One of the little known facts about the kidnapping of schoolgirls by the Boko Haram in Nigeria is that most of the victims are Christians. “A Nigerian evangelist said that most of the 200 plus schoolgirls kidnapped by terrorist group Boko Haram are Christians … Chibok local government is 90% Christian. Majority of the girls abducted are Christians.”
On Monday, Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau admitted that his group is responsible for the kidnapping of over 200 girls from Chibok, Borno State last month, and said that he plans to have them sold on the market.
“I abducted your girls. I will sell them in the market, by Allah,” Shekau, said in the video translated by CNN.
“There is a market for selling humans. Allah says I should sell. He commands me to sell. I will sell women. I sell women.”
The Independent says that international efforts to rescue the girls may be a little too late. “It is feared, though, that any military operation may already be too late for some of the girls amid reports from local community elders last week that some have already been sold into sex slavery or as ‘brides’ for just £8 in neighbouring countries Chad and Cameroon.”
There have also been reports of mass weddings to Boko Haram members, with Christian captives forced to convert to Islam. …
“I abducted a girl at a Western education school and you are disturbed. I said Western education should end. Girls, you should go and get married,” he said. “I will marry off a woman at the age of 12. I will marry off a girl at the age of nine.
“God instructed me to sell them, they are his properties and I will carry out his instructions,” he added. …
Since the schoolgirls were taken last month, authorities say that 53 girls have escaped through their own efforts, either by jumping off trucks or by running away.
Why is that detail important? Well maybe it’s not. But then news coverage of the schoolgirl’s abduction has for the most part portrayed the Boko Haram without context. To add any sort of context to the accounts of abductions, instructions from Allah, people sold in markets is to raise disturbing questions about things we are taught do not exist. Religious war? Slavery — in Africa? And where on earth do the Boko Haram get their guns and training?
A properly brought up person knows these subjects are to be classed with UFOs, sasquatch or maybe a Kennedy assassination theory.
Such context as we get are instructions not to seek context lest they inflame us. The Toronto Star has an article arguing that “Boko Haram does not represent Islam,” as if the crime were against Islam with a world-religion itself as victim. “The group responsible for the kidnapping rampage in Nigeria has hijacked a whole faith, steering the public discourse on Islam.” But that raises even more questions. Such as: what group could possibly hijack a religion of hundreds of millions? Al-Qaeda, you say? But isn’t al-Qaeda’s dead?
Told you it would get complicated.
The other little known fact is that the Boko Haram is at least partly armed with weapons from Libya, and that fact drags in even more unwelcome background. Two years ago the UN warned that weapons looted from Khadaffy’s arsenals were being used by Islamic militant groups all over Africa to spread terror far and wide.
(Reuters) – The Libyan civil war may have given militant groups in Africa’s Sahel region like Boko Haram and al Qaeda access to large weapons caches, according to a U.N. report released on Thursday.
The report on the impact of the Libyan civil war on countries of the Sahel region that straddle the Sahara – including Nigeria, Niger and Chad – also says some national authorities believe the Islamist sect Boko Haram has increasing links to al Qaeda’s North African wing. Boko Haram killed more than 500 people last year and more than 250 this year in Nigeria.
The U.N. Security Council met to discuss the report, which was prepared by a U.N. assessment team that met with officials from countries in the region. The discussion highlighted the deep divisions between Western powers and Russia over NATO’s intervention in the North African oil-producing state.
And they’re still on the rampage. The AP says “as many as 300 people were killed when a band of extremists attacked the town of Gamboru Ngala, on Nigeria’s border with Cameroon … the attack and hundreds of casualties were confirmed Wednesday by Borno state information commissioner Mohammed Bulama who spoke to The Associated Press by telephone Wednesday.” The news item carries a picture. “This is terrorism. This is not Islam.”
In any case terror doth not live by word alone. It also requireth arms and ammunition. And that’s where Libya comes in. But wasn’t Libya overthrown by “kinetic military action” under the doctrine of “resonsibility to protect” in support of the “Arab Spring?” What are we to make of the fact that Boko Haram openly swears alliance to to al-Qaeda? According to CNN it’s leader “Shekau has declared his allegiance to al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri.”
Jacob Zenn, an expert on Boko Haram and its several offshoots, wrote in a recent edition of the Combating Terrorism Center’s Sentinel that some leaders “are uniquely capable of expanding Boko Haram’s international connections to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), al-Shabaab” in Somalia and other militant groups.
Zenn, an analyst with the Jamestown Foundation, says that Mamman Nur, said to have masterminded the bombing of the United Nations building in Abuja, has trained with Al-Shabaab. Another senior figure, Adam Kambar, “became the leader of an AQIM training camp” before being killed in 2012.
But it is absurd, isn’t it, to talk about terror groups swearing allegiance to a group which Obama has already defeated. Yet here’s Zenn talking to CNN on video about the connections between Boko Haram and al-Qaeda.
Well maybe Zenn’s smoking something. The nexus of all these nonexistent things is Libya. You know the place where an American consulate got burned? Eli Lake at the Daily Beast wrote that “so many Jihadists are flocking to Libya, it’s becoming ‘Scumbag Woodstock’”.
Not only does al Qaeda host Ansar al-Sharia, one of the militias responsible for the Benghazi attacks that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. But U.S. intelligence now assesses that leaders from at least three regional al Qaeda affiliates—al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and members of the organization of Al-Mulathameen Brigade loyal to Algerian terrorist, Mokhtar BelMokhtar—have all established havens in the lawless regions of Libya outside the control of the central government.
One U.S. military contractor working on counter-terrorism in Africa summed up the situation in Libya today as simply, “Scumbag Woodstock.” The country has attracted that star-studded roster of notorious terrorists and fanatics seeking to wage war on the West.
Which brings up that “phony” scandal, Benghazi. For months organizations like Media Matters proclaimed that there was nothing in that event, beyond the fact that some random Muslims inflamed by a video took it on themselves to attack a US consulate and kill an ambassador.
Like the Nigerian schoolgirls, the Boko Haram, al-Qaeda and Libya the context for Benghazi must be omitted, because if you added it things would get too complicated. How do you go from “responsibility to protect” to 200 Christian girls being sold on the slave market? Nothing to see here. No scandal. Just Move On.
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