May 12, 2014

The United States was Monday flying “manned” missions over Nigeria to track down more than 200 abducted schoolgirls as experts pored over a new video seeking clues to where they are being held.

“We have shared commercial satellite imagery with the Nigerians and are flying manned ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) assets over Nigeria with the government’s permission,” a senior administration official said, asking not to be named. It was not immediately clear what kinds of aircraft were being deployed, nor where they had come from.

But a new video released by the Boko Haram group purportedly showing about 130 of the girls was being carefully studied by American experts in the hope it might yield vital clues as to where they are being held.

“Our intelligence experts are combing through every detail of the video for clues that might help ongoing efforts to secure the release of the girls,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said earlier Monday. “We have no reason to question its authenticity,” she added of the video.

In the video, the Islamic militant group’s leader Abubakar Shekau said the girls may be released once Nigeria frees all the Boko Haram prisoners it has in custody.

But that proposal has been rejected by the Nigerian government, and Psaki recalled that the US policy is also “to deny kidnappers the benefits of their criminal acts, including ransoms or concessions.”

A 30-strong US team arrived on the ground last week in Nigeria to help growing efforts to find the girls aged between 16 to 18, snatched from their boarding school in the northeast of the country on April 14.The White House said the team included five State Department officials, two strategic communications experts, a civilian security expert and a regional medical support officer. Also on the manifest are 10 Defense Department planners already in Nigeria, seven extra military advisors from US Africa Command and four FBI officials expert in hostage negotiations.

“We are talking about helping the Nigerian government search an area that is roughly the size of New England,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said, referring to the region in the US northeast. “So this is no small task. But we are certainly bringing resources to bear in our effort to assist the government.”

Psaki stressed the Nigerian authorities were “in the lead” during the investigation.

The girls’ plight has triggered a storm of outrage across the United States, and First Lady Michelle Obama on Saturday for the first time delivered her husband’s weekly address to the nation to say they were both “outraged and heartbroken” by the kidnapping.“This unconscionable act was committed by a terrorist group determined to keep these girls from getting an education — grown men attempting to snuff out the aspirations of young girls,” she said.


About beegeagle

BEEG EAGLE -perspectives of an opinionated Nigerian male with a keen interest in Geopolitics, Defence and Strategic Studies
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  1. beegeagle says:

    Hmnn…everyone is now talking about the size of the AOR. I though it was a cakewalk, if some of our harsher critics (not the USA) are to believed.



  2. You talked about it first Beeg. Now dia eye don dey clear

  3. rka says:

    Where indeed are the critics who thought it would be a walk in the park. Excuses will soon be the name of the game.

  4. drag_on says:

    Indeed, i said elsewhere that you can fit England into the area under emergency rule.(yobe,adamawa,borno).

  5. Yagazie says:

    Yep – even the BBC is now harping on the fact that the area in question is THREE TIMES the size of WALES OR has the land mass equivalent of SCOTLAND and that the terrain has dense inpentrable foilage in a lot of places and straddles the Cameroun border which is quite hilly/mountainous etc etc- funny how difficult and challenging the terrain has become now Britain has sent some personnel to assist in the rescue effort! Shows the scope of the challenge our gallant troops have been coping with all this while.

  6. Are James says:

    Just watched another CNN repeat footage.
    The discourse is currently shifting along the lines of the domain of this kidnap being an American one instead of Nigerian. I think the FG has been effectively shunted aside in terms of participation and even decision making on how to free the girls. I suspect our participation is merely now just limited to providing local knowledge which apparently is not even that strong on the Chibok LGA area.

  7. jimmy says:

    It has not been shunted aside this is what Western/ AMERICAN NEWS AGENCIES DO since Vietnam they always with conjunction from their Military always portray their Military IN A GOOD LIGHT.this is what happens when you embed Anderson cooper OF CNN with the MILITARY .The military will tend on average to get get good reviews even when they misbehave abu grahib comes to mind , the breakout when the cia officers were killed in Afghanistan
    . OUR MILITARY ON THE OTHER HAND HAS CONSISTENTLY FAILED TO GRASP THIS in the old days the only good journalists were those those who were in detention now instead of embedding people like like beegs who will give a balanced UNCLASSIFIED VIEW OF WHAT IS REALLY GOING ON , THEY CONSISTENTLY PREFER IDIOTS LIKE JOHN CAMPBELL who cannot even get the ranks of our officers right.
    To the credit of the American military officers who have have served and trained with Nigerian SOLDIERS THEY HAVE CONSISTENTLY said the same thing: they are good soldiers.
    This is not the problem, this the problem the lack of understanding of the social media, facebook, twitter , and how fast news travels and the consistent reluctance to have a friendly face like beegeagle on board.
    The solution : let Nigerians be privy to unclassified information , embed SOMEONE LIKE BEEGEAGLE WHO WILL GIVE AN OBJECTIVE VIEW IN.
    When something bad happens as along as it it unclassified the na should release it first , once it starts coming from don’t quote me sources the damage has already set in.
    The Americans , the British the Israelis are all going to work with their Nigerian counterparts, they cannot tell kontangora from potskum what they are reading , interpreting comes from coordinates, longitude and latitude and it will be Nigerians ( SF) who will tell them when they are in Chad , or Cameroon or in Nigeria or they are in UNDEFINED NO MAN S LAND, let us hope our own PR DEPARTMENT WILL WAKE UP.

  8. Henry says:

    I saw the BBC report with the so called “security analyst” comparing the size of the area to scotland.

    Anyway, if we had better handled information, and the F.G released proper reports detailing what they’ve been doing to search for the girls, we wouldn’t be stuck in this situation.

    We get what we deserve.

    • peccavi says:

      Na why I no dey even talk again.
      Like say person dey hold out mouth. It took David Cameron to tell us the area was 4 times the size of Wales. Our own spokesmen simply tell us they are on top of the situation

  9. I cannot phantom why our Leaders (Civilian and Military…including those who are reading this blog) cannot just try and do somethings right!!! What would it cost to embed Beeg in these units in the front…WE NEED OUR STORY TO BE TOLD BY OUR OWN!!!!!! Just watching aisha(abi dat no be her name?) tell the whole world that Nigerian soldiers just arrived in Chibok on 4 trucks (wether na pick up or na Lorry we know know), i found it offensive, just is enough intel for Boko…Someone should curtail these reporters from running around like mice. Their movement should be RESTRICTED!!!! Ha…It’s so sickening…..This people are just making a career out of our countries situation. kaiiiii….Wetin be this sef?????

    • jimmy says:

      oga optimus cool down drink some palm wine on my behalf and send me the bill make una no dey watch such nonsense sebi you get get people for service shebi they know dey stupid abi nah because oyinbo come today nah him e go come open our eye relax this ting go tey nah now them sabi the place big pass scotland pshaw.

  10. beegeagle says:

    Please the BBC should just hush up with their pretentious latter-day realisation of the reality. They always knew that Northeast Nigeria alone, spanning over 265,000 sq.km is larger than each one of Great Britain/Ghana/Guinea/Uganda and that Northern Ireland where they got bogged down for 28 years is only one-sixth the size of BORNO alone. In terms of land area, BORNO is equal in size to Sierra Leone, YOBE is equal in size to Togo while ADAMAWA is twice as large as Rwanda.

    All this while the BBC have acted like there are no extenuating circumstances in a country where Gamboru-Ngala, Monguno and Baga are all situated over 1,000km by road from Abuja.

    At some point during 2011-2012 and from the dispersal point that is MDGR, our troops were battling terrorists as far away as…..(road distances from MDGR quoted)

    Kano..600km away
    Sokoto…1,180km away
    Okene…1,107 km away
    Jos….627km away
    Kaduna…820km away
    Zaria..750km away
    Jaji…785km away
    Bauchi…455km away; just to mention a few cauldrons – all inside that same NORTHERN NIGERIA – which have all now been pacified. How do you coordinate a push against such a widely-dispersed group?

    To put Nigeria on the spot and ridicule her for the enjoyment of our enemies, the enormity of the challenge was deliberately under-reported. As we speak, northern Nigeria is far larger than Afghanistan and is 1.5 times the size of Yemen/1.75 times the size of Iraq. That is like Germany+Italy+Holland+Belgium COMBINED.

    I recall that after each Eid celebration, I would congratulate the security forces for pulling off a stunning success in the face if daunting odds. Back then, the BBC gave no quarter. Nigeria had no excuse since this was supposed to be a cakewalk. Well BBC, welcome to ‘regular-sized’ Nigeria. It was supposed to be a cakewalk…now tell your guys to walk to the cake. It is a ragtag guerrilla outfit after all.



  11. jimmy says:

    Remember OGA ARE JAMES
    We knew this was going to happen in the Yoruba language it is known by two words IWOSI AND ARIFIN I am pretty sure your Yoruba friends can interpret for you , if not OGA BEEGS CAN BACKSTAGE.
    Not to be lost our soldiers trust me are working overtime to get these girls regardless of what is being said in the papers .
    This is a very dangerous mission.

    • Augustine says:

      Nobody is clearly saying his own opinion on this blog about whether we should accept Bokos offer of prisoners exchange and save ourselves from a worst disaster of us having the girls killed during a rescue attempt fire fight…200 teenage girls in a commando style assault on Bokos base if we find it….heavy casualties .

      Remember the last time these oyinbo people came with SAS to attempt rescue of the Italian engineer and others kidnapped by Boko, the hostages were all shot by Boko Haram the moment NA SF and the BA SAS commandoes appeared at the hostage location, then Dan Bature blamed Nijeriya for incompetence and fifth column betrayal and vice versa.

      Okay my brothers, should be do prisoner exchange or not?

      It’s better than ransom money payment that Boko can use to buy more weapons….then we can get our girls back before they start getting pregnant for terrorists.

      One day, the Bokos we release now will fall in battle.

      After that, we garrison every town and village along NE borders 100km from boundaries inwards into Nigeria. Then we start all out war on Boko, covert SADF Recces anti-SWAPO/MPLA/Cuba tactics as suggested by @Peccavi and @Eben.

      Australian Recce special forces are silent, they are rated among the worlds best in semi-desert and forest warfare because they have both terrains in Australia and have experience in both from the World Wars, they don’t make noise on Tv like the Americans and they have announced interest to help us, just that Nigeria prefer American braggado and effizy style of showing itself as world champion. Silent helpers like Israel and Australia are the best, and I think South African Recces too won’t take advantage of us because of rivalry…who is the true giant of Africa conflict and UN security council permanent seat competitions. A few SADF Recces though now a bit old in age, are still in the new SANDF with awesome anti-ANC/Cuba bush war experience to share.

      Means we now take offensive operating behind our lines and putting Boko on the defensive, then he will have less time to be looking for our virgin girls to play with in schools and homes.

      DSS infiltration, plant male and female informant ‘mercenaries’ in enemy backyard, the local vigilante should be volunteers for this mission to be trained by SSS and DMI.

      Conventional war strategy will keep us on defensive, while unconventional war strategy will put us on the offensive.

      Hope this comment won’t attract guided torpedoes in my direction, I am just trying to ask for everybody’s personal opinion as we all feel the pain one way or the other.
      Criticize me very well, but don’t torpedo me o !

      Thanks Naija warriors.

  12. beegeagle says:

    Meanwhile, Mighty Yagz, the State of Emergency areas span 155,000 sq.km and that is larger than England which covers an area of 130,000 sq.km . To be precise, the SoE area is slightly larger than England and Wales put together.

    Welcome, BBC, to what was supposedly a tea party before now. Time to walk the talk. Now you will realise why “attacks continue to occur despite the State of Emergency”. Sometimes, it is not always about incompetence….

  13. Giles says:

    oga beeg ar u still watching BBC?well for me i stoped since d beginning of d malian conflit.i tink all does protesting d bring our girls back are annoying,dere are soppose to b protesting tings lik reequip d military,police and paramilitary

    • igbi says:

      indeed, once the girls are back what stops more girls from meeting the same fate ?
      Do I hear #bringbackourgirls 2; 3; 4; 5… and at the ending it would be “bring back our economy, our freedom and please get boko haram out of aso rock !”. Those who refuse to evolve are bound to be destroyed.
      Please #bringbackcommonsense, #bringbackmilitarymight, #bringbacklandmines, #bringbackditches, #bringbackgiant_border_walls, and #bringback_the_girls_by_force_alone.

  14. peccavi says:

    Oga Augustine: I’ve said that we should pay the ransom and release as few prisoners as possible.
    The question now is how to exploit these activities both the prisoner release and the any ransom paid.
    It is time for good psyop type operations.
    For example once the ransom is paid release rumours through the grapevine that twice that amount was paid, use these things to sow seeds of distrust in BH ranks. Let BH present a list of prisoners, if there are some being held in secret that BH is aware of, it indicates there is a leak somewhere, if there are some not mentioned, keep them locked up. Begin interrogating them intensively, get them to say things antagonistic to BH, video it and begin releasing these videos after release.
    even if these things don’t work, it is at least proactive and keeps the enemy guessing.
    Once the girls are safe then use all the info gained during the the search to launch a continuous series of strikes on the enemy, proper ground/ air assaults, identify at least 2-5 bands and hunt them to the ground,publicise the assaults show the bodies, weapons and prisoners.
    Let our friends and enemies know the consequences of this.
    We must accept that there is no military option to this but we have the ability to exploit

  15. igbi says:

    Nigeria can not afford to pay any ransom. As I have said that is a losing strategy. Our population is too large, we have too many criminals and we are in Africa and our borders are porous. You are about to open the Pandora box. Next year expect 7 million little girls being kidnapped. And what will the terrorists do with that money ? Yes you have guessed, they would be killing other girls ! Please people just use your so hardly acquired skills ! No ransom !
    I think we shouldn’t stop plea boko haram’s cause tha

  16. igbi says:

    There is no other way out of this other than the use of force and I think the americans know it, the FG knows it, every enlighten person knows it. This is war, you fight with your brain, not your emotions. Any negotiations is against the state of Nigeria and its people. Please I am planning to come back to Nigeria and buy a house so don’t turn it into Somalia ! I beg ! No ransom, no negotiation. Fire ! Reload ! Fire !

  17. igbi says:

    The only people who would benefit from paying a ransom or even negotiations are the terrorists !
    But those who want to plead for ransom can go on, but I just hope they know that undirectly they are pleading for boko haram.

  18. igbi says:

    We shall not sacrifice millions of little girls to bring back 276 girls. Enough said.

  19. igbi says:

    #bringbackourgirls is a fraud and I doubt it was created by Nigerians. No Nigerian I know including my family knows anybody in that peotest. I have family in Canada, UK, the US, Norway, France, Australia. #bringbackourgirls is a fraud.

  20. Are James says:

    Just a reality check here.
    Paying ransom or exchanging prisoners for hostages is not just common practice in Nigeria, it is in fact an unwritten policy of government. Relatives of public office holders that were kidnapped in the past including the MOF’s mum and PFRN’s relatives have all ‘enjoyed’ this life saving opportunity – These poor girls should not be denied the same if the opportunity presents itself.
    When the ND militants held our oil production facilities hostage a few years ago, we released prisoners and gave amnesty because of petrol dollars, we surely would do the same for the lives of 200 young girls.
    I don’t understand why we compromise on excellence in Nigeria and then turn back to aggressively reject the consequences.Why is it murderously annoying when people suggest that we should release prisoners for girls but it is not annoying that one of the greatest armies in Africa is having the most mediocre showing have ever seen in our lifetimes with the whole world watching.
    On whom should the anger be vented?.
    An opposing team has scored three goals against you and you are disputing yellow card.

    Before” #Bring back, our girls”, the Armed forces had two weeks to free the girls and expose perpetrators if indeed it was a false kidnapping. The world was a little distracted by other things then to wit Ukraine Russian crisis. Sambisa was just around the corner. The money was there, the troops were there. We did not bomb and we did not invade.
    If we had acted quickly enough then and invaded the place there would have been some casualties amongst the hostages but at least we could have remained true to the principle of no negotiation by effectively pre empting this demand for their prisoners.
    By not acting at the right time, the FG and the armed forces handed another victory to BH.

    Not to release prisoners for the girls now is tantamount to ‘state sponsored murder’ of the children

    The argument that releasing the prisoners will inspire copycat kidnappings is lame, self defeating and weak. What evil is not in active inspiration in Nigeria?. Immediately after the kidnapping of these girls, the same BH ran amok in Gamboru Ngala town and killed 350 people they also blew 3 bridges, all unchallenged. So what other girls or civilians are we protecting by this funny excuse of a principle.
    In any case, the federal government of Nigeria has proven itself ineffective in protecting the ordinary Nigerian and those girls must now be seen as citizens of the world, protected by UN charters including ‘Right to Life’. When they get released I don’t even imagine they will stay up to one week in Nigeria. Those who don’t like it can frustrate themselves into a bad toothache but it won’t change anything.

    As for the BH prisoners that are provoking and inspiring all manner ‘Rambo like’ efforts by their comrades to secure their release, why is there no military tribunal in place to quickly try them within the interval of time set by law?. Can we successfully run this war on the back of an under resourced legal justice system?… and do we remember that any terrorist freed now without conviction is free indeed and would not need amnesty?
    When we resolve to get serious and hard headed in oir country, when we get institutions sorted, when we stop corruption, laziness, slackness and sheer cluelessness, I think it is then we should start thinking of any higher minded ant terrorist principles.

    • ozed says:

      Oga James,

      Your argument is well thought through and well delivered. However, it does have a slightly dangerous slant.

      If we have always fumbled and made wrong decisions, should we then continue to do so?

      Also trust me, if the army had launched an attack such as you talk of, the response in the media to the levels loss of life among the girls, which would have likely occurred would make what ever we see today look like child’s play.

      I am truly glad it is not my decision to make on whether to accept BH’s greek gift or not. I can tell you it is not an easy choice.

      We are genuinely between the rock and a hard place on this one.

  21. Spirit says:

    My Ogas,

    BH has proven to be more ruthless than AQ. Al-Shabab etc. There is no terrorist organisation on record that decimate entire villages without dicriminating batting an eye-lid.Hence,the PsyOps operators from FGN and US must be very good at what they do so as to get these girls out alive as (based on BH records) any attempt at ‘Rambo-style’ rescue operation will lead to massive, unacceptable casualties.

    I pray that all the girls be located soonest, and that we have learnt serious lessons from this fiasco.

    I hate any form of negotiation with terrorist organisation as I know the implications for national security. but even the ‘mighty’ Isrealis had to exchange some (1,027?) palestinian terrorists in exchange just one soldier,Gilad Shalit who has already ‘signed up’ to die for his country anyway. How much more, 250 teaneagers who, prior to their abduction had never been to Boy (Girls?) Scout camp?

    I am sure some of these girls would have been raped (comfort women), beaten etc. A few of them would even suffer from STOCKOLMS SYNDROME. Hence, the rescuers have to tread with care as nothing shocks a rescuer more than a back-stab by the rescued.

    A stich in time, they say, saves nine. Let us learn to be proactive instead of being reactive. Let this bitter experience be a turning point for us.

    As for BBC, huuummmmm. Na their fault? No be dem fault o! If the Nigerian Military has been doing what its supposed to be doing, would we be in this mess? Now I wonder what our gallant soldiers will be saying when they meet their colleagues from other nations. Brave heroes, battling unimaginable odds while some foolish, myopic politicians are jacuzing on tax-payers money with their kids schooling at Eton, St Georges, Harvard, Yale etc.

    May the law of Karma catch up with those that brought this great nation to her kneelsl


    • Eeben says:

      Your point re Stockholm Syndrome is well taken Spirit.
      I have long held the belief that Africa suffers from 2 traumas: Battered Woman Syndrome and Stockholm Syndrome.
      Until we start believing in ourselves and regain our confidence, we will always be stepped on.

  22. beegeagle says:

    Good morning, gentlemen.

    Please view the front page of Beegeagle’s Blog. I have a bit of a PLEASANT surprise for us this morning coming from the CNN.


  23. Kay says:

    A fleet of 42 planes has been assigned for this mission of which one is a Beechcraft MC-12W Liberty.

  24. jimmy says:

    we are integrity driven on this blog please state/ prove your sources.

    • CHYDE says:

      If you read the 4th Paragraph of the link posted by Are James. It states: ‘The US air force has 37 of an expected total of 42 MC-12W aircraft. Since their introduction in Iraq they have been used extensively in Afghanistan. ‘ So i suspect Kay must have rushed into writing instead of reading thoroughly and understanding the statement.

      • Kay says:

        Sorry for not stating source (s). It does state one MC 12w though @ Chyde. And 42 platforms deployed.
        Also a Global Hawk drone by Northop is also in on this search.


  25. Are James says:

    The MC12W Liberty is the logical platform to use for the mission but @Kay should be more explicit as to his sources.

  26. Are James says:

    Just partly accurate. Aircraft type is correct, total number of various platforms deployed is wrong:


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