War on Christians: The Politics of Persecution

jordanian-church-ap

Breitbart, By Katie Gorka:

In Nigeria, 234 Christian schoolgirls abducted; a Jesuit priest shot in the head outside his house in Homs, Syria; a young Christian woman dragged from her car in Egypt and beaten to death… These are some of the latest stories of Christians being hunted, tortured, or executed at the hands of Islamists.

Stories such as these are increasingly finding their way into the American media, and Americans are showing a growing concern for the persecuted church, but policymakers seem slow to respond. Not only is the United States government virtually silent on the issue of the worsening plight of Christians globally, but in three countries where Christians are currently most under siege – Syria, Egypt, and Nigeria – U.S. policy is actually exacerbating the situation.

In Syria, what began as a popular uprising in March 2011 against the repressive policies of President Bashar al-Assad quickly escalated into a civil war fueled by Islamists. The U.S. Ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford, took an active and early role in working with opposition leaders. He convened and hosted numerous meetings with the self-appointed front-men. But what began as well intentioned support eventually crossed the line into king-making.

The U.S. played an increasingly active role in determining who could and could not be at the table. Today, the U.S. policy imperative is that Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad must resign. All U.S. activity in Syria is directed toward that end, which the White House deems non-negotiable. To be sure, most Syrians want to see reform, but many now fear an Islamist takeover spearheaded by al Qaeda affiliates and the ensuing chaos more than they do the continued rule of a secular dictator.

Rather than bring resolution of the civil war any closer, U.S. policies are making matters worse.  According to international sources, arms intended for rebels are getting into the hands of extremist groups such as the Al Nusra Front, and Assad shows no sign of surrendering. The Geneva Talks on Syria have failed to stop the fighting, and sources inside Syria say the opposition leaders invited to the talks do not truly represent the Syrians. They are unelected and have the backing only of outside powers, whether the U.S., Turkey, Russia, Saudi Arabia, or Qatar, all of whom now have a national geopolitical stake in the conflict that has nothing to do with the plight of the Christians caught in the middle of the fighting.

One source inside Syria says the rebels have pushed so hard for arms from the United States and elsewhere because that is their only form of legitimacy. They are not elected leaders and do not have popular support.

In the meantime, a quiet experiment in democracy is underway in the northeast corner of Syria in the region around Hasaka. On the eve of the Geneva II talks, Kurdish, Arab, and Syriac Christian leaders came together to form a power-sharing government, one which, in their words, would respect ethnic and religious differences rather than ignore them. So far, the experiment has brought peace and security to a corner of this war-torn country. This may prove a far more successful model for guaranteeing stability as well as the rights and safety of Middle Eastern Christians than the U.S. government strategy of arming rebels and self-proclaimed opposition leaders.

In Egypt, where Christians make up about 10% of the population, tensions between Christians and Muslims have long simmered, with not-infrequent violent outbursts. When an Islamist government came to power in July 2012, with Muslim Brotherhood member Mohammed Morsi as president, attacks on Christians, Christian churches, and Christian businesses quickly spiked. In spite of a series of violations of the democratic process by Morsi, as well as the sharp rise in terrorist activity, particularly in the Sinai, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pledged the continued support of the U.S. government along with hundreds of millions of dollars in debt relief, private investment, and aid.

However, when an estimated 30 million Egyptians came out into the streets to call for Morsi’s resignation in July 2013, the United States continued to support Morsi and condemned General Fattah el-Sisi, who was instrumental in Morsi’s ouster. Following the change in leadership, Gen. el-Sisi initiated a sharp crackdown on terrorist groups in Egypt, and particularly in Sinai. Yet the Obama administration suspended its $1.55 billion in annual U.S. aid to Egypt.

According to the Egyptian military, U.S. Apache helicopters were essential to fighting terrorism in Sinai.  Their more accurate sensors and weapons were a critical factor in helping prevent civilian casualties. But with aid suspended, replacement parts were withheld, and many of the helicopters were taken out of service. The U.S. continues to withhold support for the current reform process, paying greater lip service to the importance of inclusion of fundamentalist Islamist groups in the transition process and making little or no mention of the repeated attacks on Christians.

Nigeria is now the second most deadly country in the world for Christians, second only to Syria, in spite of the fact that Christians make up approximately 50% of the population. While Nigeria has seen waves of Islamist extremism over the past century, its latest incarnation, established in 2002, is Boko Haram (which translates as “Western ways Forbidden”).

The U.S. government has consistently taken the position that the conflict is not religious in nature but is rather a function of the poverty and lack of opportunity in the Muslim-majority north. However, Boko Haram describes themselves as deeply Islamic and the nature of the conflict as fundamentally religious in nature. In June 2012, Boko Haram issued the following statement:

The Nigerian state and Christians are our enemies and we will be launching attacks on the Nigerian state and its security apparatus as well as churches until we achieve our goal of establishing an Islamic state in place of the secular state.

Because the United States government interprets the problem as a sociological one, under which Boko Haram’s violence is seen as being fuelled by lack of economic opportunity and a feeling of political disenfranchisement, one policy solution has been to spend millions of U.S. aid dollars on Koranic schools in northern Nigeria. So not only has the United States repeatedly distorted the nature of the conflict, it may be actively fueling it by funding the institutions where Islamist doctrine is taught.

Persecution of Christians is on an upward trajectory that runs parallel to the Islamist awakening and has accelerated under the so-called “Arab Spring.” Yet it has not made it to the top-ten list of priorities for American policymakers, which is ironic, given that our nation was founded on the principle of religious freedom. Reports from North Africa and the Middle East attest to the fact that at least one side of this conflict sees it as a religious war.

Katharine Cornell Gorka is President of the recently-established Council on Global Security and contributing co-editor of the book Fighting the Ideological War: Winning Strategies from Communism to Islamism. This article is the first in a series on the religious war against Christians worldwide.

Nigeria: Another Forgotten–Or Ignored–Jihad

cfce0231cb31690e510f6a706700b15eTerror Trends Bulletin:

There is an unfortunate tendency in the West to downplay the threat from Jihad. This is especially true when the acts of Jihad occur in the Third World and especially when the victims are non-white and poor.

This week has provided us with prime examples of this in Nigeria, where Boko Haram has continued its Jihadist terror with horrific attacks which have been little more than an afterthought in US and other Western media. For instance, on one of the news aggregator services we frequently check, Newsnow.co.uk, the terrorist attacks in Nigeria don’t even rate a mention among the 31 “Hot Topics” that are listed. Violence in Central Africa makes the list, where Christians have been fighting back aggressively against Jihad. But Nigeria, where Boko Haram has made a national sport of killing non-Muslims, is not considered important or “hot.”

http://www.newsnow.co.uk/h/

So what exactly happened in Nigeria this week that the media are ignoring?

On Monday, the 14th of April, two bombs set off by Boko Haram at a busy commuter bus station in the capital of Abuja killed 72 and wounded 133 civilians. As many as 40 buses were destroyed in the attack. It is actually a miracle that more people were not killed.

http://news.yahoo.com/photos/blast-in-nigerian-capital-1397479416-slideshow/

This is the kind of attack that, had it happened in Europe or the USA, would have absolutely dominated the news for days afterwards. But because it happened in Nigeria, no one is really paying all that much attention. Given that Easter approaches this Sunday, there is the frightening proposition that more attacks could occur. That’s exactly what happened two years ago on Easter, as we reported here:

http://terrortrendsbulletin.com/2012/04/08/boko-haram-islamikaze-car-bomb-kills-38-christians-outside-easter-service-in-kaduna-nigeria/

Unfortunately, Boko Haram’s Jihadist attacks did not end this week with the bombing of the bus station.

On Tuesday, Boko Haram Jihadist terrorists, posing as soldiers, kidnapped 129 young girls from a school in Chibok, Nigeria. Late Thursday, a military spokesman claimed that most of the girls had been freed, but it now appears that this is not the case. 115 girls are still missing, heading into the Easter weekend during which the Jihadists have demonstrated a tendency to commit atrocities.

The name Boko Haram roughly translates as “Western education is forbidden” and the terrorist group has repeatedly attacked schools and universities over the years. It is also possible that one or both of the attacks were the work of Ansaru, an offshoot of Boko Haram, though given that Ansaru members have been known to return to Boko Haram, it isn’t entirely clear that the two organizations operate completely independently of one another. Ansaru is also known as Vanguard for the Protection of Muslims in Black Lands.

ansaru_2484654b

72 killed, 133 wounded, 129 young schoolgirls kidnapped, all since Monday…had this happened in Europe or the US, it would have stopped all activity. But it’s Africa, so it’s hardly worth mentioning…except we have seen from Afghanistan and Sudan what happens when you let Jihadists metastasize in the Third World…

Slaughter in Nigeria — Where Is the State Department?

unnamed1-450x286by :

An explosion devastated a busy bus station on the outskirts of the Nigerian capital of Abuja on Monday, April 14, 2014. It was the latest in a series of terrorist attacks on Africa’s most populous nation. No group had claimed credit for the attack as of Monday, but Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan laid the blame at the feet of Boko Haram, the Islamist terrorist group seeking the eradication of Christians and the Islamization of Nigeria.

The blast took place at 6:55 a.m. according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN). Reuters reported at least 71 dead and 124 injured, but on Tuesday, Punch raised the numberdead to 89, including three perpetrators, with 257 injured. And this was not the week’s only attack.

Just days earlier, Boko Haram jihadists killed some 200 in Borno, a northeastern Nigerian state that has seen far more than its share of jihad terrorism. Punch reported that on April 9-10 attacks took place on communities in several towns, as well as on a teachers’ training college and a group of students traveling to their matriculation exams. Boko Haram seemed determined to show that “western education is forbidden.”

Rarer was Monday’s attack on Abuja’s Nyanya Mass Transit Park – demonstrating the terrorists’ brazenness, operating in the country’s capital, as well as the northern and middle state belts to which they have already laid claim. The blast destroyed 16 high-capacity buses and damaged another 24, as well as affecting smaller vehicles, a police spokesman told Reuters. Many of the buses were loaded with commuters, so the attack left a hellish scene of charred bodies, body parts, and twisted metal. In Tuesday’s report, Punch told of an eyewitness who said that the attack was carried out by four insurgents in a Volkswagen Golf.

According to NAN, many of the commuters in this transit point for the satellite communities of the Federal Capital Territory surrounding Abuja were on their way to work and their businesses. But Nigerian attorney and human rights activist Emmanuel Ogebe pointed out that this attack took place on the first day of Holy Week in a country in which Easter is a major holiday.

“Abuja is emptying out as people travel to their home states for the long holiday,” said Ogebe. He believes the bus station was targeted deliberately on the week of Easter. This would be no surprise, as a majority of Islamist attacks in Nigeria target Christians, Christian holidays (holy days), and have occurred at churches and Christian schools and universities.

When President Jonathan visited the scene of the carnage, Reuters said he denounced “the activities of those who are trying to move our country backwards,” mentioning Boko Haram by name. The Nigerian government has not been successful in stopping Boko Haram, nor in assisting those who have been victimized the jihadists. But even their efforts in that direction have been constantly criticized for heavy-handedness and/or unfairness by the US State Department. The State Department favors a more nuanced approach to northern Nigerian Islamists.

For years, in the face of aggressive advocacy by the Working Group on Nigeria, a coalition of Christian and human rights groups based in Washington, DC, along with some members of Congress, and even the Treasury and Justice Departments, the State Department resisted naming Boko Haram as terrorists, seeing them as victims of poverty and disenfranchisement. Then, a scant two hours before the start of a November 13, 2013 House Joint-Subcommittee hearing on “The Rising Global Threat of Boko Haram & US Policy Intransigence,” their policy suddenly became less intransigent and they announced the designation of Boko Haram and Ansaru (a Boko Haram splinter faction) as Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO).

But even on the very day on which they called Boko Haram terrorists for the first time, the State Department displayed mixed feelings and moral equivalence regarding the jihadists. Testifying at the House hearing, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said that “Boko Haram’s activities call our attention not just to violence, but also to poverty and inequality in Nigeria.” It’s true that there is poverty and inequality in Nigeria. But none of it touches Boko Haram. They carried out their latest slaughter in two armored personnel cars and seven double cabin pickups, according to Punch.

In addition, the State Department is always loath to attribute religious motivation to Boko Haram (or any other Islamists). In her testimony, Thomas-Greenfield rolled out the typical State Department talking point that Boko Haram “had killed numerous Christians and an even greater number of Muslims.”

Read more at Front Page

Faith J. H. McDonnell directs the Institute on Religion and Democracy’s Religious Liberty Program and Church Alliance for a New Sudan and is the author of Girl Soldier: A Story of Hope for Northern Uganda’s Children (Chosen Books, 2007).

Jerome Vitenberg: France Aims to Destroy African Militias

victims of Boko Haram2By Ryan Mauro:

Jerome Vitenberg is an analyst of international politics and taught International Relations and Political Science for the London School of Economics through the University of London’s International Programsat DEI College Greece.

In a column last month, Vitenberg wrote that France’s involvement in the war-torn Central African Republic is part of a strategy to assemble a bloc of liberal democracies in Africa. He explains that France wants to create what he himself has termed the “Doula-Djibouti Corridor” across Africa, although France has never used this term.

CAR’s population is 80% Christian, but an Islamist campaign of violence is causing mayhem and the deaths of over 1,000 civilians and displacement of over 500,000 people. Unfortunately, some Christians have responded with their own militias that have engaged in retaliatory violence.

The following is Vitenberg’s interview with Ryan Mauro, Clarion Project National Security Analyst:

You should read the entire interview at but I want to focus on this part because it speaks to the most often asked question I see: Why do government officials tolerate and appease Islamists even when they are fully aware of their agenda?

Clarion: What is the official stance of France and other European countries towards the Muslim Brotherhood and, specifically, its role in Egypt?

Vitenberg: The French and other European intelligence agencies are fully informed about the jihadist goals and malicious strategies of the Muslim Brotherhood and affiliated organizations.

On the other hand, the political echelons have shown a policy of appeasement towards those organizations within their countries. Each European country has a different theoretical understanding and practical methodology towards its dealings with Muslim organizations, especially the Muslim Brotherhood.

These differences result from how the various states relate to minority groups, the relationship with the minorities’ representative groups and, more generally, the concept of the relationship between the state and the individual.

There is a blatant contrast between the well-known intolerance of the Muslim Brotherhood ideology towards non-Muslim states and societies and the laissez-faire policy of the European governments towards the Brotherhood. There are several hypotheses about the political elites in Europe.

In some cases, the political echelons are naïve and believe in appeasement of jihadist organizations. Their normative and idealist approach prevents them from listening to their security and intelligence agencies.

CJR: See The Cognitive Dissonance of the Progressive World View on Islam

Political elites may be victims of political blackmail that leads to a quiet understanding with the Muslim Brotherhood organizations in their countries. The understanding is that the European government lets the Islamists operate and the Islamists will keep quiet and not cause too much trouble.

The political elites may also be bribed, possibly via financial donations (e.g. from Qatar) for specific national projects or due to corruption with funding deposited into secret bank accounts.

CJR: See John Guandolo: The Muslim Brotherhood in America – We are at war and we are losing, specificallyPart III – The settlement process

There might be more explanations, but I believe that stupidity, fear and greed summarize why politicians are letting the Brotherhood manipulate individuals and families as a first step and societies and governments later.

CJR: see Western Arrogance and Decline  by Bruce Thornton at Front Page

Muslim Terrorism: Children Are Dispensable

Martin Richard, the 8 year-old killed in the Boston Marathon bombing, wanted peace. (Photo: Lucia Brawley via Facebook

Martin Richard, the 8 year-old killed in the Boston Marathon bombing, wanted peace. (Photo: Lucia Brawley via Facebook

By Rachel Molschky:

When it comes to Muslim terrorism, children are dispensable, both the enemy children as well as those of the jihadists themselves. Our Western culture promotes compassion, in particular when it comes to children. However, Islam is quite the opposite. There is no worry over whether or not children are among the victims of their crimes.

Even when their own children are killed, they use their deaths as leverage to evoke sympathy from the Western world. A prime example would be Palestinian terrorists who use their children as human shields and subsequently take photos of the dead and point the finger at Israel. Then they continue the propaganda game when the same photos resurface from one war to the next, and many times the original photos themselves were fabricated.

This is a photo of an injured Israeli baby after a rocket attack from Hamas. Arab propaganda has changed it to a Palestinian baby. Source: http://fakewarclaims.com/category/middle-east/page/2/

This is a photo of an injured Israeli baby after a rocket attack from Hamas. Arab propaganda has changed it to a Palestinian baby. Source: http://fakewarclaims.com/category/middle-east/page/2/

Several photos from the Syrian War have been regurgitated as Palestinian anti-Israel propaganda when it was Muslims who killed the children in Syria and had nothing to do with Israel. Photos of injured Israeli children, the victims of Palestinian terrorism, are also used with the claims that they are children in Gaza.

There are many examples of this at fakewarclaims.com, and I recommend visiting the site if you can stomach the gore. Some of the photos are extremely disturbing.

All this propaganda is for the West. How do Muslims really treat children? Let’s take a look at some recent news stories: (H/t The Religion of Peace)

58 Students Shot or Burned to Hacked to Death… Dozens Killed in Attack on Nigerian School: “Islamic militants set fire to a locked dormitory at a school in northern Nigeria, then shot and slit the throats of students who tried to escape through windows during a pre-dawn attack Tuesday. At least 58 students were killed, including many who were burned alive. “They ‘slaughtered them like sheep’ with machetes, and gunned down those who ran away, said one teacher, Adamu Garba…”
90 Killed in 2 Attacks in Northern Nigeria(including children dancing at a wedding) “Twin car bombs at a bustling city marketplace blasted buildings to rubble and tore apart bodies the same night an attack on a farming village razed every thatched-roof hut. At least 90 people have been killed,   officials and survivors reported Sunday, as Nigeria’s Islamic extremists step up attacks and criticism mounts of the failure of the military and government to suppress the 4-year-old Islamic uprising in the northeast…The victims include children dancing at a wedding celebration and people watching a soccer match at a cinema, survivors told The Associated Press…”
Two Bahrain children wounded while planting bomb: police: “DUBAI: Two children, aged 10 and 11, were wounded while planting a roadside bomb in a Shia-dominated village in Bahrain where a blast killed three policemen this week, police said on Thursday. ‘A group of   terrorists exploited these children by asking them to plant a home-made bomb’ in Daih, state news agency BNA quoted a police official as saying. He said one child was ‘seriously’ wounded when the device exploded. Police photos showed one child’s fingers mangled by the blast and both boys’ faces and bodies peppered with shrapnel…”
16 Christians killed in latest attack in Nigeria (4 children among them):”Armed gunmen believed to be Muslim Fulani herdsmen have attacked a cluster of villages in Plateau state, killing 16 Christians and destroying numerous homes, Christian leaders said… Musa Gunduma Dang of Gwon village said they killed his mother, wife, four children and three other relatives. ‘They shot sporadically and set my house ablaze, killing all members of my family, and the entire village has been destroyed,’ Dang said…”
Afghan child killed, 5 women injured in clinic attack: “Afghanistan- One child and two policemen were killed while five women were wounded Saturday when militants opened fire on women, who line up to receive food at a maternity and women’s clinic in eastern Afghan province of Laghman, sources said…’One seven-year-old child and two Afghan Local Police cops were martyred and five women got gunshot wounds in the incident,’ the statement said…”
Christian Family Murdered in Alexandria (including 6 year-old):”Four members of a Christian family of Syrian origin living in Alexandria, Egypt, were stabbed to death Monday. A man was seen walking out of their apartment holding a black plastic bag. The father of the family, 44, who was employed in one of Sharm el-Sheikh’s hotels, was found stabbed in the stomach, the chest and the shoulder. His 35-year-old wife was stabbed in the neck, and so was the husband’s 43-year-old sister. Their six-year-old daughter was also found murdered…”
Jihadists loaded bomb devices into ambulance carrying pregnant woman from Syria into Turkey (No worries over the woman or her unborn baby):”While Israel is constantly excoriated for supposedly targeting civilians, we see Islamic jihadists in Gaza and now in Syria deliberately staging jihad operations in areas where civilians will almost certainly get hurt by retaliatory action. Loading bomb devices for jihad attacks in Turkey onto an ambulance carrying a pregnant woman shows yet again the egregious jihadist disregard for human life and cynical willingness to use civilians for cover…”
Pakistani man hands over 3 sons to Hafiz Saeed for jihad: “A Pakistani man has handed over his three young sons to Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief Hafiz Saeed for jihad. Abu Haider, a Jamaat-ud-Dawa activist, handed over his three sons to Saeed at a workers’ convention yesterday in Nankana Sahib, about 80 kilometres from Lahore. ‘I hand over my three young sons to you for jihad (holy war). They will be now on your hands in your struggle,’ Haider said…”

Coptic_ChristiansThese are all stories from about a two-week period and are only but a snippet of violence compared to the long history of a Muslim disregard for human life including the lives of children. Boko Haram militants repeatedly storm schools and slaughter as many children as possible. Islamic suicide bombers do not back away if they see children present. In the Sbarro suicide bombing in Jerusalem, among the dead were seven children and a pregnant woman. An 8 year-old boy was killed in the Boston Marathon bombing after one of the bombs was left just feet away from him. His 6 year-old sister survived but lost a leg, (and his mother suffered a brain injury.)

When there are Islamic acts of terrorism, there are dead children, not inadvertently but purposely. In the Fogel Family Massacre, Palestinian terrorists broke into the Jewish family’s home and viciously butchered the parents and three of their children, including a baby.

Read more at Cherson and Molschky

****************

h/t Jack Ellison – “Just a month away now from the next Boston marathon, site of Islamic jihad last year”

I will keep this short since I just sent out an earlier newsletter today. I feel it is important for Americans to understand that what happened in Boston today is only a surprise to politicians and the liberal media. When I was in Iraq I had the opportunity to interview Al Qaeda, Fedeyeen (Saddam Forces) and other terrorists.  I wanted to know what type of attacks our country would endure in the future from the fighters of Islam.  I was informed on numerous occasions that Islamic fighters would attack the heart of America.  I asked what was the heart of America? We were told the children are the heart of the American people and they will be attacked physically and emotionally.
 
We must all begin educating the American public about the dangers of Islam or attacks like in Boston will continue. They will be on the same scale as the Boston Marathon bombing.  I do not believe they will be on the scale of 9-11.  Islamic leaders have informed me that another major attack like 9-11 would isolate the Muslim community and the U.S. govt. would have to strike back. It would set Islam back 20 plus years in their goals and objectives.  The Islamic leaders prefer attacks such as in Boston.  They know in the end the politicians and liberal media will call it an attack by a couple radicals and it will be forgotten such as the killings at Ft. Hood, Tx.
 
If there are Americans who believe the Islamic leaders and their supporters will not attack a school, children’s bus, or in a shopping mall you are only kidding yourself.
 
Many people will ask what can we do? The only way to eliminate Islam and Sharia as a danger in America is for Americans to be educated that Islam is not a religion, it is a dangerous ideology and if it is not labeled as such by our leaders and media, our children will suffer and we will lose this beautiful country.  This strategy may seem radical, but it is the reality and if you love your children you will start demanding our leaders see Islam not as a religion, but America’s number one National Security threat. Dave G.

Islamist group named ‘Western Education is Forbidden’ slaughters 43 boys in Nigerian school after storming the building with guns, machetes and firebombs

  • Suspected militants from Al-Quaeda affiliated group burned children alive
  • Teacher says they set locked hostel on fire then shot and slit the throats of children who tried to escape through the windows
  • Other reports suggest attackers threw explosives, sprayed rooms with gunfire and used machetes to hack pupils to death
  • Attack brings toll from Boko Haram attacks to more than 300 this month

Daily Mail,  25 February 2014, By CHRIS PLEASANCE:

Suspected Islamic militants killed 43 students in a pre-dawn attack Tuesday on a northeast Nigerian college, survivors said.

The terrorists, thought to be from Boko Haram, set a locked hostel on fire, before shooting and slitting the throats of those who tried to climb out the windows. Some were burned alive.

Adamu Garba said he and other teachers who ran away through the bush estimate 40 students died in the assault that began around 2 a.m. Tuesday at the Federal Government College at Buni Yadi.

Boko Haram have been responsible for a number of terrorist attacks in the north of Nigera as they increasingly target civilians (file picture)

 Boko Haram have been responsible for a number of terrorist attacks in the north of Nigera as they increasingly target civilians (file picture)

It is a co-ed school about 45 miles south of Damaturu, the capital of Yobe state, and difficult to communicate with because extremists last year destroyed the cell phone tower there.

Garba, who teaches at a secondary school attached to the college, said the attackers first set ablaze the college administrative block, then moved to the hostels, where they locked students in and started firebombing the buildings.

At one hostel, he said: ‘Students were trying to climb out of the windows and they were slaughtered like sheep by the terrorists who slit their throats. Others who ran were gunned down.’

He said students who could not escape were burned alive

The attackers also reportedly hurled explosives into student residential buildings, sprayed gunfire into rooms and hacked a number students to death.

A senior medical source at the Sani Abacha Specialist Hospital in Yobe’s capital Damaturu said the gunmen only targeted male students and that female students were ‘spared’.

‘So far, 43 bodies have been brought (from the college) and are lying at the morgue,’ said the source, who requested anonymity as he was not authorised to discuss death tolls.

Damaturu resident Babagoni Musa told AFP that four ambulances carrying dead bodies drove past his shop, which falls on the road from Buni Yadi.

‘They had tree branches on them which is a sign used here to signify a corpse is in a vehicle,’ he said.

People whose relatives were studying at the college had surrounded the morgue and were desperately seeking information about those killed, forcing the military to take control of the building to restore calm, the hospital source said.

Yobe is one of three northeastern states which was placed under emergency rule in May last year when the military launched a massive operation to crush the Boko Haram uprising.

At least 40 students were killed in September at an agriculture training college in Yobe after Boko Haram gunmen stormed a series of dorms in the middle of the night and sprayed gunfire on sleeping students.

Boko Haram are just one of several Islamist groups in Africa which are trying to seize power, including Somalia's al Shabaab (pictured)

 Boko Haram are just one of several Islamist groups in Africa which are trying to seize power, including Somalia’s al Shabaab (pictured)

Tuesday’s attack brings the toll from killings blamed on Boko Haram to more than 300 this month alone.

It is the first reported in Yobe state and the first school attack reported this year by suspected fighters of the terrorist network of Boko Haram – the nickname that means Western education is forbidden.

President Goodluck Jonathan told a news conference Monday night that the Boko Haram attacks were ‘quite worrisome’ but that he was sure ‘we will get over it.’

Thousands of Nigerians have lost family members, houses, businesses, their belongings and livelihoods in the 4-year-old rebellion.

And it likely will anger regional officials who charge the military is losing its war to halt the Islamic uprising in the northeast of Africa’s biggest oil producer.

The military has said recent attacks are being perpetrated by militants who have escaped a sustained aerial bombardment and ground assaults on forest hideouts along the border with Cameroon.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday condemned the ‘unspeakable violence and acts of terror’ and said the United States is helping Nigerian authorities to develop a comprehensive approach ‘to combat the threat posed by Boko Haram while protecting civilians and ensuring respect for human rights.’

But survivors and local officials charge they get no protection. And refugees who have fled to neighboring states have said that they are fleeing the extremists as much as the fallout from a military campaign in which soldiers are accused of gross human rights abuses including executions of people suspected of helping Boko Haram.

‘Everybody is living in fear,’ local government chairman Maina Ularamu told AP after Izghe village was attacked twice in a week this month – with militants first killing 106 and burning hundreds of thatched huts, then returning to kill another three people and setting ablaze what little remained of the settlement in neighboring Adamawa state.

‘There is no protection. We cannot predict where and when they are going to attack. People can’t sleep with their eyes closed,’ Ularamu said.
Also see:

Congress Warned About Evolution of Jihadist Networks

download (73)By Rodrigo Sermeño:

WASHINGTON – Terrorism experts warned Congress last week that Islamist terrorist groups are expanding in complex networks across the Middle East, highlighting the evolving nature of the threat these organizations pose to the region.

Seth Jones, a national security analyst with the RAND Corporation, told the House Armed Services Committee that there has been an increase in the number of Salafi jihadist groups, particularly in North Africa and the Levant. Al-Qaeda is the largest one, and all emphasize the importance of returning to a pure Islam and believe that violent jihad is a religious duty.

He said that while about a half-dozen terrorist groups have sworn allegiance to al Qaeda’s core, led by Ayman al-Zawahiri, there now exists various Salafi jihadist groups that have not formally pledged allegiance to the militant group, and yet they share a common goal of establishing an extreme Islamic emirate.

“They are committed to establishing an Islamic emirate, and several of them have plotted attacks against the U.S., against U.S. embassies, against U.S. diplomats, against U.S. targets overseas,” Jones said.

Among these groups are also al-Qaeda-inspired individuals and networks, including the Boston Marathon bombers, who had no direct ties to the terrorist organization but listened to al-Qaeda’s propaganda and used it to plan attacks.

“I think there’s been a tendency among some journalists and pundits to lump all Sunni Islamic groups under the title al-Qaeda, which I think has clouded a proper assessment of the movement,” Jones said.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told a Senate hearing recently there are at least five al-Qaeda franchises in 12 countries that “this movement has morphed into.”

According to data compiled by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, more then 6,800 terrorist attacks killed more than 11,000 people in 2012, making it the most active year of terrorism on record.

Bill Braniff, a terrorism analyst at the University of Maryland, said the six most lethal groups in 2012 – the Taliban, Boko Haram, al-Qaeda in Iraq, Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, and al-Shabaab – were responsible for approximately 5,000 deaths.

He noted that these groups are generally considered affiliates of al-Qaeda, and yet al-Qaeda itself has not been directly responsible for an attack since 2012.

Braniff said that a dozen of the 20 most lethal terrorist organizations and half of the 20 most active organizations had connections to al-Qaeda in 2012, suggesting that al-Qaeda remains a “central hub in a network of highly lethal and active terrorist groups.”

“What should we take from these seemingly contradictory developments?” he said. “Did al-Qaeda succeed by inspiring widespread jihadism, or has it lost to a variety of more parochial, albeit popular, actors?”

Braniff warned that it would be wrong to conclude that because al-Qaeda itself is not carrying out violent attacks that the group’s strategy has become ineffective.

“This has been the most active two years in the history of modern terrorism and al-Qaeda remains at the historical, organizational and ideological center of the most lethal terrorist threats of our time,” Braniff said.

Several Republicans have accused the Obama administration of downplaying the threat from al-Qaeda, its affiliates and the groups that it has inspired.

Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) said that while President Obama has declared that al-Qaeda was on a path of defeat, the organization currently controls over 400 miles of territory in the Middle East – the most in its history.

“While the president seeks an end to war on terrorism and is not providing the leadership necessary for our efforts in Afghanistan, al-Qaeda seeks a continued war against the United States and the west. This is the reality and this is what our policy and strategy must address,” McKeon said.

Read more at PJ Media

Global Terrorist Threat Set To Grow In 2014 – Analysis

By 

January 6, 2014

The past year has been the most violent since the beginning of the current wave of terrorism. Al Qaeda, though truncated, has become more influential globally via the web, guiding its associates to strike official and civilian targets. With the western withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2014 the Taliban-led terrorist sanctuary is likely to be revived to threaten stability and security worldwide.

By Rohan Gunaratna

SINCE September 11, 2001 the global terrorist threat has been growing exponentially. According to START, the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, there were 5,100 terrorist attacks in the first six months of 2013, following the 8,400 attacks in 2012, which killed nearly 15,400 people. “The wave of violence shows few signs of ebbing,” reported the US-based START.

The western kinetic operations have failed to reduce the global threat. Indeed, the threat of international and national terrorism is projected to grow in 2014. With half of the countries in the world suffering from political violence and ideological extremism, terrorism will remain the Tier-One national security threat to the stability of most countries.

Hubs of global terrorism

Afghanistan and Syria are emerging as the two most important hubs of global terrorism that threaten the security of South Asia, West Asia and North Africa. Just as the anti-Soviet multi-national Afghan mujahidin campaign formed the foundation of contemporary terrorism, the blowback from the civil war in Syria is likely to produce the next generation of fighters – both guerrillas who attack government forces and terrorists who attack civilians.

The conflicts in Afghanistan and Pakistan, as well as India, are the most violent in South Asia. Next are the Middle East: Syria and Iraq; and Africa: Nigeria and Somalia. Since 9/11 over a million people, combatants and non-combatants, have been killed or injured, mostly Muslims, by terrorists and US-led coalition forces fighting insurgents and terrorists. According to START, Pakistan, Iraq and Afghanistan suffered more than half of the 2012 attacks (54%) and fatalities (58%). The next five most targeted countries were India, Nigeria, Somalia, Yemen and Thailand. The threat is projected to escalate in 2014 and grow even further following the US-led coalition’s withdrawal from Afghanistan at year end.

Counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism efforts since 9/11 have had mixed results. Al Qaeda has weakened but the Al Qaeda family has grown in strength, size and influence. About 30-40 threat groups in Asia, Africa, Middle East and the Caucasus are emulating the Al Qaeda ideology of global violence and methodology of suicide attacks.

While the core Al Qaeda led by Dr Ayman al Zawahiri has transformed from an operational to an ideological and training organisation, the associate groups carry out the bulk of the attacks. Although the death of Osama bin Laden demonstrated that any terrorist can be hunted down, the death of the Al Qaeda leader did not reduce the growing threat.

Threat landscape

SMOKE OVER NAIROBI, KENYA WESTGATE SHOPPING MALL ON 23 SEPTEMBER 2013. PHOTO BY ANNE KNIGHT, WIKIPEDIA COMMONS

SMOKE OVER NAIROBI, KENYA WESTGATE SHOPPING MALL ON 23 SEPTEMBER 2013. PHOTO BY ANNE KNIGHT, WIKIPEDIA COMMONS

The deadliest terrorist groups in the world belong to the Al Qaeda family with the Taliban (both Afghan and Pakistan) heading the list. Others are Al Nusra Front in Syria, Boko Haram in Nigeria, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and Al Shabaab in Somalia. The Al Qaeda ability to influence associate groups was brought to international attention by the brutal attack on the Westgate Mall in Kenya by Al Shabaab. With the decentralisation of the threat Northern Africa is emerging as a new epicentre of terrorism and extremism.

The “Arab Spring” has become a nightmare with multiple Al Qaeda-linked groups emerging throughout North Africa and the Middle East, including Al Nusra in Syria. With 12,000 Sunni and a comparable number of Shia foreign fighters in Syria the threat to the West and the rest of the world will grow.

Stemming from the developments in Syria, the Shia-Sunni conflict is threatening to break out into a regional conflict, involving Bahrain and Lebanon. Further afield in the Caucasus terrorists mounted year-end attacks in Volgograd, Southern Russia, hitting a railway station and a trolley bus. Shumukh al-Islam, the top forum for Al Qaeda-affiliated propaganda, praised the timing of the attacks. The SITE Monitoring Service reported the terrorists as saying Russians are not safe “since their country continues to supply arms to the malicious combatant regime of the doomed apostate Bashar”. From the Caucasus the terrorists are travelling through Turkey to Syria to fight against the Bashar al Assad regime.

Read more at Eurasia Review

Rohan Gunaratna is Head of RSIS’ International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research (ICPVTR), Singapore. He is author of “Inside Al Qaeda” published by Columbia University Press.

Pushing that Idea Away: The Obama Administration’s Denial of Nigerian Jihad

As American experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan have shown, jihadists will continue their struggle irrespective of socioeconomic improvements instituted by governments.  Such societal material efforts can only be complementary to combatting the ideology of hardcore Islamists whose motivations lie beyond temporal benefits.  American policymakers are apparently slowing learning this lesson once again in Nigeria.

By Andrew E. Harrod

Exclusive to the Religious Freedom Coalition

(12/12/13 Washinngton, DC) American officials previously “did everything they could to push that idea” about Nigeria’s Boko Haram’s Islamist ideology aside, Ann Buwalda of the Christian human rights organization Jubilee Campaign stated at a November 14, 2013, Hudson Institute panel.  If past is any prologue, a jihad understanding of Boko Haram will have to struggle against attributions of violence in Nigeria to socioeconomic disparities, recent American policymaker statements notwithstanding.

Abubakar Shekau, leader of Islamic terror group Boko Haram

Abubakar Shekau, leader of Islamic terror group Boko Haram

Developmental neglect in Nigeria’s Muslim-majority north as the identified motive in an estimated 4,000 killings by Boko Haram since 2009 has a long history among American policymakers.  Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Johnnie Carson, for example, expressed such views at a March 24, 2013, hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and in an April 9, 2012, address to the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).  “Boko Haram,” he stated, “capitalizes on popular frustrations with the nation’s leaders, poor government service delivery, and the dismal living conditions of many northerners.”  A a “new social compact” with northern Nigeria along with a “security strategy” were necessary.

By contrast, Carson sought “to stress that religion is not driving extremist violence” in Nigeria.  “Nigeria’s religious and ethnic diversity is one of its greatest strengths,” Carson said, “and there are many examples of communities working together to protect each other.”  Carson seemingly spoke of equal opportunity killing in “Boko Haram’s attacks on churches and mosques,” yet Jubilee Campaign and others note the disproportionate concentration of Boko Haram upon Christian targets.

“Boko Haram is focused primarily on local Nigerian issues,” Carson judged.  Only within Boko Haram had a “smaller more dangerous group, increasingly sophisticated and increasingly lethal…developed links with AQIM [Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb] and has a broader, anti-Western jihadist agenda.”  As one article noted, Carson spoke at CSIS the day after a Boko Haram car bombing killed 39 at a Nigerian Easter church service, one of many attacks on church holiday services like Christmas.

Read more

Bearing Witness: Survivor Describes Nigerian Islamist Terror

‘This Is What Terror Is’: Administration Slammed for Brushing Off Religious Root of Boko Haram Threat

By Bridget Johnson:

WASHINGTON — On the same day the administration finally designated Boko Haram as a terrorist organization, a survivor of the Islamist group’s inhumanity poured out to Congress his story of being shot point-blank in the face for his Christian faith.

The joint subcommittee hearing of the House Foreign Affairs panels on Africa and Terrorism was sparsely attended by lawmakers, with chairmen Chris Smith (R-N.J.) and Ted Poe (R-Texas), respectively, and ranking members Karen Bass (D-Calif.) and Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) showing up to hear the horrifying tales from this hotbed of extremism — and learn about the threat the al-Qaeda-linked group poses to the U.S.

Habila Adamu comes from Yobe state in northern Nigeria, where gunmen came to his home on Nov. 28, 2012. They ordered him to step outside as his wife begged the gunmen not to harm him.

“They said she should go back, because they were here to do the work of Allah,” Adamu said. “When I heard that, I knew that they were here to kill me.”

After Adamu confirmed to the men armed with AK-47s that he was a businessman and not police or military, they asked if he was a Christian. “I said I am a Christian. They asked me why are we preaching the message of Mohammed to you and you refuse to accept Islam. I told them I am a Christian, we are also preaching the gospel of true God to you and other people that are not yet to know God,” Adamu testified. “They asked me if I mean we Christian know God. And I told them we know God and that is why I preach the good news to other people that do not know God.”

“Then they asked me, ‘Habila, are you ready to die as a Christian?’ I told them, ‘I am ready to die as a Christian.’ For the second time, they asked me, ‘Are you ready to die as a Christian?’ and I told them, ‘I am ready,’ but before I closed my mouth, they have fired me through my nose and the bullet came out through the back.”

Adamu said he fell to the ground as the gunmen stomped on his body, crying “Allahu Akbar” as his wife sobbed. When his wife realized he was alive and went to find help, she found the neighbors had been murdered. Adamu lay there for eight hours before he was able to get to a hospital. He held up photos of his bloody, swollen face after the attack for committee members to see.

“I am alive because God want you to have a message,” he continued. “I have a message, just as I told my wife as I was left for dead, I have a message to everyone that will hear my story. Do everything that you can to end this ruthless religious persecution in Northern Nigeria.”

And there were more horrific tales to come, as the subcommittees heard that Boko Haram has been beheading Christians with chainsaws.

Emmanuel Ogebe, a Nigerian lawyer and human rights activist, told the panel that 47 churches were attacked in the country in 2012 and 53 attacked this year so far, with 216 deaths. Boko Haram has also increasingly been killing more people at mosques.

He faulted the U.S. government for claiming that the terrorists are economically motivated rather than religious in nature — something even publicly corrected by Boko Haram, which fancies itself the Taliban of the region — and “being more critical of the military counteroffensive than of the terrorists’ atrocities.”

Read more at PJ Media

Finally: U.S. Names Boko Haram as Foreign Terrorist Organization

victims of boko haram1

Why did the U.S. resist designating the group for so long, even though it fits every definition of a foreign terrorist org. and threatens the West?

BY RYAN MAURO:

The U.S. government has finally designated Boko Haram, an Al-Qaeda affiliate in Nigeria, as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. In July, the Clarion Project started a petition to label the group as such. The State Department also designated Ansaru, a Boko Haram offshoot, as foreign terrorists.

“Boko Haram is a Nigeria-based militant group with links to al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) that is responsible for thousands of deaths in northeast and central Nigeria over the last several years including targeted killings of civilians,” the State Department said, making the announcement.

Notice the timeframe mentioned by the State Department: “Several years.” For “several years” — during both the Bush and Obama Administrations — the U.S. government resisted designating Boko Haram as a terrorist group, even though it fits every definition of one and threatens the West.

Three top Boko Haram officials were blacklisted as terrorists by the U.S. government in June 2012, but the Obama Administration dragged its feet in designating the group entirely. This was due to a complete misreading of Boko Haram’s ideology and an apparently desire to keep the “War on Terror” as narrow as possible.

In May, President Obama gave a speech where he emphasized that “not every collection of thugs that labels themselves al-Qaeda will pose a credible threat to the United States.

Read more at Clarion Project

Boko Haram Planned to Fit School Bags With IEDs

IED backpacksOfficials in Nigeria uncovered a Boko Haram bomb factory making school bags in which to hide improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

Since the Nigerian public has become wary of unattended plastic bags (used in previous attacks), Boko Haram  – in an apparent attempt to copy the successful methodology of the Boston Marathon bombers — devised a new kind of bag that could be easily dropped in a crowd, as did the Tsarnaev brothers in Boston.

The bags, which look like typical school bags, were designed to hold various types of IEDs capable of killing 1,000 people at one time. The switch to activate the bomb was to be contained in the handle of the bag.

The discovery of the factory was made by the Joint Task Force (JTT) in Kano working in coordination with the Department of State Security (DSS).

“They will just carry it on their back and walk into any place or their target without people knowing or suspecting, as they will be mistaken for students. This is a dangerous trend,” said an official from the JTT, who believes that Boko Haram was planning to use the bags in the upcoming sallah celebrations.

Read more at The Clarion Project

 

Why Boko Haram Slaughters Muslim Students

bokoBy Clare Lopez:

The young students at the Yobe State College of Agriculture in northeastern Nigeria are mostly Muslim. But at least fifty of them are dead and some two dozen or more are injured after a murderous attack by Boko Haram jihadis in the wee hours of the morning on 29 September 2013.

Looking at this from the perspective of Islamic doctrine, Boko Haram (meaning “[Western] books are forbidden”) would appear to have transgressed directly against the Qur’an itself, where “killing [a Muslim] without right” is expressly forbidden. As of this writing, though, no Muslim imam has yet called for a Day of Rage over this crime.

The Qur’an says in Surah 5:32 (quoting from the Jewish Talmud Sanhedrin 37a):

On that account: We ordained for the Children of Israel that if any one slew a person – unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land – it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people. Then although there came to them our messengers with clear signs, yet, even after that, many of them continued to commit excesses in the land.    

In other words, as explained in the Tafsir Ibn Kathir, whoever sheds the blood of an innocent (that is, a Muslim who is not guilty of adultery, apostasy, ‘mischief in the land,’ or murder), it is as though he has slain the whole of mankind.

Reliance of the Traveler: A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Lawrelies on the Islamic school of jurisprudence founded in the 9thcentury by Abu ʿAbdillah Muhammad ibn Idris al-Shafi‘i (known as Imam Shafi’i) and states that “killing without right” is an enormity—a very great sin in Islam.

For any familiar with the history of Islamic warfare, though, it will be clear that the injunction about Muslims not killing Muslims has been honored at least as often in the breach as not. For instance, it will be recalled that in 2005, U.S. intelligence forces intercepted a letterfrom al-Qa’eda’s then-number two leadership figure, Ayman al-Zawahiri, to al-Qa’eda’s man in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

The message from AQ Central to its bloodthirsty Iraqi field commander focused on the expected eventual withdrawal of U.S. military forces from Iraq. Al-Zawahiri was very much concerned that al-Zarqawi’s videotaped beheadings and attacks against Shi’ite Muslims would put Islam in general and al-Qa’eda in particular in a bad light, preventing them from winning the “hearts and minds” in what al-Zawahiri perceptively spoke of as the “battlefield of the media.” He warned al-Zarqawi that “[t]he Muslim populace who love and support you will never find palatable … the scenes of slaughtering the hostages…”

So, in this case, it wasn’t that al-Qa’eda was worried so much about violating the Islamic injunction against the killing of Muslims by other Muslims, but rather that they might lose the public relations competition.

Read more at The Clarion Project

 

Obama Crosses Red Line by Supporting Jihadi Terrorism

by :

By now it should be obvious that whenever the U.S. interferes in another nation’s politics in the name of “human rights,” that that is only a pretext. So it is in Syria, as Obama prepares to plunge America in a war with that nation, and, inevitably, its allies. The United States’ stated reason for intervention, as articulated by John Kerry, is that Syrian President Assad used chemical weapons on the rebels, many of whom are jihadis — including terroristsrapists, and cannibals – and thus violated their human rights.

Sen. McCain meets with “allies” in Syria: al-Qaeda linked terrorists. Man with hand on chest, Mohamed Nour, is an “infamous kidnapper.”

Kerry is certainly consistent. Earlier he worried about the “human rights” of Nigeria’s genocidal Islamic terrorists, Boko Haram, while ignoring their victims — thousands of slaughtered Christians and destroyed churches.

And this is the point: when the human rights of others, such as Christian minorities, are being grossly violated — specifically by the Islamists and jihadis that Obama has enabled and empowered, in Libya, Syria, Egypt, and elsewhere — then there is no U.S. talk of intervention. Indeed, there’s’ hardly any talk at all, sometimes not even perfunctory condemnation. Other times, the White House makes jokes about Muslim persecution of Christians, for example, concerning the recent spate of church attacks in Egypt.

It is therefore unsurprising that Obama is ignoring the fact that there is strong evidence, including from the victims themselves, that gas attacks in Syria are the work of al-Qaeda-linked terrorists. After all, who used chemical weapons on who is irrelevant to the U.S president. Based on pattern and precedent, what matters is apparently finding an excuse to support the jihadis.

Read more at Jihad Watch