Showing posts with label Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. Show all posts

Monday, March 22, 2010

Can America Save Nigeria Before It is Too Late?

Perennial massacres of Christians by Hausa Fulani Muslims in Nigeria have been going on for decades and was responsible for the Nigerian civil war from 1967-1970.

Can America Save Nigeria Before It is Too Late?

~ By Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima

The U.S. State Department recently denied a Nigerian newspaper report that President Barack Obama is preparing American troops for a “special intervention” in Nigeria to save Christians after the gruesome massacre of over 500 Christians by Hausa Fulani Muslims in Plateau state. See the gory pictures here.

President Barack Obama of the United States of America.

The Nigerian Compass newspaper is owned by a south-western state government under the control of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP). It reported that its story was deduced from statements made by the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) chief, General William Ward; that the U.S. would intervene before sectarian violence precipitates Nigeria into chaos. The horrifying pictures of how hundreds of defenceless Christians were attacked and slaughtered at midnight and their homes razed provoked worldwide condemnation with the premonition of genocide reminiscent of Rwanda looming large among millions of native Christians in the middle belt and northern states of Nigeria.

Am outraged President Barack Obama ordered for a thorough investigation of the massacre and that the perpetrators must be found and punished. This was enough to make Nigerians conclude that the U.S. would intervene to stop the incessant attacks and killings of innocent Christians by Hausa Fulani Muslims.

“In a word, flabbergasted. This story is a complete fabrication. There are no U.S. troops being prepared to intervene in Nigeria. We have checked with AFRICOM and General Ward has made no such statement,” said Russell Brooks, press officer for the State Department’s Bureau of African Affairs.
“Yes, the U.S. does have legitimate concerns about the political situation there. And we have expressed those on the record. And we are doing what we can to encourage Nigeria to remain on a democratic path, to retain its constitutional values. And we have done nothing to suggest that our concerns are only based on our desire to retain it as a source of dependable oil production or that we are only concerned about the potential for terrorism coming from Nigeria,” he explained.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton provoked the Nigerian government after her last visit in 2009 when she accused government law enforcement agencies of being ruthlessly corrupt and guilty of violations of human rights. The situation worsened when the Nigerian Al Qaeda terrorist Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was caught aboard the Northwest Airlines Flight 253 from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas Day and subsequently Nigeria was put on the terror watch list. Then the State Department told American citizens to leave the northern region of the country where Islamists have been attacking and murdering thousands of Christians and razing many churches. The directive alarmed the Nigerian government and fueled rumours of plans of United States military action against terrorists in northern Nigeria. Unclassified information circulated that hundreds of C.I.A. agents have been sent to investigate links to the Al Qaeda in northern Nigeria. An American who arrived Lagos, Nigeria on the first week of 2010 told this reporter that indeed hundreds of C.I.A. agents were combing Nigeria for suspects.

The Voice of America (VOA) reported Russell saying the United States knew that the creation of AFRICOM could be misinterpreted as an attempt to “bring the war on terrorism to the African continent, so the U.S. could more easily intervene into conflicts.”

He said that the mission of AFRICOM is to “increase the capacity of African militaries to conduct legitimate external and internal defense, for instance, to combat terrorism, to protect…borders, to respond in a case of humanitarian disasters.”

Acting President Goodluck Jonathan

The U.S. has pledged to support Acting President Goodluck Jonathan since the incapacitated President Umaru Yar’Adua can no longer continue to serve as the commander-in-chief of Nigeria. Former President George W. Bush was recently in Nigeria. And his visit reinforced the fears of Nigerians that the U.S. President that commanded the invasion and occupation of Iraq in the war on terror was a warning that America is going to target terrorists in the country.

President Umaru Yar’Adua is no longer fit to rule.

It is on record that the U.S. did not invite President Umaru Yar’Adua to the inauguration of President Barack Obama and instead invited the leader of the main opposition party, the ex-military head of state, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari(Rtd), who is also Hausa Fulani Muslim from the same Katsina state of the incapacitated President, but he is feared in Nigeria for his uncompromising stance against corruption.

Gen. Muhammadu Buhari(Rtd)

The party of Gen. Muhammadu Buhari(Rtd) lost the last presidential election to the ruling party, but the U.S. government and majority of the local and international monitors rejected the result of the massively rigged election. Majority of people said Buhari would have won if the election was free and fair. He took his case to the Election Tribunal, but suspended his petitions when he lost confidence in the tribunal and chose to contest in the next presidential election in 2011 and from popular opinion polls he is favoured to be the next President of Nigeria since the northern region is still expected to produce a replacement to complete the two terms given to President Umaru Yar’Adua. But would another Muslim head state support the political interests of the U.S. in Nigeria?

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Christmas Day Terrorist Attack and Our Endless Fears

~ By Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima

The Northwest Flight 253 plane.

The shocking news of the botched Christmas Day terrorist attack by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab on the Northwest Airlines Flight 253 from Amsterdam as it was about to land at the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport left millions of Americans and others in the US gasping for breath as they were enjoying their turkey and basking in the joy of the passage of the Health Reform Bill by the Senate.

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.

The terrorist attack has raised so much dust on the shortcomings of U.S. intelligence since investigations have shown that the al-Qaeda in Yemen recruited Abdulmutallab months ago. Also, his father Alhaji Umaru Mutallab warned the local security agencies and the US Consulate in Nigeria that his son had been radicalized by Islamists.

The underwear bomb.

Abdumutallab warned his family not to communicate with him again and stopped them from contacting him by changing his telephone numbers. The U.S. Consulate in Nigeria did not really ignore his warnings. In fact, counter-terror officials were alerted in November and intelligence databases revealed that Abdulmutallab was on the watch list of the CIA. And he still got a US visa?

The Nigerian security agencies may have excuses for failing to respond to the security alerts, but what excuses would the US intelligence give for failing to investigate the security alerts and failing to go ahead to find out the whereabouts of Abdulmutallab to monitor his activities in the UK which has become recruiting grounds for agents of the al-Qaeda.

The CIA and Nigerian Intelligence Agency (NIA)were warned by the Abdulutallab's father.

Investigations have shown that Anwar al-Awlaki, a regional commander of the al-Qaeda in Yemen contacted the Nigerian terrorist who was a student of Engineering at the University College London. Al-Awlaki is a civil engineer.

Presently the security agencies in Nigeria, the Netherlands, Yemen and the US seem confused and embarrassed by their failures, but are still pointing accusing fingers at each other in counter-accusations of how the young terrorist escaped from their radar during the Christmas holidays and nearly detonated a bomb that would have blown up the Delta/Northwest Airline Flight 253 Airbus 330-300 aircraft with 300 onboard and what a catastrophe that would have been on Christmas Day!

The report of the New York Times on the 9/11 Commission has shown the lack of accountability in the management of the important security reports noted after the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Millions of Nigerians and Muslims resident in the US are ill at ease, because of their fears of racial and religious profiling at airports and other places as homeland security and other counter terror agencies begin to implement more comprehensive security measures.
"Racial and religious profiling are in fact counterproductive and can lead to a climate of insecurity and fear," the CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper has said in response to the incidents of Middle Eastern' passengers removed from a plane in Phoenix and the removal a Nigerian passenger from a flight after he became ill and spent what others considered too much time in the aircraft's bathroom in Michigan.

President Barack Obama has acknowledged the shortcomings in the US security systems and we hope the leakages would be blocked securely to prevent another dangerous attempt by any terrorist on any US target in the future. We would all be safer if the threats of terrorism could be checked and prevented than wrestling with them aboard our planes or airports.