14th May, 2012
The extremist group Boko Haram has received a N40 million cash backing from an Algerian terrorist organisation, according to an intelligence report in custody of the Nigerian government.
The document, obtained by online news medium, Premium Times, is a product of a joint police and military investigations and raids, undertaken in Kano and Sokoto in December 2011.
The N40m cash donation from the Algerian group, the report said, is a first tranche in a planned long term financial support for the Nigerian group.
The report also indicated the two allies have met a number of times in their bid to straighten out terms for a long term cooperation.
The partnership would take the form of the richer and better organised Algerian terror group providing mentoring to Boko Haram members, via trainings on shoring up its financial base locally. The Algerian group will also train Boko Haram insurgents in hostage taking and weapon handling.
Already, some members of the Nigerian sect have recently got trainings in kidnapping from the Algerian sect, said the report.
It listed names of nine members of the terror sect who had successfully received trainings in kidnapping, as well as bomb making skills.
But Boko Haram is expected to fulfil its own part of the bargain through kidnap of white-skinned foreigners and exchange them for more money and arms and ammunition with the Algerian group.
“They are targeting expatriates from (Julius) Berger, and Dantata and Sawoe as well as other places they could find any,” the report added.
The intelligence report confirms long-standing fears the Islamist sect Boko Haram, which has in the last one year intensified its campaign of violence in Nigeria’s north, was getting external support from terrorist organisations, especially from al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) region, with base in Mali, Niger and Algeria.
The intelligence report, recently submitted to the Nigerian presidency, quoted some arrested members of the sect as having made confessions that confirmed Boko Haram’s links to foreign terrorist organisations.
Before this latest intelligence report, the Boko Haram sect had been linked to the dreaded terrorist network, al Qaeda.
A United States’ cable dated June 29, 2009, and leaked by the whistleblower Wikileaks, was the first official document to link the group to al Qaeda.
The cable documented the sect’s relatioship with a veteran Chadian extremist, Abu-Mahjin, described as having “limited ties to al-Qa’eda associates,” and was, on behalf of the Boko Haram sect, seeking more funds to intensify its operations.
Two months after the US cable detailed Boko Haram’s links to the al-Qaeda, the extremist sect began its terror attack on the Nigerian state.
Boko Haram’s operation’s growing sophistication in recent times strengthened previous security intelligence that its rising influence was due in part to the help it was receiving from al-Qaeda. Boko Haram, loosely translated, ‘Western education is sin’, and which wants Islam and a stricter form of Sharia law imposed in all of northern Nigeria, has since 2009 launched relentless attacks on security installations and places of worship, especially churches.
The sect introduced a more bizarre dimension to its methods recently when it bombed university campuses and offices of newspapers, including ThisDay, The Sun, and The Moment .
It has threatened to attack more media outfits, if they do not desist from what it terms their ‘biased reportage’ of its activities. Last week, the US National Counterterrorism Center listed Boko Haram among ‘world’s major terror threats’.
The U.S State Department has, however, yet to list Boko Haram as a ‘foreign terrorist organisation,’ which gives U.S power to freeze bank accounts.