Kerry in Nigeria: ‘Trouble Finding Meaning’ of Life Leads ‘Too Many’ to Terrorism

Secretary of State John Kerry walks with Sultan Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar, Sokoto Gov. Aminu Waziri Tambuwai at the Sultan’s Palace in Sokoto, Nigeria, on August 23, 2016. (State Department photo)

Secretary of State John Kerry walks with Sultan Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar, Sokoto Gov. Aminu Waziri Tambuwai at the Sultan’s Palace in Sokoto, Nigeria, on August 23, 2016. (State Department photo)

PJ MEDIA, BY BRIDGET JOHNSON, AUGUST 23, 2016:

On a visit to Nigeria today, Secretary of State John Kerry declared there are “far too many” who join terrorist groups like Boko Haram “because they have trouble finding meaning or opportunity in their daily lives.”

“Because they are deeply frustrated and alienated — and because they hope groups like Boko Haram will somehow give them a sense of identity, or purpose, or power,” Kerry said after meeting with local religious leaders to discuss community building and countering violent extremism in Sokoto, Nigeria.

“We see this in every part of the world — whether we are talking about the Lake Chad Basin or the Sahel, or a village in the Middle East or a city in Western Europe, it’s the same. When people — and particularly young people — have no hope for the future and no faith in legitimate authority — when there are no outlets for people to express their concerns — then aggravation festers and those people become vulnerable to outside influence,” he added. “And no one knows that better than the violent extremist groups, which regularly use humiliation and marginalization and inequality and poverty and corruption as recruitment tools.”

Kerry stressed that “one of our central tasks — and almost every single religious leader I just heard in the other room talked about this task — has to be to remove the vulnerabilities in our own position.”

“To effectively counter violent extremism, we have to ensure that military action is coupled with a reinforced commitment to the values this region and all of Nigeria has a long legacy of supporting — values like integrity, good governance, education, compassion, security, and respect for human rights,” he said.

The Obama administration has been critical of Nigeria’s military campaign against Boko Haram, charging that human rights are being violated as they target suspected terrorists.

“It is understandable that in the wake of terrorist activity, some people are tempted to crack down on everyone and anyone who could theoretically pose some sort of a threat. I caution against that today,” Kerry said. “Extremism cannot be defeated through repression or just creating fear. Fear instilled through repression invites not confidence; it invites contempt. It creates terrorists — trust creates citizens.”

Nigeria is about half Muslim and 40 percent Christian, with indigenous religions making up the balance. Kerry told the Nigerians that “those who would tear our communities apart — pitting one religion or one sect against another — they can only be defeated by citizens’ unyielding commitment to unity and mutual understanding.”

“Equality and tolerance; justice and mercy; compassion and humility — these are values that transcend religions, ethnicities, and all kinds of moral codes,” he said. “They are certainly in keeping with the teachings of Islam that have enriched the world for centuries.”

Kerry’s trip also included a meeting with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and a sit-down with northern governors.

The Nigerian Army claimed Monday that “believed to have fatally” Boko Harm leader Abubakr Shekau. The army claimed the same back in 2014, only to have Shekau emerge alive and well.

“In what one could describe as the most unprecedented and spectacular air raid, we have just confirmed that as a result of the interdiction efforts of the Nigerian Air Force, some key leaders of the Boko Haram terrorists have been killed while others were fatally wounded,” spokesman Col. Sani Kukasheka said in a statement, claiming the terrorists were killed during Friday prayers.

Deaths and injuries from Boko Haram attacks jumped 190 percent in 2015. Over the same period, the Nigeria-based terror group’s use of suicide bombers rose 167 percent. They pledged allegiance to ISIS in 2014.

Captive Chibok Girls: ‘Bargaining Chip’ Of Boko Haram Insurgency

More than 2 years after their capture in 2014, the girls remain the symbol of insurgency. Image tweeted by @AFP

More than 2 years after their capture in 2014, the girls remain the symbol of insurgency. Image tweeted by @AFP

Agence-France Press,  Aug. 16, 2016:

LAGOS, NIGERIA: Boko Haram’s list of victims — dead, displaced or abducted — grows longer by the day.

The terrorist group has claimed more than 20,000 deaths, displaced 2.6 million people from their homes, and kidnapped thousands of children since it started fighting in 2009 for an independent ISIS in Nigeria.

But the kidnapped Chibok girls continue to define the Boko Haram insurgency.

More than two years after their capture in April 2014, the girls remain the symbol of the insurgency — and a political embarrassment to the two Nigerian administrations that have failed to secure their return.

On Sunday, the Chibok girls were back in the spotlight after a Boko Haram video purportedly showing some of them was released, following months of silence and speculation about their fates.

Although it is unclear when the video was shot and if the girls are all from Chibok, experts say its release date is not a coincidence.

Boko Haram is going through a leadership crisis after pledging allegiance to the ISIS in March 2015, with ISIS appearing earlier this month to have appointed Abu Musab al-Barnawi chief of the group.

Abubakar Shekau, Boko Haram’s leader since 2009, could be using the new video to show his control over the Chibok girls, arguably Boko Haram’s biggest asset, said Kyle Shideler of the Washington-based Center for Security Policy.

“The video serves as a message to the Nigerian government that despite being replaced, Shekau still has bargaining chips and will have to be dealt with,” Shideler told news agency AFP.

“It is also a reminder that the group’s largest propaganda success, the Chibok girls kidnapping, occurred under Shekau’s leadership.”

‘Blessing And Curse’

Of the 276 girls kidnapped from the Government Girls Secondary School in the northeastern town of Chibok, 218 are still missing.

Dozens managed to escape in the early hours of the abduction, and one of them was found in May.

The audacity of the mass kidnapping — and the failure of the Nigerian government to find the girls — shocked the world.

Boko Haram catapulted from an obscure regional threat to a high-profile terror group, as politicians and celebrities around the globe posted the #bringbackourgirls hashtag on social media.

The response was “unique”, said Yan St-Pierre, head of the Modern Security Consulting Group in Berlin.

“While other hostages held by terrorists have also caused some media interest — the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in Palestine or the Iran hostage crisis in 1980, for example — it was rather localised,” he said.

“But in the case of the Chibok girls, the media reaction was international.”

The interest in the Chibok girls transformed them into a valuable asset for Boko Haram.

“It is both a blessing, because they were protected a little, and a curse, because they have become Boko Haram’s bargaining chip,” St-Pierre said.

In the new video, Boko Haram demands a prisoner swap of its fighters in exchange for the Chibok girls.

Read more

Hillary Clinton Obstructed Boko Haram Terror Designation Over CIA, DOJ Objections As Clinton Allies Cashed In

boko.sized-770x415xtPJ MEDIA, by Patrick Poole, July 28, 2016:

In January 2015, I was one of the first to report that a massive massacre by Nigerian terror group Boko Haram in Borno State in northwest Nigeria, with reportedly thousands killed. Witnesses on the ground reported that bodies littered the landscape for miles as towns and villages had been burned to the ground, their populations murdered or fled.

By that time, Boko Haram had already become the most lethal terrorist organization in the world, now responsible for tens of thousands of deaths. Just yesterday the United Nations accused Boko Haram of “almost unimaginable” levels of violence and brutality.

And yet as Boko Haram began to ramp up its terror campaign in 2011 and 2012, Hillary Clinton obstructed the official terror designation of the group over the objections of Congress, the FBI, the CIA and the Justice Department.

Boko Haram death toll

Why did Hillary Clinton’s State Department drag its feet on the terror designation in the face of near unanimous opposition from the rest of the U.S. government?

A recent series of reports about a close Clinton family confidante and Hillary campaign bundler who profited from Nigeria’s lucrative oil fields and engaged in multiple illegal deals throughout Africa and other donors to the Clinton Global Initiative deeply involved in Nigeria’s corrupt oil industry may provide the answer to that question.

As my PJ Media colleague Bridget Johnson has previously asked, is Boko Haram Hillary Clinton’s biggest scandal?

And as Hillary Clinton is set to accept the Democratic Party nomination for President of the United States tonight, why is no one in the media talking about it?

It is worth nothing that Congress had to drag a reluctant State Department kicking and screaming to get Boko Haram designated in November 2013only after Hillary Clinton had left office.

Hillary Clinton’s willful obstruction in the matter is easy to document:

  • Members of Congress also discovered in 2014 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.
  • As Reuters reported, the Justice Department’s National Security Division strongly urged the State Department to designate Boko Haram, but thena group of 21 American academics rallied to State Department’s aid bysending a letter to Hillary Clinton strongly arguing against Boko Haram’s designation.
  • We also now know that the Obama administration was sitting on intelligence obtained as a result of the Bin Laden raid that showed Boko Haram’s direct connection to Al-Qaeda and the international terror network in 2011 and 2012 at the same time Clinton’s State Department was arguing that Boko Haram had no such connections and that it wasn’t a transnational terror threat.

So what was behind Hillary Clinton’s intransigence in designating Boko Haram?

An important two-part investigative series by WORLD Magazine reporters Mindy Belz and J.C. Derrick provides some insight.

What Belz and Derrick discovered was that Hillary Clinton’s obstruction of the Boko Haram designation and the continuing chaos in northern Nigeria – Africa’s largest economy and the 10th largest oil producer in the world – directly benefited Clinton Global Initiative donors and a close Clinton confidante who bundled campaign cash for Hillary.

From their second article:

Perhaps the most prominent Nigerian with ties to the Clintons is Houston-based Kase Lawal. The founder of CAMAC Energy, an oil exploration and energy consortium, Lawal had a long history with Bill Clinton before becoming a “bundler” for Hillary’s 2008 presidential bid, amassing $100,000 in contributions and hosting a fundraiser in his Houston home—a 14-room, 15,264-square-foot mansion. Lawal maxed out donations to Hillary’s 2016 primary campaign, and his wife Eileen donated $50,000—the most allowed—to President Obama’s 2009 inaugural committee.Lawal describes himself as a devout Muslim who began memorizing the Quran at age 3 while attending an Islamic school. “Religion played a very important role in our lives,” he told a reporter in 2006. “Every time you finish a chapter they kill a chicken, and if you finish the whole thing, a goat.”

Today the Houston oil exec—who retired in May as CEO but continues as chairman of the board of CAMAC, now called Erin Energy—tops the list of wealthiest Nigerians living in North America. His firm reports about $2.5 billion in annual revenue, making it one of the top private companies in the United States.

In Africa, Lawal has been at the center of multiple criminal proceedings, even operating as a fugitive. Over the last decade, he faced charges in South Africa over an illegal oil scheme along with charges in Nigeria of illegally pumping and exporting 10 million barrels of oil.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lawal arranged a 2011 plot to purchase 4 tons of gold from a rebel warlord, Bosco Ntaganda, linked to massacres and mass rapes. Ntaganda was on a U.S. sanctions list, meaning anyone doing business with him could face up to 20 years in prison. Lawal contacted Clinton’s State Department, and authorities in Congo released his plane and associates in the plot. He never faced charges in the United States, and he remains a commissioner for the Port Authority of Houston.

Lawal’s energy firm holds lucrative offshore oil licenses in Nigeria, as well as exploration and production licenses in Gambia, Ghana, and Kenya, where he operates in a conflict-ridden area largely controlled by Somalia’s al-Shabab militants.

The firm also has held contracts in Nigeria for crude oil lifting, or transferring oil from its collection point to refineries. Until last year, when newly elected President Muhammadu Buhari began an effort to reform the process, contracting for lifting has been awash in kickbacks, bribes, and illegal activity.

Overland lifting contracts often involve partnership with the North’s past and present governors, including those who serve as quasi-warlords with ties to Boko Haram and other militants.

Lawal’s enterprises have long been rumored to be involved in such deals, as have indigenous oil concerns like Petro Energy and Oando, Nigeria’s largest private oil and gas company, based in Lagos and headed by Adewale Tinubu, another controversial Clinton donor.

In 2014, Oando pledged 1.5 percent of that year’s pre-tax profits and 1 percent of future profits to a Clinton Global Initiative education program. This year, Adewale gained notoriety when the Panama Papers revealed he holds at least 12 shell companies, leading tosuspicion of money laundering, tax evasion, and other corruption.

In 2013 Bill Clinton stood alongside Adewale’s uncle, Bola Tinubu, while attending the dedication of a massive, controversial reclamation project called Eko Atlantic. Critics call Bola Tinubu, leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress party, Nigeria’s “looter in chief.” A Nigerian documentary says that when the billionaire landowner was governor of Lagos State (1999-2007), he funneled huge amounts of state funds—up to 15 percent of annual tax revenues—to a private consulting firm in which he had controlling interest.

In the United States, where he studied and worked in the 1970s and ’80s, Tinubu is still a suspect in connection with a Chicago heroin ring he allegedly operated with his wife and three other family members. In 1993 Tinubu forfeited $460,000 to American authorities, who believe he trafficked drugs and laundered the proceeds.

But wait, there’s more:

Beneath the surface, literally, Boko Haram was making it possible for illicit operators to lay claim to the area for their own purposes, and to pump oil from Nigeria’s underground reserves to Chad. Using 3-D drilling, Chad operators can extract Nigerian oil—without violating Nigerian property rights—to sell on open markets. One benefactor of the arrangement is Ali Modu Sheriff, a leading politician in the North, Borno State governor until 2011, and an alleged sponsor of Boko Haram, who is close friends with longtime Chad President Idriss Déby.The very terrorism that seems to be deterring oil exploration in reality can help illicit extraction, forcing residents to flee and giving cover to under-the-table oil traders. In 2015, a year when overall oil prices dipped 6 percent, Lawal’s Erin Energy stock value skyrocketed 295 percent—the best-performing oil and gas stock in the United States.

Their entire two-part investigative series is worth reading every word.

Of course, Hillary’s defenders will claim that Clinton obstructing the terrorist designation of what is now the most lethal terrorist organization in the world on behalf of Clinton Foundation donors and close Clinton family confidantes is simply crazy conspiracy talk.

Of course, they said that too about Hillary’s role in the fast-tracking approval of Russia’s acquisition of a large chunk of America’s uranium supply as the Clinton Foundation was taking money from those profiting from the deal.

But Hillary Clinton’s obstruction of the Boko Haram terror designation in the face of FBI, CIA, DOJ and Congressional urging to do so is a documented fact.

The reason for Hillary’s obstruction, which the establishment media has never really pressed Clinton for, remains unanswered.

And yet don’t expect any of the talking heads on tonight’s coverage of Hillary’s DNC convention acceptance speech to press the matter.

So Why Did Hillary Clinton’s Sate Department take so long to Declare Boko Haram an FTO?

nigerians_and_the_clintons_1

Troubling Ties – Under the Clinton State Department, influence from big money donors appeared to thwart efforts to combat Boko Haram—efforts that might have saved thousands of lives

World Magazine explores Clinton’s business ties to Nigerian donors:

While the full truth may never come to light, what’s at issue are long-standing Clinton ties to controversial Nigerian businessmen—billionaires who have donated money toward both Clintons’ presidential campaigns and the Clinton Foundation—who could benefit in seeing Boko Haram proliferate. Knowing whether she placed financial ties and influence peddling ahead of national security interests during that time period is more urgent than ever, now that the former secretary of state could become the commander in chief.

Read it all

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In this video from last December, Jeanine Pirro blasts Clinton:

Also see:

Nigeria: 500 Christian Villagers Slaughtered by Islamist Extremists

A torched Nigerian village after a previous attack by Boko Haram (Photo: © Reuters)

A torched Nigerian village after a previous attack by Boko Haram (Photo: © Reuters)

Clarion Project, March 17, 2016:

Extremist Muslim herdsmen have slaughtered close to 500 Christian farmers in central Nigeria in a series of ongoing attacks over the last month.

The attackers are reportedly still hiding out in the villages, making it too dangerous for survivors to return and bury the dead.

“We have corpses littered in the field like a war fought in the Roman Empire by Emperor Nero,” said Steven Enada, a development advocate campaigning against the killing, speaking to Morning Star News.

The slaughter has also left 7,000 Christian villagers displaced.

One survivor said he took the risk of coming to one of the villages with a delegation from the Nigerian president. “Entire villages were burned down completely by Fulani herdsmen. Unidentified corpses of these Christians were discovered, properties were looted by these Fulani invaders. As I speak to you, Fulani herdsmen are living in the deserted villages. I couldn’t believe what my eyes saw,” he said.

“Our people were massacred and houses burned down by the Fulani herdsmen,” said another survivor.

Leaders of the herdsmen said that the killings were in retaliation for the slaughter of 10,000 cows by the Christian farmers, a claim vehemently denied.

However, Emmanuel Ogebe, a human-rights lawyer who was part of a fact-finding mission, said logistically, killing such a large number of cattle would have been physically impossible for the Christian farmers.

“Such a mass slaughter would take weeks, and the skeletal remains of the cows would completely dot the landscape of Agatu, and the stench would permeate the air,” he said.

Rather, Ogebe said he feels the motivation was religious jihad, with extremists planning to take over the villages, as evidenced by the fact that the herdsmen were still occupying the villages.

Andy Obeya, who was part of a relief team that visited the villages along with media and activists, said only Christians and church buildings were destroyed in the attack. “There was not a single burnt mosque, where everything else was razed,” Obeya said.

While corpses were found everywhere, Obeya noted the team observed thousands of live cattle grazing on people’s farms.

Sources report the killings are continuing in the area where survivors fled.

Meanwhile, in the northeastern Nigerian state of Borno, the Islamist terror group Boko Haram was believed to be responsible for an attack on a mosque in the city Maiduguri.

Authorities report at least 22 people were killed and 18 wounded when a female suicide bomber sneaked into the mosque during early morning prayers, detonating a bomb. Another bomber blew herself up outside the mosque as survivors were fleeing.

Boko Haram, whose name means “Western education is forbidden,” originated in Maiduguri and has been responsible for 20,000 deaths since 2009. Over two-million Nigerians have been internally displaced due to the group’s attacks.

A year ago, the group pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.

Watch: Boko Haram Is Deadlier Than ISIS. Why Don’t We Care?

Girls Carry out Suicide Bombing; Kill at Least 58 in Nigeria

The aftermath of a previous attack by Boko Haram. (Photo: © Reuters)

The aftermath of a previous attack by Boko Haram. (Photo: © Reuters)

Clarion Project, Feb. 11, 2016:

At least 58 people were killed and many others injured in a double suicide bombing attack on a refugee camp in Nigeria. The camp is in the northeastern town Dikwa, 53 miles outside the capital of Borno state. It was serving as a temporary home for people fleeing the insurgency of the jihadist group Boko Haram.

Reports vary from 58 killed to more than 70, with dozens more reported injured.

Two female suicide bombers entered the camp and detonated their devices in the middle of it. A third was reportedly arrested before she detonated her bomb, after changing her mind.

“The one they arrested alive, she confessed,” Ahmed Satomi, of the State Management Agency, told Al Jazeera. “She feel [sic] that her parents would come and that’s why she refused to detonate her own bomb.”

She reportedly recognized her parents and siblings in the camp and therefore decided not to blow herself up.

The attack was carried out on February 9 but information was slow to filter out due a breakdown in the telephone system. It was carried out in revenge for a Nigerian military operation against Boko Haram in the village of Boboshe, according to The New York Times.

Boko Haram is trying to establish a sharia state in northeastern Nigeria and pledged allegiance to the caliphate of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi last year.

Also see:

Boko Haram Jihadis Burn Children Alive, Slay Over 100 Villagers in Nigeria Massacre

AP

AP

Breitbart, by THOMAS D. WILLIAMS, PH.D. Jan. 31, 2016:

In one of their most heinous massacres to date, militants from the radical Islamist Boko Haram group slaughtered over a hundred victims in a village in northeast Nigeria Saturday night, including a number of children whom they burned alive.

The latest atrocity from the jihadi group allied to the Islamic State took place in the village of Dalori, some three miles from Maiduguri, Nigeria. Vice Chairman of a civilian joint task force in Dalori, Modu Kaka, said that at least 100 dead bodies were taken away but that hundreds are still missing.

Witnesses spoke of “scores of bodies” burned and riddled with bullets lying in the streets after the attack Saturday night. One man, who managed to escape by hiding in a tree, said that he could hear the wails of children screaming in the flames.

Residents of the community said the militants stormed into town around 6:20 pm and began their killing spree, which lasted for several hours. During the assault, the jihadis demolished houses and burned livestock once they had pillaged and carried away foodstuffs. Several of the villagers were burnt beyond recognition.

Witnesses reported that the fighters ravaged the settlement for four hours, and that three female suicide bombers blew themselves up among people who were fleeing.

Students at nearby University of Maiduguri heard explosions and gunfire, and many fled the area as the conflict raged.

One political science student named Hauwa Ba’na said: “We are crying in our hostel because the explosions are loud and everyone is panicking.”

A Dalori resident, Mallam Buka, decried the lack of protection from the Nigerian military. “We were helpless. Could you believe that there was no military presence in Dalori? The government didn’t provide security to protect us. I lost 11 people, and 5 of our children are nowhere to be found,” she said.

Another resident by the name of Ibrahim Muhammad said that the Boko Haram insurgents had dressed up as military personnel and began opening fire on everybody. “All our wives and children were brutally killed while they looted and destroyed our livestock,” he said.

Boko Haram terrorists began their Islamist insurgency in Maiduguri in 2009, and during their 6-year uprising have killed some 20,000 people and driven another 2.5 million from their homes.

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