“Boko Haram,” literally translated it means “books or Western education are forbidden.”
The North African terror faction calling itself Boko Haram has seared its way into world-wide attention, provoking anger, shock, fear and repudiation.
They have shamed the government of Nigeria, the richest and most populous nation on the African continent. And they have literally hijacked the Islamic faith, resulting in denunciations of their merciless, violent tactics—most recently the kidnapping in mid-April of nearly 300 teenage girls from their boarding school in northeastern Nigeria—from Muslim scholars and faith leaders, especially those in the United States.
Their gruesome attacks have killed thousands—1,500 in Nigeria in 2014 alone.
And while U.S. officials—most notably First Lady Michelle Obama—have joined the viral social media and official diplomatic campaigns to bring about the release of the more than 200 schoolgirls who still remain in captivity, Boko Haram may in fact be a tool of U.S. Africa policy which has “killed two birds with one stone”—immobilizing the feckless Nigerian government of President Goodluck Jonathan, whose government they predict will disintegrate before elections scheduled for 2015; and tarnishing the good name of Islam.
“There’s been a long history of the U.S. government collaborating with those who have been described as religious extremists, with Afghanistan from 1978 till at least a decade later, if not longer, being ‘Exhibit A’ in that regard,” Dr. Gerald Horne, Professor of History and African American Studies at the University of Houston told The Final Call. “Part of the U.S. strategy has been to try to disrupt and deflect those who are pushing for expansion of democratic rights or redistribution of the wealth by backing groups that tend to disrupt and destabilize such movements.
“And to that extent I would say that Boko Haram fits that prototype, particularly since the Nigerian economy has just been adjudged to be the most substantial economy on the African continent, passing that of South Africa. And given that Nigeria is a major oil producer, and oil interests wield disproportionate influence upon U.S. foreign policy, this tragic event in Nigeria, involving the abduction of girls should be considered and contemplated in that context,” Dr. Horne said.
In fact, there is ample evidence dating back at least five years that the CIA itself has been involved in the launch, the growth and the spread of Boko Haram in Northern Africa. A source with the complete library of the Wikileaks files—which were disclosed by Austrailian publisher and journalist Julian Assange—verified, when contacted by The Final Call that beginning in 2009 alone there were at least six CIA cables about Boko Haram. Two of those files were classified “For Your Eyes Only,” which is “above Top Secret,” the source said. The source did not give The Final Call permission to release its identity.
An author “LordElNu” and other sources provided this: “Wikileaks claims Boko Haram is a CIA covert operation: On June 29, 2009 a United States cable leaked by Wikileaks showed that the CIA predicted the onslaught of a deadly terrorist attack by Boko Haram two months before Boko Haram started terrorist actions.” Similar reports have been documented on AllAfrica.com and others online.
“We have already been regaled with reports provided by the Wikileaks which identified the U.S. embassy in Nigeria as a forward operating base for wide and far reaching acts of subversion against Nigeria which include but not limited to eavesdropping on Nigerian government communication, financial espionage on leading Nigerians, support and funding of subversive groups and insurgents, sponsoring of divisive propaganda among the disparate groups of Nigeria and the use of visa blackmail to induce and coerce high ranking Nigerians into acting in favor of US interests,” an anonymous author wrote on the blog “Cyber Pen” located at wonuolatahjdeen.wordpress.com.
“But beyond what we know from the Wikileaks report, what many Nigerians do not know is that US embassy’s subversive activities in Nigeria fits into the long term US government’s well camouflaged policy of containment against Nigeria the ultimate goal of which is to eliminate Nigeria as a potential strategic rival to the U.S. in the African continent.
“In this regard, the report further recalled Nigeria’s role in helping to liberate the southern African countries in the 70s and 80s in clear opposition and defiance to the interests of the United States and its western allies which resulted in setback for Western initiatives in Africa at the time,” the writer continued.
“Years, later the CIA while tactically taking advantage of growing sectarian violence in Nigeria, recruited jobless Islamic extremists through Muslim and other traditional leaders offering training indirectly to the group by use of foreign-based terror groups. A detailed analysis (follows): In December 2011 an Algerian based CIA wing gave out 40 million Naira (Nigerian currency) as a planned Long term partnership with Boko Haram with a PLEDGE TO DO MORE; Disregarding advices (sic) from experts the US armed Saudi Arabia who in turned armed Libyan rebels that in turn armed Malian rebels and Boko Haram, a chain tactically predicted by the CIA,” the report, cited by various online sites continued.
“I think you’ve touched upon something,” said Dr. Gerald Horne. “As already noted, Nigeria already has the largest economy on the African continent. Nigeria also features some wildly radical mal-distributions of wealth. That is to say you have dollar billionaires in Nigeria at the same time you have poor children by the thousands forced to labor for pennies at most. So obviously this creates favorable and fertile conditions, I’m afraid for the kind of rhetoric and kind of action that is exemplified by the group that is referred to as Boko Haram.”
Various sources, including Amnesty International have reported that the Nigerian government had a four-hour advance warning that Boko Haram would attack the girls’ school in Chibok in northeastern Nigeria, but failed to even muster a force to prevent the attack, in part because of fear among Nigerian troops that Boko Haram has weapons superior to those used by the oil-rich government’s troops.
Meanwhile, Muslims—including in one instance, even Al Qaeda—have been left to condemn the group’s horrific tactics and the kidnapping of the schoolgirls as un-Islamic, and contrary to the Holy Qur’an (the book of Islamic scripture), as well as the teachings and personal example of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad ibn Abdullah (PBUH). “Absolutely no. Absolutely no. The teaching of Islam is that, whoever teaches a girl, whoever educates a girl would be rewarded as educating a whole community. But if you educate a man, you educated one person,” Imam Kareem Finnih, who himself hails from northern Nigeria, and who now presides over a mosque in suburban Maryland, just outside of Washington told The Final Call.
“There is no contradiction. This is a group of people who have no knowledge; they do not have knowledge of Islam. What Islam says about community action—I said this in a lecture today,” Imam Finnih said of the khutbah (sermon) he delivered at the Friday Jumu’ah Prayers at his mosque. “Islam says that it is forbidden for you to kill a fellow Muslim. And it is forbidden for you to kill other religious people, unless they (have violated) you, like killing you,” he added.
“What they are saying is completely wrong. Most of these people, they are ignorant. They do not have any education. So, what are we left with, a bunch of hooligans, someone who has no life,” said Imam Finnih.
Other Islamic authorities agree. “Many groups, like Boko Haram, are distorting Sharia (Islamic law) to serve their own interests,” Dr. Sam Hamod, former Director of The Islamic Center in Washington told The Final Call. “The way they are acting and the kidnapping of the young girls is wrong, and against Islam.
“Islam makes clear in the Qur’an that innocents are not to be taken in bondage or as hostages; you fight only the soldiers of the opposition not innocent children. Too many alleged ‘imams’ are spouting lies and distorting Islam, in the name of power and money, but too few will stand up to them, even governments are afraid of them, and many Muslims stay quiet out of fear, but some must stand up or this will get worse and worse for everyone in the world,” he continued.
“It is clear to me that these Salafists like Boko Haram, Jihadis, and others are wearing a mask of Allah/God but working for the devil,” said Dr. Hamod, who is a former professor of English at Howard University.
Finally, the CIA’s, the U.S. governments, and other Western nations’ handprints are all over the formation and the arming of Boko Haram. “It’s apparent that the NATO overthrow of the Ghadhafi regime in 2011 in Libya has had manifold implications for that entire region,” Dr. Horne said. “We all know how the Ghadafi overthrow led directly to certain allies—Boko Haram seizing power in northern Mali—and we all know how that led to a French-led intervention in Mali, that has barely contained the unrest there.”
Dr. Horne continued, “I also find it striking to note, that even though Washington has offered to help to find these abducted girls, Washington supposedly has been looking for Joseph Kony, the Ugandan rebel, for months now, apparently with no success, which is quite curious because with the alleged talents of the National Security Agency and their ability to engage in surveillance, and the ability—we are told—about drones, it’s quite striking that Washington has not been able to find Joseph Kony, which makes us curious about why they would offer to try to find these abducted girls,” Dr. Horne said.
“Perhaps this is a pretext to interfere more aggressively in the internal affairs of African states, particularly oil-rich Nigeria. And I submit that in that regard, the regime of Mr. Goodluck Jonathan, the leader of Nigeria, is rather shaky,” he continued.
“You know, in Nigeria they’ve had this de facto system whereby, oftentimes the president is chosen from the North, and then there is a rotation, and the president is chosen from the Lagos region, which is further South, etc. What happened is that a leader from the North preceded Mr. Goodluck Jonathan, but he was quite ill and was forced to step down. As a result, Mr. Goodluck Jonathan succeeded him. Now those from the North say that he should step aside for the next election. He’s not willing to step aside. That’s contributing to political instability in the country, and with the mal-distribution of wealth, and this political instability it creates fertile and favorable grounds for the rise of a group like Boko Haram,” Dr. Horne concluded.