Boku Haram & The Islamic Maghrib

ImageAfter visiting and doing some research in parts of the Islamic Maghrib (North Africa) in 2011/12 my team and I drafted a report on AQIM (Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghrib) in the report I forecast that this recent Boku Haram mass kidnapping was on the cards and waiting to happen.
Our research showed us that the bread and butter funding for the terror groups operating in the Maghrib area comes from kidnappings and robberies. We discovered that ransom was being paid to Boku Haram and other groups on a weekly basis. Regular payments for the release of not only locals but also for the release of foreign hostages by their western companies and governments via the corrupt African regimes. Indeed kidnappings in the area were and are a lucrative gravy train or milk cow for many politicians and officials holding office in the Maghrib countries. The continuous flow of ransom payments anything from $5000 dollars upwards were encouraging kidnappings and it was only a matter of time before a school or similar public place was held hostage and more than likely resulting in a mass bloodbath. Our research showed us that since 2000 almost a $100 million had been paid in ransom money of which Al Qaida received approx 50% Boku Haram received at-least  15% the rest distributed to other groups and middlemen or negotiators.
In 2012 the French government paid more than $3 million to Boku Haram for the release of their citizens. This time it was the Cameroonian government refusing to accept French help to quash these terror groups.
My observation was that if the governments in the Islamic Maghrib area really wanted to get rid of this menace from terror groups they could have done so without much effort whilst the threat was in its infancy. Instead, due to their incredible insatiability they chose to be brokers, the middlemen negotiating the release of hostages rather than fighting the issue head on, establishing better intelligence or allowing western governments to aid them. Their blatant corrupt activities allowed Al Qaeda, Boku Haram and other terror gangs to build safe havens and terror training camps in the Maghrib and flourish.
For years countries like Nigeria despite their financial restrictions and lack of resources in this area have refused all offers for help against this menace be it strategic, training or boots on the ground. Asking for western help now is a bit like shutting the barn door after the horse has bolted.
They are asking for help now, because thanks to the international media the story has gone global, the government could no longer keep a lid on it and carry on as before. How did the media get the story? Because Nigeria was hosting an international business convention, governments and companies from all over the world, all potential investors in Africa were in town and thus the international media were also there.
Thanks to these corrupt politicians, Boku Haram is now one of the most powerful terror group in the region second only to Al Qaeda. In fact it is they who provide Al Qaeda logistical support as and when needed.  Today Boku Haram is unrecognisable it has huge funding and support, it is ruthless and unrelenting and despite how they look they are well organised and this is evident in how they have simply and easily gone to ground with over 200 hostages.
So what of the 270 girls?  Boku Haram have 3 options which they regularly make use of. 1. Offer the girls as virgins to new recruits as part of their initiation process and salary to do with what they like. Sex slaves, wives and so on. 2. Traffic the girls barter them for supplies or sell them after which the girls would again go into some type of slavery. 3. Hang on test the water and make efforts to release the girls in exchange for a hefty ransom.
During a chat with a former Boku Haram member I was shocked with his chilling comment.
‘Al Qaeda and Boku Haram are two brothers, or two very good friends and everything they do is like a game to them, so they try to outdo each other in every way they can, if Al Qaeda kill 10 people Boku Haram will want to kill 11’

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