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The Nigerian Connection – Boko Haram, Obama, and Qatar

Written by William Michael

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“Allah ghayatuna Al-rasul za’imuna. Al-Qur-’an dusturuna. Al-jihad sabiluna. Al-mawt fi sabil Allah asma amanina. Allah akbar, Allah akbar.” [1]

“God is our goal, the Quran is our Constitution, the Prophet is our leader, struggle [jihad] is our way, and death in the service of God is the loftiest of our wishes. God is great. God is great.”

-Muslim Brotherhood chant

Nigerian Qatar ConnectionLast month Boko Haram, a franchise of al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood, kidnapped 276 young girls in Nigeria.  This horrifying situation reminded this country, apparently even the White House, that Islamic fascism (jihadism) was still a serious threat to world peace.  As if kidnapping innocent children was not bad enough, Boko Haram then announced their intentions to sell the girls into slavery.  Prior Boko Haram’s threat that the children, who are mostly Christian, would be sold in the “marketplace,” President Obama publicly ignored the kidnapping.  But, even the Obama’s found this promise of forced (sexual) servitude so shocking that Michelle launched a Twitter campaign - #bringbackourgirls.

Emphatically, it should not have taken an announcement by Boko Haram to wake Obama up to reality of Islamist groups and human trafficking.  That al Qaeda and such groups have for a long time been modern day slavers is actually old news.  Not only has al Qaeda practiced slavery in North Africa, but they are a force[2] in the Asian sex slave trade as well.  Indeed, Qatar, the current host of the al Qaeda’s parent organization, the Muslim Brotherhood, has one of the most oppressed (read: enslaved) labor forces in the entire world, despite also having the highest GDP per capita in the world.  There’s some real income inequality for you.  Nevertheless, it took the clear and sustained outrage of a shocked world to get the Obamas to join the protest against Boko Haram.  At least on the surface of things.

Here are some quick facts about Nigeria, and why the Boko Haram Islamist insurgency is important for the world to pay attention to.  Nigeria has both the largest population in Africa (170 million) and Africa’s largest economy. This is thanks, in part, to massive reserves of oil.  Boko Haram has been trying to violently overthrow the government of Nigeria since 2002, but in the last few years, especially since 2011, the situation has gotten considerably more tenuous for the Nigerian state.  In 2014 alone, there have been (at least) 11 deadly attacks.  If the Nigerian state were to collapse, and an Afghanistan-like environment of anarchy were to emerge (as has emerged in Libya since the end of Gaddafi’s rule), there is little doubt that the wars already raging in the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, not to mention South Sudan and other places, would spill over into Nigeria.

Moreover, like in Nigeria, the conflicts in the Sudan, CAR, and DRC involve Islam and Christianity.  Should Boko Haram succeed, Africa would be in a state of near total war – total religious war.  It would be very hard to stop this chaos and animosity from spreading across the entire world.  Already Europe has seen the ascendency of a fascist-oriented political Right, an ideology which shares the resentment of Muslim immigrants across parties and across nations.  Whether it is National Front in France or Vlaams Belang in Belgium, the parties of the Nouvelle Droit on the continent make their animosity toward non-Christian immigrants a central part of their political platforms.  For this reason, Europe would be especially vulnerable to violence if Boko Haram is not suppressed.

Obama’s Stance.  Or Dance?

In the days since the kidnapping made international headlines, a curious pattern of policy positions have been unearthed concerning the Obama administration’s State Department, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and their view of Boko Haram.  The State Department, despite the increasing urgency of the situation, and additionally, reports that Boko Haram had originally received seed money from Osama bin Laden, refused to designate Boko Haram a terrorist organization.  As Andrew McCarthy put it in his May 13 article:

Instead, ignoring what Boko Haram pronounces its goals to be, the Obama administration portrayed it as a diffuse organization with no clear agenda that was ascendant due to the policies of the Nigerian government (which is under Christian leadership). As the Boko Haram threat got progressively worse, the State Department and the White House theorized that it could be defused by better government engagement with the Muslim population in Northern Nigeria, and that designating Boko Haram as a terrorist organization—which would have triggered our law’s array of counterterrorism tools and squeezed the organization financially—would raise its prestige while encouraging more government repression against Muslims.

It’s hard to fathom how the State Department could fail to see the hallmarks of al Qaeda in Boko Haram, whose very name means “western education is forbidden [according to Islam].”  If there is still any doubt, Boko Haram made it clear when they hoisted the al Qaeda flag over the kidnapped children.  Perhaps this stance by Hillary should not perplex us.  It was Hillary, after all, who insisted that the United States had a right to arm the Libyan rebels in overthrowing Gaddafi, despite the fact that many of them were essentially al Qaeda.  Since then, Libya has failed to stabilize, while becoming a hotbed for drug trafficking Islamic cartels.  (Drug trafficking is another signature of Islamist movements, especially al Qaeda.  This theme will be expanded on and explained below.)

And yet Hillary’s State Department’s obliviousness was not an oversight – it appears to be State Department policy.  For in May 2013, the Nigerian government conducted air strikes against Boko Haram positions in northeastern Nigeria.  Secretary of State John Kerry, at once, urged restraint, cautioning the Nigerian government of Goodluck Jonathan “to respect human rights and not harm civilians.”  Let us recall the number of civilians that Obama has effectively ordered killed each year by U.S. drone strikes in the alleged hunt for al Qaeda terrorists (who seem to be more menacing than ever): 2,400 have been killed in drone strikes from 2009 through the end of 2013, many of them civilians.  With hypocritical allies like Clinton, Kerry, and their boss, Obama… good luck, Jonathan.  You definitely need it.

The Libyan Arms Grab

What could explain the sudden prominence and threat of Boko Haram, which was, up until 2011, not viewed as an existential threat to Nigerian society?  There rise seems to coincide with the fall of Gaddafi and the dispersing of his massive weapons caches.  Note that in Iraq, when Saddam Hussein was defeated, it was the very Iraqi weapons which were formerly under state control that fueled the al Qaeda insurgency of the Islamic State of Iraq, or ISI (no pun intended on the part of the author).  Several sources, including Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Seymour Hersh, suggest the the Obama administration, specifically the CIA acting under the aegis of the Hillary’s State Department, was using the compound in Benghazi as an arms shipment point to rebels (i.e., al Qaeda et al.) in Syria.  Would it not make perfect sense that the some of the weapons went south, into Nigeria?  And into the Central African Republic, which has also seen a horrific spike in violence since 2011?

What is the Obama administration doing in Africa?  It is a question worth considering.  Additional food for thought comes from Mali.  In 2012, the United States, along with the United Kingdom and France, sanctioned the government of Mali following a military coup.  The coup in Mali was a direct result of the previous government’s impotence in effectively thwarting Islamist insurgencies in the north, such as al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).  Why would the United States and other NATO allies sanction a government that was fighting al Qaeda from overtaking their country?

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s dictum applies: “Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.”  Is Obama really arming and supporting al Qaeda?

The remainder of the article will explore this proposition and offer evidence of why this looks likely.

Rhymes with “Gutter”

Qatar, the little known country on the Arabian peninsula with the “worst” counterterrorism reputation in the region (worse, ahem, than Iran), who also hosts two of the largest American bases in the entire world, Al Udeid and As Saliyah, and who had 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed on payroll, once again appears to be at the center of a scandal.  This time, research proves that Boko Haram was founded with the support of the Qatari royal family through a Mauritanian proxy.  Not only that, but Qatar was a strong supporter of the Libyan rebels, not only as an advocate through Al Jazeera, but going so far as to participate in military operations.  Qatari fighter jets bombed Gaddafi targets, and Qatari special forces reportedly provided basic infantry training to rebel fighters.

There are several aspects that connect the Qataris to the Boko Haram and their allied Islamist insurgencies.  Members of the Qatari royal family, the al-Thanis, were reported to be among the early supporters of Boko Haram.  The former president of Mauritania, Maaouya Sidi Ahmed Ould Taya, a Sunni Muslim, currently resides in the capital of Qatar, Doha.  Taya has been linked to Boko Haram (providing “lots of funds”), which was founded in 2002 as, one report puts it, a “money making venture.”  Taya now teaches at a Ahmed bin Mohammed Military School in Qatar.

It may seem bizarre to start an Islamist group as a money making venture.  Yet it is perfectly sensible, considering that the unpoliced regions of North Africa are smuggler territory.  Take, for example, the case of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).  Formed in 1998 out of the Groupe Islamique Armé (an Algerian insurgency group), they operate across northern Africa, including in Mali, Algeria, Chad, Libya, Tunisia, Niger, and Morocco.  AQIM is known for kidnapping (sound familiar?) and smuggling, most notably cigarette smuggling.  In 2009, a Boeing 727 was discovered, torched, in the Malian city of Gao.  It had departed from Venezuela, and was reported filled with cocaine.  This was dubbed “Le Boeing de la Coke” by the French press.  Smuggling, whether cigarettes or cocaine, kidnapping, slavery, and jihad – that is the AQIM/Boko Haram way.  Is it any wonder that when interviewed, one Somali who joined Boko Haram was quoted as saying, “At least I could get a job.  The rate of unemployment is a threat to security.”

Drugs are nothing new for the Muslim Brotherhood Qataris.  It has already been reported that they are in a strategic venture with the Pakistani National Logistics Cell, who serve as heroin transporters for the Taliban (and couriers for NATO).  But why stop with opium?  Cocaine is at least as profitable, and it’s a whole different market.  Diversification is a basic business principle, and the Qataris, who operate a huge sovereign wealth fund (Qatar Investment Authority), understand this concept well.

King David’s Empire: The Narco-Caliphate

During the Cold War, the United States, the Soviet Union, and other states like Cuba, provided funding and resources to dissident groups within each others' respective spheres of influence in order to disrupt the existing order. This operational paradigm can be appreciated by glancing at the political intrigues in South America during the period when Communism aspired to rule the world. Groups such as the FARC and ELN in Colombia, (supported by the Soviet Union and Cuba respectively), and the Contras in Nicaragua (supported by the United States), depended on legitimate, if ruthless, nation states for backing.

Since the decline of Communism and the end of the Cold War, insurgency groups have come to rely more on illegitimate, i.e. black market, financing for their operations, including narcotics and human trafficking. When disillusionment with the cause du jour hits the membership of these modern organizations, they will not burn their cards. For their members have as their party cards Franklins and €500 notes. More often than not, the "leaders" of these ideological/religious groups are what are commonly referred to as "sell-outs." They'll let their minions die for whatever cause if it gets them another fat billfold.

If there is one man who has pioneered the art of black market financing of Islamist terror, it is the Indian born Dawood Ibrahim.  As the head of the criminal enterprise dubbed D-Company, he is among the most wanted men in the world, and one of the richest (estimated net worth, according to one source, is $6.7 billion). Don Ibrahim enjoys the protection of the Pakistani ISI, a notorious backer of Islamists and the same people who sheltered Osama bin Laden. So vested is Dawood with the ISI, that he reportedly pledged 30% of his earnings to the Islamist-supporting intelligence agency in exchange for protection.

A major player in Bollywood, Ibrahim has also been tied to several major Islamist terror attacks, including the 1993 and 2008 bombings in Mumbai, which killed hundreds.  In addition to running the Hawala system (used for money laundering), Ibrahim profits handsomely from the Taliban’s opium operations.  The market for South American cocaine appears to be one of his newer ventures, for in 2009 Ibrahim’s brother Anis was granted a passport by the government of Belize, a country known for drug transit and money laundering.  (Wonder who ordered up Le Boeing de la Coke?)  Additionally, Dawood Ibrahim has been tied with the crystal meth business.  

On a slightly different subject, Ibrahim got his start with the Hindu mafia crowd.  These are the same people who are close with the Hindu Nationalists, represented by the Bharatiya Janata Party, or BJP.  The BJP, and their leader, the violent, murderous Narenda Modi, just happened to win the Indian elections in a huge landslide victory.  The BJP itself comes out of the Indian RSS, a movement which idolizes Adolph Hitler (much like the Muslim Brotherhood).  Modi, who very likely has back channels to Ibrahim’s criminal organization, will now be the Prime Minister of India.

This network of Islamism and South American drug cartels probably sounds crazy.  Yet how else do you explain the fact that Californian members of the (El Salvadoran) drug cartel MS13 have recorded themselves on video fighting the Islamists (on the side of Bashar al-Assad) in Syria?  Yes, alongside the MS13 “homie” is a member of the Armenian Power gang, dressed in Hezbollah military garb. These insurgencies, which have metastasized into civil wars in countries like Syria, Libya, and Nigeria, are as much for turf as they are for religion. In this global turf war, the Sunni Islamists/Muslim Brotherhood/al Qaeda are facing off against the Russian-aligned nexus of Hezbollah/Iran/MS13/Armenian organized crime.  Hezbollah, a Shiite fundamentalist group (unlike the Sunni Muslim Brotherhood), is a major player in the cocaine business, operating in Mexico as well as Venezuela (where they work with the FARC).

All of this may appear to be so unseemly that it is unfathomable that the United States would ever be involved.  There are good reasons for American entanglement.

The Qatari’s American Playthings

Below is a sampling of the American establishment’s entrenchment with Qatar.

Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service

Among America’s most respected universities, Georgetown has a campus in Doha for the School of Foreign Service.  According to their own website, “The University’s on-going academic discussions with policymakers, independent actors and decision makers, positioned in Washington, D.C and in Doha, Qatar as the center of east-west relations has ensured the relevancy and vibrancy of Georgetown’s programs of study for the coming century.”

Yup, we train American diplomats in Doha – the same Doha that finances terror from Africa to Syria to Europe to Asia.  This may, possibly, help explain how Huma Abedin, despite her various documented family connections to the Muslim Brotherhood, became one of Hillary’s closest confidants and her Deputy Chief of Staff at the State Department and before that her “body woman.”  Under Hillary’s tenure, State even befriended the international mouthpiece of the Muslim Brotherhood, Al Jazeera superstar Yusuf al-Qaradawi, in order to negotiate with the Taliban.

Carnegie Mellon Qatar

Carnegie Mellon has a substantial footprint in Qatar.  They offer no less than five majors of study, including Biological Sciences, Business Administration, Computational Biology, Computer Science, and Information Systems.

This may sound relatively harmless (or not), until you remember that that Carnegie Mellon is partnered with the Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security for project involving cyber security, including preventing cyber attacks.  As Carnegie Mellon’s website explains:

The Software Engineering Institute (SEI) is a federally funded research and  development center sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense and operated by Carnegie Mellon University. The SEI’s core purpose is to help others make measured improvements in their software engineering capabilities.

While the SEI is not physically in Qatar, Carnegie Mellon Qatar clearly has leveraged the expertise of their parent university, which is integral to the nation’s cyber security.

Boeing

Boeing, America’s preeminent aerospace manufacturer, as well as a critical military contractor, is described by one senior executive as in a kind of “marriage” with Qatar.  Said their Vice President for Sales, “The relationship is very strong; it’s kind of like a marriage. Sometimes things are okay and sometimes you’re fighting a little bit.”  Not only does Boeing sell commercial airliners, such as the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner, to Qatar Airlines, which has grown faster than any airline in the world in recent years, but also Apache attack helicopters.

ExxonMobil

The largest American oil company has been in Qatar since the early 1990s.  Helping the al-Thanis exploit the world’s third largest natural gas reserves (behind Iran and Russia, incidentally two of their greatest geopolitical foes), as of 2010 ExxonMobil had approximately 550 employees in Qatar.  Qatargas, the state monopoly LNG company for which ExxonMobil works, had revenues of $37.2 billion in 2011.  So intertwined in the affairs of Qatar is the company that in 2013, they sponsored the “Qatar ExxonMobil Open 2013,” an annual tennis tournament, for the 19th straight year.

As has been noted in previous articles, these universities and companies are just a taste of the American involvement with Qatar.  Other notable presences include (the foreign policy think tank) The Brookings Institution, Weill Cornell Medical College, Texas A&M, Northwestern University, and Virginia Commonwealth University.

Conclusion

To support the hunt for the Nigerian girls, Obama has pledged reconnaissance drones.  Nevermind that NATO airstrikes were deployed to remove Gaddafi, who had, following 9/11/2001 been cooperating with U.S. authorities.  The plight of these children apparently do not merit American military might.  Meanwhile Canada, a nation which many perceive as the paragon of a peaceful international nation, has sent special forces to aid in the search (albeit, allegedly, they will not engage in any fighting).  Meanwhile, a very recent report has suggested that all of North Africa is on the verge of political catastrophe: “Instability and insurgent network activity across Northern Africa in Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Mali, Morocco and Tunisia — and the proliferation of that type of activity into and across Europe — has been increasingly worrying security officials in recent years.”

Considering the larger picture of American entanglement in Qatar – the only open supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood, the financiers of terror, a nation which profits handsomely from slavery and narcotics while purporting to be holy rollers – is it any surprise that we find ourselves routinely on the side of Qatar and their Islamist insurgent groups?  Whether in Libya, or Syria (where rebels are now observed firing American missiles), or Nigeria, the United States under Obama’s leadership has predictably acted as mercenaries for the Muslim Brotherhood and their various manifestations across the globe.  To stop this will be tantamount to challenging some of the most revered American institutions, including the preeminent airline and oil companies, the American military (who has two massive bases there), the State Department, and a sizeable chunk of academia.  Yet if nothing is done, chaos, the chaos that makes smuggling humans and drugs so much easier, will continue to spread.

Finally, it should not be considered taboo to suggest the Obama administration is on the wrong side of this battle, wittingly, willfully, and wholeheartedly.  According to an article in The Daily Beast:

“The dispute inside the intelligence community falls along familiar lines about al Qaeda. The White House has emphasized the distinctions between al Qaeda’s core and its affiliates and other aspiring jihadists, who the White House sees as operating almost entirely independent of the central group.

However, another faction inside the U.S. intelligence community—one that comprises the current leadership of the Defense Intelligence Agency and others working in the military—see al Qaeda as a flatter organization that coordinates between nodes and operates through consensus in the model of an Islamic Shura council.”

The time for wondering whether there is a coordinating body at work for the global jihad is over.  Qatar fulfills this role, and the Defense Intelligence Agency seems to understand that.

The Obama administration has witnessed the early retiring and/or dismissal of hundreds of decorated military officers, many under suspicious circumstances. This has left analysts and career military men wondering aloud whether or not a "purge" is being purposefully committed by the administration. Following this pattern, on April 30, the Chief of the Defense Intelligence Agency for the past two years, Lt. General Michael Flynn, announced he would be retiring at the end of the summer. He had been openly critical of the intelligence community for failing to understand the "human-socio context of the battlefield in Afghanistan." May his crime have been to see too clearly?


[1]Allahu Akbar (Arabic: الله أكبر) is an Islamic phrase, called Takbir in Arabic, meaning "God is greater" or "God is [the] greatest" – that is, Allah is greater than the Judeo-Christian and any other god.

[2] The Naxali are a Maoist insurgency group based out of eastern India.  They have been known to cooperate with the Pakistani ISI, a supporter of Islamic terrorism and the protectors of Osama bin Laden, as well as the Abu Sayyaf Group, an al Qaeda group in the Philippines.

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