misleading. The massacres, including the burning to death of Christian victims, were committed and continue to be committed.

Massacres and assassinations are carried out systematically by the Muslim terrorist organization, Boko Haram, which has links to “al-Qaeda in the Maghreb” and  to al-Shabab, the terrorist group of Somalia.

Arnold Ahlert casts light on Boko Haram:

In Nigeria, a radical Islamic sect known as Boko Haram carried out a series of terrorist attacks killing more than 100 people in the states of Borno and Yobe on Friday [Nov. 4, 2011]. Yobe’s capital city of Damaturu bore the brunt of the damage when a car bomb exploded outside a military office and barracks, killing several security agents. The terrorist assault continued through the night when rampaging gunmen blew up a bank, and attacked at least three police stations, and five churches, leaving behind nothing but rubble, officials said. Gunmen also raided the nearby village of Potiskum, leaving at least two people dead there, according to witnesses. A Boko Haram spokesman calling himself Abul-Qaqa promised more of the same. “We will continue attacking federal government formations until security forces stop their excesses on our members and vulnerable civilians,” he warned.

Boko Haram, which translates from the local Hausa language into “Western education is sacrilege” in English, wants to impose Sharia law over the entire oil-rich nation of 160 million people, despite the fact the country is evenly divided into a largely Muslim north and a largely Christian south. The sect completely rejects the notion of Western-inspired democracy, which they contend has corrupted government officials. …

[One faction of] Boko Haram … rejects any compromise. Its spiritual leader, imam Abubakar Shekau, heard speaking in a scratchy recording obtained by the AP, insists that holy war is the only way to bring about change. “Whomever we kill, we kill because Allah says we should kill …”

This [latest] attack, coupled with one in August on a United Nations compound in Abuja, which killed 24 and wounded 116, indicates the group’s continued potency, despite a 2009 crackdown. In July of that year, a riot and a military response left 700 people dead. …

About a year ago, Boko Haram … 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 …  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. …

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, [is] 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 Shabab, 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.”  …

Presumably he means to the US military in Africa. The most dangerous thing that could happen to the US – and the world – would be a nuclear-armed Iran.

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.

Out of Africa always something familiar 0

It’s another real African story.

The Wichita Eagle of Kansas reports:

Up to half the food aid intended for the millions of hungry people in Somalia is being diverted to corrupt contractors, radical Islamic militants and local U.N. workers, according to a U.N. Security Council report.

Only half?

The report blames the problem on improper food distribution by the U.N. World Food Program in the African nation, which has been plagued by fighting and humanitarian suffering for nearly two decades, according to a U.N. diplomat. …

Because of the instability in Somalia, transporters must truck bags of food through roadblocks manned by a bewildering array of militias, insurgents and bandits. Kidnappings and executions are common and the insecurity makes it difficult for senior U.N. officials to travel to the country to check on procedures. Investigators could end up relying on the same people they are probing to provide protection.

Strange that we hardly hear a word about this, though surely it’s a much discussed issue in the UN?

There are of course UN sanctions against Somalia:

[A] U.N. diplomat told The Associated Press that “a significant diversion” of food delivered by the U.N. food program is going to cartels that were selling it illegally, according to the report by the panel of experts monitoring U.N. sanctions against Somalia.

Although WFP contracts are supposed to be subject to open tender and competitive bidding, “in practice the system offers little or no scope for genuine competition,” the diplomat quoted the report as saying.

The transportation contracts, with a budget of $200 million, constitute the single most important source of revenue in Somalia, the diplomat quoted the report as saying. … “On account of their contracts with WFP, these men have become some of the wealthiest in Somalia” …

Some 3.7 million people in Somalia – nearly half of the population – need aid. Earlier this year, the country’s main extremist Islamic [ie terrorist] group, al-Shabab, said it would prohibit WFP from distributing food in areas under its control because it says the food undercuts farmers selling recently harvested crops. [They have a point there – JB]

Omar Jamal, first secretary for Somalia’s U.N. Mission, told the AP on Wednesday that the problem is “the absence of law and order.”

We wouldn’t argue with that.

“Radicals, al-Shabab have to eat. And ever wonder where their foods come from? Of course, from WFP and UNDP,” said Jamal, also referring to the U.N. Development Program.

Someone really ought to do something about it –

Empower the Somali government to deal with corrupt contractors, Islamists and war profiteers awash in the country.”

Exactly how?

The terrorists who are doing so well out of all this misplaced philanthropy and endemic corruption have a complaint to make:

Al-Shabab [which] controls 95 percent of WFP’s areas of operation … accused the agency of handing out food unfit for human consumption and of secretly supporting “apostates,” or those who have renounced Islam.

Approximately 30 percent of the food goes to the distributors or “implementing partners,” between 5 and 10 percent goes to the armed group in control of the area, and 10 percent to the ground transporter, the diplomat quoted the report as saying.

The rest – about 50 percent of the food aid – is distributed to the needy population.

If they say so.

A couple of footnotes:

The U.S. reduced its funding to Somalia last year after the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control feared aid could be diverted to al-Shabab, which the U.S. State Department says has links to al-Qaida. The issue remains unresolved.

Finance Minister Abdirahman Omar Osman … said the Somali government would investigate the allegations of diverted food aid.

Sure it will. And what a difference it will make.