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The Terror Behind the Hashtag: Kidnapped Girls Warn World About Boko Haram

Al-Qaeda-allied Nigerian terrorists are thinking globally while acting locally, and their latest victims are canaries in the coal mine.

by
Bridget Johnson

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May 5, 2014 - 5:39 pm
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WASHINGTON — The social media campaign #BringBackOurGirls springs from the best of intentions: a grass-roots awareness effort to stoke international outrage about 276 Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped from the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, in the northeastern state of Borno.

“Access to education is a basic right & an unconscionable reason to target innocent girls. We must stand up to terrorism. #BringBackOurGirls,” tweeted Hillary Clinton on Sunday.

With hashtags and street protests, people around the world and throughout U.S. political and activist circles issued tweets calling the “stolen” girls an “outrage” and a “disgrace,” demanding answers while infrequently mentioning the obvious root of the Nigerian families’ anguish: Boko Haram. A CNN anchor said Monday the story was not about the abductors, as if it was an isolated school shooting in which the perpetrator’s name shouldn’t be glorified.

The teenage girls are the canaries in the coal mine, warning a world that just might be ready to listen that Nigeria hardly has the control over al-Qaeda-linked Boko Haram that it claims. The criticized dithering response of the Nigerian government is unfortunately matched by an international response that correctly brands the insurgents as misogynistic and nihilist, but tucks under the rug the world’s lack of response to the explosive al-Qaeda threat in North Africa.

Scores of villagers around Lake Chad have witnessed convoys and canoe transportation ferrying  girls to locations in Cameroon and Chad after border weddings with Boko Haram terrorists. The price each of the terrorists paid for a bride was reportedly 2,000 Nigerian Naira: $12.52 in U.S. currency.

It’s a shocking example of Boko Haram’s brutality, and while the girls’ tragedy has managed to get coverage beyond Africa they are, sadly, not the first school viciously attacked by the group dubbed Nigeria’s Taliban.

On July 6, 2013, Boko Haram attacked the Yobe State School in Mamundo, killing 42 students and staff. On Sept. 29, 44 students and teachers were slain in a dormitory attack at the College of Agriculture in Gujba, with Boko Haram terrorists opening fire as they slept. On Feb. 25, 43 boys between the ages of 10 and 16 were hacked and shot to death in an attack on a school in Buni Yadi as an undetermined number of female students were kidnapped.

Seminaries are another favorite target of Boko Haram, such as the March attack on the St. Joseph Catholic Minor Seminary School in Maiduguri.

“Our Vice Rector, Fr Joshua Ijah, gathered us in a place and prayed for us and quickly told us we had to flee the school as Boko Haram were coming. Everybody was terrified. What if they intercepted us while running or open fire on us in the bush? Many of us had asked, but there was no time for answer. Our vice just yelled at us saying, ‘Just run for your lives because time is running out. God will protect you,’” a 16-year-old survivor of the attack told Nigeria’s Sun newspaper.

Indeed, the barbarian horde wing of al-Qaeda has been plowing across Nigeria, in and out of porous borders, with little resistance and even fewer hashtag campaigns. In March, the Nigerian military said it would not allow Boko Haram to acquire air power, a reassurance to the public that only served to stoke fears that the Qaeda-allied force was seizing airspace. And as the Nigerian government admitted three weeks after a kidnapping that it couldn’t track down hundreds of schoolgirls, a chilling picture unfolded of just how out of control terror is in northern Africa.

“I abducted your girls. I will sell them in the market, by Allah,” Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau said in a video obtained Monday by Agence France-Presse, stressing that the terror group has called for Western education to end and “girls, you should go and get married.”

“There is a market for selling humans. Allah says I should sell. He commands me to sell. I will sell women. I sell women,” he continued in the Hausa-language part of the video.

“Boko Haram’s disgusting announcement shows a criminal disregard for the most fundamental of human rights,” Senate Caucus to End Human Trafficking co-chairmen Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) said in a statement. “Sadly, while this event is tragically large in scope, it is neither new to Nigeria nor isolated to that corner of the globe. Human trafficking is a horrific reality faced by more than a million children around the world annually, and we will continue the fight to combat it both at home and abroad.”

Dutch intelligence firm Ultrascan HUMINT, which closely follows Boko Haram, noted in April that the terror group “is not just a local insurgency but a movement with a strong brand name that promises to fight the sin of non-Islamic education.”

“A much broader notion, easy to identify with and potentially inspiring Muslims across the globe,” the firm added, noting that they’re taking the al-Qaeda 2.0 philosophy of “think globally, act locally” to heart. “…Until today the Government has no clue about who, what and where Boko Haram is and it desperately tries to downplay the clear and present danger of Boko Haram.”

Indeed, Shekau has repeatedly warned in recent videos that “we are everywhere in your cities.”

Last week, White House press secretary Jay Carney was asked what the U.S. was doing to cooperate with Nigeria in battling Boko Haram. “I will have to take the question because I just don’t have information on that today, but I can certainly take the question and provide it to you,” he replied. “State Department would have more on it for you.”

Today, Carney was more forthcoming, noting “our counterterrorism assistance to Nigeria focuses on information-sharing, on improving Nigeria’s forensics and investigative capacity.”

“It also stresses the importance of protecting civilians and ensuring that human rights are protected and respected,” he said, underscoring the criticism Washington has heaped on the Nigerian government in the past few years for its counterterrorism operations.

Top Rated Comments   
It just FROSTS me that the alphabet news in the evening is STILL saying that the girls are being sold as "child BRIDES". They are not going to be BRIDES. They are so cowardly that they can't even tell the truth about what is happening to those girls.
They should be so ashamed of themselves.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
THAT is a war on women.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
Uh, threatening to sell the girls is the exact opposite of thinking globally, as the global reaction will be sharply negative. The Taliban has suffered from such over-dramatic cruelty towards women.

These people are thinking like the provincial thugs that they are. The effect they want is a very local one, fear in their neighbors hearts.
11 weeks ago
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All Comments   (39)
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Our political and media masters do put on a good show of outrage but where have they been hiding their heads? Raymond Ibrahim, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, for beginners, have been sounding the alarm for years so ignorance is not an excuse. The reactions from the Obamas, Hillary Clinton and all the rest of their ilk are more than a little disingenuous. Their names and those of their supporters should go down in shame. They are directly responsible for the continued kidnappings and enslavement of innocent girls. Would that we could send them to replace the girls and everyone else who suffers from the consequences of their deliberate actions and inactions.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
The only response Hillary Clinton could muster was a milquetoast tweet: “Access to education is a basic right & an unconscionable reason to target innocent girls. We must stand up to terrorism. #BringBackOurGirls.”

Whether radical Islamists will be frightened by a hashtag and an old hag remains to be seen...

Meanwhile, John Kerry blames the kidnappings on a lack of ObamaCare.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
0bama will send Boko Haram a strongly worded letter. That'll surely stop the adductions and restore the planet.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
I guess it's time for another beer summit.
Oh. Right. Beer is haram.
Maybe a Turkish coffee summit?
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
And he will give a speech. That will teach them!
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
"At a November House Foreign Affairs subcommittee hearing, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield admitted that the U.S. doesn’t know much about Boko Haram’s membership — anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand, they estimate — and tried to downplay the religious extremist element of the group’s attacks.

“Boko Haram’s activities call our attention not just to violence, but also to poverty and inequality in Nigeria,” she said, adding that the U.S. government is “concerned by reports that some Nigerian security forces have committed gross human rights violations in response to Boko Haram.” "

If this isn't an indictment of our intelligence gathering services I do not know what is. I bet the CIA has the names and address of homeschooling gun owners. But, it hasn't a clue about the membership, organization, funding, weaponry, or strategy of one of Al Qaeda's most viscous if not active cells in the world. The attitude of our lawmakers and foreign policy professional is just as pathetic. The war in Nigeria is a religious war. We ignore it at our peril.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
it is the religion of peace and love, what are you going to do?
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
What does it say about our "modern world" & all it's high level technology when the most accurate news we get is NOT from ANY "news gathering agency", but rather from a terrorized mother of a kidnapped daughter via TWITTER? Long live the "Citizen Journalists" of the world!!
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
I have predicted here several times that Western political correctness will weaken the West and the first global victims will be those PC seeks to benefit the most. As the West spends its monies managing its new failed populations it will be unable to interfere in empire-building and even the return of slavery in Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

If America and Europe cannot exert sovereignty over their own borders, how can they guarantee the sovereignty of anyone else? America's resolve and ingenuity are a thing of the past, shamed into irrelevance by PC's own racist and sexist advocacy they call 'diversity.'

Unfortunately competence is where you find it, and not where you want it to be. There is nothing that can be done for these people in Syria or places in Africa. There will be nothing to be done in E. and S.E. Asia if rule of national and international law fails there. It has been propped up by the Pax Americana for decades. That is gone and the cage door swings open.

In case anyone is paying attention Mexico and Guatemala no longer control swaths of their own territory. Drug dealers in Guatemala have been more successful beating the army than a decades-long insurgency was.

It's only natural that the first victims are going to be the most vulnerable, those the PC have pushed to the front in Third World cultures that have no wish to be pushed. The anti-homosexual laws recently instituted across Africa are a direct result of PC events in the West, not Africa. That's also why the girl in Afghanistan was shot. Although the Third World admires much about the West, they do not admire it's liberalism which is currently driven by feminism more than any other single factor.

The stupid irony is that those most opposed to feminist global initiatives, Islam, are ignored by feminism in favor of attacking Christianity, a thing that, in real terms, does not threaten feminism. It's too white and too male and too heterosexual, the three evils modern feminism is most set against, and that is the real beef feminism has against Christianity. That and the fact it won't kill you.

Again ironically it is feminists leading the charge in this kidnapping, trying to shame the white patriarchal media, but only making things worse. As Richard Fernandez pointed out, if it weren't for PC feminist politics, we wouldn't have an atmosphere where the only crimes committed globally that have any interest are the crimes of whites. The PC are caught in a trap of their own making, and this is only the beginning.

If the PC and their insane drive for diversity had not hamstringed the West, trying to fix what wasn't broken, this would not be happening. Although 90% of America's immigrants have been from the Third World for decades, 82% of America's teachers are still ethnic Europeans. What does that tell you about our new neighbors' interests? It is the same as their interests in their own countries. Abstract knowledge is worthless. Eventually something's got to give.

In the past America said, "This is the source of failure and they're not coming here." We had success and power. Now we say that is racist just because and pretend there is no such thing as success and failure. Now we have failure and lack power.

Nothing is more symbolic of this than a retweet yesterday by the president of a literary organization. It showed a photo of non-white and female astronauts and the caption was "Space: not just for white men anymore."

Well, actually that's not true, as any realistic survey of history and culture and today's world will tell you. The mistake is in confusing that success with the KKK, as if white men have kept non-whites and women out of space because they're evil supremacists, rather than a successful demographic that just happens to be white.

Hand-holding in the name of a ego-massage is not success, success is success, and so is failure. If you are a baseball team convinced everyone who wears purple shirts is lucky and will make you win, you will lose. The PC have made this world immeasurably worse for both those it hates and those it seeks to uplift. But then why wouldn't a cult of racist and sexist bigotry mainstreamed right into the heart of America wreak as much havoc as bombs?
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's good to see this story getting the coverage it deserves.

North Africa is the central locus of radical Islam today, and it needs to be treated as such going forward.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
Islam causes poverty & misery.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
Plus ignorance, infirmity, and death.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
The man speaking is Abubakar Shekau, the leader of the group that kidnapped, raped, and then sold 276 schoolgirls in Nigeria.

http://mypetjawa.mu.nu/archives/218046.php

Backup - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=erDGb_zY4sQ&feature=player_embedded
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
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