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Old 03-30-2012, 12:45 PM   #1
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Default Nigeria's Boko Haram kills 4, robs bank

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria - Suspected members of Nigerian Islamist sect Boko Haram killed four people on Friday when they robbed a bank and stormed a police station in northeast Borno state, a government official said. Gunmen killed two people during a raid on a UBA branch in Askira town in the early hours before attacking the local police station, where an officer and a civilian were shot dead, local government spokesman Malam Yuthama said. ...

Nigeria's Boko Haram kills 4, robs bank
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Old 05-19-2013, 02:24 AM   #2
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Dozens of Boko Haram militants captured...

Nigerian Military Says It Captured Dozens of Boko Haram Militants
May 18, 2013 — Less than five days after the Nigerian armed forces began a massive attack on militants in the north, Nigeria's Department of Defense says 65 suspected Boko Haram militants have been arrested and ten have been killed.
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The Nigerian military says Boko Haram militants are fleeing their camps. Some are in search of fuel while others are running from the armed forces that are attacking the camps. This comes after Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan Tuesday declared a state of emergency in three northern states because of escalating Boko Haram violence. Since the insurgency began in 2009, Boko Haram, which says it shares resources and training with al-Qaida, has been blamed for thousands of deaths.

In a statement released Saturday, Defense Department spokesperson, Chris Olukolade said the armed forces continue to battle Boko Haram and they will “fish out” suspected members in hiding. Some analysts fear the military offensive could further escalate the violence, saying Nigerian security forces alienate the public by killing suspects rather than arresting them, and detaining people without charges.

Babagana, is an accountant in Maiduguri, the original home of Boko Haram and the heart of the insurgency. He says residents have mixed feelings about the sudden influx of armed forces. “If they can discharge their duties professionally to ensure that peace is restored in [the north-eastern state of] Borno and the nation at large, it’s a welcome development. But the problem is when they are attacked or one of them is killed or whatever they will just start harassing innocent people, maiming, killing, burning and in the process they will kill a lot of innocent ones; meanwhile the culprit will escape them. So that is the problem.”

Phone and internet service in the northeast have been intermittent since the offensive began and many places are locked down, with authorities Saturday imposing an indefinite 24-hour curfew in more than 10 local areas. In Maiduguri the military has blocked off roads heading north and commercial trucks wait idly at the blockades.

Nigerian Military Says It Captured Dozens of Boko Haram Militants
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Old 06-14-2013, 02:18 AM   #3
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Africa becomes a terrorist hotspot...

US Military Pays Close Attention to Boko Haram Militants
June 13, 2013 — The commander of the U.S. Africa Command, General David Rodriguez, says U.S. forces are paying close attention to Boko Haram militants in northern Nigeria as the group expands its ties with terrorist organizations on the continent.
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AFRICOM, the U.S. Africa Command based in Stuttgart, Germany, is the newest of the U.S. military's combatant commands. Its mission is to defend U.S. national security interests by strengthening the defense capabilities of African states. General David Rodriguez took the helm of AFRICOM two months ago. He sat down for interview with VOA during a visit to the Pentagon Thursday. Rodriguez said one of the command's top concerns is the spread of militant groups on the continent. The Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram is of special concern, in part because it continues to expand its connections to terrorist groups in the region.

“We're very concerned about that because those connections expand opportunities, expand capabilities and things like that to those networks as they grow and develop, and Boko Haram is a very, very violent network. It is one that has had a very, very negative impact on the northern part of Nigeria, as well as Niger and Chad, and it crosses borders. And it's going to take a coordinated effort by all those nations as well as some good decisions and good thought process for the Nigerian government to help solve that problem," said General Rodriguez. US officials see the militant activity in northern Nigeria an internal issue and think the problem is best left for the Nigerian government to handle.

Rodriguez says the U.S. military's role on the continent is to provide training and other assistance to the militaries of partner nations that request the help. He said U.S. forces are keeping a close eye on Boko Haram. “All the things that are destabilizing to a country is what we really want to watch carefully, because those are the things that we have to help build - the African capacity -because that's the best way for them to handle the challenges: in an African way, with African forces. So, that's why we're really working on strengthening the defense capabilities of the African partners," he said. The only permanent U.S. base in Africa is in Djibouti, and the U.S. says it has no plans to build any other. But reports of expanded U.S. activity including drone operations in Mali and Niger have triggered speculation of much larger involvement.

Rodriguez says the U.S. presence is largely limited to small numbers of trainers who are rotated in and out of countries as requested by the host governments. “The history of the African nations, the colonialism, all those things are what point to the reasons why we should not go in there in force and everything else, and just use a small footprint with creative and innovative solutions to get high payoff from a small number of people, as well as come in for short periods of time to do exercises, to do operations, to help build that capacity," he said. While the U.S. is limiting the number of American trainers going to Africa, officials have called for a boost in intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities and called for a larger number of drones, surveillance aircraft and satellite imagery to improve intelligence gathering on the continent.

US Military Pays Close Attention to Boko Haram Militants
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Analysts: West Africa Attractive Hezbollah Destination
June 13, 2013 > Analysts say numerous factors have made West Africa an attractive target for Hezbollah, a Shi'ite extremist group founded in Lebanon.
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The presence of the extremist group in the region came into the spotlight this week after the United States announced it was imposing sanctions on four Lebanese citizens accused of aiding Hezbollah in its efforts to expand in West Africa. The U.S. considers Hezbollah a terrorist organization. The U.S. Treasury Department said Tuesday that the four men helped Hezbollah broaden its reach in Sierra Leone, Senegal, the Ivory Coast and Gambia.

Richard Downie, Deputy Director of the Africa Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, says weak government policies in these countries work to Hezbollah's advantage. "This is a set of countries that are undergoverned — ill-governed in some respects. Their security services are weak. Their police capability is pretty low, so there are opportunities there for transnational organized criminals to take advantage, and that seems to be the theme of what’s happened," he said. Downie says Hezbollah has also received support from the region's Lebanese communities. “In West Africa, there is actually a fairly large Lebanese community," he said. "It dates back a century or more. Many of them are Shi'ite Muslims and so there is a community there that Hezbollah is able to target."

Wahied Wahdat-Hagh, a senior fellow at the European Foundation for Democracy, says Iran, which has traditionally provided Hezbollah with substantial support, has been using the militant group to further its own regional interests. “Hezbollah’s role has to be seen only in context of the interests of Iranian foreign policy and Iranian military strategy in the Near East and in Africa," he said. "The Iranian influence [has grown] in the last years and the main interest is smuggling weapons and recruiting soldiers."

In a separate development, three Lebanese men who were arrested in Nigeria on suspicion of being Hezbollah members have announced they are suing the Nigerian government for more than $6 million for unlawful incarceration. The three men were arrested in the city of Kano last month. They say they have not been formally charged with any offense.

Analysts: West Africa Attractive Hezbollah Destination
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Old 08-21-2013, 12:24 AM   #4
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Abubakar Shekau, Boko Haram leader, may have been killed...

Nigerian army says Boko Haram leader may be dead
Wed, Aug 21, 2013 - DEJA VU? Reports that Abubakar Shekau has been killed have been wrong before. The military says that a video released on Aug. 13 purporting to be of him was a fake
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The leader of militant Islamist sect Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, may have died of gunshot wounds some weeks after a clash with soldiers, the Nigerian military said on Monday. Past reports of Shekau’s death have proved false and there was no independent confirmation of the army account. In a statement, the army said that Shekau, blamed for a campaign of deadly attacks on security targets and churches across Africa’s biggest oil-producing country, was hit during a gunbattle near one of his camps in the northeast on June 30. He was taken over the border into Cameroon where he was believed to have died between July 25 and Aug. 3, according to the report issued by the military base in the northeast city of Maiduguri.

Intelligence reports “revealed that Abubakur Shekau, the most dreaded and wanted Boko Haram terrorist leader, may have died,” the statement read. Boko Haram wants to impose Islamic law in Nigeria’s north, and, alongside other spin-off Islamist groups, has become the biggest threat to stability in Nigeria. Though the death of Shekau would be a blow to Boko Haram’s campaign, the group has several factions without one homogeneous leadership structure. Spin-off groups like al-Qaeda-linked Ansaru, which has claimed responsibility for kidnapping and killing Westerners, are believed to operate independently.

Shekau assumed the leadership of Boko Haram when its founder Mohammed Yusuf was killed in police custody during a crackdown in 2009. He is the only high-profile member of Boko Haram, appearing in several videos posted on the Internet where, wagging his finger, he has sworn to bring down the government of Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan and criticized the US for its treatment of Muslims.

The US has offered a reward of US$7 million for information leading to Shekau’s capture. Shekau’s last public contact was thought to be in a video distributed to journalists in Maiduguri on Aug. 13. Though the video looked and sounded like the same person in previous recordings, the military said on Monday it was a fake. “The recent video ... was dramatized by an impostor to hoodwink the sect members to continue with the terrorism and to deceive the undiscerning minds,” its statement said.

Nigerian army says Boko Haram leader may be dead - Taipei Times
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Is Boko Haram in Nigeria on the back foot?
20 August 2013 > Nigeria's military says Abubakar Shekau, the leader of militant Islamist group Boko Haram, may have died of a gun-shot wound sustained during an assault by government forces on his forest hide-out in north-eastern Nigeria last month. Nigeria analyst Andrew Walker assesses the implications of the claim.
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If the death of Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau is verified then it is undoubtedly a key milestone in the life of the group which, in almost exactly four years, has murdered thousands in northern and central Nigeria. Since 2009, the group (whose name roughly translated means "Western education is forbidden" in the local Hausa language) has waged a guerrilla insurgency against the state and a wide array of "soft" targets. At times, large-scale attacks came almost daily. Boko Haram believes its war will bring a strident and extreme form of Islamic law to Nigeria. School children, teachers, the UN, the police, north-eastern traditional leaders, journalists, mobile phone towers, ordinary Nigerians going about their lives have all come under attack.

The group is also reported to have moved to Mali during the conflict there, where it is alleged to have received training from foreign jihadis. Looking back over the last four years the attacks appear to be almost mini-campaigns, responses by the group to events in Nigeria and outside. The type of attacks evolved as the group developed, and in some cases occurred in several areas in short succession - evidence the group was controlled by a tight cadre of people, and the cell-like structure of the organisation took direction. So killing the leadership might possibly have a big effect on how the group is organised and how well it is able to repeat such big campaign attacks in future.

Scepticism

"Might possibly" because what is known for sure about Boko Haram is very scant. Reliable information from Nigeria in general is a rare thing; from a secretive Islamist insurgency even rarer. Certainly, until Nigerians see more proof, they are unlikely to believe that Shekau is actually dead - the military has claimed they have killed top leaders, even Shekau himself, before. Shekau appeared in a video circulated to journalists on 12 August, but the military has claimed this was acted by an impostor. Hundreds of people have written in to the BBC's Hausa Service social media pages to voice their scepticism at the announcement, which coincides with the end of operations carried out by the Joint Task Force (made up of the military and police) against Boko Haram and the launch of a new brigade with special responsibility to tackle the group.

Nigerians on social media are wondering if the announcement could be more to do with this launch and the military's relationship with the federal government, than events on the ground. It is also unclear what effect the killing of the group's leadership might have on the danger radical militants present to northern Nigeria. It is true that in recent months the group has been put into abeyance, civilian vigilante groups have reportedly chased them away from Borno state's Maiduguri city. They were chased to southern Borno, where the military have been concentrating their attacks successfully, says Boko Haram analyst Adam Higazi in a report for think-tank Oxford Analyitica.

'Personality cult'
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Old 08-26-2013, 03:28 AM   #5
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Boko Haram Descending into Cannibalism...

Boko Haram Joins Free Syrian Army in Descending into Cannibalism
August 25, 2013 - Technically Khalid al Hamad, the Syrian Cannibal, is a Free Syrian Army commander, but those structural lines are loose, and since we couldn’t possibly be arming one of those bad cannibal people, he must be Al Nusra Front. Just ask Lindsey Graham, he’ll tell you so.
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But now it appears that members of Boko Haram, widely reputed to be linked to Al Qaeda, despite frequent loud denials from Obama Inc, are joining them on the cannibal front lines. Dozens of suspected Boko Haram militants in Magumeri forest, Borno state, north east Nigeria, have turned to human eaters after being stranded for days without food or water.

Magumeri forest is about 150 kilometres from Maiduguri, the state capital. The incredible story was related by Malam Momodu Bukar, who claimed to be part of the insurgency group. He told newsmen on Saturday in Maiduguri that he fled the camp at the forest on Thursday when it became obvious that he was going to be eaten. “I thank God that I escaped because I would have been slaughtered by now to provide meal for my colleagues at the camp,” Bukar said.

That wouldn’t necessarily be a problem under Islam. In times of emergency, there’s a cannibal hierarchy. First you eat infidels, then Muslims who stop praying. Clearly some of the Boko Haram Jihadists had not stayed current with their prayers and went into the pot.

Boko Haram Joins Free Syrian Army in Descending into Cannibalism | FrontPage Magazine
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Old 10-27-2013, 04:38 PM   #6
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Granny says, "Dat's right - kill `em all, let Allah sort `em out...

Nigerian Troops Kill 95 Suspected Boko Haram Islamists
October 25, 2013 At least 95 suspected Boko Haram members were killed in two separate raids on the Islamists’ camps in the northeast as part of a renewed offensive by Nigerian security forces, military spokesmen said.
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“The operation which involved ground and aerial assault supported by the Nigerian Air Force led to the destruction of the identified terrorists’ camp, killing 74 terrorists while others fled with serious injuries,” Nigerian Army spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Mohammed Dole, said today in an e-mailed statement from the northeastern city of Maiduguri. Two soldiers were wounded during the operation in Galangi and Lawanti villages in Borno state, he said.

Separately, 21 suspected Boko Haram members were also killed in Damaturu, capital of the northeastern Yobe state, after a shootout with security forces late yesterday, Eli Lazarus, a military spokesman, said today in an e-mailed statement. He didn’t provide further details.

Boko Haram, whose name means “Western education is a sin” in the Hausa language, has carried out gun and bomb attacks in Nigeria’s mainly Muslim north and the capital, killing thousands of people since 2009 in its campaign to establish an Islamic state in Nigeria. In 2011, the group detonated a suicide car bomb at the United Nations headquarters in Abuja.

Troops began an air and ground offensive against the militants on May 16, in a campaign that included bombing their camps by planes two days after Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan declared emergency rule on the northeastern states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe. Jonathan said the measure was necessary because the insurgents had taken over parts of Borno state.

Nigerian Troops Kill 95 Suspected Boko Haram Islamists - Businessweek
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Old 11-15-2013, 01:19 AM   #7
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Long overdue...

U.S. to designate Boko Haram a terror group
November 12th, 2013 ~ The State Department will designate Boko Haram, a Nigeria-based extremist group with ties to al Qaeda, and Ansaru, an offshoot, as Foreign Terrorist Organizations, U.S. officials told CNN.
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The move enables the United States to freeze assets, impose travel bans on known members and affiliates, and prohibit Americans from offering material support. The United States says Boko Haram has killed thousands since 2009. Human rights groups put the figure at more than 3,000. Boko Haram, which means "Western education is sacrilege" in the Hausa-Fulani language, has launched a self-described "war on Christians" and seeks to impose a strict version of Sharia law across northeastern Nigeria, if not the entire country. It has attacked various targets in the West African nation since its formation in the late 1990s, according to the U.S. National Counterterrorism Center. This includes killing and kidnapping Westerners, and bombing schools, churches and mosques, the center said.

In August, militants allegedly went into a mosque in Borno state and killed 44 worshipers. The group released a video boasting that it was growing stronger and had launched attacks in Benisheikh in September that the State Department said left 160 civilians dead, many of them Muslim women and children. In recent months, it has stepped up attacks against students at English-language schools. In September, the State Department said Boko Haram attacked an agricultural school, killing 50 students in their dorm as they slept. Earlier this month, the United Nations warned the extremist group could be found guilty of crimes against humanity after it launched a brutal attack on a wedding party that killed more than 30 people. The U.N. refugee agencies estimates more than 8,000 people in Northern Nigeria have fled into neighboring Cameroon to escape the escalating violence and another 5,000 have become internally displaced.


A poster displayed along the road shows photograph of Imam Abubakar Shekau, leader of the militant Islamist group Boko Haram, declared wanted by the Nigerian military with $320,471 reward for information that could lead to his capture in northeastern Nigeria town of Maiduguri

While the group's principle focus is Nigeria, the United States cites links to the al Qaeda affiliate in West Africa, and extremist groups in Mali. Gen. Carter Ham, then the commander of U.S. Africa Command, warned Congress that Boko Haram elements "aspire to a broader regional level of attacks," including against United States and European interests. A Boko Haram suicide attack on the United Nations building two years ago in the Nigerian capital of Abuja killed at least 25 people. In June 2012, the State Department added several of the group's members to a terrorist blacklist, including its new leader Abubakar Shekau, who has a $7 million bounty on his head. The decision to designate Boko Haram and Ansaru followed a robust debate.

The administration faced intense pressure from Congress and some officials to list the group, but other officials and experts warned it did not pose a threat to the United States, but that Washington could become a target as a result of the designation. Other officials argued the Nigerian government could interpret the decision as an American green light to continue its heavy handed crackdown on the organization. President Goodluck Jonathan stepped up a military campaign against the group six months ago, declaring a six-month state of emergency in May in the three northeastern states worst hit by the violence. Recent Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch reports accused the Nigerian military of human rights abuses and violations when conducting operations against the group. The UN said it is investigating the claims.

First on CNN: U.S. to designate Boko Haram a terror group – CNN Security Clearance - CNN.com Blogs
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Old 04-19-2014, 04:56 PM   #8
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Boko Haram wants to establish a Sharia gov't. in Nigeria...

Boko Haram: A bloody insurgency, a growing challenge
Fri April 18, 2014 ~ Boko Haram's aim is to impose strict enforcement of Sharia law in Nigeria; The name translates to "Western education is sin";
The group was founded 12 years ago by Mohammed Yusuf, a charismatic cleric; Nigerian police killed him in 2009 in an incident captured on video and posted online

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he militant group has bombed schools, churches and mosques; kidnapped women and children; and assassinated politicians and religious leaders alike. It made headlines again this week with the abduction of more than 100 schoolgirls in the town of Chibok in northeastern Nigeria. After a fierce gunbattle with soldiers, the militants herded the girls out of bed and onto buses, and sped off. Only a few of the 129 girls have been freed. What exactly is Boko Haram, and why has it turned into a Nigerian synonym for fear and bloodshed?

What does 'Boko Haram' mean?

The name translates to "Western education is sin" in the local Hausa language. The militant group says its aim is to impose a stricter enforcement of Sharia law across Africa's most populous nation, which is split between a majority Muslim north and a mostly Christian south.
In recent years, its attacks have intensified in an apparent show of defiance amid the nation's military onslaught. Its ambitions appear to have expanded to the destruction of the Nigerian government.

How long has it been around?

The group was founded 12 years ago by Mohammed Yusuf, a charismatic cleric who called for a pure Islamic state in Nigeria. Police killed him in 2009 in an incident captured on video and posted to the Internet. The crackdown, some say, made Boko Haram more violent and defiant. Abubakar Shekau took control of the group and escalated the attacks. It murdered and kidnapped Westerners, and started a bombing campaign that targeted churches, mosques and government buildings.

Why not just kill Abubakar Shekau?

One word: elusive. Questions have swirled about Shekau, including whether he's dead or alive. Even his age is unknown -- estimates range between 35 and 44. In recent years, the Nigerian military has touted his death, only to retract its claim after he appeared alive and vibrant in propaganda videos. He uses the alias Darul Tawheed, and analysts describe him as a ruthless loner and master of disguise. He does not speak directly with members, opting to communicate through a few select confidants.

Why would an Islamist militant group target the Muslim north?
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