Boko Haram Holding Kidnapped French Priest
[An Nahar] 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...
is holding a French priest who was kidnapped in northern Cameroon, a source in the banned Nigerian Islamist group said on Friday, rejecting claims of a rift among the bad turbans.
"I can confirm that the French priest is in the hands of mujahideen (fighters) from Jamaat Ahl al-Sunna Li Da'wat al-Jihad, who carried out the operation that was coordinated with Ansaru," he told Agence La Belle France Presse.
Boko Haram prefers to go by the Arabic name, which translates as "People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet's Teachings and Jihad" (holy war).
Ansaru is an offshoot of the bad boy group and has previously claimed kidnappings of foreign nationals.
The United States on Wednesday listed both Boko Haram and Ansaru as terror groups, bowing to months of pressure to act after years of bloody violence in northeast and central Nigeria that has left thousands dead.
Hours after the declaration, heavily gunnies kidnapped Roman Catholic priest Georges Vandenbeusch from his home near the town of Koza in northern Cameroon, about 30 kilometers (20 miles) from the Nigerian border.
He was seized by about 15 people, who burst into his Nguetchewe parish base, according to the bishop of the Nanterre diocese near Gay Paree, which has authority over the holy man.
The Boko Haram source, who did not want to be identified, declined also to say where the 42-year-old priest was being held, after the Cameroon authorities said they feared he had been taken across the border into Nigeria.
Speaking in Gay Paree after talks with Togo's President Faure Gnassingbe, French President Francois Hollande
...the Socialist president of La Belle France, an economic bad joke for la Belle France but seemingly a foreign policy realist...
said Vandenbeusch had "most likely" been taken to Nigeria.
"We are checking all the information that we can get," he told news hounds, adding that he would speak with his counterpart in Cameroon, Paul Biya, and vowing that La Belle France was doing "all it could to find... and free" the priest.
"The fight against terrorism is still our main concern and common purpose," he added.
Vatican front man Federico Lombardi described the kidnapping as "an extremely serious and horrible case, reflected the spread of hatred and violence in the region."
The Boko Haram source promised to reveal more details about the kidnapping "at the appropriate time".
But he added that claims of rifts within the ranks of the bad turban group, which has been linked to al-Qaeda's operations in north and western Africa, were exaggerated.
Boko Haram originally claimed to be fighting for the creation of an Islamic state in northern Nigeria and has made suicide kaboom and gun attacks its trademark.
Ansaru has been linked to at least three hostage-takings of foreigners since 2011 and has mentioned French intervention in Mali and European nations' "atrocities done to the religion of Allah" when claiming kidnappings.
"There is a deliberate attempt by the enemies of Islam to portray Jamaat Ahl al-Sunna Li Da'wat al-Jihad as sharply divided," the source said.
"What they don't know or ignore is that the two groups work closely together and most of the operations by the mujahideen are jointly carried out by the mujahideen from both sides."
Posted by: Fred 2013-11-16