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5 countries sponsoring Boko Haram and ISWAP identified

Overview Of: 5 countries sponsoring Boko Haram and ISWAP identified


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As Boko Haram will soon be notching its tenth year of violence in northeastern Nigeria and neighboring Cameroon and Niger, one thing stands out: the staying power of the world’s bloodiest terrorist group (formerly).

It beats many how the group has been able to hang on.

Even a hipper and better moneyed Islamic State flamed out after three years.

But despite a decade of moderate to heavy pounding by the Nigerian armed forces with support of their collaborators from NATO and EU, the Islamist extremist group still has the capabilities to spring surprises. It has been raiding military bases, masterminding suicide bombing, and associating with other groups like Al Qaeda’s franchise in the Maghreb, the West Africa affiliate of Syria’s Islamic State, and Somalia’s Al Shabaab.

That way, it has killed no fewer than 16,987 people, including Muslims, Christians, humanitarian workers, and troops, since 2011, according the Council on Foreign Relations Nigeria Security Tracker. At least 50,000 children have been so orphaned.

And the group could have done worse had President Muhammadu Buhari, a general and civil war vet, not pushed back a little. The terrorists killed no fewer than 875 people in the last one year—compared to 6985 killed between 2014 and 2015.

The marginal gain, many believe, doesn’t justify Buhari’s declaration and insistence that his government has defeated Boko Haram technically.

The situation has got more annoying lately. Especially as Nigeria’s well cocooned members of the National Assembly are beginning to also feel the heat.

“Mr. Speaker, where are we going? For the last year, I cannot go to my village and sleep, I feel very insecure,” said Hon. Adamu Chika from Niger when the House reconvened recently. “It is terrible. We have to do something about it.”

So it’s getting more eyeballs, home and abroad.

Also heightening the tension is the religious politics the Christian Association of Nigeria is mixing with the Boko Haram terrorism and the government counter-insurgency efforts.

Federal lawmakers, critics and opinion leaders initially called for the sack of the nation’s military service chiefs coordinating the COIN strategy. But the lawmakers have had to walk back their words after meeting with the brass, getting all primed up with more human intelligence.

Theres the issue of equipment, personnel and other things that would be said off-camera. We know our committees are capable of handling these issues, said Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila.

But the committee chairman eventually let it slip.

There is probably an international dimension to what we see. There is ISIS, there is ISWAP,” Hon. Babajimi Benson, chairman, House Committee on Defense, told journalists. Though he said the committee will discuss it in a classified manner.

That some identified countries support Boko Haram won’t be much of a state secret for security analysts that have enough handle on Islamic terrorism and support around the world.

As fanatical and unworldly as Boko Haram is, money still remains the root of all evil. Through bank robberies, kidnap and ransom, drug and arms peddling, car-jacking, taxation of occupied territories, cigarette trading, the hardscrabble terrorist organization has been able to raise funds to keep afloat, and sustain its low-financed mode of operation: suicide bombing with IEDs.

It might not be making a kill from its drives for finance, though.

Boko Haram’s annual income stands at $10 million, according to the Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) in a study sponsored by the NATO Counter-IED Center of Excellence. This amount seems miserable when compared with other organizations’.

To shore up its liquidity, the group also gets financial and materiel supports from around the world. Which is what Nigeria’s federal lawmakers are just grappling with.

Some of these countries are Nigeria’s neighbors. Others are its distant allies.

 

Cameron🇨🇲 and Qatar🇶🇦

The terrorists are also plaguing the northern part of Cameroon. But the Nigerian neighbor sure harbors terrorist financiers and supporters connecting Boo Haram to outside world mostly known as petro-monarchies. One of them is Alhaji Abdallah, a Cameroonian car dealer whose hot shop, stocked with cars the terrorists steal extends, to Qatar. He was once nominated to help negotiate the release of a French family the group kidnapped for a ransom of more than $3 million in 2013. The AOAV said the Cameroonian military found receipts from Qatar as well as travel documents from Libya and Qatar in a Boko Haram camp in June 2014.

 

Saudi Arabia🇸🇦

Saudi Arabia is an ally of Nigeria’s. But the Middle Eastern regional power has its own interest at heart. “Boko Haram is funded by our friends from Saudi Arabia and our friends from Qatar,” Benin Republic ex-President Nicephore Soglo said pointblank during a summit in Niamey last year.

A prominent member of the petro-monarchies, Saudi likes to stand its ground as the headquarters of Islam on the planet. It will go to places to make that happen—by using money to tame every brand of Islam originating elsewhere, and trying to steal the show.

The fund might be huge, but it’s not regular.

Former head of French intelligence service DGSE (Direction Générale de la Sécurité Extérieure) Alain Chouet said in the report that Qatar and Saudi Arabia have directly participated in funding Boko Haram.

 

Egypt🇪🇬

Cairo may not play exactly a similar role to that of Saudi Arabia in supporting Nigerias home-bred insurgents. But funds trickle in from the African country. Small donations from religious students in Cairo flow in to support Boko Haram, according to an ex-Mujahedeen Kabir Umar. More funds like this also flow in from Sudan, Algeria, and others.

A Boko Haram defector, Sheikh Sani Haliru, once claimed he visited countries Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Yemen, Egypt, Sudan, Somalia, Libya and Niger.

 

Turkey🇹🇷

A series seizures of illegal arms imported from Turkey in Lagos has left little to doubt about Turkey dalliance with terrorism in Nigeria.

In May 2017, the Nigerian government told AFP it intercepted an illegal arms shipment originating from Turkey. The deadly cargo comprised 440 pump action rifles seized at the port in Lagos. About five months earlier, customs officers stopped a truck carrying 661 illegal pump-action rifles already cleared at the port.

In 2019, a Christian Broadcasting Network report quoted an Egyptian station, Ten.TV, as saying Turkey was supplying arms to Boko Haram. PM Tayyip Erdogan dismissed the report as vile. A leaked You-tube video of an official of Turkey Airlines however hit the internet. Mehmet Karataş was confessing his complicity in shipping weapons to Nigeria. “I do not know whether these [weapons] will kill Muslims or Christians. I feel sinful,” Karataş said.

The Nigerian authorities said they were investigating it. Nothing has been heard since then.

More countries and regional blocs, strong allies of the African giant, might have even benefited from Nigeria’s calamity. Its non-alliance foreign relations strategy has taken a knock, which is to the delight of the West, the EU, and NATO.

 

Nigeria now looks to them for military and humanitarian supports to cope. And this is an international system where none gets something for nothing.


Published: 3 years ago | 60 Views

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