ANALYTIC GROUNDING: The Boko Haram terrorist (BHT) group was founded in 2002 by a Sunni Islamic preacher Mohammed Yusuf in Maiduguri, Borno state in Nigeria’s north – east. Yusuf exploited the seemingly conservative nature of Northern Nigeria as reflected in the region’s opposition to or backwardness in western education. Consequently, Yusuf built a mosque and Islamiyah School in Maiduguri (madrassa). At the madrassa that thousands of people, mostly uneducated and poor Muslims and converts from across Nigeria and the neighboring countries of Benin, Cameroon, Chad and Niger were dogmatically radicalised into Boko Haram ideology. Similarly, the endemic poverty, illiteracy and unemployment in the north – east was also exploited by Yusuf, thereby succeeded in creating a cult like followership. Continue reading
Lagos, Nigeria: Boko Haram is using female suicide bombers to sow wider panic and fear across Nigeria as well as gain greater publicity for its cause, experts said, after two fresh attacks in a week. The attacks, in Azare in the northeastern state of Bauchi and the Niger state town of Kontagora in the northwest, came after four attacks in a week in the northern city of Kano in July.
In June, another woman was said to have blown herself up in a twin bombing in the southwestern city of Lagos, although her involvement was never confirmed by the authorities. Continue reading
ATTACK ON CHINESE COMPANY IN CAMEROON DRAGS YAOUNDÉ INTO CAMPAIGN AGAINST BOKO HARAM
An assault on a Chinese road-building camp in northern Cameroon is the latest in a series of regional attacks on Chinese workers and facilities. The camp with 52 staff was run by a Sinohydro engineering unit involved in road improvement as part of a joint World Bank/Cameroon government project. Close to the camp is an oil exploration site run by Yan Chang Logone Development Holding Company, a subsidiary of China’s Yanchang Petroleum (Reuters, May 20). The exploration group is working in the Logone-Birni basin in north Cameroon.
The nighttime attack, believed to have been the work of Nigeria’s Boko Haram movement, overcame resistance from a much-diminished Cameroonian guard force before the attackers seized ten Chinese employees, wounded another and lifted ten Sinohydro vehicles as well as blasting equipment used in road construction (Xinhua, May 18). China has expressed concern over the possibility of military action to rescue the hostages: “We urge the Cameroonian authorities not to put the lives of the Chinese nationals missing in danger if actions to liberate them are launched” (China Daily/Xinhua, May 19). France quickly offered its assistance to China in finding the ten missing workers (AFP, May 18). Continue reading
Posted By admin On 11 Feb 2012.
What many have suspected for a long time seems to be official. Harakat Al-Shabaab and al Qaeda, in a video this week, formally announced their merger. The merger raises concern in the horn of Africa and the United States. The announcement also lends some crediance to the suspicion that al-Qaeda, through its north African partners, al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, have similar linkage with Nigeria’s jihadist, terrorist group Boko Haram.
In a video message released Thursday, Mukhtar Abu al-Zubeir, the recognized leader of al-Shabaab confirmed his allegiance to al-Qaeda and its cells around the globe. In the same video, Ayman al Zawahiri, al-Qaeda’s chief, gave his blessings and salams to al-Shabaab as he welcomed them into the international cause.
2011 Review of Terrorism in Africa
The past twelve months have seen increased terrorist activity in Africa leaving some not so pleasant senarios for 2012. In fact, I would say that 2011 saw terrorist groups moving almost at will on the continent despite greater security push back than every before. Sure, Africa’s terrorist groups are an extremely mixed bag, yet they seem poised to continue to reign havoc on citizens in their path.
Nigerian security forces killed and captured hundreds of Boko Haram loyalists in 2009 and 2010, including the summary execution of two of its leaders Alhaji Yusuf Mohammed and Alhaji Buji Foi. Some predicted the end of Boko Haram, yet in the past twelve months Boko Haram has risen to the level of the most active terrorist group on planet Earth carrying out more frequent and deadlier bombings. In the past the Boko Haram terrorists struck mostly in their own neighborhood of northern Nigeria, especially around Maiduguri, in 2011 they struck severe blows at security installations and the United Nations headquarters in the capital, Abuja. They ended the year with the horrific Christmas day bombings.
Al-Shabaab continued to raise havoc and fear in East Africa, particularly in Somalia. The al-Qaeda linked group struck often in southern villages and in Mogadishu during the year. The most notable event was the interjection of foreign countries into the battle against al-Shabaab. Kenya has for years had to deal with al-Shabaab in the Eastleigh district of Nairobi and in the far northern reaches of the country. In 2011 large numbers of Kenyan troops began to cross the border to seek and destroy al-Shabaab operatives after the abduction of tourists and aid workers. The United States re-inserted itself into Somalia through its use of drones, initially for intelligence gathering and later bombing suspected al-Shabaab staging areas. Israel even intimated that it was willing to lend a hand in the battle against al-Shabaab.