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Why Al-Qaeda targets Nigeria •The Western secret services connection

MORE facts have emerged on why the Al-Qaeda in the Sahel region established an operational base in Nigeria, even as an Al-Qaeda suspect in an Algerian prison has confessed that the sect is planning attacks in Nigeria and four other nations to commemorate the first year of Osama bin Laden’s death.

Nigerian Tribune had reported that the terror group had created a Nigerian base with specific goal of kidnapping Western expatriates in Nigeria to raise operational fund for Al-Qaeda worldwide, a report that was followed by the sect’s confirmation of its responsibility for the kidnapping of a German engineer in Kano city.

Fresh reports from the Sahel region indicated that the terror group, apart from targeting Nigeria for fund-raising, also focuses on Nigeria because of the increasing presence of Western secret services in the country.

Nigeria, in its bid to combat the Boko Haram insurgency, had entered into operational accord with intelligence services of major Western powers that had since swarmed the country in close coordination with their Nigerian counterpart.

The British Intelligence service, M15 is reported to be very active in Nigeria alongside the Israeli Service, MOSSAD, while the American Special Forces are also not left out.

Security sources also hinted that the German secret service is now active in Nigeria in search of its kidnapped citizen, while the involvement of the Australian intelligence service was a subject of legislative inquiry in that country. The French secret service is said to have entered the country long ago due to its deep involvement in the Sahel region.

Findings by Nigerian Tribune revealed that jihadists in the Sahel had since considered Nigeria as a new front, especially after video and pictures of alleged atrocities of Nigerian security forces and their Western allies were circulated across the worldwide jihadist network.

For some weeks now, it was learnt that several reports of alleged victimisation of innocent civilians in Kano and Maiduguri had made their ways into the Islamic world with the Nigerian security forces being portrayed as repressing Muslims.

A particular Arabic website even detailed complaints of prominent Kano and Maiduguri elders to confirm alleged excesses of the military to mobilise jihadists for supposed holy war in Nigeria.

Meanwhile, an Algerian terrorists has confessed to interrogators in Algiers that the sect is planning massive attacks to commemorate the first year of Bin Laden’s death in Pakistan.

An Algerian Islamic newspaper, Elcharoukh, quoted the suspect as listing Nigeria, Algeria, Mauritania, Niger and Mali as countries the Sahel Al-Qaeda is targeting for the attacks.

Algerian security sources said Algiers is sharing such intelligence with the affected countries.

Meanwhile, members of the dreaded Islamic sect, Boko Haram, at the weekend, lost their lives during a crossfire between the Joint Task force on Operation Restore Order and members of the sect in Maiduguri, Borno State.

In the attack which made hundreds of innocent citizens to sleep outside their homes, the JTF recovered one AK47 rifle and 200 rounds of special ammunition.

Spokesman for JTF, Lieutenant-Colonel Shamsu Musa, confirmed to Nigerian Tribune that the crossfire was as a result of the attack by the sect on JTF troops stationed at Sabon Gari, Maiduguri metropolitan council.

According to him, the sect members attacked the troop stationed at Abaganaran and Jajeri wards in Maiduguri between 5.30 p.m. and 7.15 p.m. on Saturday, adding that during the crossfire, three members of the sect died as a result of gunshot wounds.

Lieutenant-Colonel Musa said that although no casualty was recorded on the side of the troop, the JTF recovered 200 rounds of 6.722mm special ammunition.

He said members of the public who were passing through the area were ordered to lie down to save their lives.
According to him, troops were still in pursuit of the sect members and events would be communicated to the press as they unfolded.

“Meanwhile, situation is under control,” he added.

Explaining why the military had to restrain people and ordered them to lie down on the main road from Saturday night till Sunday morning, Lieutenant-Colonel Musa told the Nigerian Tribune in Maiduguri that “those ordered to lie down by the roadside should not have bad feelings, as it is for their own good, for security of their own lives, as the JTF did not want them to be caught in the cross fire or hit by stray bullets.”

He added that “moreso, they were trapped during the curfew hours when there is restriction of movement and the troops have every right to halt them, even as they acted for the good of innocent citizens.”

Nigerian Tribune also learnt that apart from the men of the JTF who were attacked, the fundamentalist laid a siege on the Lamisula police station and engaged the police present at the station in gun battle, which lasted for over an hour.

The sect also attacked the police station with a rocket launcher and hand-held bomb, which led to destruction of part of the station.

The sound of bomb blast was heard in all corners of Maiduguri and people had to rush back home.

Thousands of residents who were held up by the attack out of their homes were made to sleep on the roads by the men of the JTF, who still enforced the curfew which is between 7.00 p.m and 6.00 a.m.

-Tribune

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Posted by on Mar 26 2012. Filed under Boko Haram, Latest Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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