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Bridget Johnson

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May 9, 2014 - 8:25 am
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Characterizing al-Qaeda-allied terrorist group Boko Haram as a “group of bandits,” Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield defended the timing of the U.S. response to the kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls more than three weeks ago.

“I wish I could tell you where the girls are. I don’t think we have an answer to that. And I know the Nigerians don’t have an answer to that,” Thomas-Greenfield told PBS. “They have been missing for more than 24 days. And I think the question that everyone has is where, where are the girls?”

She added that the U.S. government has “heard that speculation, that some may have been taken across the border into neighboring countries or maybe in different locations inside of Nigeria in the forest, and also in some small villages.” Numerous villagers reported to  Nigerian media that they saw girls being ferried in trucks convoys over land and in canoes across Lake Chad.

Thomas-Greenfield said the U.S. assistance, coming after a social media campaign with the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls, is starting “by sending a multidimensional team in that will include the military, civilians, individuals that can work with the Nigerians on how to negotiate and how they can approach returning the girls without harming them.”

“At this time, there are no plans that this is a military intervention. We are sending military advisers in to work besides the Nigerians and provide advice and support to the Nigerians in their efforts to retrieve these girls,” she said. The Nigerian government has asked for assistance using drones and satellite imagery, and “there is commercial satellite imagery that could be available to assist in this effort and it is something that is being considered.”

This many days later and with so many steps still under consideration, Thomas-Greenfield denied that the U.S. delayed aid.

“We started working with the Nigerian government on providing assistance several months ago. We have had conversations with military elements, as well as the national security adviser. I was out in Nigeria in December with General Rodriguez and other team members from USAID. We had some very productive discussions with the Nigerians on how we might be able to assist,” she said, referring to the larger Boko Haram threat instead of this specific school raid. “Some of that assistance has already been provided to the Nigerians in terms of helping them coordinate their own intelligence information, giving them advice based on our own experience in having dealt with counterinsurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

She stressed that the U.S. designated Boko Haram, founded in 2002, as a foreign terrorist organization last November after years of devastating attacks. “And that gives us the ability to look at what kind of financing there they have and also to look at flows of money that they maybe have — may have going in their direction. But this is a difficult task, as they are basically a group of bandits that are hiding among populations. And it’s made it very difficult for the Nigerians to capture them,” she added.

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Top Rated Comments   
Bandits?

If Fort Hood was "workplace violence", then this is what? Religious relocation?

Radical Muslim jihad can't be community organized into compliance with Woodstock phrases, and hashtag diplomacy.

Treating the world's evildoers as "acting out restless juveniles" is dorm room choom session fantasy.

And NEVER expect a Woodstock Government flunkie to EVER confront a Radical jihad atrocity without some effort at moral equivalency and slobbering whitewash of the element of Judeo-Christian persecution.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
Gee, this must not be much of a threat. "Just a group of bandits" is it? Wow. They've only killed thousands and captured thousands more since 2003. No religious overtones here at all. Nope. It's just that Boko Haram is a militant, jihadist group on a crusade against Christians. I wonder if the Assistant Secretary would admit that there is a religious civil war underway in Nigeria. I wonder if she would admit that the Government and military of Nigeria are so corrupt that it is nearly impossible to work with them? Probably not.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (18)
All Comments   (18)
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Here's a suggestion re "the Government and military of Nigeria are so corrupt":

Why not channel via a very big U-Turn some of those funds those desperate Nigerian princes are trying so hard via email to deposit into our bank accounts? Surely that's no sillier than sending our "advisors" out there.

That was a British colony....let them handle this. Why us?

23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
This kidnapping of young girls in Africa has been going on now for how many centuries? .....and so we Americans are expected now to "assist" and give "aid"? Expected to change a culture? A Muslim culture? With "advisers"?

Put some of our most alien fingers in that huge leaky dike called Nigeria? This is just continuing nonsense. Send Obama. Alone. Recruit his relatives out there. Spend their cash, not ours.

23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
This has just got to be the silliest statement yet from out of the appropriately named area called "Foggy Bottom":

"“At the time — and I still think it’s very true — we didn’t move on Boko Haram because we thought it would give them a recruitment boost,” former Obama administration Undersecretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson said."

Good grief! ...who is this "Johnnie Carson"?....hiding behind such an august title?

"Former" indeed.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
This is a perfect example of what happens when the people have no right to keep and bear arms. Thugs, criminals, and jihadists run around and are a law unto themselves. The people cannot defend themselves and the Nigerian Government seems to have little inclination to do so. The people are poor so they can't contribute much to the coffers of one of the most corrupt military regimes in the world. We may be seeing the start of another Rwanda situation. This time it is the Christians of Nigeria who are being slaughtered.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
Folks, this ones easy! It's CYA for mid-term AMERICAN WOMENS VOTES. See, the rebels tooK ALL 200-odd girls into Nigeria's hinterland, in smaller, difficult to track groups. Some girls have already been sold into slavery. Nigeria's rainy season is about to start. This guarantees there will not, NOT be any search and rescue mission. Ms. Obama's hashtag Save The Girls is at best a meaningless joke. The Nigerian government has already said its been at the forefront of this tragedy (see, this has happened before on smaller scales). There were rebel trial kidnapping girls and boys runs before!!! Now, this was the biggie. And our then Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, kept these "small incursions" a secret from American public. All for votes folks, see Democrats couldn't give a "whit" about girls in Africa, especially those governed by Sharia Laws. Enter the Hollywood Elite and the Beverly Hills Hotel "Uprising" by some four, yes four, Hollywood Elite. See how this is all tied together??? It's for Democratic mid-terms AND Hillary's big putsch for President in 2016. The Progressive New Left Activist is doing everything in its power, legally and illegally, to guarantee wins in America's mid-terms and in 2016(Texas' Wendy Davis, anyone???). Obama and his cadre of "Fellow Travelers" can't govern the USA, Can't affect Foreign Policy, Can't even legally govern itself. Enter John Podesta, "The Fix-it Man." Except this inept, criminal, bag of crooks is too big a hydra to contain, let alone give any form of cover story. Eventually, the truth will out. Pray. Amen. "Hope and Change" always was a lie. Join a Tea Party, urgently. Register to Vote and then VOTE, for Pete's Sake. God Bless America. William Ferrell is even marketing his movie parody of White House meaningless Press Conferences. This is save Hillary in 2016 and what's left of mid-term 2014 elections. Pray. Amen.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
guess the race.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
The anti-colonialist administration of these United States sees these groups as freedom fighters for the oppressed peoples of the former colonies. Less enlightened folks see them as terrorist scum who deserve death at the end of a sword - as do I.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
No. Pull that last mask off of this administration.

This administration sees them as a fierce, fanatical army that will kill all of the same people that they want to see killed.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
Bandits?

If Fort Hood was "workplace violence", then this is what? Religious relocation?

Radical Muslim jihad can't be community organized into compliance with Woodstock phrases, and hashtag diplomacy.

Treating the world's evildoers as "acting out restless juveniles" is dorm room choom session fantasy.

And NEVER expect a Woodstock Government flunkie to EVER confront a Radical jihad atrocity without some effort at moral equivalency and slobbering whitewash of the element of Judeo-Christian persecution.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
No, but they want to murder the same people that Leftist Progressives want to murder, so hey, it's all good!
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
Where are the missing girls?

Sitting in the First Class section of that missing airliner...

WTF is going on in the world?
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
"WTF is going on in the world?"

Same old same old: evil.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
Okay. This should be on the opening page of the State Dept. Handbook:
"All Terrorists ARE Bandits."
Their entire goal is to steal. Money. Power. Girls. Drugs. Countries...
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
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