Tag Archives: Nigeria

Nigerian Christians Told To ‘Fight Back Brutally’ Against Jihadists

Nigerian Christians Told To ‘Fight Back Brutally’ Against Jihadists

Weapon up: ‘They can’t rely on the government’

by WND.com

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Christians under attack by Muslims terrorists in Nigeria are being warned to defend themselves, because the government won’t do it.

“Fight them,” said Rachel Ehrenfeld, director of the American Center for Democracy and the Economic Warfare Institute.

“Unless the non-Muslims in Africa fight the jihadists, they’ll become refugees, enslaved or killed,” she said.

250 Christian Women Gang Raped, Executed by Nigerian Terrorist

Woman Raped kidnapped

Her comments came just as Christians in the northern Nigeria town of Gwoza were attacked by the jihadist group Boko Haram, killing 100 people and burning several buildings.

Ehrenfeld said Christians “have to be able to fend for themselves, because they can’t rely on the government.”

A former military intelligence officer who served with the Defense Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency, Paul Hair, agrees.

Hair told WND Nigerian Christians might have to adopt the tactics of Christians and other non-Muslims in the Central African Republic.

“They might have to fight back brutally with whatever weapons they have. They’re going to need a high desire to achieve complete victory,” he said.

“What else can the Nigerian Christians do if they don’t want to be wiped out? If the government can’t help them, and it’s increasingly questionable if it can, then what use is appealing to it? The U.S. is heavily involved in Nigeria, but the Nigerian Christians shouldn’t expect help from the United States,” Hair said.

He said the American government is allowing its dislike of the Nigerian government’s social policies to interfere with helping counter jihad.

“The heavy U.S. involvement is complicated, and there are certain things the U.S. government doesn’t like about the Nigerian government that is partially hindering whatever working relationship the two governments have. Furthermore, the current U.S. leadership has bizarre priorities in Nigeria, like [Secretary of State John] Kerry’s concerns over Nigeria’s ban on same-sex marriage,” Hair said.

WND reported last week the Obama administration was withholding intelligence from the Nigerian government because of a policy difference over same-sex marriage.

Hair noted to WND there are Christian communities that have faith-based objections to arms while Muslims do not.

“There also isn’t an international community of Christians that are going to help the Nigerian Christians with fighting. When Muslim or Arab communities around the world want to fight, there are no shortages of wealthy groups, not to mention national governments, who will help them in some sort of military capacity if the circumstances are right,” he said.

“That doesn’t exist for Christians anywhere in the world. At most, the international Christian community can offer aid and pleas to governments. Other than that, they can do nothing,” Hair said.

He did note evidence Nigerians are working together for security through a Civilian Joint Task Force. A report in May said organized villagers fought off a Boko Haram attack.

International Christian Concern Africa said Boko Haram previously targeted Christians in Gwoza.

A spokesman said the situation for Christians in northern Nigeria continues to deteriorate as Boko Haram is “now carrying out a mass-land grab for radical Islam.”

“For weeks, the insurgency has laid waste to once peaceful villages, destroyed bridges and erected toll booths for terrorism, and not just in Nigeria.”

Hussein Solomon, senior professor in the Department of Political Studies and Governance at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein, South Africa, said the Nigerian military isn’t trained to defend the nation.

“African militaries are not trained to keep citizens safe but to keep regime elites safe from the citizens. They are not soldiers but thugs meant to keep unarmed civilians in line. When having to deal with the likes of Boko Haram, they crumble,” Solomon said.

 

US sends surveillance planes to find girls, Nigeria weighs prisoner swap

US sends surveillance planes to find girls,  Nigeria weighs prisoner swap

Nigeria’s government said Monday it was weighing all options to secure the freedom of nearly 300 kidnapped schoolgirls, as their captors demanded the release of jailed militants and the U.S. deployed surveillance planes in hopes of finding the girls.

A Nigerian government statement said it would “continue to explore all options for the release and safe return of our girls back to their homes” after the release of a video by the Boko Haram terrorist network showing what it claimed were some of the schoolgirls kidnapped a month ago.

Nigerian girlsThe video showed about 100 girls, indicating they may have been broken up into smaller groups as some reports have indicated. Fifty-three girls managed to escape and 276 remain missing, according to Nigerian authorities.

Meanwhile, a senior U.S. official told Fox News the Pentagon has deployed military aircraft over Nigeria for manned intelligence and surveillance missions.

The U.S. has sent some 30 people drawn from the State and Defense departments. Among them are five State Department officials, two strategic communications experts, a civil security expert and a regional medical support officer. Four FBI officials with expertise in safe recovery, negotiations and preventing future kidnappings are also part of the group.

The Pentagon said 16 Defense Department personnel were on the team, including planners and advisers who were already in Nigeria and have been redirected to assist the government.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said at a press breifing Monday that the U.S. had experts in a variety of areas, including reconnaissance and surveillance, working on the case of the missing girls. However he said he did not have a “catalog” of the specific resources the experts were using.

The foreign help does not involve boots on the ground but rather experts in intelligence gathering, counter-terrorism and hostage negotiations.

French President Francois Hollande invited Jonathan and leaders from neighboring Benin, Chad, Cameroon and Niger, as well as representatives of Britain, the EU and the United States, to a summit on Saturday to focus on Boko Haram, terrorism and insecurity in West Africa.

A French official said Jonathan had agreed to attend. He spoke on condition of anonymity because details of the gathering have not been finalized.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Said Djinnit, his special representative for West Africa, is in Abuja for meetings with the president and other officials on how the United Nations and its member states can help.

The girls’ families have said most of those seized April 15 from a school in the northeastern town of Chibok are Christians.

It was impossible to fully authenticate the video released on Monday, though parents were trying to turn on a generator in Chibok, hoping to watch the video and identify their daughters, said a town leader, Pogu Bitrus.

“There’s an atmosphere of hope — hope that these girls are alive, whether they have been forced to convert to Islam or not,” he told The Associated Press by telephone. “We want to be able to say, ‘These are our girls.'”

Bitrus said vegetation in the video looked like the Sambisa Forest, some 20 miles from Chibok, where the girls were believed to have been spirited away.

It is not known how many suspected Boko Haram members are detained by security forces. Hundreds were killed last month when leader Abubakar Shekau’s fighters stormed the military’s main northeastern barracks in Maiduguri, the terror group’s birthplace and the headquarters of a year-old military state of emergency to put down the 5-year-old Islamic uprising.

Interior Minister Abba Moro scoffed at Boko Haram’s demand to release prisoners late Monday, telling the BBC the group was in no moral position to make the offer.

“As far as this government is concerned, the option of [the] swap of innocent citizens with people who have taken arms against the country… is not on the table,” he said.

But Mike Omri, the director of Nigeria’s National Orientation Agency, told The Associated Press late Monday that the government will “use whatever kind of action” it takes to free the girls.

In a video last week, Shekau threatened to sell the girls into slavery. It arrived amid unverified reports that Christians among the students had been forced to convert to Islam and that some were taken to neighboring Cameroon and Chad, where they were forced to marry their abductors. Boko Haram means “Western education is sinful.”

The latest video, obtained by The Associated Press, came through channels that have provided previous messages from Shekau, who spoke in the video in the Hausa language of northern Nigeria. Wearing camouflage fatigues, he clutched an assault rifle in the footage, which was imprinted with the Boko Haram insignia — a Quran resting on two crossed assault rifles — and below a black jihadi flag.

The United States put a $7 million ransom on Shekau last year.

The mass abductions and failure of Nigeria’s government and military to rescue the girls has aroused outrage at home and abroad. Last week, Nigeria belatedly accepted offers of help from the United States, Britain and other nations.

US Sends Troops to Help Find Nigerian Girls

US Sends Troops to Help Find Nigerian Girls

About 10 counter-terror and intelligence specialists from AFRICOM will link up with 11 other troops previously assigned to the U.S. Embassy to form a team prepared to assist the Nigerian security forces in finding and rescuing the girls, Pentagon officials said.

Nigerian girlsMore than 200 girls aged 16-18 were abducted from their school in northeastern Nigeria on April 14. Army Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, said the formation of the team on the ground shows the Defense Department is “sharply focused on this horrific incident.”

The initial kidnappings of the girls failed to provoke international outrage. That changed when a video emerged earlier this week showing their grinning captor, Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau, boasting that he might sell the girls at auction.

At the opening of the World Economic Forum in Abuja, the Nigerian capital, President Goodluck Jonathan told the delegates attending under heavy security that he viewed the abductions as an opportunity to strike a blow at Boko Haram.

“I believe that the kidnap of these girls will be the beginning of the end of terrorism in Nigeria,” Jonathan told the forum meant to showcase business opportunities in Nigeria that has been overshadowed by the plight of the girls.

Jonathan thanked the U.S. and also Britain, France and China for offering help in the search.

US Military Special OperationsPentagon officials stressed that the U.S. military team was strictly advisory and barred from combat, but two veteran diplomats with long experience in the region questioned whether the Nigerians would listen to the advice.

“They believe that they have had a handle on the problem,” Johnnie Carson, the former African Affairs chief at the State Department, said of the Nigerians. “Time has shown that the problem has not gotten any better,” Carson said.

“In the past, the Nigerians have been reluctant to accept U.S. assistance” for their own internal political reasons, said John Campbell, the former U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria.

In a conference call with reporters sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations, both Campbell and Carson said the emergence of Boko Haram in the north reflected deeper fissures in the Nigerian state that have been driven by mistrust between the mostly Muslim north and the Christian south.

In the efforts against Boko Haram, the response of the central government “has always been a security response, and that security response has been heavy-handed and very brutal,” Carson said.

The result has been that many people in the north view the Nigerian security forces as “just as predatory and disrespectful of their civil rights as Boko Haram has been,” Carson said.

Nigeria militants kidnap 8 more girls as U.S. offers help

Nigeria militants kidnap 8 more girls as U.S. offers help

Reprinted from CBS

Boko Haram terrorist, Nigeria militants kidnap 8 more girls as U.S. offers help
Boko Haram terrorist

Islamic militants have kidnapped eight more young girls in northeast Nigeria, local police and villagers told the Reuters news agency on Tuesday, as U.S. officials said they were ready to help the Nigerian government find and rescue almost 300 young women already held by the group.

” many of the girls have already been sold as slaves”

CBS News State Department correspondent Margaret Brennan said American officials admitted that many of the girls kidnapped three weeks ago have likely already been sold or smuggled out of the country.

In a video message released Monday, the leader of Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, said the schoolgirls are now slaves, reports CBS News’ Margaret Brennan.

“By god, we’ll sell them in the market,” he vowed, adding that “girls should be married out at the age of nine or twelve.”

Nigerians express outrage over missing girls

Shekau’s video was the first public claim of responsibility for the April 15 kidnapping that has become a national embarrassment.

Brennan said that while the U.S. has offered assistance, none has been provided to date because Nigeria hasn’t requested it.Meanwhile, residents and police in Warabe, a village near one of the Boko Haram stronghold of Maiduguri, told Reuters on Tuesday that militants had raided their village overnight, making off with eight more girls aged 12-15.”They were many, and all of them carried guns. They came in two vehicles painted in army color. They started shooting in our village,” resident Lazarus Musa told Reuters by telephone.

Police told the news agency that the attackers escaped with the girls and food and other essentials looted from the village.

“Many people tried to run behind the mountain but when they heard gun shots, they came back,” Musa said. “The Boko Haram men were entering houses, ordering people out of their houses.”

Nigerian parents now fear sending their children to school.

On Monday, the White House spokesman called it a tragedy and pledged to help.

“We are working with the Nigerian government to strengthen its criminal justice system and increase confidence in the government by supporting its efforts to hold those responsible for violence accountable,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said.

The name Boko Haram translates to “western education is forbidden.” Earlier this year, the group slaughtered 50 teenage boys at school. Some were burned alive. Their ultimate goal is to overthrow the Nigerian government, and just last month they succeeded in bombing the capital.The U.S. has designated Boko Haram a terrorist group with ties to al Qaeda.”They’re not looking to rule,” said Bronwyn Bruton, specialist in African extremism at the Atlantic Council. “They’re looking to terrify, and they’re looking to prey on people, and they’re looking to make money through brutalizing the population and through various criminal activities.”

Bruton said there are reports that many of the girls have already been sold as slaves in neighboring countries, some for as little as $12.