HUNDREDS OF NIGERIAN-BORN BOKO HARAM TERRORISTS IN JOINT TRAINING WITH AQIM-BACKED ANSAR DINE IN CAMPS AROUND TIMBUKTU, MALI..PAKISTANI AND AFGHAN TRAINERS ON GROUND; TIMBUKTU TRAINING SITE SHOWS TERRORISTS’ REACH – WALL STREET JOURNAL

Colonel(rtd)Sambo Dasuki, National Security Adviser

Colonel(rtd)Sambo Dasuki, National Security Adviser

WALL STREET JOURNAL
TIMBUKTU, Mali
1 February, 2013
by DREW HINSHAW

Nigerians Flooded to al Qaeda-Linked Camp in Mali, Locals Say, Drilling With Shoulder-Fired Arms

Until just a few weeks ago, the bombed-out customs-police
building on Timbuktu’s desert fringe was a bustling training center, locals say, where Islamist militants learned to fix Kalashnikovs and launch shoulder-fired weapons.

Deserted after a French airstrike in late January, this site—and several like it across Timbuktu—was populated not only by local al Qaeda-linked Islamist militants.

Timbuktu also served, locals say, as a training ground for hundreds of members of Boko Haram, a militant group based more than 400 miles to the southeast, in Nigeria. The Nigerians trained here for about 10 months, intermingling with a local al Qaeda offshoot called Ansar Dine,according to a man who said he was hired to cook for the two terrorist groups.

“Every day I saw people coming here, saying they want to sign up,” said the man, kicking rubble through a sandy lot littered with Russian shells. His description of the militants’ activities matched those offered by four neighbors.

The presence of Nigerian trainees here validates recent fears among regional and Western intelligence officials that parts of the Sahara have become incubators where al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, or AQIM, is training Africans to fight jihad. Recent militant attacks on Western targets—U.S. consular facilities in Benghazi, Libya, and an Algerian natural-gas site—have fueled concerns over AQIM’s push into North Africa.

But Boko Haram’s presence here shows how this desert has also been used as a base to raise the sophistication of an insurgency
to the south, in Africa’s most populous country. Well over 200 militants arrived in Timbuktu in April 2012, locals say, after AQIM swept into this isolated city. They
arrived in about 300 cars, the cook said, an account that roughly matched the number of Toyotas that residents say pulled up to the customs building around then.

About 50 Boko Haram militants lived and trained at the customs building, locals say, and 50 more lived in an annex across a giant sandy lot. Others, they say, took up
in other abandoned government
buildings.

On Jan. 20, French jet bombed the
customs building, as part of its three-week-old military campaign in Mali. Now,French flags fly over Timbuktu’s old-world alleys. Children play on tanks abandoned
by al Qaeda and their allies. On Friday, France’s government announced that President François Hollande would travel to Mali over the weekend. But threats appear to remain: Several days before the French strike, locals say,the militants disappeared into the desert.

For years, officials in the U.S. and Nigeria have scrutinized potential links between AQIM and Boko Haram, whose bloody campaign to install Islamic law in Nigeria has killed 2,800 people, according to
Human Rights Watch. A 2011 car bombing that killed 26 people at a United Nations office in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, bore similarities to al Qaeda suicide attacks on
U.N. offices elsewhere.

Nigeria’s latest move against Boko Haram came Friday, when a gunbattle between soldiers and suspected Boko Haram members killed 18 people in northern Nigeria, the Associated Press reported,citing a Nigerian military spokesman.

In Timbuktu, neighbors say AQIM ran a sophisticated war college from several abandoned buildings. Here, judging by locals’ accounts of the training, Boko Haram militants gained skills to allow them to expand beyond their typical quick-hit bomb strikes. On dunes just west of the customs house, Boko Haram fighters fired shoulder-fired
arms, the cook and four neighbors said—though it couldn’t be determined if they were describing sophisticated rockets or more rudimentary mortars.

In its Nigeria attacks, Boko Haram appears not to have used shoulder-mounted weapons. Within a week of the foreign militants’ arrival, the al Qaeda-backed groups began offering jobs to locals. A gunman
came to the cook’s door, looking for
someone fluent in the language of
Nigeria’s north, Hausa—which the cook had learned in Kumasi, a trading town in Ghana with a large Hausa population. They paid him about $20 a day, he said, to cook for Ansar Dine and Boko Haram. A restaurateur said he sometimes
brought tubs of couscous and spaghetti to the training camp, but said the Boko Haram fighters didn’t extend much courtesy to locals.

“They are extremely rude,” said the restaurateur, adding: “They pay whatever price you want.” On a typical day, after rising before dawn to pray and read the Quran, the militants ran five laps around the sand-choked lot, the size of several football fields, said the
cook and neighbors who witnessed the exercises. After push-ups in the sand, the militants ate a breakfast of bread and powdered milk. They then met with specialists, the cook
said.

He described an arms specialist from Pakistan, who he said taught Boko Haram and Ansar Dine members how to break apart and reassemble assault rifles, over
and over again. There was a computer specialist who appeared, to the cook, to be mostly occupied making fliers extolling the fundamentalist cause. A heavy arms specialist who the cook said was from Afghanistan told militants how to breathe steadily when firing a shoulder-mounted rocket.

“Swear to God, every day, new people, they come,” said Moulhar Arby, a girl in the earthen-wall house next door to the customs office. “Nobody knows how they
come here.”

Commanders from Boko Haram and Ansar Dine gave newcomers 4,000 West African CFA, the local equivalent of $8, to enlist, the cook said. After training, he said, recruits were given about $300—their first taste of money following months of sharing bathrooms with scores of militants. A folded stack of notebook paper discovered on the sandy lot appears to record the recruitment.

In Arabic,it lists hundreds of names, most followed by the number 4,000. Days before the French bomb hollowed out the customs building, the Nigerians sneaked away, neighbors said. Every night, a few came back to toggle the lights, these people said, an effort they
believed was meant to convey to surveillance planes above that Boko
Haram was still in Timbuktu.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323926104578278030474477210.html

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About beegeagle

BEEG EAGLE -perspectives of an opinionated Nigerian male with a keen interest in Geopolitics, Defence and Strategic Studies
This entry was posted in AL-QAEDA IN THE ISLAMIC MAGHREB(AQIM), ANSAR DINE, ARMED CONFLICT, BOKO HARAM ISLAMIC STATE MOVEMENT, COUNTERINSURGENCY OPERATIONS, GLOBAL DEFENCE NEWS, JOINT SECURITY TASK FORCE, MALI, NIGERIA, NIGERIA POLICE FORCE, NIGERIAN ARMED FORCES, NIGERIAN MILITARY HISTORY, NIGERIAN SPECIAL FORCES, RELIGIOUS FUNDAMENTALISM, RISK ANALYSIS, SPECIAL TASK FORCE, STATE SECURITY SERVICE, TERRORISM, U.S. AFRICA COMMAND, WEST AFRICAN STANDBY FORCE and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to HUNDREDS OF NIGERIAN-BORN BOKO HARAM TERRORISTS IN JOINT TRAINING WITH AQIM-BACKED ANSAR DINE IN CAMPS AROUND TIMBUKTU, MALI..PAKISTANI AND AFGHAN TRAINERS ON GROUND; TIMBUKTU TRAINING SITE SHOWS TERRORISTS’ REACH – WALL STREET JOURNAL

  1. beegeagle says:

    BACKGROUNDERS
    (all those who have been living in denial can now wake up from their delusions hopefully)

    http://beegeagle.wordpress.com/2013/01/22/boko-haram-informant-killed-in-kousseri-far-north-region-of-cameroon/

    - The Algerian, Malian and Nigerien ministers of Foreign Affairs between November 2011-January 2012 stated that BH are coallborating with local terrorists in their countries

    - The Commander, US AFRICOM says his intelligence reports show BH-AQIM collabo

    - The AQIM leader, while speaking to Al Jazeera after the June 2011 attack on Police HQ, stated that his group are supporting BH with training and cash.

    - Transiting BH members enroute Mali have been arrested severally in Niger

    - Chad’s President Deby called for a Lake Chad Basin response mechanism lats May, saying that all the countries – Chad, Niger, Central African Republic, Cameroon and Nigeria are directly or remotely impacted by the BH menace

    - Cameroon have severally arrested or observed the antics of BH militants on their soil.

    STILL, we are told to by apologists and libertarians, to believe that BH are a local problem. Even now, a Nigerian is commanding a major unit in Mali. So say the Financial Times of London

    II

    https://beegeagle.wordpress.com/2013/01/16/nigeria-interested-in-malis-stability-because-nigerian-terrorists-train-there-nigerian-air-force-will-deploy-fighter-aircraft-chief-of-army-staff/

    Elsewhere, BEEGEAGLE WROTE

    QUOTE

    ” There are some people in the libertarian community, fixated with engineering a Nigeria Spring revolution, who would go to any length to deny BH linkages to regional terrorist groups. To them, the only way to force change in Nigeria is to pretend that BH are rebels with a cause.
    The same people who love to mouth off about haven spoken to experts and authorities and love to claim impartiality have ignored the following

    - TIME magazine say BH train in the mountains of Mali (Sept 2011)

    - 100 BH militants led the attack which resulted in the seizure of Gao from the Malian Army (AFP reported April,2012)

    - The AQIM leader, speaking to Al Jazeera in June 2011 following the suicide attack on Police HQ, admitted that AQIM support BH with training and finance

    - In November 2011, Algeria’s Minister for Maghrebian and African Affairs confirmed the AQIM-BH collabo

    - In January 2012, Messrs Bazoum and Maiga, the Foreign Ministers of Niger and Mali openly affirmed BH activity via collaboration with local terrorist groups in their respective countries

    - Nigeria, Niger, Mali, Mauritania and Algeria met at a regional counterterrorism in Nouakchott with Nigeria attending as guests on account of the fact confirmed linkages between BH and terrorists groups active in Mali, Mauritania, Algeria and Niger.

    - General Carter Ham who, when it suits their unclear purpose would be an eminently qualified ‘expert’, has an intelligence gathering machinery at his disposal on account being US AFRICOM Commander, has stated copiously that BH and AQIM are cooperating. Our foreign media antagonists feign ignorance of that fact because it is counterpoised to their own designs of forcing regime change in the name of good governance and sundry rights – open society they call it. Well, look at open Libya now without Gaddafi.

    - were this Financial Times report related to a scandal, it would not have gone unnoticed by you know who. But because their Hausa Service is a tool of the CPC party, they do not want the FG to fight BH at home and abroad which would speed up the decimation of the group to the credit of President Jonathan’s government, since that would up the regime’s popularity ratings thereby making it harder to dislodge him from power at the 2015 presidential polls.

    That is why they are in total denial, even in the face of overwhelmingly NON Nigeria-derived evidence. All of those who have affirmed AQIM-BH-ANSARU ties would, on another day and in different circumstances be held up as “EXPERTS”.
    Now that an affirmation of their authoritative proclamations would expose BH as terrorists rather than victims of bad governance which apologists and liberals pretend that they are, it is convenient to downplay the transnational nuisance which they represent. ”

    END OF QUOTE

    Let the lies continue.

  2. peccavi says:

    Stand by for an upsurge in attacks on Nigerian forces!
    Super Eagles no dey pity person sef?
    Nigerian coach, team picked on merit. Look at what we can achieve

  3. Spirit says:

    Let them bring it on. We go see who go tire first.

  4. Detona says:

    Without a doubt, BH go tire. After all these years, I really hope SSS and co have intelligence assets that we can leverage to deal a devastating blow to the BH command structure, “Zero Dark” style. We have to know whither the Mi-s and the Alphas will be most effective against our “exports” in the Malian desert. Straighten up, fly right, NAF. Godspeed.

  5. doziex says:

    Oga assistant secretary of state Johnny Carson, how far ? Is this enough evidence for you ?

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