U.S. to Give $5 Million to Fund Multi-National Anti-Boko Haram Task Force

Sola West Africa/screenshot

Sola West Africa/screenshot

Breitbart, by John Hayward, June 18, 2015:

The United States will contribute $5 million to fund a multi-national, anti-Boko Haram task force, based in Chad but led by Nigeria, according to Assistant Secretary of State for Africa Linda Thomas-Greenfield.

“The multi-national force is expected to be made up of troops from Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroon and Benin,” reports the BBC. The African Union has long supported such a “collective, effective, and decisive response.”

As the BBC explains, there were some steep political and diplomatic hurdles to overcome, including a pronounced lack of faith in the administration of previous Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan. The human rights record of Nigeria’s military made an infusion of American weapons problematic.

For his part, Jonathan accused the U.S. of failing to give him needed support against the Boko Haram terrorists, and was reluctant to embrace a multi-national force because he feared it would jeopardize Nigerian sovereignty. It was not unusual to hear the Nigerian elite express fears that peacekeepers from other African nations would use the Boko Haram threat as an excuse to annex Nigerian territory. Some even expressed conspiracy theories that Boko Haram was a proxy army for rival nations.

The growing menace of the ISIS-aligned terror gang seems to have pushed such concerns aside, along with Goodluck Jonathan’s replacement last month by President Muhammadu Buhari. Buhari expressed more openness to international assistance against the terrorists, who the BBC estimates have killed 13,000 people and displaced 1.5 million.

Boko Haram killed at least 23 people and wounded 100 more in the capital city of Chad with suicide-bomb attacks, prompting airstrikes from Chad against six Boko Haram bases in Nigeria, according to CNN. Although Boko Haram has not officially claimed responsibility for the bomb attack, it is thought to have been an act of retaliation against Chad for participating in anti-Boko Haram operations.

Chad’s government also decided to ban the burqa, going so far as sending security forces to rummage through markets and burn every burqa they can find, evidently because burqas can so easily be used to conceal bombs and guns.

Another Boko Haram cross-border attack on Wednesday reportedly killed at least 38 people in raids on two villages in Niger.

Also see:

On Anniversary of Boko Haram Kidnapping, 85% of Chibok Girls Still Missing

Bring-Back-Our-Girls-March-1-Year-Later-ap-640x480Breitbart, by Frances Martel, April 14, 2015:

On April 14, 2014, the Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram abducted more than 300 schoolgirls from the village of Chibok, cementing their international reputation as one of the most ruthless and dangerous terror groups in the world. One year later, more than 200 of those girls remain missing, and Nigeria’s president-elect is making no promises to find them.

The exact number of girls abducted out of Chibok’s secondary school during their physics examination that day remains unconfirmed. Africa Check, a project by the Agence-France Presse, notes that estimates range from 200-500 girls and estimates the exact number to be at 360 girls. According to the Nigerian police commissioner in charge of the investigation, 53 of those abducted escaped. Still missing are 219 girls, or 85%, not seen since Boko Haram released a horrifying video of more than 100 of the girls wearing black Islamic garb and reciting Koranic verses.

Nigeria is commemorating their loss today with a large march in its capital, Abuja, demanding the girls be returned home safely. Two hundred nineteen girls marched today, one representing each of the victims still missing. Every day that passes makes the possibility of their safe return less likely.

The international community’s immediate reaction to the Chibok kidnapping was lackluster enough to embolden Boko Haram to embark on at least 38 other abduction sprees in the past year, according to Amnesty International. At least 2,000 women are estimated to be in their custody, though Amnesty notes that number may be much higher.

Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau said in a video released shortly after the Chibok kidnapping that the girls would be sold into slavery or married off. While this is true for many of Boko Haram’s victims, a number of others have been used as suicide bombers to attack public squares in northern Nigeria.

The United States responded to the alarm following the Chibok kidnapping with the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls, with which First Lady Michelle Obama posed for a photo. Even before the Chibok kidnappings, the Obama State Department was reticent to acknowledge the Boko Haram threat, with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton actively objecting to placing the jihadist group on terror lists.

President Obama also sent a team of American military personnel to help Nigeria find the girls, though this was widely criticized as insufficient support, and detractors have been proven correct by the continued absence of the Chibok girls in their families’ lives–that is, those family members who themselves have not fallen victim to Boko Haram. Eleven parents of Chibok girls died in a Boko Haram attack in July 2014, long before the jihadist group took temporary control of Chibok in November, slaughtering more residents who attempted to defend themselves. The Nigerian military eventually liberated the town of the Boko Haram threat–an attempt to thwart the final humiliation of losing the town that has become emblematic of Nigeria’s inability to defeat the group.

Nigeria’s failure to eradicate the group is believed to have been a deciding factor in incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan’s loss to Muhammadu Buhari, who served as the nation’s military dictator in 1983 before becoming a serial presidential candidate. In an election postponed but otherwise unmarred by Boko Haram, Buhari–who himself survived a Boko Haram car bomb–vowed to eradicate the group.

And yet even Buhari, who played a pivotal role in the destruction of the violent Maitatsine sect, is making no promises about the Chibok girls. “We do not know if the Chibok girls can be rescued. Their whereabouts remain unknown. As much as I wish to, I cannot promise that we can find them,” Buhari said in remarks on Tuesday, nonetheless promising to place all efforts towards finding them.

In the past two months, escaped Boko Haram captives have claimed to have either spotted personally or heard rumors from other captives of where the Chibok girls are being held. Nigerian military sources have said in the past that the group has likely been split into smaller groups and hidden in the woodlands of the north.

Also see:

Caliphate over Africa: The Islamic State’s Boko Haram Franchise

article-0-1D9622CB00000578-650_634x403Religious Freedom Coalition, by Andrew Harrod, April 1, 2015:

Nigerian human rights lawyer Emmanuel Ogebe discussed with Powerpoint a “New Arc of Evil:  The Boko Haram/ISIS Merger” during the Hudson Institute’s March 23 panel “Boko Haram, the Islamic State’s West African Franchise.”  Ogebe and his fellow panelists examined before an audience of about 50 the dangerous, bloody ramifications of unity between Nigeria’s Boko Haram jihadists and their similarly brutal allies in the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

Ogebe noted a recent “wedding announcement in the Washington Post” in which Boko Haram proposed and ISIS accepted an allegiance to the latter’s self-declared caliphate, a move that reflected the two groups’ “grudging admiration and rivalry.”  While Hudson religious freedom scholar Nina Shea saw in Nigeria under the ravages of the “ultra-violent” Boko Haram “human rights suffering…of epic proportions,” a Boko Haram -ISIS alliance will only worsen matters.  Boko Haram jihadists “already have an international operation going” that has killed nationals from 15 states, stated Ogebe.  Boko Haram’s “large operational theater” encompasses not just Nigeria but its neighbors of Niger, Mali, and Cameroun, an area more extensive than ISIS’ considerable holdings.  ISIS has called for “Muslim brothers” who cannot reach it to join Boko Haram, creating thereby a “whole new frontier of terror” and “new flank” in Boko Haram, as demonstrated by Frenchmen caught fighting for Boko Haram in Cameroun.

Ogebe’s slides noted that Boko Haram was the world’s third deadliest terrorist organization after Taliban groups in Afghanistan and Pakistan during the years 2009-2013 while ISIS was only in fourth place.  News reports and ISIS’s “more tech savvy” media edge over Boko Haram despite its recent advances obscured that Boko Haram was the deadlier of the two groups, killing more people last January than ISIS killed in six months last year.  While ISIS beheading of 21 Egyptian Copts in Libya garnered a shocked world’s attention, Boko Haram killed over 150 in September 2013 with chainsaws used to behead quickly Christians caught in a staged army checkpoint.

Ogebe observed that Boko Haram’s “threshold for horror” continually rises and amazes him with ever greater heights of brutality.  Boko Haram’s slaughter of 59 boys at a boarding school and kidnapping of 276 schoolgirls in the village of Chibok followed in 2014 the “chainsaw massacre.”  Al Qaeda (AQ) actually condemned the “mind-numbing” Chibok kidnappings, Ogebe recalled; “that’s when you know that you are in a really bad place.”  Recently retreating Boko Haram fighters had killed their wives so that they would not remarry and supposedly be available in heaven.  The Nigerian Bukky Shonibare from the Bring Back Our Girls aid campaign for the Chibok girls suggested that Boko Haram killed these wives, who in many cases are just adolescents forced into marriage, in order to prevent their revealing information.  Ogebe noted that Boko Haram took 13 years before its annual killing rate last year equaled the Taliban; “given a little time, they can do great damage” in a “piecemeal Third World War” first suggested by Pope Francis.

At times on the verge of tears, Shonibare brought Boko Haram horrors in her Nigerian home to life.  She discussed how 57 of the Chibok girls had left Boko Haram captivity in various ways, sometimes returning home pregnant or infected with HIV/AIDS.  Some of the girls had developed an allegiance to their captors under a Stockholm syndrome, such as one girl released by Boko Haram who actually killed her own mother.  Boko Haram has also duped “innocent, naïve girls” into suicide bombing operations, forcing mothers of the Chibok captives to worry about losing their daughters whenever there is a suicide bombing report.  Referencing the four Nigerian schoolgirls sitting in the front row at Hudson, escapees from Boko Haram within the first two days of the Chibok kidnapping, Ogebe noted that three of them had lost family members to Boko Haram violence in the last month, a terrible statistic.

In the face of such a grave struggle, Ogebe criticized deficient foreign aid for Nigeria.  He had a “rude awakening” following the Bring Back Our Girls Twitter campaign when only private, but no public, resources became available to bring Boko Haram escapees to the United States for assistance.  The American government even denied one girl a visa.

The Nigerian government also requested military training from the United States, but met with American objections that Nigerian forces did not possess proper equipment, Ogebe said.  Yet American officials rebuffed Nigerian military equipment cash purchases even as an Iraq fighting ISIS and suffering from depressed oil prices received American military aid credits.  Nigeria, meanwhile, had hired South African and Russian mercenaries to fight Boko Haram, showing how “in Nigeria you have to outsource a lot of stuff,” he said.  Along with Boko Haram foreign fighters, “two can play at this game,” but he worried about the mercenaries’ capabilities in light of a South African’s recent friendly fire death.

Shea critiqued American policymaker unwillingness to recognize Boko Haram’s jihadist ideology.  As on previous occasions, she cited Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson’s ludicrous 2012 statement that Boko Haram violence resulted from socioeconomic grievances like “poor government service delivery.”  By contrast, Ogebe recalled Boko Haram’s original name of the “Nigerian Taliban” and how coalition forces overthrowing the Taliban after AQ’s September 11, 2001, attacks discovered Nigerian Muslims in Afghanistan.  “Maybe this merger will now get their attention,” Shea stated.

Shea’s comments are noteworthy, for as Boko Haram and ISIS show, neglect and ignorance merely allow jihadist threats to metastasize over time. Boko Haram and ISIS present growing dangers in their own right to their respective regions and the wider world.  Cooperation between the two and other jihadist groups will only multiply the threats.  Freedom’s defenders have no time for idleness before such gathering storms.

Shock claim: Why Obama refused to help fight Boko Haram

2091508155CSP, (Originally published by WorldNetDaily)

Allegations are mounting that the Obama administration withheld weapons and intelligence support from Nigeria’s fight against Boko Haram in an effort to boost the chances of the Muslim candidate for president, who is a client of the political firm founded by key Obama strategist David Axelrod.

Nigerians this weekend are deciding a very competitive race between incumbent Christian President Dr. Ebele Goodluck Jonathan and retired Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, who ruled as dictator there from 1983 until 1985, when he was removed through a coup. Buhari has previously vowed to institute Shariah law in the Muslim-dominated parts of the country if elected.

With the guidance of Axelrod’s firm, Buhari has tamped down talk of Shariah nearing election day and even added a Pentecostal Christian as his running mate.

Boko Haram is a radical Islamist terrorist group that recently pledged allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS. In recent years, Boko Haram has slaughtered entire villages, burned countless churches and targeted Christians and moderate Muslims for death. It received global attention last year for abducting nearly 300 Nigerian schoolgirls.

The Obama-Axelrod connection to the Nigerian elections and its impact on U.S. policy toward Boko Haram is laid out in a detailed piece by James Simpson for Accuracy in Media.

Simpson said the Nigerians are thoroughly convinced Obama’s actions are rooted in politics.

“Nigerians overwhelmingly, at least the ones that I talk to and the articles I’ve been able to access, believe that the U.S. deliberately withheld military aid to the Nigerian president because David Axelrod’s group, AKPD, is consulting his Muslim opponent in the upcoming elections,” said Simpson.

According to Simpson, the Nigerians are most upset over their requests being denied for Cobra attack helicopters.

Listen to the WND/Radio America interview with James Simpson.

Gaffney said it isn’t hard to see a pattern developing in how this administration approaches foreign elections. “It seems the Obama administration has withheld intelligence,” said Center for Security Policy President Frank Gaffney. “It seems it has withheld training. It’s found various pretexts, but (the fact it has also withheld) some of the arms that could be very, very decisively used against this odious terrorist organization … really raises a host of questions that I don’t think have been satisfactorily answered by this administration.”

Listen to the WND/Radio America interview with Frank Gaffney.

“This may sound like deja vu all over again,” said Gaffney, who likens U.S. involvement in Nigeria’s presidential elections to what America just witnessed in Israel’s parliamentary elections.

“He has, as he had in Israel, a political operative engaged in helping effect, in a way that is clearly meddling in the internal affairs of a foreign government and a friendly, sovereign foreign government at that,” Gaffney said. “It rebounds to the benefit, in this case it would appear to the financial benefit of his friend and adviser, David Axelrod. That has translated into efforts to support the candidacy of General Buhari.”

Like President Jonathan, Gen. Buhari is also vowing to exterminate Boko Haram. So how could Obama administration policy impact the campaign?

“Clearly, Goodluck Jonathan’s re-election has been made more difficult by the appearance that he’s not doing enough to defeat Boko Haram,” he said.

While Gaffney believes Obama’s denial of meaningful assistance to Nigeria reflects either a desire to see Buhari get elected or simply to help Axelrod’s client win, there are more official reasons given for the lack of support.

“One is that the administration has found fault with the human rights record of the Nigerian military,” said Gaffney, who noted that the other public concern rests with the Obama cultural agenda.

“There are laws on the books of Nigeria, adopted by a sovereign nation through its normal processes, that they consider to be untoward, unacceptable, homophobic, whatever you want to call it, toward people who are lesbians, gays, transgenders, bisexuals and so on,” he explained.

Simpson reports that Secretary of State John Kerry added fuel to the fire by suggesting the U.S. may re-evaluate the selling of arms and sharing of intelligence after the elections.

“The whole thing is a joke. We provided military aid to Uganda and they have a bad human rights record as well. We’ve provided military aid to al Qaida-liked groups in Libya who are now joining ISIS. The whole thing is ludicrous,” said Simpson.

Despite very little U.S. assistance, Nigeria is starting to make significant strides against Boko Haram. Forty towns have recently been liberated, at least 500 Boko Haram members have been killed and many of the terrorists are retreating to the jungle in the border regions near Niger, Chad and Cameroon.

The Nigerians say it’s because they finally got help – from Moscow.

“They are having an impact but they claim it’s because finally they had to turn around and get their arms from Russia. They got Russian Hind attack helicopters and some other heavy duty military equipment, troop carriers and [armored personnel carriers] and things like that. So they’ve been able to take the fight to the enemy,” said Simpson.

Another major issue at work is the Obama administration’s push for a “gay” rights agenda throughout the world and Nigeria recently moved decisively in the opposite direction.

Fifteen months ago, Nigeria enacted laws that criminalize homosexual behavior and strictly forbids “gay marriage.” Simpson says a public display of affection between homosexuals could draw imprisonment of 10 years or more.

That is not sitting well with the Obama administration.

“The gay rights agenda is detested throughout much of Africa. Seventy percent of African nations have laws outlawing homosexuality. This particularly harsh law was passed in December 2013 and the United States and other western nations spoke out against it,” said Simpson.

The diplomatic friction over the Obama administration’s “gay” rights agenda may well be a key factor in America’s refusal to provide more help against Boko Haram and in Obama’s desire to see a new president in Nigeria.

“Obama, in sort of veiled threats, said that he would withhold aid if they didn’t repeal that law. The Nigerians basically told them to get lost. ‘We’re going to do what we want. You don’t have any right to impose your morality on us,”’ said Simpson, who says the Jonathan campaign alleges that Buhari has secretly promised the Obama administration that he will work to repeal the law if elected.

Gaffney believes some concerns about laws addressing sexual orientation may be warranted, but said he has no “dog in that particular fight” and believes regional and U.S. security interests suggest the administration ought to be pursuing a far different course.

“We do have a profoundly important stake in the larger question of whether Nigeria continues to slide into chaos, into the orbit of these jihadists,” he said. “Oil, the strategic resources and position and population of that country are put into serious jeopardy as a result of these calculations.”

Also see:

Obama Accused of Obstructing Battle against Boko Haram to Promote Axelrod’s Nigerian Muslim Client

timthumb (12)AIM, by James SimpsonMarch 26, 2015:

When the notorious Islamic terrorist group, Boko Haram, kidnapped 278 school girls from the town of Chibok in northeastern Nigeria last year, Michelle Obama began a Twitter hashtag campaign, #BringBackOurGirls. But behind the scenes, the Obama administration was undermining Nigeria’s efforts to take the battle to the terrorists. Obama refused to sell Nigeria arms and supplies critical to the fight, and stepped in to block other Western allies from doing so. The administration also denied Nigeria intelligence on Boko Haram from drones operating in the area. While Boko Haram was kidnapping school girls, the U.S. cut petroleum purchases from Nigeria to zero, plunging the nation’s economy into turmoil and raising concerns about its ability to fund its battle against the terrorists. Nigeria responded by cancelling a military training agreement between the two countries.

The Nigerian presidential election is coming up Saturday, March 28, 2015. AKPD, the political consulting group founded by Obama confidante David Axelrod, is assisting Retired Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, a Muslim presidential candidate from Muslim-dominated northern Nigeria, where Boko Haram was spawned and wields the most influence. Buhari is well-known throughout the country, having led as “Head-of-State” following a military coup in 1983. He was dislodged following another coup in 1985.

Democracy is a recent phenomenon in Nigeria. With the exception of two short periods from its independence in 1960 to 1966, and the second republic from 1979 to 1983, the country was ruled by a string of military dictatorships between 1966 and 1999.

Under the All Progressives Congress (APC) banner, Buhari is putting up a stiff challenge to the sitting president, Dr. Ebele Goodluck Jonathan who hails from Nigeria’s Christian south. Buhari was also the North’s presidential candidate in the last election held in 2011.

Axelrod is credited as the force behind President Obama’s election victories in 2008 and 2012. He served as Obama’s Senior Advisor until 2011. A well-placed Nigerian interviewed for this report who asked to remain unidentified says that influential Nigerians within and outside the government believe Obama deliberately undermined the war effort and sabotaged the Nigerian economy to make President Jonathan appear weak and ineffectual, and thus bolster the electoral prospects for AKPD’s client, Buhari.

The prominent daily Nigerian Tribune cites an activist group, Move on Nigeria, complaining that the U.S. is fueling tension in Nigeria and has “continued to publicly magnify every challenge of the Nigerian government.”

An anti-Buhari Nigerian blogger writing in the Western Post went further:

In the last year, Nigeria sought aid from the White House for many initiatives, including the fight against Boko Haram.

The Obama administration refused to do anything but play [sic] lip service to Nigeria’s requests. However, it used public and private channels to internationally magnify every failure Nigeria’s government experienced.

In the last year, since the involvement of Axelrod’s firm, relations between the two nations have significantly deteriorated, with the US refusing to sell arms to Nigeria, a significant reduction in the purchase of Nigeria’s oil, and the cancellation of a military training agreement between Nigeria and the USA.

In turn, the Buhari-led Nigerian opposition used the U.S. government’s position as validation for their claim that the Nigerian government was a failure.

Nigerian officials seeking to purchase weapons, especially Cobra attack helicopters, were outraged at Obama’s refusal to allow these transactions. Nigeria’s ambassador to the U.S., Professor Adebowale Adefuye, stated publicly that:

The U.S. government has up till today refused to grant Nigeria’s request to purchase lethal equipment that would have brought down the terrorists within a short time on the basis of the allegations that Nigeria’s defence forces have been violating human rights of Boko Haram suspects when captured or arrested.

We find it difficult to understand how and why, in spite of the U.S. presence in Nigeria, with their sophisticated military technology, Boko Haram should be expanding and becoming more deadly.

Another official quoted in the Nigerian newspaper ThisDay, stated:

The U.S. government has frustrated Nigeria all the way in our war against terrorism despite its public statements in support of Nigeria, as it fights the Boko Haram insurgents in the North-east… They want us to fight Boko Haram with our arms tied to our backs.

They have blocked us from procuring the helicopters and would not provide us with intelligence despite the fact that they have several drones and sophisticated aircraft overflying the North-east of Nigeria from bases in Niger and Chad where the Boko Haram fighters and movements are clearly in their sights.

Retired Col. Abubakar Umar, a former military governor, concluded that the Americans “have decided to turn a blind eye to what is happening in Nigeria.”

Former Head-of-State, Retired Gen. Yakubu Gowon publicly stated last November that America is no friend of Nigeria.

After exhausting all avenues, the Nigerian government finally turned to Russia, China and the black market to obtain needed arms, and as a result has gone aggressively on the offensive against Boko Haram, retaking some 40 towns occupied by the group and killing at least 500 terrorists. According to recent accounts, Boko Haram has gone to ground in the northeastern border regions. But whereas the border states of Niger, Chad, Benin and Cameroon formerly took a hands-off approach, they have now joined in the effort to destroy the group, pledging a total of 8,700 troops. Most recently, Boko Haram has been cleared of its northeastern strongholds in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa.

U.S. Excuses

The Obama administration has said it is barred from supplying weapons by the so-called Leahy Amendment which forbids foreign states that have committed “gross human rights violations” from receiving military aid. However this did not stop the U.S. from sending Special Forces to Uganda—another country accused of such violations—to assist in capturing Lord Resistance Army leader Joseph Kony. Nor did it prevent Obama from supporting al Qaeda-linked rebel groups in Libya, who later went on to attack the Benghazi mission, and have now joined ISIS. The Syrian “moderates” the administration claimed to back are also allegedly joining with ISIS.

In fact, Obama supported the Islamic radicals who destabilized states throughout the Middle East, including Tunisia, Libya and Egypt, and did little to prevent Iranian-backed Shiites from overthrowing Yemen—a key ally in the War on Terror. And despite claims that the U.S. “does not negotiate with terrorists,” the administration did so in secret with the Taliban for years, most notoriously over the release of Bowe Bergdahl.

The U.S. State Department is currently negotiating a deal that will enable Iran to obtain the bomb, and it just declared that Iran and its Lebanese proxy, Hezbollah, are not terrorists. The administration even claims Iran has been an ally in the War on Terror! Finally, Axelrod’s client, Buhari, has been accused of human rights abuses during his time as chief-of-state.

To top it off, Secretary of State John Kerry made a mockery of the administration’s pretext by hinting in January meetings with both Jonathan and Buhari that the Obama administration might allow weapon sales after the election. If the U.S. was so concerned about human rights violations, how could a mere election change that? Given the perception that Buhari has Obama’s implicit support, this sends an unmistakable message.

The administration also rationalized its decision to cut purchases of Nigerian oil by claiming that output from domestic oil fracking has reduced America’s dependence on foreign oil. But that begs the question: why have U.S. oil imports from other nations increased at the same time? Nigeria was formerly among America’s top five oil supplying countries, and America its largest customer. Nigeria relies on oil revenues for 70 percent of its budget. America’s decision to look elsewhere has been catastrophic for Nigeria’s economy.

A Deutsche Bank analyst noted that the decline in Nigeria’s oil sales to America “proceeded much faster than for the U.S.’ other major suppliers,” and concluded that singling Nigeria out this way had to be driven by politics.

Nigeria is not the only country where Obama is using oil as a foreign policy weapon. The U.S. has not renewed its 35-year-old agreement with Israel to provide emergency supplies of oil, despite booming U.S. oil production. The agreement expired in November 2014. At the time, the State Department claimed to be working on renewing the agreement, but has yet to do so.

U.S. Media AWOL

There is not a single article mentioning Axelrod’s assistance to Buhari in any U.S. “mainstream” media outlet. Only the Washington Free Beacon ran a story.

A Google search of “New York Times, Nigeria, Axelrod,” found only one Times article titled Nigerian Soldiers Noticeably Absent in Town Taken from Boko Haram. There was no mention of Axelrod or his relationship to Nigeria’s Muslim candidate, Buhari. Rather, it criticized Nigeria’s participation in the recent multi-country effort to remove Boko Haram from its northeastern Nigerian holdouts, quoting Chadian foreign minister, Moussa Faki Mahamat, who said, “The Nigerian Army has not succeeded in facing up to Boko Haram.”

There are however, many flattering articles about Axelrod, like the Times review of his book, Believer.

NBC News reported on the oil issue, quoting Peter Pham, the Atlantic Council’s director of its Africa Program, who characterized it as “a sea change in [Nigeria’s] relations with the United States, a sea change in its geopolitical position in the world.”

NBC also noted Nigerian ambassador Adefuye’s complaint about U.S. refusal to provide weapons to Nigeria, and how both issues impacted Nigeria’s ability to fight Boko Haram—but there was no mention of Axelrod’s assistance to Buhari.

Buhari Connected to Boko Haram?

Boko Haram is a virulently anti-Western Islamist movement. Its name, roughly translated, means “fake education is forbidden,” but in practice the term “fake” refers to Western education. It was founded in 2002 by Mohammed Yusuf, a Salafist preacher who created a school to provide an Islamic alternative to Westernized schools. Over time it became a recruiting tool for Boko Haram fighters. The group envisions creating an Islamic caliphate throughout Africa. Yusuf was killed by police in a 2009 uprising, and was replaced by Abubakar Shekau, who recently pledged the group’s alliance with ISIS. Let’s review just what kind of monsters these Boko Haram terrorists are:

Certain Buhari supporters such as Ango Abdullahi of the Northern Elders Forum(NEF), have been accused of tacitly supporting Boko Haram, and Jonathan’s Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has linked Buhari himself with the terrorists. The alleged connection however, is an open question. In 2013, Buhari protested a government crackdown on the group. In 2012, Boko Haram nominated Buhari as one of six mediators in negotiations with the government over a proposed ceasefire. In 2001, Buhari expressed his desire to see Nigeria ruled by Sharia law,saying:

I will continue to show openly and inside me the total commitment to the Sharia movement that is sweeping all over Nigeria… God willing, we will not stop the agitation for the total implementation of the Sharia in the country.

However, Boko Haram attempted to assassinate Buhari last year in a suicide bomb attack that killed 82. More recently, the group called both him and Jonathan “Infidels.” For his part, Buhari called the group “bigots masquerading as Muslims.” Buhari also ruthlessly suppressed a similar group, the Maitatsine, during his time as military head-of-state. Buhari’s vice-presidential running mateis a Pentecostal pastor from the south. Similarly, Jonathan picked a Muslim from the north as his number two.

But much violence has surrounded Buhari’s past efforts. Nigeria has a practice of alternating northern and southern rule called zoning. In the 2011 election, Jonathan was president, having ascended from the vice presidency in 2010 following the death of President Umaru Yar’Adau, a northerner. Some Northern politicians believed that Buhari should have assumed the presidency in 2011.

Abdullahi and others, at that time, threatened violence if Buhari wasn’t elected. Buhari himself refused to condemn violence. This was universally interpreted as encouragement from Buhari. Within hours of Jonathan’s election—what was believed to be one of Nigeria’s historically fairest—Buhari’s Muslim supporters took to the streets, attacking Jonathan supporters with machetes and knives. Following Jonathan’s inauguration, Boko Haram launched a wave of bombings, killing and wounding dozens. An estimated 800 people died in the post-election violence in the Muslim north.

A prominent Nigerian deputy governor, Tele Ikuru, who recently abandoned the APC to join Jonathan’s PDP, called the APC “a party of rebels, insurgents and anarchists, clothed in the robes of pretence and deceit.”

Embarrassed by the kidnapping and the perceived association between Buhari’s supporters and Boko Haram, AKPD claimed that they discontinued work for Buhari in early 2014. However, The Washington Free Beacon has unearthed emails showing that they continued to quietly aid APC into at least January of this year.

Their campaign appears to have been successful. While Nigerian election polls are conflicting, the most recent one projects Buhari the winner by a wide margin. Not surprisingly, the reasons cited for Jonathan’s unpopularity include the perception that he is weak and ineffectual against Boko Haram, and that the economy is in a sorry state. Nigerians have taken to calling the president “Bad Luck” Jonathan.

Nigeria’s Critical Role and U.S. Policy Failures

Most Americans are unaware of the critical role Nigeria plays in African politics. In addition to being Africa’s largest oil producer, Nigeria is also the continent’s most populous nation, with an estimated 162 million people, and is home toapproximately 12.5 percent of the world’s total black population. Additionally, Nigerian Americans are very productive and well represented in the fields of medicine, sports, engineering, and academics. Annual remittances are $21 billion, with America providing the largest proportion. It is ironic at best that America’s so-called “first black president” is alienating such a nation, especially given its powerful influence throughout Africa.

Because of Obama, America is losing allies the world over. Despite his so-called outreach to “the Muslim world,” the few Muslim allies America has are calling him out. For example, observe the unprecedented spectacle of Arabs cheering Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech before the U.S. Congress. Columnist Dr. Ahmad Al-Faraj of the Saudi daily newspaper Al-Jazirah, called Obama “the worst president in American history.” The only Muslims Obama seems to like are those who hate America, and he is going out of his way to court them, come what may.

James Simpson is an economist, businessman and investigative journalist. His articles have been published at American Thinker, Accuracy in Media,Breitbart, PJ Media, Washington Times, WorldNetDaily and others. His regular column is DC Independent Examiner. Follow Jim on Twitter &Facebook

Also see:

Boko Haram: What It Means to Swear an Oath

2700814599CSP, by Kyle Shideler, March 11, 2015:

In response to the fact that Nigerian terror group Boko Haram has sworn allegiance to Islamic States, analysts have primarily seized on what benefit Boko Haram is expected to get out of it, and whether the Nigerian insurgency needed a “propaganda” boost, at a time when they are facing a coalition of African states seeking to roll back them back.

This focusing solely on the question of benefit seems logical to the average western analyst, but is deeply problematic.

First, what is Boko Haram? An insurgency? A terrorist organization? Boko Haram, in their own words, is a jamaat (group) dedicated to dawa (proselytizing) and jihad (warfare against unbelievers). These words in and of themselves are pregnant with significance.

Consider from the prospective of those whom Boko Haram considers a relevant authority on these matters. Founder Mohammed Yusuf in 2009 reportedly stated that: “All Islamic scholars who undermine Ibn Taymiyyah, Sayyid Qutb, Hassan al-Banna and Osama Bin Laden are not authentic Islamic scholars.” Sayyid Qutb, in his seminal work “Milestones” had this to say about Dawa and Jihad:

“The movement uses the methods of preaching and persuasion (Dawa) for reforming ideas and beliefs and it uses physical power and Jihad for abolishing the organizations and authorities of the Jahili (pre-Islamic) system.”

As a Dawa and Jihad organization adhering to Qutb’s methodology, Boko Haram from the beginning was oriented towards the eventual seizure of territory upon which to rule while abolishing Nigerian rule.

Having reached a stage (or milestone as Qutb would have called it), where they felt it appropriate, Boko Haram announced in August of 2014 the establishment of an Islamic state over the territory they controlled in Northern Nigeria. At the time many western analysts misunderstood this claim to be one of a “rival” caliphate. Boko Haram reaffirmed its position of ruling territory in January of this year, noting in discussing its seizure of the town of Baga:

“As for it’s importance to us, it’s because of it removes that military presence from the lands of the Islamic state, and hence establish the Shariah of Allah in the region, and attain safety and security in it for Muslims.”

It was during this period that Boko Haram began openly expressing itself with Islamic State imagery, including their version of the black shahada flag, and using nasheeds (acapella singing) popular with IS fighters in their videos.

Finally the Boko Haram’s Shura Council was previously reported to be considering whether or not to swear an oath to “Caliph” AbuBakr Al-Baghdadi. Having finally done so, it has been reported as an “alliance” or a “team up” but the reality is different. An oath to a caliph carries with it significant implications. Regarding the oath, Islamic jurist Ibn Khaldun (d.1406) wrote:

It should be known that the bay’ah (oath of allegiance) is a contract to render obedience. It is as though the person who renders the oath of allegiance made a contract with his amir, to the effect that he surrenders supervision of his own affairs and those of the Muslims to him and that he will not contest his authority in any of (those affairs) and that he will obey him by (executing) all the duties with which he might be charged, whether agreeable or disagreeable.

In practice, because of geographical distance, and because Boko Haram remains capable of operating independently, it’s unlikely that this degree of total control would be applied, particularly if Boko Haram is granted the position of an IS Province), but legally that is what has been sworn.  It’s an oath which is pre-modern in its conception, and attempting to understand it in the context of  a joint venture between two companies, or a nation-state alliance is an error.

As regards Islamic State’s view of the matter, many questioned whether Boko Haram’s oath would be accepted (it appears to have been). This should come has no surprise either, because Islamic State has explicitly told groups like Boko Haram that such an oath is not only welcome, but “obligatory.” The Islamic State noted in its Caliphate Declaration (This is the Promise of Allah) that:

We clarify to the Muslims that with this declaration of khilāfah, it is incumbent upon all Muslims to pledge allegiance to the khalīfah Ibrāhīm and support him (may Allah preserve him). The legality of all emirates, groups, states, and organizations, becomes null by the expansion of the khilāfah’s authority and arrival of its troops to their areas. (emphasis added).

This would seem to suggest that the Islamic State is now in the position to offer at least some level (of possibly technical) assistance to Boko Haram, thus representing an “arrival of its troops.” Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has already claimed that Islamic State has been training Boko Haram’s forces, although whether that’s true remains to be seen.

Seeking to understand and analyze jihadist organizations absent the context of the sharia law that dictates their actions and which they hold as legally binding and obligatory,  continues to mislead and confuse.

 

The Betrayal Papers, Part IV of V: A New Genocide

The_Betrayal_PapersPart I of The Betrayal Papers explained the history and context of the Muslim Brotherhood’s influence in the American government.

Part II looked at the associations of seven Obama officials with Muslim Brotherhood front organizations in the United States.

Part III traced the Muslim Brotherhood’s and the State of Qatar’s influence on domestic policy and Obama administration scandals.

Part IV will examine foreign policy under Obama.  It will explain how the Obama administration and U.S. Department of State have used the American military and standing in the world as tools to kick start the creation of a new Islamic Caliphate.  Obama’s unconscionable enabling of and silence regarding a new genocide will be revealed. 

Finally, this article will offer a cursory reassessment of America’s allies, and which countries we have lost as friends.

“The transformation of America has been in the full swing ever since 2008.  President Obama’s no-show in Paris was an embarrassment for all Americans.  But it also was a signal to the Islamic jihadis.  It’s one of the many signals he’s sent over the years while he’s in office.  Now there’s no question: We got a hell of a job ahead of us…  with the Muslim Brotherhood penetration in every one of our national security agencies, including all our intelligence agencies.

Is Obama a Muslim?

This is the question that many Americans and people around the globe are asking themselves lately.  From his refusal to label the Islamic State “Islamic,” to his lecture about the Crusades at the National Prayer breakfast, what once was taboo is now starting to be verbalized.

Yet this may be the slightly wrong question to ask.  The ruling establishment of Saudi Arabia, home to Islam’s holiest sites, Mecca and Medina, is rightly considered an authoritative voice of Islam.  In case you missed it, the Saudis have emerged as some of Obama’s biggest critics.

In doing so, the Saudis also revealed the truth regarding the Arab Spring.

Writing in the Saudi daily Al-Jazirah, columnist Dr. Ahmad Al-Faraj, while supporting Israeli’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech before Congress, not only called Obama “one of the worst U.S. presidents;” he also exposed the nature of so-called “democratic revolutions” in the region.  Stated al-Faraj:

Since Obama is the godfather of the prefabricated revolutions in the Arab world, and since he is the ally of political Islam, [which is] the caring mother of [all] the terrorist organizations, and since he is working to sign an agreement with Iran that will come at the expense of the U.S.’s longtime allies in the Gulf, I am very glad of Netanyahu’s firm stance and [his decision] to speak against the nuclear agreement at the American Congress despite the Obama administration’s anger and fury.”

Translation: Obama served as a mouthpiece for, and armed, the Muslim Brotherhood (i.e., “political Islam”) revolutionaries in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, and Syria.  He was aided in this incredibly destructive policy of jihad by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton until her resignation in 2013, and has been further aided by her successor, John Kerry.

The original Muslim Brotherhood, the Ikhwan, was banished from Saudi Arabia in 1927.  The conservative Wahhabi Saudi royals have traditionally had little use for exporting jihad, and indeed are one of the United States’ oldest strategic allies in the region.  Despite Americans’ revulsion at Saudi Arabia’s application of barbaric sharia (i.e., Islamic) law in their own country, outside the Kingdom Saudis have every reason to maintain the status quo with neighbors, including Israel, Jordan, and Egypt.  That means keeping the Muslim Brotherhood out of power.

The pertinent question is not whether Obama is secretly a Muslim, per se, but rather if Obama is a secret Muslim Brother.  That is the real question.

The Words of Obama, Dalia, and Rashad

If we take the Saudis, the most influential Gulf country, seriously, then it follows that Obama and his administration must have had a plan for the Arab Spring that goes back several years, i.e. 2008.

Part II of The Betrayal Papers identified seven Obama administration officials who had/have associations with several Muslim Brotherhood front organizations in the United States (CAIR, ISNA, MSA, etc.).  It also tracked their associations with Georgetown University and the Brookings Institution, both recipients of significant amounts of money from the State of Qatar, the home of many prominent Muslim Brothers.

One of those officials is Rashad Hussain, who is Obama’s Special Envoy to the Organisation of the Islamic Conference.  In August 2008, Hussain co-authored a paper for the Brookings Institution called Reformulating the Battle of Ideas: Understanding the Role of Islam in Counterterrorism Policy.  The paper, which calls Islam the “strongest ally” in the “global effort to end terrorism,” explicitly calls for the American government not to reject political Islam, but to utilize Islamic scholars and Islamic “policymaking” to reject “terrorism.”  It also recommends that “policymakers should reject the use of language that provides a religious legitimization of terrorism such as ‘Islamic terrorism’ and ‘Islamic extremist.’”

Is it any wonder now why Obama says that the Islamic State “is not Islamic?”  This is the deceptive language of the Muslim Brotherhood, recently welcomed to the White House.

Let’s now turn our attention at a report co-authored by Dalia Mogahed, who was a member of Obama’s Advisory Council of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and influential in writing Obama’s nefarious 2009 speech in Cairo.  Additionally, Mogahed is currently listed as a member of Georgetown’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, & World Affairs.

Mogahed was part of the Leadership Group on U.S.-Muslim Engagement.  Other members of the group were former Secretary of State Madeline Albright, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf (of World Trade Center Mosque notoriety), and Muslim Public Affairs Council’s Ahmed Younis.  The report issued by the group called for engagement and cooperation with political Islam, and specifically with the Muslim Brotherhood:

The U.S. must also consider when and how to talk with political movements that have substantial public support and have renounced violence, but are outlawed or restricted by authoritarian governments allied to the U.S. The Muslim Brotherhood parties in Egypt and Jordan are arguably in this category. In general, the Leadership Group supports engagement with groups that have clearly demonstrated a commitment to nonviolent participation in politics.”

Indications of a plan to work with the Muslim Brotherhood were evident as early as June 2009, when the President went to Cairo’s Al-Azhar University to address the Muslim World.  The audience included prominent members of the Muslim Brotherhood that Obama insisted on having seated in the front row.   Said Obama, [The] partnership between America and Islam must be based on what Islam is, not what it isn’t.  And I consider it part of my responsibility as President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.”

With the statements of the Saudi journalist, Hussain, Mogahed, and Obama himself in mind, presented below is a thumbnail sketch of the Arab Spring and its consequences, and the intersection between the Obama administration and the Muslim Brotherhood.  This is only a fraction of the evidence that proves Obama has worked hand-in-hand with the Muslim Brotherhood to transform the Middle East.

Tunisia

In Tunisia in 2011, the government of Ben Ali fell after a man self-immolated, sparking a wave of protests.  Subsequently, Tunisia elected the Muslim Brotherhood Ennahda party, with a plurality of 37% of the vote.  In October 2014, Tunisia elected a secular government.

Libya

Libya exemplifies the essence of the so-called Arab Spring, an anarchic Muslim Brotherhood revolution that thrives on violence and chaos.

In such ungovernable disarray are significant parts of Libya today, that it is actually being used as a staging ground by ISIS for an invasion of Europe.

Despite repeated warnings and advice by the United States military to leave Muammar Gaddafi in power, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Obama launched a disastrous war against the Gaddafi regime, leaving a power vacuum for Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood to fill.

Practically, Libya served as armaments bazaar for the Muslim Brotherhood and all associated terrorist groups.  Libyan weapons have ended up in the hands of jihadis across North Africa, potentially contributing to the stockpile of arms of Boko Haram.  These weapons were also sent to Syrian rebels, including groups who are now part of ISIS.

Currently, an ongoing proxy war rages in Libya.  The anti-Muslim Brotherhood countries of Egypt and the United Arab Emirates battle Qatar and Turkey (close allies of the Obama administration) and the local Islamic terrorists.

Benghazi

Benghazi and all the mystery that surrounds it can mostly be dispelled in a few short paragraphs.  A few facts will inform the reader, and then the attack that killed four Americans on September 11, 2012 can be then put in the larger context of a Muslim Brotherhood-guided American agenda.

First, the February 17 Martyrs Brigade, aka Ansar al-Sharia, was hired to guard the compound by the American government.  In a word, they are a jihadi militia.

Second, the compound in Benghazi was crawling with CIA agents.  According to CNN’s Jake Tapper, there were “dozens” of CIA personnel present the night of the attack, and the Obama administration has gone to “great lengths” to obscure their activities.  Many speculate that Ambassador Stevens was a CIA asset in the State Department.

Third, only hours before the attack, Stevens met with a Turkish ambassador at the compound.  Turkey, it should be recalled, was a transshipment point for some Libyan weapons that were shipped out of the country to jihadis elsewhere.

Fourth, the Muslim Brotherhood Morsi government of Egypt was involved with the attack.  In fact, some of the terrorists were caught on video saying “Don’t shoot!  Dr. Morsi sent us!”

These facts beg the question: If Ambassador Stevens was in fact overseeing a gun running operation to Islamic/jihadi/Muslim Brotherhood militias, why would the same people kill him?

Given the above evidence, the prominent theory that Stevens was going to be a trade for the Blind Sheikh, Omar Abdel-Rahman, seems a plausible explanation.  (Morsi was dedicated to the release of Rahman.)  And this theory is endorsed by no less an authority than retired four star Admiral James Lyons.

Once this plan went spectacularly wrong, a number of other things occurred, which again, fit into the larger picture of a Muslim Brotherhood-control Obama administration.

In an alarming breach of protocol and duty, Obama’s Special Advisor, Valerie Jarrett, issued the order to the military “stand down.”  In other words, she ordered that Stevens and the other Americans be left to fend for themselves against a well-armed jihadi militia.

Regarding the now infamous Talking Points scandal involving Susan Rice, et. al., that blamed the attack on obscure and poorly produced movie, an MSA member from George Washington University was copied on the email sent by Ben Rhodes (who, recall, wrote Obama’s 2009 Cairo Speech).

Finally, George Soros is also connected to this scandal.  The Obama-appointed lead investigator for the attack was Ambassador Thomas Pickering, who has ties to CAIR, a well-known Muslim Brotherhood front group in the United States.  At the time of the investigation, Pickering was the co-chair of the Soros’ International Crisis Group.  He is still a trustee.

Egypt

So much has been written about Obama’s decision to force the resignation of Hosni Mubarak, and the subsequent election of Mohamed Morsi to the Egyptian Presidency, that the space here will be used only to reinforce some key and lesser known points.

  • Mubarak was the lynchpin of regional stability, the president of the most populous Arab country who maintained not only peace but a strong relationship with Israel and the United States.
  • Mohamed Morsi likely joined the Muslim Brotherhood through the Muslim Students Association in America, while he was a student at University of Southern California.
  • The wife of Mohamed Morsi was a long-time friend of then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
  • When Morsi came to power and began to implement sharia law, Obama promised the Morsi government $8 billion in exchange for land in the Sinai for Palestinians (Hamas).  Once Morsi was removed, following a brief, murderous, and highly destructive reign of power, Obama immediately withheld military aid to Egypt.
  • Through 2013, the Clinton Foundation received between $1 million and $5 million from Qatar.
  • It appears likely that close Obama friends, the domestic terrorists Bill Ayers and wife Bernadine Dohrn, played a significant role in fomenting the protests which led to the resignation of Mubarak. Terrorist birds of feather flock together.

In case you were wondering, Obama advisor Dalia Mogahed considered the ouster of Morsi a “coup,” and CAIR and ISNA were likewise critical of the restoration of secular law in Egypt, which no doubt has prevented the slaughter of countless Coptic Christian lives.

Syria, Iraq, and ISIS – A Lost War, a Genocide, and a Rape of Humanity

Say what you will about Bashar al-Assad, he and his father Hafez have always strongly opposed the Muslim Brotherhood.  Indeed, Mustafa Setmariam Nasar, aka Abu Musab al-Suri, a lieutenant of Osama bin Laden and architect of the Madrid train bombings, spent most of his life trying to overthrow the Assads and implement sharia law.  (Not only is Nasar Syrian, his nom de guerre “Al-Suri” means “the Syrian.”)  As late as 2008, none other than Nancy Pelosi was hobnobbing with the secularly minded Assads.  John Kerry and his wife Teresa Heinz Kerry also dined with and were entertained lavishly by the Assads in 2009.

What Obama has unleashed in Syria by supporting jihadi rebels is an apocalyptic force of total depravity that specializes in genocide and cultural annihilation.  There are few words that do justice to the evil, inhumanity, and unbelievable cruelty that define ISIS and their end-of-times approach to warfare.

Not only do they set people on fire, but they also behead and torture children.  Americans are bombarded with these images regularly.  Equally as atrocious and appalling, they openly and gleefully destroy everything pre-Islamic.  Much like the Buddhas in Afghanistan that the Taliban dynamited, ISIS believes in the Islamic concept of Jahiliyyah, which demands that all traces of civilization before the time of Mohammed the Prophet be erased.

ISIS is literally rampaging across the cradle of civilization, Mesopotamia, laying waste to some of humanity’s oldest faith communities, artifacts, and landmarks.  Simultaneous to the modern day Holocaust that is happening to ancient Christian communities in the occupied regions, ISIS trumps even the art-hoarding Nazis in their total disregard for all things that make us human.

In the face of this unspeakable crime against humanity, Obama has not once mentioned the ongoing genocide, much less the irreplaceable loss of culture and tangible history.  The airstrikes ordered by Obama and his advisor Valerie Jarret against ISIS have been described as “pin-pricks.”  This shows that they are either lackadaisical in the face of the genocide, or more likely do not wish to be bothered.  So committed is Obama to America’s defeat in the Middle East that he has appointed the above-mentioned Rashad Hussain, a documented supporter of political Islam, as a social media “warrior” to lead the cyber charge against these subhuman savages.

In time, the enormity of this crime will be examined through a historical lens.  A few decades from now people will wonder how the liberty-loving United States elected a hollow, morally insipid man named Barack Hussein Obama, who armed and trained a jihadi army that destroyed our common human heritage and murdered entire tribes by the thousands.

Of great concern, domestically the soulless ISIS is now operational in all 50 states (according to the FBI), and ISIS training camps have been discovered in various states.  A not-so-unexpected consequence of Obama’s open borders policy, indeed.

Regarding Iraq, it is no surprise and it is not hyperbole to simply state the obvious: Obama and the Muslim Brotherhood surrendered Iraq to the enemy, willingly and consciously.  Into this void steps an emboldened and rejuvenated Iran.

Afghanistan

Much like Iraq, Afghanistan is in the process of being surrendered to the Taliban.  Not only has the administration and (Afghan President) Karzai negotiated with the Taliban, they also idly watched as the same terrorists who hosted Osama bin Laden set up an embassy in Doha, Qatar.  A national intelligence estimate as early as December 2013 predicted that all progress would be lost once a military drawdown began.

True to form, seven months after this estimate was released Obama swapped one American deserter, Bowe Bergdahl, for five high ranking Taliban commanders released from Guantanamo Bay, and a significant sum of money.

Following Obama’s policies, all the American blood and treasure spent liberating Afghanistan will be sacrificed by Obama, to the absolute benefit of the Muslim Brotherhood.

As a postscript, it will be noted that a primary source of Taliban funding, poppies for opium, have seen record Afghan crop yields in 2013 and 2014.

Nigeria

While #BringBackOurGirls may have been a temporary PR win for the Obama administration, it obscured the fact that the administration has been consistently enabling the growth of the jihadi army of Boko Haram by downplaying them as a threat.  As if on cue, last week Boko Haram pledged allegiance (bayah) to the Islamic State.

According to one report that rings true, Boko Haram began with a $3 million grant from Osama bin Laden.  One senior U.S. intelligence official stated, regarding the matter, “There were channels between bin Laden and Boko Haram leadership… He gave some strategic direction at times.”  This connection evidently does not phase the Obama administration and U.S. Department of State.

As Andrew McCarthy wrote regarding the Clinton State Department’s position on Boko Haram:

“Instead, ignoring what Boko Haram pronounces its goals to be, the Obama administration portrayed it as a diffuse organization with no clear agenda that was ascendant due to the policies of the Nigerian government (which is under Christian leadership).”

Hillary Clinton’s successor at State, John Kerry, sings the same tune, while thousands of Nigerians are massacred.  Following air strikes by the Nigerian government, Kerry urged restraint, warning Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan “to respect human rights and not harm civilians.”

Meanwhile, this African scourge has amassed a “massive army” that is reportedly stronger than the Nigerian Army.  Defeating Boko Haram will likely take the coordinated efforts of Nigeria and neighboring Cameroon, which has close ties to a very sympathetic Israel.  The French Army is right now operating out of Mali in Nigeria, contributing to the fight against the jihadis.

Israel

There is so much in the news regarding Obama’s falling-out with Israel and Prime Minister Netanyahu that little needs to be added here.  The likely breaking point in the relationship was Obama’s and Kerry’s siding with Qatar and Hamas during the war last summer; and, more recently, with the obvious intention of Obama to permit Iran to develop their nuclear arms capacities.  This week, it is reported that Obama has appointed another Hamas-connected advisor, Robert Malley, to coordinate Middle East policy for the White House.

The deplorable disrespect and insults hurled at Netanyahu by the Democrats during his visit are the mirror image of an America whose college campuses have been overtaken with a virulent anti-Semitism.

Still, this chapter would not be complete without mentioning the integral part that Obama’s friends Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, terrorists themselves, played in launching the diplomatically catastrophic “Peace Flotilla” – boats from Turkey, filled with military supplies and other goodies, for Hamas.

Iran

Into the grand void, the power vacuum, created by the Arab Spring, steps a nation largely unaffected by the Arab Spring: Iran.  In fact, when Iran nearly embraced modernity and secular government with its so-called “Green Movement,” Obama and the Iranian-born Valerie Jarrett stood conspicuously on the sidelines.  Years in the making, the protestors and activists who challenged the Iranian mullahs paid dearly for their attempt at overthrowing the Islamic Republic while Obama’s administration remained silent and watched them get smashed.

An historic moment was totally squandered.

Whether it is in Yemen or in Iraq, Iran is the beneficiary, net-net, of the Arab Spring.  Even as their Supreme Leader openly calls for the destruction of Israel, the Obama administration proceeds undaunted with negotiations that would give them nuclear capabilities and the means to strike the Middle East, Europe, and the United States with intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Conclusion

The Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi put it this way: Obama “switched sides in the War on Terror.”  The evidence presented above is but a glimpse into the preponderance of open source, published information that supports the Commission’s conclusion.

We are now faced with a totally new geopolitical situation: geographically, politically, and militarily.

With the body count growing by the day, and with a far larger war looming on the horizon, one would think that the responsible parties still left in government would pause, reflect, and begin to reverse course before it is too late.  Yet as recently as December, NATO hailed its partnership with terrorist financier extraordinaire, the Gulf State of Qatar.  This is tantamount to openly declaring allegiance to the Muslim Brotherhood, a totalitarian and genocidal movement whose actions we see manifested daily.

The ultimate fallout from this historic, awful change in American policy may very well be a war of untold destruction.  In the meantime, it is observed that some of America’s former allies have already decided that we, as agents of jihad, can no longer be trusted.  Egypt is forming a closer relationship with Putin’s Russia, as is Saudi Arabia.  India, which had moved closer to the United States under George W. Bush, has also turned toward Russia.  France, with the rise of the National Front party, may very well be next to look east to Moscow.  And Israel is openly courting new strategic alliances.

Truly, there have been few times in American history when our national commitment to morality, decency, and humanity has been so genuinely questionable.  If the majority of the American people understood what has already been risked by this president and his Muslim Brotherhood-aligned administration, they would demand immediate resignation and a full investigation of the government agencies which are in league with, and give aid and comfort to, the enemy.

The Betrayal Papers is a collaborative effort by the Coalition of Concerned Citizens, which includes: Andrea Shea King, Dr. Ashraf Ramelah, Benjamin Smith, Bethany Blankley, Brent Parrish, Charles Ortel, Chris Nethery, Denise Simon, Dick Manasseri, Gary Kubiak, Gates of Vienna, IQ al Rassooli, Right Side News, Leslie Burt, Marcus Kohan, Mary Fanning, General Paul E. Vallely, Regina Thomson, Scott Smith, Terresa Monroe-Hamilton, Colonel Thomas Snodgrass, Trevor Loudon, Wallace Bruschweiler, and William Palumbo.

Boko Haram Shura Council Considers Loyalty to Islamic State as Media Hypes Report on IS-Boko Haram Differences

Boko-Haram-.-kill-Agric-students-in-Gujba-Yobe-stateCSP, by Kyle Shideler, Feb. 23, 2015:

A statement by a U.S. intelligence officer discussing the differences between Boko Haram and Islamic State, and stressing that the two groups, ” caliphates are completely separate” and that they would find it difficult to cooperate due to Arab racism received plenty of traction in reporting last week:

“The Arab world is incredibly racist,” explained a U.S. intelligence official. “They don’t see black Africans as equivalent to them.”

ISIS may show “affinity” with Boko Haram, said the official, “but they stop short of allegiance.” Moreover, said the official, while Boko Haram has in the past year released videos to show “affiliation” with groups like ISIS, there’s no evidence of either group sending members to fight with the other. And while Boko Haram has praised ISIS, and shown the ISIS flag in videos, ISIS has not reciprocated.

Now, however, comes a new report by the private intelligence firm SITE, which notes that according to jihadist media sources, Boko Haram, whose actual name is Jama’at Ahl al-Sunnah Lil Dawa Wal Jihad (Group for the Propagation of the Sunnah and Jihad), will have its Shura council discuss swearing allegiance to the Islamic State’s “caliph” Abu-Bakr Al-Baghdadi.

It’s just another example of the ironic timing of an analysis which seems to misunderstand the nature of the Islamic State, and the Global Jihadist Movement generally. The Islamic State, in its position as a declared Caliphate, does not need to offer allegiance to Boko Haram. Rather it is incumbent upon Boko Haram, as a group waging jihad, to swear its allegiance to the Caliph. As IS wrote in its original declaration of the Caliphate, “This is The Promise of Allah“:

We clarify to the Muslims that with this declaration of khilāfah, it is incumbent upon all Muslims to pledge allegiance to the khalīfah Ibrāhīm and support him (may Allah preserve him). The legality of all emirates, groups, states, and organizations, becomes null by the expansion of the khilāfah’s authority and arrival of its troops to their areas. Imam Ahmad (may Allah have mercy upon him) said, as reported by ‘Abdūs Ibn Mālik al-‘Attār, “It is not permissible for anyone who believes in Allah to sleep without considering as his leader whoever conquers them by the sword until he becomes khalīfah and is called Amīrul-Mu’minīn (the leader of the believers), whether this leader is righteous or sinful.”

There was never a question of the Islamic State accepting Boko Haram. Islamic State ALREADY claims authority over Boko Haram, since it’s leader AbuBakr AlBaghdadi was declared literally “leader of all the believers,” meaning the entire Ummah, and thus all Muslims everywhere, regardless of the color of their skin.

While Islamic State may include many individuals who are racist in their behavior, by giving non-Arab jihadists the worst positions for instance,  the question of allegiance is entirely dependent on whether Boko Haram acknowledges the Caliphate claim, and chooses to accept Islamic State’s authority.

That Boko Haram has expressed some attraction to Islamic State and its messaging (using their flag, anthems and so on) suggested that there was a desire to do so, but ultimately the question is a legal one. Does Boko Haram’s Shura council recognize the legal claim of AbuBakr Al-Baghdadi or not? It is this question that the Shura council will convene to answer, and which will decide whether or not Islamic State adds another province to its roster.

Also see:

African Nations to Send 7,500 Troops to Combat Boko Haram – Why is Iran so Interested?

The African Union (AU) has agreed to send a multi-nation force of 7,500 troops to Nigeria to assist the Nigerian military in combating Boko Haram. Interestingly enough, the Iranian regime has offered their “services” to assist this multi-nation force. Apparently Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian has been involved with African nations affected by Boko Haram to provide assistance. Specifically, the regime informed the AU that they’re willing to share their experiences and intelligence gained over the years in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and Africa – Nigeria and Somalia in particular. Its also worth noting that Iran had representatives at the two-day summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia that the announcement of the troop deployment was made. They were there as “observers.”

7,500 troops to fight Boko Haram

http://www.thecourier.co.uk/news/international/7-500-troops-to-fight-boko-haram-1.818195?utm_content=buffer2aada&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Iran Offers to Help Fight Boko Haram

http://www.nigerianeye.com/2015/02/iran-offers-to-help-fight-boko-haram.html

So why is Iran so interested in Africa? Well, the IRG-Qods Force and Hezbollah have both been very active on the continent over the past decade, so this isn’t a new phenomenon at all (remember, the IRGC has arms production factories in Sudan). Their expansion into the continent began to really expand when the first indicators of foreign fighters were making their way into Syria in the early days of the “Arab Spring.” Since then their objectives have been the following:

1. Keep tabs on the foreign fighter networks providing personnel and weapons to anti-Shia efforts in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon.

2. Eliminate the key personnel in those foreign fighter networks.

3. Conduct target development for when (and it will happen) the Qods Force and Hezbollah cells in Africa receive the green light to begin attacking American, Israeli and British diplomatic facilities, military personnel and civilians.

IRGC-Qods Force Insignia Source: iranwatch.org

IRGC-Qods Force Insignia
Source: iranwatch.org

The 2011-2013 time period saw a sharp increase in Qods Force and Hezbollah activity in Nigeria with Nigerian security forces having made several arrests of individuals associated with both organizations on terrorism charges. Nigeria is an anomaly, as other African nations have kept their mouths shut on the expansion of the Qods Force/Hezbollah networks in the western and eastern parts of the continent. Much of this has to do with Iran’s increased involvement in the economic, political and cultural fields, thus creating a co-dependent relationship (as the regime has been looking for ways to circumvent sanctions, although this may well be moot now that the Obama administration is on the job). However, there was one incident in JUN 12 where two Iranian nationals – identified as Ahmed Abolfathi Muhammad and Sayid Mansur Mousavi – who were arrested in Nairobi, Kenya for possessing explosive material. Apparently they had a lot more that was shipped into the country that Kenyan security forces weren’t able to find. The two individuals were suspected of plotting to conduct attacks targeting the Israeli, US, British and Saudi diplomatic missions. They received life sentences.

Out of Iran, into Africa: Hezbollah’s scramble for Africa

http://www.haaretz.com/news/features/.premium-1.530327

Nigeria has long been known for being a major hotbed of Qods Force and Hezbollah activity, going as far back as 2004 when an Iranian diplomat was arrested of casing the Israeli embassy in Abuja. In FEB 13, Nigerian security forces arrested Abdullahi Mustapha Berende and two other Nigerians for attempting to establish a proxy group that was reportedly trained in Iran. They were said to have been planning to attack American targets in Lagos. Berende himself allegedly first traveled to Iran in 2006, where he received his Islamic education and returned again in 2011 for weapons and explosives training. His Qods Force handlers tasked him with collecting intelligence on hotels and public places frequented by Americans and Israelis to identify potential targets for future attacks. Berende himself admitted that he worked with the Iranians and had received $30,000 USD to carry out the operations. A few months later, his associate Iranian national Azim Aghajani and another Nigerian accomplice were sentenced to five years for their involvement to smuggle a shipment of weapons into West Africa. The case was opened on them when Nigerian security forces opened 13 containers at Apapa Port in OCT 10 and found the weapons to include 107mm rockets, among other things. The shipment was bound for Gambia. The US government has linked Aghajani to the Qods Forces’ Department 400 External OPs Division. In keeping with the usual Qods Force TTPs, Aghajani was moving the weapons throughout Africa with the use of front companies such as Behineh Trading Co.

Read more at The ISIS Study Group

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2743059668Iran in Africa: A Tutorial Overview (centerforsecuritypolicy.org)

Iran’s activity in Africa is a model of their strategic conduct that allows them an asymmetric advantage over the United States in terms of diplomacy and statecraft. This pattern of behavior is adaptable and observable in Latin America as well as in Africa. Where there are weak governing institutions and fertile soil for anti-American sentiment of any form, the Iranian regime will seek global allies, revenue streams, resources, and capabilities that serve them well on the world stage.

This is an introductory overview meant to give a broad picture of behavior and intention. The open source record of Iranian, Hezbollah, and Quds Force activity in Africa is extensive.

Click here to download pdf of complete overview. See video presentation.

Boko Haram Discusses Baga Massacre, Ideology in New Video

 

CSP, by Kyle Shideler, Jan. 28, 2015

The jihadist group known as Boko Haram, appears to have released a new video featuring an interview with the group’s spokesman Sheikh Abu Mus’ab Al barnawi. Regarding its recent successes in attacks on towns in the Lake Chad region Al Barnawi says:

As for it’s importance to us, it’s because of it removes that military presence from the lands of the Islamic state, and hence establish the Shariah of Allah in the region, and attain safety and security in it for Muslims. It’s known that those military complexes if they go to a place they corrupt it and injustice rules over it, and we by the Grace of Allah alone have managed to conquer this city and add it to the cities of the Islamic state in Africa.

It’s not immediately clear if Al barnawi means the term Islamic State in a generic sense, or if he is referring to the self-declared Caliphate represented by ISIS leader AbuBakr Al Baghdadi, but Boko Haram has increasingly utilized the flag and symbols of ISIS in its media presentations, and has expressed support for, if not allegiance to Al Baghdadi. In the video, Al barnawi is explicit regarding the group’s larger goals of establishing Sharia and expresses irritation at the insistence of the western media’s referring to the group as Boko Haram rather than by its official name Jama’aat Ahul Sunna wall el Daa’wa wal Jihad (Group for the Propagation of the Sunnah and Jihad). The Boko Haram spokesman also denied allegations that the group engaged in Takfirism (the practice of declaring fellow Muslims to be infidels), spending several minutes denying the claim.

We have come to give victory to AlSunna and to establish the governance of Allah on earth. As for accusing us of shedding Muslims’ blood that’s not true, and Allah is our witness. How do we fight them if we fight for their cause? When we entered the city that was what is called the stick carriers “Catodqora,” they collaborated with the armies of the false deity and carried their weapons, and stood by them. We fought who fought us, and they know they fought us, and when they saw our strength they fled the city, some by sea, some to the forests, and yet we send them this message: Who fought or didn’t fight us who comes repenting will be forgiven and we give him safety and security because we are a nation whose morals refuse to initiate harm on who doesn’t harm us.

“Stick carriers”, presumably refers to vigilante groups which have sprung up in some northern Nigerian towns in order to repulse attacks by the jihadist group. As is common in jihadist propaganda material, the focus of the group remains on the establishment of the Islamic State, and enforcement of Shariah. There are no references to corruption, disparity in oil wealth, or endemic poverty, the sorts of so-called “root causes” that drive State Department policy on Nigeria.

Boko Haram continues to slaughter Nigerians

Boko Haram attack mapLWJ, By

Since the New Year began, Boko Haram has continued its offensive against Nigerians and its perceived enemies. Setting off what turned into a horrendous chain of events, the jihadist group assaulted and overran a military base that hosted the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) on Jan. 3. The initial attack sent nearby villagers fleeing into neighboring Chad.

In the days that followed, members of Boko Haram attacked the nearby village of Baga and others, killing civilians and burning as they went. Jihadists reportedly unleashed assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades on townspeople.

By Jan. 8, Nigerian officials commented that Boko Haram had razed at least 16 villages in the surrounding area and some 2,000 people were unaccounted for and feared dead.

In a statement to the press on Jan. 13, Nigeria’s Director of Defense Information, Maj. Gen. Chris Olukolade, said that only 150 people, including a large number of Boko Haram members, were killed in the confrontation, faulting the claim that 2,000 people were slaughtered. He further stated that many community members were missing because they had fled the area as a result of incessant attacks on their towns. However, what he did not note was that Boko Haram still controls the area. The Nigerian military reportedly began an offensive on Jan. 9 to reclaim Baga. The assaults by both air and ground forces have yet to unseat the terrorist group.

Outside of Baga, Boko Haram has been active on other fronts. On Saturday, Jan. 10, a girl estimated to be around 10 years-old was strapped with an explosive device which detonated at a busy market in Maiduguri in Borno State. The market had been previously hit by suicide bombers in 2014. At least 20 people were killed and many others were injured in the bombing. A metal detector at the scene indicated that the young girl was carrying something suspicious, however the bomb was set off before she could be isolated.

The same day, a car bomb went off at a police station outside of Potiskum in Yobe State. The detonation occurred as the driver of the vehicle was being taken in for questioning. He was killed, along with a police officer.

The following day, two female suicide bombers hit a busy Sunday market in Potiskum. According to a local security source, “One of the bombers looked 23 and the other 15. The first bomber — the 23 year-old — detonated her explosives just outside the entrance of the market, where volunteers were screening people going inside the market with metal detectors. The second bomber was terrified by the explosion and she tried to dash across the road but she also exploded.”

Boko Haram has also continued its offensive beyond Nigeria’s borders. On Jan. 12, several hundred members of the group attacked a Cameroonian military base in Kolofata, about 10 km east of the border with Nigeria. The Cameroonian Army reported that it killed 143 members of Boko Haram in the battle and lost one soldier on their side. Responding to the attack, Cameroon’s Information Minister Issa Tchiroma Bakary said, “It is by far the heaviest toll sustained by the criminal sect Boko Haram since it began launching its barbaric attacks against our land, people and goods.” The attack on Cameroon’s forces came just days after Boko Haram released a video of a man claiming to be group leader Abubakar Shekau, in which he threatened Cameroon’s President Paul Biya. The supposed Shekau directed statements at Biya, saying “If you do not repent then you will see the dire consequences.”

Also see:

Boko Haram is ISIS in Africa

165551161CSP, by Nicholas Hanlon, Jan. 8, 2015:

Like the U.S. non-response to the Syrian civil war which gave rise to ISIS, Boko Haram has been allowed to fester in Nigeria.  Inaction emboldens the merciless Islamist militants and makes them stronger.

Boko Haram currently holds a military base in Baga, a tri-border town on Lake Chad in the North Eastern most part of Nigeria near Cameroon and Chad.  The sum of territory Boko Haram holds is comparable to that of ISIS.  There are reports that some 2000 lives were taken when Baga fell and in the aftermath.  The strength of Boko Haram’s hold on such territory rests largely on the fear in the hearts of the land’s inhabitants as does the strength of the Taliban in Afghanistan and ISIS in Iraq.   The White House has given relatively minor attention to Boko Haram.  The nature of the group’s rise and territorial occupation would raise the same foreign policy debates about military expedition and counter insurgency as the Taliban and ISIS did were Boko Haram anywhere else but Africa.  The current unprofessional conduct of the Nigerian military defies the best practices of a counter insurgency and does more to drive locals into Boko Haram’s merciless arms.  The best advice still demands a large force of well trained soldiers to take back, secure, and keep territory.  But who is prepared to take on the task?

For any heads of state that may come to terms with that reality, several questions follow.   Who could muster such resolve and force, and who would?  Baga represented the regional response.  It is where the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) was meant to base its operations that includes Cameroon, Chad, and Niger.  Cameroonian president Biya was able to recess a previous military base attack with airstrikes and has sent 7000 troops to the border.  Perhaps in recognition of Biya’s reliability, AFRICOM stepped up its counter terrorism cooperation with Cameroon in December.

In the new world we live in now, it is clear that the U.S. will not take initiative in Nigeria. The White House press office has put out a fact sheet that reads more like a check list on how to do as little as possible and still appear engaged. Wrought with generalizations the list makes broad statements referencing funding for already existing programs.  The primary measures of substance point to the new Security Governance Initiative but there are no resolute statements that speak to actually defeating Boko Haram.

Even if it were a willing Strong Horse, U.S. military resources have now long since been vultured by domestic politics, misused, and diffused of their strategic posture.  Further, the president made clear in his 2014 West Point address that he did not consider U.S. military power an important or primary tool of state craft.  Likening the U.S. military to  a hammer is an unsophisticated description of the most complex, versatile, and useful force for peace the world has yet seen.  Real solutions and efforts to counter ISIS and Boko Haram will be ugly and require an undesirable level of resolve and commitment.  The president’s misconception of his own options are compounded by a misconception of who Boko Haram and ISIS are as enemies.  Though the White House now bullet points terrorist organization designations of Boko Haram on the list of things it has done, it resisted doing so until John Kerry took over at State Department.  A clear early opportunity to recognize a potential long term ideological threat was lost.  Instead, the state department attributed Boko Haram’s rise to poverty and lack of resources.  Similarly likening ISIS to a Junior Varsity team, the effort to down play the threat of Islamic groups with territorial ambition has been the administration’s supplement for challenging them early on.

The similarities between Boko Haram and ISIS are glaring for a reason and increasingly observed in detail.  There is the claim of a Sunni Islamic caliphate, territorial ambition, highly organized systems of kidnapping and sexual slavery, and organized court systems used to rule captive towns and villages under Shariah law.  There is also increasing recognition of each others legitimacy. Boko Haram’s leader Abubakar Shekau has expressed support for ISIS, incorporated its logo and anthem, and has flattered Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi with mimicry.  Boko Haram’s nods to ISIS are not simply surprising similarities discovered by analysts or trite displays of mutual admiration.  Furthermore, whether these acts symbolize real allegiance or recognition is secondary.  These are clear symptoms of camaraderie and brotherhood.  Official declarations of affiliation between Sunni groups are in most ways insignificant to their success, growth or motivation.  Their ideology unites them and animates them both.  More simply put, Boko Haram and ISIS are similar because they are the same set of ideas manifest on different continents in different cultures.

Boko Haram in Nigeria is one front of a larger war. ISIS is another.  Boko Haram presents challenges of diplomacy and state-craft that will increase in threat level the longer left unchecked which will rival that of ISIS.  It is in Nigeria, however that U.S. assertiveness can still galvanize regional resolve in way that has been lost in the Middle East.  Hopefully that opportunity will remain for the possibility of the next U.S. administration to recognize it.

*UPDATED* Nigeria’s 9/11: Boko Haram Massacres 2000 in Attack on Baga, City Burnt to the Ground

Boko-Haran-Leader-APPJ Media, by Patrick Poole, Jan. 8, 2015:

Horrific reports are coming out of Nigeria about a Boko Haram attack on the town of Baga in Borno State following their seizure of a neighboring military base on Saturday.

BBC is reporting:

Nigeria’s militant Islamists have carried out a second attack on the key north-eastern town of Baga, an official has told the BBC.

Boko Haram fighters burnt down almost the entire town on Wednesday, after over-running a military base on Saturday, Musa Alhaji Bukar said.

Bodies lay strewn on Baga’s streets, amid fears that some 2,000 people had been killed in the raids, he added.

Boko Haram launched a military campaign in 2009 to create an Islamic state.

It has taken control of many towns and villages in north-eastern Nigeria in the last year.

The conflict has displaced at least 1.5 million people, while more than 2,000 were killed last year.

Earlier today Bridget Johnson reported here at PJ Media about a message posted by Boko Haram on Monday threatening Cameroon.

Last month I also reported on Boko Haram’s escalating attacks, which now threaten the entire country on the verge of presidential elections.

The loss of life in Baga and Boko Haram’s control over 70 percent of Borno State will undoubtedly require greater action by the Nigerian government and possibly greater intervention from neighboring Chad and Cameroon.

I will update this post as new information becomes available.

UPDATE:

More news reports are coming out of Nigeria regarding the Boko Haram attack on the city of Baga and surrounding areas in Borno State.

AFP is reporting that 16 villages have been razed to the ground and tens of thousands displaced:

Boko Haram razed at least 16 towns and villages in a renewed assault after capturing a key military base in restive northeast Nigeria at the weekend, local officials said on Thursday.

Heavy casualties were feared in the attacks on Wednesday in the remote north of Borno state, according to local sources, but there was no independent corroboration of the figures cited.

Musa Bukar, head of the Kukawa local government area, said: “They (Boko Haram) burnt to the ground all the 16 towns and villages, including Baga, Doron-Baga, Mile 4, Mile 3, Kauyen Kuros and Bunduram.”

Abubakar Gamandi, head of Borno’s fish traders union and a Baga native, also confirmed the attacks, adding that hundreds of people who fled were trapped on islands on Lake Chad.

NBC News reports:

More than 2,000 people are unaccounted for after radical Islamist sect Boko Haram torched more than 10 towns and villages in Nigeria, a local lawmaker told NBC News. Ahmed Zanna, a senator for Borno state where the attack happened, said the militants razed the town of Baga as well as “10-to-20″ other communities in the country’s rural northeast over the past five days. “These towns are just gone, burned down,” he told NBC News via telephone. “The whole area is covered in bodies.”

Zanna said he had spoken to residents who fled the towns. They reported that the spree had been ongoing since Boko Haram overran a nearby military base Saturday. During the days-long assault, the militants chased people out of Baga before returning to kill those left and torch the buildings to the ground, according to survivors who contacted Zanna. Some of those who survived fled on foot the 100 miles south to Maidurguri.

The government’s response to this massacre will be worth watching. Presidential elections are scheduled for Feb. 14th, and criticism of incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan is mounting. Thus, Jonathan’s government will be eager to suppress information about this attack.

Boko Haram’s response will need to be followed as well. After routing Nigerian government forces at the military base outside of Baga, they are now in effective control of Borno State, which borders Niger, Chad and Cameroon.

Nigeria Teeters on the Brink: 8 Terrifying Trends

bokoPJ Media, By Patrick Poole, December 18, 2014:

For much of its five-year long insurgency in Nigeria costing thousands of lives, Boko Haram enjoyed no sanction by the U.S. government. That changed just over a year ago when they were finally designated a terrorist organization by the State Department.

That notwithstanding, Boko Haram continues to expand its terror campaign across the north of the country, now controlling an area the size of Maryland.

On the other side of the conflict is the hapless administration of President Goodluck Jonathan, which so far has been unable to mount any substantive opposition to Boko Haram’s advance. With presidential elections looming in February and with Jonathan most likely running for reelection, there appears to be no effective political counterweight that can put Nigeria on a course to mount a counter-offensive against Boko Haram.

The strategic stakes involved for the U.S. are extraordinary, but you would never be able to gauge that from the absence of any alarm from the Obama administration or from either side of the aisle in Congress. Not only does Nigeria have the continent’s largest population at 173 million and the largest economy in Africa, it also is the10th largest oil producer in the world.

With a failed Libyan state (thanks in no small part to the Obama administration), Egypt — the world’s largest Arab country — fighting its own counterinsurgency in the Sinai, and Islamist insurgencies inflamed from Nigeria to Kenya, the loss of Nigeria to jihadists could be the tipping point to lose the whole of Africa.

With those factors in mind, here are eight disturbing trends that warrant immediate attention for Nigeria’s fight against Boko Haram.

1) Religious cleansing of Christians is escalating: It’s remarkable that not even two years ago senior State Department officials were denying before Congress that there was any religious dimension to Boko Haram’s reign of terror.

Nigerian churches, which should be open and inviting, are now having to install crash barriers and metal detectors. And yet within just the past few months, more than 1,000 churches have been ransacked and burned, and hundreds of thousands of Christians are being driven from their homes.

For instance, in one October offensive in just two northeastern states, Boko Haram reportedly burned down 185 churches and forced 190,000 to flee. Last month they attacked Mubi, the second largest city in Adamawa state, killing hundreds and destroying as they went. Without the slightest hint of hypocrisy, Boko Haram renamed the city “Madinatul Islam,” meaning, “city of Islam and peace.”

2) Massive population displacement: According to a UN press release, the attack on Mubi displaced 13,000 Nigerians, who were forced to flee to neighboring Cameroon, which is struggling to accommodate nearly 50,000 Nigerian refugees and another 250,000 from the Central African Republic with extremely scarce resources. Another 100,000 refugees have fled to Niger, with 30,000 arriving just in the past two months. There’s no guarantee of safety in taking refuge in neighboring countries, as Boko Haram has staged cross-border attacks. Inside Nigeria, it was reported that 400,000 refugees are in the Yolo area, severely taxing the city’s resources. Overall, 1.5 million Nigerians have been displaced by the violence, with 650,000 in the northeast alone.

3) Disease and famine loom: The massive displacement has strained refugee centers past the breaking point. Conditions in the camps are universally reported to be unsanitary and breeding grounds for cholera and measles. Because resources are stretched so thin, most refugees are left to fend for themselves for shelter, food, and water. As winter begins to set in, observers on the ground I have spoken to in the past few weeks warn of possible mass starvation in the months ahead.

Food prices are high and most refugees left their homes with nothing and have no reliable income. Because of the security situation, few relief agencies have a permanent operating presence in the most heavily affected areas. UN and private relief agencies are requesting additional funds, and yet the Strategic Response Plan for Nigeria launched in February was just 14 percent funded by mid-November.

4) Power grab by Muslim militias: In recent weeks there have been efforts by Islamic authorities and the emirs to stand up Muslim militias in the north, ostensibly to fight Boko Haram. But there’s no guarantee that these militias will always be opposed to Boko Haram, particularly if they continue to advance against government forces (this has been true for rebel groups in Syria that were initially opposed to ISIS and other hardline jihadist groups, but ended up allying with or defecting to these same groups).

And it should be noted that Boko Haram has not been the only actor targeting Christians in the north. Muslim militias have been attacking Christian areas for years. Observers on the ground express concern that the real-world effect of these militias will be to create a parallel system to the Nigerian government and eventually grab power in the north. Many Muslims in the north would love to break away from the political influence and governmental control of the Nigerian government, where they are forced to share power with the Christian majority. Thus, many of these calls for Muslim militias by Islamic authorities are couched in openly anti-government rhetoric.

5) Targeting of children: When nearly 300 school girls were abducted from Chibok in April, it grabbed the world’s attention. Some were able to flee, but reportedly 219 remain captive. Last month, Boko Haram chief Abubakar Shekau said that the girls had converted to Islam and had been married off. When Boko Harm stormed the town of Lassa on December 3, they carried away 20 more girls.

But while girls are targeted for abduction, boys are targeted for killing. Just last month, dozens of young men were killed when a suicide bomber dressed as a student bombed a morning assembly. This targeting of school-age boys is a pattern for Boko Haram, such as when they attacked a boarding school in Yobe state back in February where boys were shot, had their throats slit, or were burned alive when their dorms were set on fire.

6) Women suicide bombers: Last Wednesday, two young girls in hijabs conducted a dual suicide bombing in a high-traffic textile market in Kano city, the largest city in the north. Another 13-year-old girl was found wearing an explosive vest just hours later. Boko Haram is using young female suicide bombers at an increasing and disturbing rate, thoughthis tactic is not isolated to their operations in Nigeria and has been endorsed elsewhere by preeminent Islamic scholars like Yusuf al-Qaradawi. The use of female suicide bombers requires security forces to target women as well as men, and then the terror group is able to use the “abuse” of women being searched as a propaganda ploy. What is especially troubling is a VICE News report last week that indicated that Boko Haram has dispatched 50 female suicide bombers in the hopes of inflicting 100,000 casualties.

7) Jihadist jail breaks: ISIS has used jail breaks to effective use in Iraq, busting out al-Qaeda operatives of the infamousAbu Ghraib prison last year and Mosul and Tikrit earlier this year. Those released have helped swell the terror group’s ranks. So too with Boko Haram, which staged a jail break earlier this month that released 300 prisoners, and one on Sunday that freed another 200. The BBC reported in November that Boko Haram jail breaks had at that time freed 2,251 prisoners, and that they had launched an attack on a French cement plant and recovered a large cache of dynamite that could be used for future jail breaks. With thousands of Boko Haram operatives and supporters presently in jails, along with hardened criminals conditioned to violence, targeting more jails will continue to swell their ranks.

8) Government impotence: One of the primary factors emboldening these power grabs has been the ineffectiveness of the Nigerian military to roll back Boko Haram’s gains. Relatively few small scale victories by government forces are overshadowed by continuing gains by Boko Haram. To mask the problem, the Nigerian government has issued a media blackout in many of these areas and imposed a moratorium on foreign media visas. While President Jonathan’s administration has come under fire for not adequately protecting its own people, it has seemed to be more concerned about its public relations in Washington, D.C. than in regaining the public trust of its own citizens.

A study published this week by the International Centre for the Study of Radicalization found that Boko Haram was responsible for 801 deaths last month alone, with more people killed by terror attacks in Nigeria than in Syria or Afghanistan.

NBC News noted last week that Boko Haram’s violence is now on par with ISIS in Iraq, which is why in 2013 Nigeria climbed to fourth in the Global Terrorism Index, up from seventh in 2012 and twelfth in 2011. According to the Council on Foreign Relations tracker, the violence in Nigeria from May 2011 (when President Jonathan came into office) to November 2014 has claimed more than 26,000 lives. Now there are reports that Nigerian special forces have uncovered plans by Boko Haram to expand their attacks by targeting 25 communities in five different states.

But you would never know how desperate the situation is in Nigeria in light of the absence of any urgency or alarm from the Obama administration or from Congress.

It’s worth repeating: Congress had to drag a reluctant Clinton State Department kicking and screaming to get Boko Haram designated in November 2013. Members of Congress also discovered earlier this year that the Clinton State Department intentionally lied and downplayed the threat from Boko Haram, and worked to kill bills in both the House and the Senate calling for their designation in 2012.

At the same time, 21 American academics sent a letter to Hillary Clinton strongly arguing against Boko Haram’s designation in response to the Department of Justice’s National Security Division urging the State Department to do so.

But the November 2013 designation of Boko Haram and the offensives by ISIS in Syria and Iraq have allowed Congress to get distracted as well.

There are considerable national security and other strategic interests for the United States in Nigeria. But as the country teeters on the brink in the face of Boko Haram advances, Washington, D.C. is asleep at the wheel. The risks of inattention and inaction in Nigeria threaten to jeopardize the whole of Africa.

What will it take for us to stop doing business with Qatar?

UN-GENERAL ASSEMBLY-QATAR

We’ve let the desert state face both ways on funding extremism.

The Spectator, Simon Heffer, 4 October 2014:

On 17 June, a meeting of the Henry Jackson Society, held in the House of Commons, discussed (according to the minutes published on the society’s website) how a tribal elder in northern Cameroon who runs a car import business in Qatar has become one of the main intermediaries between kidnappers from Boko Haram and its offshoot Ansaru and those seeking to free hostages. It was alleged that embezzlement of funds going to Qatar via car imports might be disguising ransom payments. It was also alleged that Qatar was involved in financing Islamist militant groups in West Africa, helping with weapons and ideological training, and (with Saudi Arabia) funding the building of mosques in Mali and Nigeria that preach a highly intolerant version of Islam.

This was far from the only time such accusations have been levelled. Yet Qatar is supposed to be one of our allies, supporting air strikes against the Islamic State. Its ruler even thinks his enormous wealth entitles him to blag his way into Her Majesty’s carriage at Royal Ascot. Given Qatar’s questionable role in the current tide of savage Islamism, should its ruler be allowed anywhere near our Queen? And should they be allowed to buy up our country, as they have done relentlessly since the crash of 2008?

After the overthrow of President Morsi of Egypt, Qatar became a place of refuge for the Muslim Brotherhood. However, on 12 September it asked several leading Brotherhood figures to leave. They duly did, not in outrage or indignation, but apologising for causing embarrassment. Clearly, they felt a debt to the Qataris, and a senior Brotherhood spokesman, Amr Darrag, said what it was. He issued a statement thanking Qataris for their support to ‘the Egyptian people in their revolution against the military junta’.

Qatar asked its former friends to leave because of pressure applied by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Some may come to London: there is already a group of Brotherhood members in Cricklewood, under scrutiny from the authorities. But even now, Qatar remains home to an array of exiled Islamists, and thus a focus of suspicion to its neighbours. Bahrain joined Saudi Arabia and the UAE in withdrawing its ambassador from Doha this spring. It has been widely reported that Qatari money funds extremists in Libya, and when these ambassadors were recalled, the Zionist Organisation of America asked the US government to declare Qatar a state sponsor of terrorism.

The Emir of Qatar’s personal fortune and the country’s sovereign wealth fund are rumoured to amount to £50 billion. Qataris own substantial amounts of real estate — such as the Shard, the Olympic Village, One Hyde Park, a part of Canary Wharf, the United States Embassy building in Grosvenor Square, the Chelsea Barracks development and Harrods. They have large stakes in the stock exchange, Sainsburys and Barclays bank. Almost all Britain’s liquefied natural gas comes from Qatar, accounting for a quarter of our gas needs. The desert state has also bought the 2022 World Cup — rather like playing a cricket Test series at the South Pole — in a fashion so seemingly corrupt that there have been widespread calls for a boycott.

Sir John Jenkins, the British ambassador to Saudi Arabia, has compiled a report exposing extremist activity among members of the Brotherhood and their links to jihadis. It named three Muslim charities in Britain that seemed to be sending funds to extremists in the Middle East. At the very least this should lead Britain to expel members of the Brotherhood, close down the charities and sequester their funds; but the problem will never be dealt with until the source of the funding is cut off. At some stage the British government must ask itself a simple question: however much we want Qatari gas, how much longer can we permit commercial relations with such people?

In June the American magazine The Atlantic asserted that Jabhat al-Nusra, an al-Qa’eda proxy in Syria, had somehow received ‘Qatar’s economic and military largesse’. There is no suggestion this was sanctioned or funded by the Qatari government: but every suggestion it came from interest groups based in Qatar and wealthy Qatari nationals. The problem has been around for years. Wikileaks published a memorandum from Hillary Clinton, when US secretary of state, saying Qatar had the worst record of counter-terrorism co-operation of any ally of the United States.

The Qatari foreign minister, Khalid al-Attiyah, called claims such as The Atlantic’s ‘Qatar-bashing’, and denied the country or anyone in it was bankrolling IS. Certainly, most of the evidence for IS’s funding points to groups and individuals in Saudi Arabia. However, Saudi Arabia may provide training camps for anti-IS groups from Syria approved by the Americans. In response to a US request for similar assistance, the Qataris said it would be ‘premature’. Meanwhile, the Americans continue to accuse Qatar and Kuwait of being ‘permissive environments’ for the funding of terrorism, and believe Qatar has unhealthily close links with Jabhat al-Nusra. Certainly, Mr Attiyah has sought to play down its activities by pointing instead to atrocities committed by those loyal to Bashar al-Assad.

Israel has driven America’s scepticism over Qatar, accusing it of funding Hamas and of exporting terror not just through Jabhat al-Nusra but through IS. A German minister, Gerd Müller, then said that when the question was raised about funding IS, ‘The key word there is Qatar.’ This brought an immediate repudiation from the Qataris, who argued they had been among the first to condemn the beheading of the murdered American hostage James Foley.

However, the Americans — whose largest base in the Middle East is, ironically, at Al Udeid in Doha — believe Qatar has funded extremists not merely in Syria and Libya but also in Tunisia, Mali and Iraq. Another Wikileaks cable revealed Meir Degan, a former head of Mossad, telling the US that ‘Qatar is trying to cosy up to everyone’, and warning America to close its bases there.

Qatar’s pretence that it is an honest broker in the Middle East, attempting to see all sides of an argument, may wash in Doha. It won’t, however, resonate in countries such as Britain and America whose citizens are targeted by jihadis financed by people who may be Qataris, and who have enjoyed Qatari hospitality. Qatar needs to be reminded that the civilised parts of the world with which it does business won’t tolerate apologists for savage extremists. It can’t face both ways on this. Britain must expel members of the Brotherhood and sequester their funds. And it must tell Qatar that unless it stops turning a blind eye to some of its people funding murder and extremism, and stops equivocating about extremists, its assets will be frozen and trade with it suspended until it does.

Simon Heffer, is a columnist for the Daily Mail and a former deputy editor of The Spectator.