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Africa Subsaharan
Nigeria: Sharia Council Scribe - Shiites Pose Greater Threat Than Boko Haram
2016-04-25
Now, perhaps, when Boko Haram is nearly wiped out.
[ALLAFRICA] Kaduna -- The Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Sharia in Nigeria (SCSN), Mallam Nafiu Baba Ahmed, has said the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), also known as Shiite poses greater danger to Nigeria than the Boko Haram
... not to be confused with Procol Harum, Harum Scarum, possibly to be confused with Helter Skelter. The Nigerian version of al-Qaeda and the Taliban rolled together and flavored with a smigeon of distinctly Subsaharan ignorance and brutality...
terrorists.

Ahmed stated this while testifying before the judicial commission of inquiry set up by the Kaduna State Government to investigate the December 12-14, 2015, festivities between the Nigerian Army and the Shiites in Zaria.

He said the failure of the government to deal decisively with the alleged excesses of the Shi'ites may be catastrophic for the country.

Ahmed also revealed that the late leader of Boko Haram, Mohammed Yusuf, had some relationship with the Shi'ites prior to forming his own group, adding that both Mohammed and the Shiite leader, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky had similar attitudes in holding onto their respective doctrines which, according to him, are contrary to Islamic principles.

He alleged that the Shi'ites had recently started adopting the Boko Haram strategy of intimidation and elimination of Ulamas who were opposed to their doctrines, saying that many have refrained from testifying before the commission for fear of the unknown.

Ahmed, who lamented the initial government handling of Boko Haram, noted that small fires become huge conflagrations if not tackled in an effective and timely manner, urging the government to learn from its experience with Boko Haram by dealing decisively with the Shi'ites.
Link


Africa Subsaharan
Leader of Ansaru Islamist militant group arrested in Nigeria
2016-04-04
[FRANCE24] The leader of Nigeria's Ansaru jihadist group, a Boko Haram
... not to be confused with Procol Harum, Harum Scarum, possibly to be confused with Helter Skelter. The Nigerian version of al-Qaeda and the Taliban rolled together and flavored with a smigeon of distinctly Subsaharan ignorance and brutality...
splinter group ideologically aligned to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, has been tossed in the calaboose
Book 'im, Mahmoud!
, an army front man said on Sunday.

Khalid al-Barnawi is one of three Nigerians listed by Washington in 2012 as "specially designated global terrorists".

The US Department of State in June 2012 named Barnawi alongside Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau and Ansaru founder Abubakar Adam Kambar as terrorists.

"Security agents made a breakthrough on Friday in the fight against terrorism by arresting Khalid al-Barnawi, the leader of Ansaru terrorist group in Lokoja," military front man Brigadier General Rabe Abubakar said.

"He is among those on top of the list of our wanted terrorists," he added.

Lokoja is the capital of Nigeria's central Kogi state.

"Shekau is the most visible leader of the Nigeria-based bully boy group Jama'atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda'awati Wal-Jihad, commonly referred to as Boko Haram," the US state department said 2012.

"Khalid al-Barnawi and Abubakar Adam Kambar have ties to Boko Haram and have close links to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb," it said in a statement.

Al-Barnawi assumed the leadership of Ansaru following the death of Kambar in a military raid on his hideout in Kano in March 2012.

"We are very happy about this development (arrest). It is a great breakthrough in our fight against insurgency in the country," Information Minister Lai Mohammed told AFP.

A serving army officer added that his arrest was "a huge succees and will have a profound effect on counter-terrorism operations in Nigeria and beyond".

"He is a known transnational terrorist and the backbone of all Al-Qaeda affiliate groups in west Africa," the officer, who asked not to be named, told AFP.

Ansaru, a splinter group of Boko Haram, specialising in high profile killings and attacks on global interests, is also linked to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.

Barnawi, 47, whose real name is Usman Umar Abubakar, hailed from Biu town in restive northeast Borno state.

He and his group have been involved in a string of kidnappings of mostly foreigners.

The group comprises mostly western-educated Boko Haram members who were trained in AQIM camps in the Algerian desert.

They disapproved of Boko Haram's indiscriminate bombing and shooting campaign, preferring instead high profile killings and attacks on western interests.

Kamber and al-Barnawi were both former close allies of the late Boko Haram sect leader Mohammed Yusuf.

Al-Barnawi was the alleged criminal mastermind of the 2011 kidnap of a Briton and an Italian, both construction engineers, in northern Kebbi state.

The two hostages were killed in a failed rescue bid by British and Nigerian Special Forces in the northern city of Sokoto in 2012.

Trained in Afghanistan and Algeria, he was also behind the 2012 kidnap of a German construction engineer ‐ Edgar Raupach ‐ in the northern city of Kano.

The German was killed along with four captors in a botched rescue operation by Nigerian troops the same year at a hideout on the outskirts of Kano, where the group is mostly based.

Ansaru also claimed a 2012 attack on a maximum security facility in Abuja where detained Islamists were being held, killing two coppers and freeing 40 inmates.

With the emergence of Ansaru, Barnawi's faction became independent of Boko Haram but still maintained ties.

The group also grabbed credit for the kidnap of a French engineer, Francis Collomp, in northern Katsina state in 2012. He escaped later escaped.

Ansaru claimed the December 26, 2012 attack on a maximum security facility in Abuja where captured Islamists were being held, killing two coppers and freeing 40 detainees.

The group said it was responsible for a 2013 attack on a convoy of Mali-bound Nigerian troops in Kogi state, killing two soldiers and seriously wounding five others.

It issued a statement condemning Nigeria's participation in the "war against the Islamic state of northern Mali".
Link


Home Front: WoT
Swedish citizens get 11 years in U.S. prison for al Shabaab support
2016-01-17
[REUTERS] Two Swedish citizens who U.S. prosecutors said fought alongside the Islamist turban group al-Shabaab
... Somalia's version of the Taliban, functioning as an arm of al-Qaeda...
in Somalia in battles to take control of the country's capital of Mogadishu were sentenced to 11 years in prison on Friday.

Ali Yasin Ahmed, 31, and Mohammed Yusuf, 33, were sentenced by U.S. District Judge John Gleeson in Brooklyn, New York, in light of their guilty pleas in May to conspiring to provide material support to al-Shabaab.

Prosecutors had sought 15 years in prison for the Somali-born men, who they called "operational members of a terrorist organization."

But while Gleeson said that was correct, he said he also partly accepted their lawyers' characterizations of the men as freedom fighters who only joined al-Shabaab in order to return to war-torn Somalia to fight against Æthiopia.

"This is not a black-and-white situation," Gleeson said.

Prosecutors said Ahmed and Yusuf abandoned their homes in Sweden in 2008 to travel to Somalia to undergo military and doctrinal training with al-Shabaab.

The turban group, which seeks to overthrow Somalia's Western-backed government and impose a strict version of sharia, or Islamic law, has links to al Qaeda and has carried out attacks in Kenya and Æthiopia.

After receiving training, Ahmed and Yusuf traveled to Mogadishu, where they fought in battles alongside other U.S. and European fighters who had joined al-Shabaab to take control of the city in 2009, prosecutors said.

Ahmed and Yusuf continued to train and fight with al-Shabaab, prosecutors said, and Yusuf appeared in a propaganda video filmed in Mogadishu urging people to fight on behalf of the turban group.

The men and a former British citizen, Madhi Hashi, were placed in durance vile
Please don't kill me!
in August 2012 in Djibouti after illegally crossing the border from Somalia on their way to Yemen
...an area of the Arabian Peninsula sometimes mistaken for a country. It is populated by more antagonistic tribes and factions than you can keep track of. Except for a tiny handfull of Jews everthing there is very Islamic...
to join al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula
...the latest incarnation of various Qaeda and Qaeda-allied groups, including the now-defunct Aden-Abyan Islamic Army that boomed the USS Cole in 2000...
, prosecutors said.

Their lawyers said the men were tortured while in jug in Djibouti over the next several months before being turned over U.S. authorities for prosecution, though their case had no allegations that they intended any direct harm to the United States.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Shreve Ariail said the "unconscionable" treatment they received in Djibouti factored into extending plea deals that capped their prison terms at 15 years.

The men, who before pleading guilty faced 30 years to life in prison, will be deported after they are released from prison.
Link


Africa Subsaharan
Saving Niger’s Uranium Before Boko Haram Gets It
2015-08-02
Things I hadn't thought about #47,013,225. Key bits:
[Spectator] Since February, Niger’s army has been battling Boko Haram
... not to be confused with Procol Harum, Harum Scarum, possibly to be confused with Helter Skelter. The Nigerian version of al-Qaeda and the Taliban rolled together and flavored with a smigeon of distinctly Subsaharan ignorance and brutality...
in its Diffa region. It borders Nigeria's northeastern region where Boko Haram is trying to establish an Islamic state. This terrorist organization has killed more than 15,000 people and created 1.5 million refugees, some 100,000 of which are in Niger.

Niger's government has declared a state of emergency in Diffa. If Boko Haram could establish a base there, it would be within striking range of Niger's Agadez region. The country's uranium output is produced from three Agadez mines. Boko Haram, which has declared allegiance to the Islamic State
...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems....
, must not be allowed to control one of the world's largest reserves of uranium ore.

In Van Hipp's recent book, The New Terrorism, he proposes we help Niger deplete its uranium reserves before bandidos Lions of Islam can get them. The author is a friend and his efforts to bring attention to this issue are commendable.

This idea may take years to complete and Hipp believes we should coordinate with the French since French companies work in two of the main uranium mines. The third is run by the Chinese. The Chinese should be cooperative due to their long-term demand for energy.

We must also work with other G7 countries to push for economic aid to Niger in order to get them to extract as much uranium as possible. Intelligence cooperation against Boko Haram from Nigeria and potential Tuareg separatists in the north will also be crucial. Niger is one of the world's poorest countries. Uranium is its leading export. Our allies and we must make sure it's sold to the right people and that Niger has a way to safely keep the proceeds.
I don't know if safely keep the proceeds is possible for a reasonably corrupt, very poor Third World country... And then there's this:
If all politics is local in the United States, all politics in Africa is tribal. Van Hipp explains how Niger has experienced rebellions from Tuaregs in northern Niger where the uranium mines are located. The Tuareg are a Berber people, who have waged separatist rebellions in both Mali and Niger. The most recent one in Mali ended with a ceasefire a few months ago. We must not wait for another Tuareg rebellion before working to deplete Niger's stockpile.

Boko Haram is also a tribal phenomenon, as well as Islamic. Both the founder of Boko Haram, Mohammed Yusuf, and its current leader, Abubakar Shekau, are from the Kanuri tribe. While the Hausa and Fulani tribes make up much of the Moslem elite in Nigeria, the Kanuri are marginalized and live in the Borno State, its poorest area.
Link


Africa Horn
Troops Stage Raid on 'Senior' Shebab Leaders
2015-06-23
[AnNahar] Somalia's security agency said Monday it carried out a night raid on key targets inside a Shabaab-controled town in southern Somalia, targeting "senior" commanders.

Internal security front man Mohammed Yusuf Osman said that members of the U.S.-trained National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) carried out the attack inside Bardhere town, a stronghold of the Somali-led Al-Qaeda affiliate in Gedo region.

"The specially trained security forces have carried out a well orchestrated attack at key targets inside Bardhere district and they have returned safely after the operation," he said.

Osman said a cop shoppe and the district headquarters used by Shabaab fighters and leaders were targeted in the raid.

"Our forces interrupted a very senior level meeting of (Shabaab) leaders. The intelligence we had indicated the meeting was to plan for more attacks in Somalia and Kenya," NISA said in an emailed statement, which described the raid as "retaliation" for a Shabaab attack in Mogadishu on Sunday.

NISA sources said that a Shabaab leader known as Yusuf Haji was killed in the operation and they were working to confirm whether senior Shabaab commanders, including intelligence chief Mahad Karate and Kenyan university massacre criminal mastermind Mohammed Mohamud -- also known by the aliases "Dulyadin" and "Kuno" -- were in the building at the time of the raid.

Witnesses in Bardhere said loud kabooms were heard during the night.

"We have heard several kabooms, but it is very difficult to know more because heavily armed Shabaab murderous Moslems are patrolling in the streets," said Hashi Aw Adan, a resident.

US drone strikes have targeted and killed a string of Shabaab leaders in recent months, including the group's emir Ahmed Abdi Godane, in September 2014, but a ground assault inside Shabaab territory is unusual.

Under pressure in Somalia, the Shabaab is increasingly turning its attention to Kenya. In its bloodiest attack to date four Shabaab gunnies killed nearly 150 people, mostly students, in an attack on a university in Garissa, northeastern Kenya, in April.
Link


Home Front: WoT
2 Swedes, Somali Plead Guilty in NY over Shebab Conspiracy
2015-05-13
The mills of Justice grinding slowly.
[AnNahar] Two Swedes and a Somali, handed to the FBI more than two years ago in Africa, pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiring to aid the al-Qaeda-linked Shabaab group in Somalia, U.S. prosecutors said.

The trio face up to 15 years in an American prison and deportation, prosecutors said in New York.

Prosecutors say Madhi Hashi, 25, from Somalia, and Swedes Ali Yasin Ahmed, 30, and Mohammed Yusuf, 32, were members of the Shabaab krazed killer group in Somalia from December 2008 to August 2012.

Shabaab is blacklisted as a foreign terrorist organization in the United States and federal prosecutors have spearheaded efforts to try foreign terror cases in New York courts in recent years.


The Swedes fought against US-funded African Union
...a union consisting of 53 African states, most run by dictators of one flavor or another. The only all-African state not in the AU is Morocco. Established in 2002, the AU is the successor to the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), which was even less successful...
forces in Somalia, prosecutors said. Hashi was close to Omar Hammami, the U.S.-born public face of Shabaab who was killed by fellow fighters in 2013, they added.

Yusuf appeared in a Shabaab video to encourage recruits to travel to Somalia and join the group, and threatened a cartoonist who depicted the Prophet Mohammed -- considered blasphemous to many Moslems.

U.S. officials said the men were tossed in the slammer
Drop the heater, Studs, or you're hist'try!
by local authorities in East Africa en route to Yemen
...an area of the Arabian Peninsula sometimes mistaken for a country. It is populated by more antagonistic tribes and factions than you can keep track of. Except for a tiny handfull of Jews everthing there is very Islamic...
in August 2012, then handed over to the FBI in November 2012 and flown to New York to be prosecuted.

Acting U.S. attorney Kelly Currie said the defendants were "committed supporters" of the Islamist krazed killer group, which holds large swathes of territory in the south and center of Somalia.

Since 2007, the United States has carried out more than a dozen drone and covert operations targeting Shabaab, according to the London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism which tracks U.S. covert operations.

In September U.S. missiles killed Shabaab leader Ahmed Abdi Godane.
Link


Africa Subsaharan
Jonathan enters Boko Haram heartland, vows to end insurgency
2015-01-25
[Khaleej Times] Maiduguri: Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan
... 14th President of Nigeria. He was Governor of Bayelsa State from 9 December 2005 to 28 May 2007, and was sworn in as Vice President on 29 May 2007. Jonathan is a member of the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP). He is a lover of nifty hats, which makes him easily recognizable unless someone else in the room is wearing a neat chapeau...
held an election rally on Saturday at the epicentre of Boko Haram
... not to be confused with Procol Harum, Harum Scarum, possibly to be confused with Helter Skelter. The Nigerian version of al-Qaeda and the Taliban rolled together and flavored with a smigeon of distinctly Subsaharan ignorance and brutality...
's insurgency, vowing to defeat the fighters as locals mourned another 15 deaths.

The president's visit to Maiduguri, the capital of northeast Nigeria
... a particularly crimson stretch of Islam's bloody border...
's restive Borno state, came the day after Boko Haram murderous Moslems killed 15 villagers in nearby Kambari.

"What I can assure you is that if reelected as president, the problem of insecurity will be addressed," Jonathan, who is seeking a second four-year term in the February 14 vote, told his supporters at the rally.

"I am deeply disturbed by the number of people who bit the dust due to activities of some irresponsible people," he added.

Jonathan said he had assured local traditional and Islamic leaders of his resolve to end the insurgency.

The president ordered a minute's silence in respect of the victims of the protracted Boko Haram violence.

There was a heavy security presence before and during Jonathan's visit, the latest in a series of campaign stops across Nigeria, with hundreds of armed police and sniffer dogs deployed at strategic areas.

The president visited Maiduguri briefly on January 15, his first stop there since March 2013. The visit earlier this month was shrouded in secrecy.

Boko Haram was founded in Maiduguri in 2002 and remained largely peaceful until a police and military crackdown against its then-leader Mohammed Yusuf and his followers in 2009.

Brutal raids, massacres, suicide kabooms and kidnappings by Boko Haram have claimed at least 13,000 lives and driven an estimated 1.5 million people from their homes, mainly in arid northeast Nigeria.

Nigeria's military has been criticised for failing to crush the rebellion but soldiers complain they lack the arms and ammunition to fight the better-equipped hard boys.

Nigeria's neighbours Cameroon
...a long, narrow country that fills the space between Nigeria and Chad on the northeast, CAR to the southeast. Prior to incursions by Boko Haram nothing ever happened there...
, Chad and Niger have launched a joint bid to combat the murderous Moslems and halt their advance, and officials from Nigeria and those three countries met this week to thrash out details of a new regional force to counter the Islamists.
Link


Africa Horn
Seven Die in Shebab Attacks in Somalia
2015-01-03
[AnNahar] Six Somali soldiers and one civilian were killed on Friday in an attack by Shabaab bully boyz on a military checkpoint in Baidoa and in a boom-mobileing in the capital Mogadishu, officials said.

A Somali military official, Colonel Mohammed Hassan, said six soldiers died when the Shabaab, al-Qaeda's main African affiliate, carried out a pre-dawn raid against their post near Baidoa, some 250 kilometers (155 miles) northwest of Mogadishu.

"The Shabaab fighters attacked three locations including the checkpoint outside Baidoa. Three of their fighters were killed," said Suleyman Abdulahi, another local official.

In another incident, a civilian was killed and two other maimed in a boom-mobileing blamed on the Shabaab, who are fighting to topple Somalia's internationally-backed government.

"They attached a boom-mobile to the civilian's car. The civilian was killed and two others maimed," interior ministry front man Mohammed Yusuf told news hounds.

The attacks came at the end of a week which saw the United States conduct another air strike against the group. The Somali government said the Shabaab's intelligence chief, Abdishakur Tahlil, was killed in Monday night's raid.

The Shabaab's former leader Ahmed Abdi Godane was also killed by a U.S. air strike in September.
Link


Africa Subsaharan
Who is Abubakar Shekau?
2014-09-23
On the off chance you care now that he's dead...
Shekau became Boko Haram leader in 2009, after the previous leader, Mohammed Yusuf, was killed. Shekau is the most wanted man in Nigeria. The US has offered a reward of £7m for information about his whereabouts.

The leader is nicknamed "Darul Tawheed", which translates as a specialist in Tawheed, an orthodox doctrine centring on the uniqueness of Allah. But Nigeria's mainstream Muslim clerics do not regard him as a scholar and question his understanding of Islam.

Shekau does not communicate directly with Boko Haram's foot soldiers and is said to wield his power through a few select cell leaders. Even then contact is minimal.

Last year, the Nigerian government said troops had killed Shekau. However, the leader subsequently appeared in a video he made to prove he was still alive.
Link


Africa Subsaharan
FG Panel Indicts Modu-Sheriff As Boko Haram Sponsor
2014-09-06
[IREPORTS-NG] Report of an investigative panel of enquiry into the problem of insurgency in North East Nigeria actually indicted former governor of Borno state, Senator Ali Modu-Sheriff as one of the sponsors of the Boko Haram
... not to be confused with Procol Harum, Harum Scarum, possibly to be confused with Helter Skelter. The Nigerian version of al-Qaeda and the Taliban rolled together and flavored with a smigeon of distinctly Subsaharan ignorance and brutality...
sect.

This revelation was made bare in a statement released by a human rights
One man's rights are another man's existential threat.
lawyer, Mr Femi Falana who threatened to drag the government if it fails to implement the report of the panel which recommended the prosecution of Modu Sheriff and others.

In the statement which quoted portions of the federal government report, the rights lawyer faulted Wednesday's press briefing addressed by the ex-governor where he denied any link or knowing any member of the sect. The statement reads:

"Yesterday (Wednesday), a former governor of Borno state, Mr. Modu Sheriff addressed a presser at Abuja where he attempted to play on the collective intelligence of Nigerians by denying any link with the dreaded Boko Haram sect. He was apparently reacting to his indictment by Rev Stephen Davis, the international negotiator engaged by the federal government to dialogue with the Boko Haram sect to secure the release of the kidnapped Chibok girls.

"In his presser Mr. Sheriff claimed that he only met the late Mohammed Yussuf, the leader of the Boko Haram sect after he had been incarcerated
I ain't sayin' nuttin' widdout me mout'piece!
by the army. As the Chief Security Officer in Borno State at the material time the ex-governor should open up on the circumstances of the extra judicial killing of Muhammed Yusuff and his father-in-law, Alhaji Kuba. More importantly, Mr. Sheriff should explain to Nigerians the basis of the appointment of Alhaji Buji Foi, a boko haram leader as the Commissioner of Religions Affairs in Borno State.

He resigned from the Sheriff government and before joining the Boko Haram sect. He too was extra-judicially killed after his arrest by the soldiers.

"Before the revelation of Rev. Davis the Goodluck Jonathan
... 14th President of Nigeria. He was Governor of Bayelsa State from 9 December 2005 to 28 May 2007, and was sworn in as Vice President on 29 May 2007. Jonathan is a member of the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP). He is a lover of nifty hats, which makes him easily recognizable unless someone else in the room is wearing a neat chapeau...
Administration had set up the Ambassador Usman Galtimari Panel to investigate the genesis of the insurgency in the North East. The Presidential Panel found inter alia:

"Findings:

The Report traced the origin of private militias in Borno State in particular, of which Boko Haram is an offshoot, to politicians who set them up in the run-up to the 2003 general elections. The militias were allegedly armed and used extensively as political thugs. After the elections and having achieved their primary purpose, the politicians left the militias to their fate since they could not continue funding and keeping them employed. With no visible means of sustenance, some of the militias gravitated towards religious extremism, the type offered by Mohammed Yusuf.
Link


Africa Subsaharan
Nigeria, Allies Call for Help to Stop Boko Haram Funding, Arming
2014-09-04
[An Nahar] Nigeria and its regional allies on Wednesday called for greater international support to shut down Boko Haram
... not to be confused with Procol Harum, Harum Scarum, possibly to be confused with Helter Skelter. The Nigerian version of al-Qaeda and the Taliban rolled together and flavored with a smigeon of distinctly Subsaharan ignorance and brutality...
's weapons and funding supply as concern mounted at the group's rapid recent land grab.

The call came after conflicting reports that the bully boyz had seized another town, prompting warnings that Nigeria was losing control of the northeast and violence could spill across borders.

Nigeria's Foreign Minister Aminu Wali said his counterparts from Benin, Chad, Cameroon
...a long, narrow country that fills the space between Nigeria and Chad on the northeast, CAR to the southeast. Prior to incursions by Boko Haram nothing ever happened there...
and Niger recognized the need for a more joined-up approach to curb arms trafficking and spiraling violence during a day of talks on the security crisis.

"(The meeting) called for greater co-operation of the international community to assist in tracking these sources with a view to putting an end to these practices and all forms of illegal transfer of arms and ammunition," he told news hounds in Abuja.

Boko Haram grew out of a largely peaceful anti-corruption movement led by Islamic preacher Mohammed Yusuf in northeast Nigeria
... a particularly crimson stretch of Islam's bloody border...
, turning violent only after his death in police custody in 2009.

But progressively more bloody attacks, including al-Qaeda-style car and suicide kabooms, have led to discussion about the exact nature and extent of their links to the global jihadi network.

The United Nations
...aka the Oyster Bay Chowder and Marching Society...
earlier this year designated Boko Haram an al-Qaeda-linked group in a move designed to shut down any overseas funding and support.

Analysts believe the sanctions are largely symbolic, with little or no proven operational links with overseas hard boys, despite Boko Haram's leader Abubakar Shekau praising jihadi leaders.

The group's operations have also largely been confined to Nigeria's northeast, where it is thought to have financed its operations mainly through bank robberies, kidnapping and extortion.

Nigeria's soldiers deployed in the region have complained that the bully boyz are better armed, with high-powered assault rifles, rocket-propelled grenades and even armored personnel carriers.

Some arms supplies are thought to come in via smuggling routes from Libya through Sahel countries, but Boko Haram has also regularly seized weapons and hardware from the Nigerian military.

Nigeria's neighbors vowed to play a greater role in tackling the Islamists after the abduction of more than 200 girls from their school in northeast Nigeria in April, which caused global outrage.

International intelligence and surveillance specialists and equipment were sent to Abuja to help trace the missing teenagers, 219 of whom are still being held captive.

But nearly five months on, Western diplomats have indicated that there has been little progress, despite a claim from Nigeria's military that they had located the girls.

Nigeria has repeatedly played up what it says is the regional aspect of the insurgency, blaming imported muscle and overseas funding for the violence.

But while some foreign mercenaries may be in the guerrilla ranks and there have been attacks beyond Nigeria's borders, some analysts say the conflict remains largely "local".

Any wider military response could internationalize the conflict, they have warned.

Boko Haram has in recent weeks taken and held swathes of territory in northeast Nigeria in a departure from their previous hit-and-run tactics.

On Monday, the bully boyz reportedly took over the town of Bama, 70 kilometers (45 miles) from the Borno state capital, Maiduguri, sending hundreds of soldiers fleeing.

The military disputes the claims, but the fighting has raised fears that Boko Haram has the city in its sights and aims to make it the center of a separate, hardline Islamic state.

"We live in fear of a possible Boko Haram attack on Maiduguri because of the speed with which they are taking over towns and villages," said resident Babagana Kolo.

The Nigeria Security Network of analysts said Nigeria's northeast was "on the brink" of coming under Boko Haram control, which could see parts of Cameroon being overrun and spark a humanitarian crisis.

Meanwhile,
...back at the revival hall, the SWAT team had finally arrived...
residents, a police officer in the Cameroon town of Amchide and a Nigerian politician said the bully boyz took control of the town of Banki in Borno state on Tuesday.

"From the information that I have received from the people in Banki and Amchide, Boko Haram has taken over Banki," Borno senator Ahmed Zannah told BBC radio's Hausa language service.

"More than 200 Nigerian soldiers fled to Amchide from Banki when Boko Haram headed towards the town."
Link


Africa Subsaharan
Nigeria: Boko Haram Trails Nigerians to Chad, Kills Six
2014-08-07
[ALLAFRICA] Gunmen suspected to be members of the Boko Haram
... not to be confused with Procol Harum, Harum Scarum, possibly to be confused with Helter Skelter. The Nigerian version of al-Qaeda and the Taliban rolled together and flavored with a smigeon of distinctly Subsaharan ignorance and brutality...
sect Monday crossed over to a village in Chad and killed six Nigerians who were taking refuge there.

Sources said the Death Eaters stormed Dubuwa village in Chad from Kirenowa, a border town in Marte Local Government Area of Borno State.

About two weeks ago, the Boko Haram assailants attacked Kirenowa, killed some residents and burnt public and private houses, a development which forced the locals to seek refuge in Chad.

Mohammed Yusuf, a farmer from Kirenowa told our correspondent in Maiduguri yesterday that the Death Eaters pursued the fleeing residents to Dubuwa and killed six.

"After the attack on our village two weeks ago, many crossed over to Chad, some to Cameroon
...a long, narrow country that fills the space between Nigeria and Chad on the northeast, CAR to the southeast. Prior to incursions by Boko Haram nothing ever happened there...
and many others to other places in northern Borno. Sadly, the attackers pursued those in Kirenowa and succeeded in killing six people," Yusuf said.

Some security sources that spoke off record confirmed that like in southern part of the state, the Boko Haram fighters are attacking villages in the northern part.

"Our troops are intensifying efforts to contain the situation but the truth is that the locals must always volunteer information on the movements of the terrorists. This is key to achieving positive results," one of the security officials said.

Kirenowa was the first place that Nigerian forces dislodged a Boko Haram camp in 2013, shortly after the declaration of a state of emergency.

"From all indications, the Death Eaters are fully back in Marte and other local government areas along the shores of the Lake Chad. We pray something urgent would be done so that we would not have a repeat of what happened last year when the Boko Haram fighters hoisted their flags in our villages and indoctrinated our children," Abba Kolomi, a fisherman said.
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